A rare Charles II period pre-numbered, miniature brass lantern clock. The maker’s signature Tho≈ Tompion Londini is inscribed on the dial centre below XII, the rest of the centre being finely engraved with leaves and flowers. The original alarm setting disc is engraved with a rose and Arabic hour numerals.

The elegantly proportioned miniature case has dolphin frets which have a deep vertical shape, a typical Third Period London miniature lantern clock feature, along with the pierced and shaped ‘arms’ or ‘leaves’ on the restored bell strap.

The 30-hour movement has a fully restored verge escapement and reinstated strike train with alarm work which is mounted on the backplate. The pierced blued and faceted steel hand is a sympathetic replacement.

Date: circa 1680

Height: 7 ½ in (19 cm) excluding finial
Height: 8 ¾ in (22.25 cm) including finial

* Thomas Tompion is widely regarded as England’s greatest clockmaker and his reputation is partly based on his grand Royal Commissions for walnut longcase clocks of long duration and such spring driven masterpieces as the year-going silver mounted Mostyn table clock in the British Museum. He made very few lantern clocks as they were probably not cost effective in terms of time and value relative to more important
productions. Such clocks were mostly destined for the servants’ quarters, but today with their ‘folkloric’ appeal they are widely sought after. This well-recorded, provenanced example is pre-numbered and has a narrow chapter ring. Thus its proportions are more pleasing than those of Tompion’s later numbered lantern clocks which tend to have wider chapter rings and a more squat appearance.

Percy Webster, Great Portland Street who advertised the clock in
Connoisseur magazine, October 1902.
It was then purchased by Richard Norman Shaw, the well-known architect.
Miss Radford

Brian Loomes, Lantern Clocks and Their Makers, 2008, p.505
R.W. Symonds, Thomas Tompion, His Life and Work, London, 1951, p.105, fig.97
E. Von Bassermann-Jordon, Uhren, Braunschweig, 1969, p.133, pl.83.
G. White, English Lantern Clocks, 1989, pp.33-34, fig. I/14
Tho Tompion Londini
Howard Walwyn Ltd Fine Antique Clocks

Howard Walwyn Ltd Fine Antique Clocks
123 Kensington Church Street
W8 7LP

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