We’re back off hiatus! In this weeks post we have a Stunning 17th Century Lantern Clock. This clock features professionally fitted movement by Richard Farmer c1688.
This clock has an amazingly untouched original case and dial by one of the earliest clockmakers. Richard farmer c1688 of Abingdon. The original clock would have been a thirty hour rope wind wall hanging clock with a striking function. The original fixing holes where the spikes wound have been are still present. The holes for the verge escapement, bars and ropes are still present and have not been filled or tampered with.
the beautifully preserved case still retains its original cast brass doors, frets, finials, bell, bell frame, dialplate and dial.
During the second part of the 19th century when this clock was at least 200 years old, it was quite common to take these worn out “old” clocks and have the thirty hour movement replaced. Usually with a good quality 8 day movement. This was quite an expensive task to undertake and demonstrates the desire to retain family heirlooms within the family.
This particular movement is of horological interest in its own right being a very early Winterhalder and Hoffmier movement. This movement is numbered 1502 and still retains the first W&H stamps featuring the details D.R.PATENT. I am assuming that it should be R.D for registered design instead of D.R and because of a lack of Registered number or Patent number the design was probably in the process of being approved.
The lantern clock movement is very different from the standard W&H movement by means of a high leaf count pinions. These enable a very short pendulum to be used and the lever work has been professionally altered to ensure that the original Bell can be incorporated into the quarter striking “ting Tang” pattern. The clock plates do not have any extra or spare holes. Nor does it have any spare studs or levers. This suggests that this is a purpose build clock and has not been an altered bracket clock movement.
It is stated elsewhere that the work carried out to these clocks was not to deceive but to improve. Large sums of money were paid to have these conversions carried out. Which meant that the clock ran for eight days instead of the usual 12 to 24 hours. The timekeeping was vastly more accurate and the clock did not have to be hung high on a wall because of the ropes and weights but could be placed on a table.
This is a good opportunity to purchase a piece of our horological history that is over 340 years old and has a good story to tell about its treatment over three centuries. The clock case is very original and it would be a perfect base if you wished to have the clock returned back to a thirty hour clock, however the replacement movement that is itself at least over 150 years old can be seen as an antique in its own right being a very early bespoke movement from a good maker.