- Museum number
Lantern clock; weight-driven; restored verge escapement with balance; count-wheel striking; alarm mechanism missing.
- Production date
Height: 16 inches
- Curator's comments
- The following text is the entry for this object from the unpublished catalogue of pre-pendulum clocks by John Leopold, former Assistant Keeper of Horology at the Museum. This information is unedited and should be used accordingly.
LANTERN CLOCK BY PETER CLOSON.
Ilbert No. .
Exhib.cat. London 1952 no.82.
Cat.Ilbert (1958) No.32.
Dawson etc. (1958) 163.
Dawson etc. (1982) 63 4.
White (1989) 139, 140 (fig.III/30), 141, 146, 149, 156, 417 (fig.IX/31) 500 ff.
Analysis of several parts: White (1989) 500 ff.
Signed on the dial plate: "Peter Closon Nere Hoborn
On the back of the alarm disc, on the starwheel (very faintly) and on the countwheel a founder's mark: the 'matchstick man'.
Casing and dial.
Brass lantern clock. Doors hinged between the plates; they cannot be removed without disassembling the frame. All the hinge-pins riveted.
Tinned iron plate at the back; this has no traces of the alarm mechanism and is a modern replacement.
Frets pierced in a patern of foliage and acorns centred around an escutcheon; the front one additionally engraved.
Bellstrap secured by pin into the finials; bell held by a nut to the finial.
Dialplate secured by a riveted iron peg at the bottom and by two pins at the top. It is engraved inside the chapterring with a floral patern enclosing the signature at the top, and has simple ornaments at the corners. The chapterring is pinned to the plate by four feet; it is divided I - XII with "floating" half hour marks and has a quarter division along the inside. In the middle of the dial is the alarm setting disc, divided I - XII with a stylized flower at the centre. Steel hand.
Posted frame movement constructed almost entirely of brass. Two square plates seperated, at the corners, by four pillars with decorative bases and capitals, and with ornametal rings near top and bottom. The pillars are secured by screwed finials and feet. The top plate has a suspension loop at the back (replaced) and there are heavy spurs in the back feet.
The trains are held by three bars; front and back originally were cross-shaped as usual, but the right hand limbs, which were to hold the hammer, were cut short. There now are two bars to hold the hammer; the tops of these bars are not wedged in slots, but pinned against blocks riveted to the plate (see Conversions). All wheels have four crossings, except the (later) scape wheel which has three.
8 ║ 56 60
── ║ ── ── 22 (x 2)
12-hour ← 48 ║ 7 6
Great wheel: heavy brass cordwheel, secured by a pin; integral brass spring and click, acting on the crossings of the wheel. Wheel and spring not original: there is a groove for the spring-washer of an earlier cordwheel.
Scape wheel: wheel modern, arbor and pinion original. The wheel is slightly off-set to accomodate the even number of teeth in the escapement. Balance, potence, verge and cock replacements.
Dial wheel: sandwiched between the starwheel and an iron slotted spring; on this arbor rides the brass unlocking piece which carries the setting disk.
4 ║ 56 54 54
── ║ ── ── ──
12-hour ← 39 ║ 7 6 6
Great wheel: 8 lifting pins, and two empty holes (maker's error?). One side of the wheel was heavily filed when the collet was reduced to allow for the present click. Cordwheel and click replaced, similar to the going train.
Second wheel: single hoop.
Third wheel: single brass pin for warning (file-marks show this to be a replacement).
Heavy brass fly.
Pinion of report: lantern filed into the end of the arbor.
Steel detends; hammer repaired.
Warned striking, with locking on the hoop and warning on the third wheel.
Some of the changes to the clock appear to be early and may date from the time of manufacture. The principle one is the unusual construction for the hammer, with two separate bars taking the place of the conventional cross-arms of the front and back bar. The method of securing the hammer-bars, pinned against blocks that are riveted in the top plate, is reminiscent of earlier Flemish clockwork (compare 1944,11-1,1) and the bars themselves are very similar to the others; it is thought, therefore, that this conversion was made during manufacture. The extra holes in the great wheel striking may also date from the time of manufacture, as well as a filled hole on right hand side of the bottom plate, which appears to be an earlier hole for the door.
A multitude of filled holes, as well as the large aperture above the going train, show that subsequently the clock was converted to pendulum (probably seconds-pendulum, which with this train would necessitate a scapewheel of 45). This conversion probably also included the new pinion of report: the greatwheel probably originally made one rev. per hour.
The subsequent re-conversion involved making a new scape wheel, balance, verge, and cock, and probably also the stirup and the potence.
Going train: greatwheel - 1 rev. in 2 hours.
escapement - 1760 beats per hour.
Striking train: great wheel - 19½ revs. in 24 hours.
Height (over all) - 398 mm.
Top plate: width - 147 mm, depth - 149 mm.
Bottom plate: width - 148 mm, depth - 149 mm.
Distance between the plates - 160 mm.
Movement: distance between the bars, going - 44 mm, striking - 52 mm.
distance between the hammer bars - 73 mm.
HISTORY AND PROVENANCE.
Ilbert collection. The clock is not mentioned in Ilbert's ledgers and it is not known when and where he obtained it.
Presented by Mr.Gilbert Edgar C.B.E. in 1958; reg. CAI 2145.
This clock is classified by White as intermediate between First and Second Periods, and dating from the middle of the century. These clocks are the first to have the signature engraved inthe centre of the dial.
Technically the unusual feature of this clock is the construction for the hammer, which is pivoted between separate bars. This is not part of the original concept of the clock, for the outer bars have the customary cross shape, but the right hand limbs of the crosses have been shortened. The method of securing these extra bars is interesting. The top ends could not be fitted without cutting very large gaps in the top plate, and so the maker reverted to a construction common in much earlier Flemish-style clocks (see e.g. ). This, combined with the fact that the workmanship looks similar to that of the rest of the movement, argues that the conversion is quite an early one, possibly done in the original workshop. The reason is not clear, unless the hammer arbor had to be shortened and the maker decided to experiment (the movement is marginally easier to assemble). No other clock with this construction is known to exist.
These "heraldic" frets were sometimes used on first period and frequently on second period clocks, including several by Closon (White  78).
The construction of the bars for the hammer, which are pinned against blocks riveted to the top plate, is a throw-back to flemish work.
Took the chapterring off: nothing of note. Dito for great wheel going.
The re-conversion used the available holes, but there is additionally a square hole above the stirup.
The way the lantern clock doors lock with flaps behind the pilars is reminiscent of the fastening of the dial in flemish clocks.
BIBLIOGRAPHY (Pauline Wholey – 2019)
London 1952 British Clockmaker's Heritage Exhibition, Science Museum, London, 1952 (see also review of this exhib. in HJ (May 1952) 319 324, the photographs in HJ (June 1952) 389 392 and subs. issues; Lloyd [1952-1], Lloyd [1952-2]).
Ilbert (1958) Auction cat. coll. Courtenay A. Ilbert, London, Christie, 6 7 November 1958.
Dawson etc. (1958) P.G.Dawson, C.B.Drover, H.Quill, R.K.Foulkes, M.Hurst, L.Hurst, F.H.Knowles Brown & C.Clutton, `The Ilbert Collection of Clocks & Watches', AH 2 No.9 (December 1958) 161 178.
Dawson etc. (1982) P.G.Dawson, C.B.Drover & D.W.Parkes, Early English Clocks (Woodbridge 1982).
White (1989) G.White, English Lantern Clocks (Woodbridge 1989).
- Not on display
- Latest: 2 (Jul 2015)
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- The Ilbert Collection of clocks, prints and other related material was destined to be sold at Christie's auction house on 6th-7th November 1958. As a result of the generous donation of funds by Gilbert Edgar CBE the sale was cancelled and the material purchased privately from the beneficiaries of the Ilbert Estate.
Ilbert's watches were then acquired with further funds from Gilbert Edgar CBE, public donations and government funds. These were then registered in the series 1958,1201.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Previous owner/ex-collection number: CAI.2145 (Ilbert Collection)