Fair price for a lantern clock with center verge (anchor pendulum)

Bernhard J.

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Hi All,

I am wondering a bit about fair market prices for relatively early lantern clocks. I find one of the first generation (with balance wheel) offered for GBP 65,000 :eek:, wherein e.g. Brian Loomes had expressed the opinion that all first generation clocks have been converted in the past to pendulum and then reconverted to balance wheel.

I now have a lantern clock in view, not that old, which apparently is unmolested and in very nice and original condition. It is from about 1690 (my own research, the maker made his last will a few years after the turn of the century) and has the center verge, i.e. the pendulum swinging between going and striking train and having the form of an anchor. The side doors have apertures through which the "wings" of the bob pop out when swinging. The case, thus, does not have wings.

What would be a fair price for both sides (roundabout)? I have difficulties finding similar reference objects and their auction oder dealer prices.

Cheers, Bernhard
 

Bernhard J.

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No, I did not make photos of it :D.

I would suppose that imagination is sufficient with the information (center verge, good and original condition) provided. But I promise to post photos, if/when i purchase it :cool:
 

Bernhard J.

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By the way, I had fairly recently bought the book "English Lantern Clocks" by George White *autsch!!!*. It is marvelous and clearly the money worth for anyone interested in this topic.
 

Bernhard J.

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Does nobody have an idea? The prices for lantern clocks with lantern clock movement, nice condition, range from 300 USD to 70,000+ USD. (300 the hungarian 20th century reproductions, nicely made by the way, 70,000 a first generation clock with balance wheel)

I would just like an indication of a ca. range for a third generation clock, considering the book of George White in quite original (and nice) condition, and with internal pendulum. Nothing missing, no open or blocked holes, all components apparently together since new.

I know that such questions are difficult, but I am not asking for a on the spot valuation of a specific clock. Just some indication for getting a rough idea. Could the knowledgable perhaps at least select from the following ranges ;):

300 - 1000 USD
1,000 - 3,000 USD
3,000 - 8,000 USD
8,000 - 15.000 USD
15,000- 50,000 USD

I simply have no idea. If I had photos, I would provide such.

Best Bernhard
 

DeanT

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Lantern prices are somewhat asymptotic where the price very quickly increases for each decade pre 1700 and accelerates for clocks made before the invention of the pendulum. A well known maker also increases the price as does the condition and originality. For example the anchor pendulum you describe is likely a replacement. Centre verge lanterns are more likely to be mostly original from my experience. Does it still have its alarm or is that missing etc. without seeing it it’s impossible to tell.
 

DeanT

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More tell tale signs of alterations who be a blank space on the dial where the alarm disc used to sit or engraved frets on the side would indicate they are replacements as they are usually plain.
 

Chris Radano

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Some lantern clock prices in the US have been too inflated in the last few years dating to before the pandemic. In auctions, it only takes 2 bidders who really want the item to really drive up the price. But like I said, in my opinion prices for English lantern clocks (verge not anchor escapement) have been too inflated in the US. I don't trust the prices. I think what I see many times is people throwing money around lacking skill. Just my opinion.
Of course people are free to do whatever they want in regards to auctions, it's their prerogative.
 
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Jim DuBois

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Just an outside observer, but as others have suggested, lantern clocks have been problematic to pin down as to maker when made originality and values. They have been made for a long time, and reworked/faked/improved for almost as long as they have been built.

Not to be blunt, but the information we have right now is akin to asking how long is a rope? With very good and extensive photos, narrowing it down a bit might be possible. But, if it was built recently by a very good faker, how could we tell that from an excellently preserved original? Or how many times has it been modified? How much has it been modified? And even if we can pin it down to a near-perfect example, is it really by the maker on the dial? And is that name significant in the world of clock collection? And where is the clock located? Locations matter as to interest and, ultimately, selling prices. As suggested above, values are hard to predict.

And to that point, I bought a decent example of a lantern clock 5 or 6 years ago, here in Texas, at an NAWCC regional mart, for $100. It was a late example; it had no name on the dial, it was complete, and it had run for a long time, but still $100? I sold it quickly for a multiple of the price I paid.

None of this really helps with the original question, but perhaps it does serve to point out some of the potential landmines of guessing values on the subject.
 

Chris Radano

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It is acceptable for lantern clocks to have been modified over time. If the work was done competently it should not be a problem. But this will affect the price. Unless it is a famous name, that could change things. Some things you can't tell unless the clock is in your hands. And even then...
Like Jim DuBois explains, lantern clocks at times can be inexpensive. This may have to do with unfamiliarity of the topic by a segment of potential buyers before the clock is sold. For example, potential buyers may be concerned that the clock is a "fake" and do not want to take a risk, not knowing how much the clock has been "messed with". This happens with any older clock but especially with lantern clocks.
Lantern clocks can be a puzzle to tell what happened and when. When I first saw lantern clocks I had no idea. But seeing more over time I can say I have some idea.
 
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Ralph

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Hi All,

snip>

I now have a lantern clock in view, not that old, which apparently is unmolested and in very nice and original condition. It is from about 1690 (my own research, the maker made his last will a few years after the turn of the century) and has the center verge, i.e. the pendulum swinging between going and striking train and having the form of an anchor. The side doors have apertures through which the "wings" of the bob pop out when swinging. The case, thus, does not have wings.

<snip>
Cheers, Bernhard

Bernhard,

Here's one with replaced frets, and a Sheepshead style dial, that I picked up a number of years ago for under $1000

H1107-L72495755.jpg H1107-L72495761.jpg H1107-L72495763.jpg H1107-L72495765.jpg

Ralph
 

Bernhard J.

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So, I bought it after some research (and reading the George White book over the whole weekend). Here are first photos.

Obviously with no alarm (originally), plain side frets. Non-original are the back plate and a couple of screws. The anchor shaped bob may or may not be original, the later more probable according to George White. The clockmaker is not listed in the usual lists, but I found a clockmaker of this name and in this place in the Essex archives as active in the last decades of the 17th century and would suggest that the clock was made in the last decade.

11.jpg 12.jpg 13.jpg

Cheers, Bernhard
 
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Bernhard J.

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Bernhard J.

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I do not know whether I have thrown out money, but the grade of originality of this particular clock seems to be higher than most of others presently offered in the market. And this makes it worth in my eyes.

Cheers, Bernhard
 
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Thomas Sanguigni

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Bernard, do you subscribe to CLOCKS magazine? There has been an ongoing discussion on lantern clocks for some time. This discussion has been led by Brian Loomes. It would seem Mr. White and Mr. Loomes are not best of friends. The clock you purchased did not have witch gates (starting around 1640) , and I would guess is newer than 1683. He also makes mention of the pillars, bells, and bell stands. These can all be traced to a clocks approximate manufacture date.

It sure would be fun and interesting to own a lantern clock. Congratulations on your purchase!
 

Bernhard J.

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but I found a clockmaker of this name and in this place in the Essex archives as active in the last decades of the 17th century

Slight correction, the maker called himself in his last will "Clocksmith", not clockmaker.

Here an extract, wherein I have repeated the relevant part (dated 1707).
Will 1707 detail.jpg
 

DeanT

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A nice looking clock. I’d probably think because of the wider chapter ring it dates more towards 1700 but I’m sure you will be able to narrow the dates with a bit of research.
 

Chris Radano

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A clocksmith is a rural or provincial clock maker. Some clocksmiths were also blacksmiths and used iron more than London makers.
Buying from a dealer will usually cost a bit more but you have the security of an accurate description of the clock.
 

Bernhard J.

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Buying from a dealer will usually cost a bit more but you have the security of an accurate description of the clock.

Well, I would not tend to agree generally with the second part of the sentence :D. Many dealers are not all too knowledgable and also tend to "overlook" critical features. I nevertheless do agree in case of a number of specialized dealers and then a "premium" is imo surely justified.

Cheers, Bernhard
 

Bernhard J.

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A clocksmith is a rural or provincial clock maker.

I find it interesting that in those times "rural" or "provincial" apparently began immediately outside London. The place where John Gibson lived was located about 27 miles, 43 kilometers, from London (driving distance to Covent Garden). But presumably back then (and sometimes even today) still quite a "different world".
 

Bernhard J.

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This morning it has arrived, lovely! :excited:The replaced screws having been reproduced absolutely authentically, including threads. So nothing to do (except below) other than putting it on the wall.

It came with a 1 year warranty from the professional seller. However, the escapement did not work at all (it ran through), but needed several sensible readjustments. Probably some transportation "artifact". Now it runs perfectly and with very good amplitude.

I think it is pretty brave to put a warranty on any object of this kind, in particular if it is sent by whatever courier. I do not know whether there is a legal obligation in the UK (in the EC there is). Buyers who do not exactly know what to do would probably have made a warranty case out of it, with all the discussions around it. On the other hand, now my warranty is voided because I worked on it instead of sending the clock back? Never mind :D

I don't think I would like to be a professional dealer. When I imagine some people as buyers. But they must love me ... clown.gif Heiligenschein.gif
 
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DeanT

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This morning it has arrived, lovely! :excited:The replaced screws having been reproduced absolutely authentically, including threads. So nothing to do (except below) other than putting it on the wall.

It came with a 1 year warranty from the professional seller. However, the escapement did not work at all (it ran through), but needed several sensible readjustments. Probably some transportation "artifact". Now it runs perfectly and with very good amplitude.

I think it is pretty brave to put a warranty on any object of this kind, in particular if it is sent by whatever courier. I do not know whether there is a legal obligation in the UK (in the EC there is). Buyers who do not exactly know what to do would probably have made a warranty case out of it, with all the discussions around it. On the other hand, now my warranty is voided because I worked on it instead of sending the clock back? Never mind :D

I don't think I would like to be a professional dealer. When I imagine some people as buyers. But they must love me ... View attachment 759424 View attachment 759425

Good to see you are happy with it. Always a bit scary getting a clock bought from a couple of average photos...LOL
 

Bernhard J.

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Always a bit scary getting a clock bought from a couple of average photos...LOL

Well, that is the advantage of purchasing from a well respected dealer (emphasis on "well respected") providing right of return (or even warranty). The risk is rather low. If it is not up to the expectations, you can always return it, in most cases without any fuzz.

Even average photos often tell a lot to the trained observer, at least as to whether one should better leave the fingers away ;)

I only once needed to return an item due to a technical defect (not transportation related and not visable from photos), which I did not want to attend to on myselfe. The return was very smooth.
 
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