A fine and extremely rare second quarter of the 17th century miniature lantern clock Thomas Pace at the Crown in Fleet Street
Lot 104
A fine and extremely rare second quarter of the 17th century miniature lantern clock Thomas Pace at the Crown in Fleet Street
Sold for £21,600 (US$ 33,799) inc. premium

Lot Details
A fine and extremely rare second quarter of the 17th century miniature lantern clock
Thomas Pace at the Crown in Fleet Street
Surmounted by a turned baluster finial centering the brass cross-strap, each of the four curved supports centred by a shaped section with filed decoration, over three cast frets, the central one engraved with detailing to include a male mask, foliage and acorns, the two side frets of the same pattern but with lightly punched and engraved patterns, the four columns cast in one piece to include the finials and bases measuring just 5 and 5/8ths of an inch high, the dial plate measuring 3 and 3/16ths of an inch square, engraved with Roman numerals within a double line border with inner quarter-hour track, and single hand, devoid of any decoration save for the two lowermost corners which carry the delicately engraved signature 'Thomas Pace at the crown, Fleet Street', the weight driven movement with verge escapement on a knife edge to a short bob pendulum, with countwheel strike on the bell above, the steel hammer spring shaped and fettled 22cms (8.5inches) high

Footnotes

  • Thomas Pace became a Free Brother of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers within two years of its foundation in September 1634. He worked at the Crown in Fleet Street and was one of the few clockmakers -along with the likes of William Bowyer, William Almond, Ahasuerus Fromanteel and Peter Closon - to have worked through the Civil War (See White, English Lantern Clocks). The War obviously took its toll on working life and when he took on an apprentice, Jeffrey Bayley in 1637, he did not gain his freedom for another ten years, instead of the usual seven. This relationship was obviously strained - the Court Minute Book of the Clockmakers Company records that Pace and Bayley appeared before them to settle their differences in 1642 and again in 1646, although neither were prepared to divulge the root of their quarrels.

    Loomes in Lantern Clocks and their Makers notes that only one lantern clock is known by Thomas Pace and that it had the unusual feature of cast integral pillars and a chapter ring attached by a single lug. In the current clock, the pillars are also cast in one, but he has done away with the chapter ring entirely and engraved - in the most Puritan manner - his signature directly onto the dial plate. It may well be that this was destined for a puritan household - there are instances of watches of this period with plain cases, completely devoid of any decoration (such as those by John Snow, London circa 1640, and David Bouquet, London circa 1640, both illustrated in Camerer Cuss, The Camerer Cuss Book of Antique Watches, plates 16 and 17).

    The unusually small size of the current clock may indicate that - with its original balance wheel escapement - this particular clock was intended for use when travelling.
Auction information

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