A very rare mid 17th century brass striking lantern clock with unique dial pattern and very early pendulum escapement Peter Closon, London

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Lot 4
A very rare mid 17th century brass striking lantern clock with unique dial pattern and very early pendulum escapement
Peter Closon, London

Sold for £ 8,125 (US$ 10,959) inc. premium

Fine Clocks

16 Dec 2015, 14:00 GMT

London, New Bond Street

A very rare mid 17th century brass striking lantern clock with unique dial pattern and very early pendulum escapement
Peter Closon, London
the strapped bell secured by a later finial over signed foliate fret, the sides fret also engraved with shaded details and framed by an urn finial at each corner over Doric style columns on ball feet, with iron hoop riveted to the top plate over an iron backplate with brass locating pin and iron spurs, the Roman chapter ring with trident half-hour marks and inner quarter hour track framing the highly individual central engraved pattern of apples and berries on stalks within a pattern of flowerheads emanating from a central bud at VI, with later steel hand, the weight driven movement with split trains; the going train to the front terminating in a verge escapement, the short pendulum (now with a replacement 'anchor' style bob, detached) mounted centrally, the strike train with countwheel strike on the bell above 38cms (15ins) high

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Purchased Meyrick Nielson, Tetbury, 1971.

    Literature:
    White, English Lantern Clocks, ACC 1989 Figure IV/25 "Unique dial patterns are very rarely found on Third Period clocks, but exceptions are known on clocks whose movements contain important mechanical innovations. This beautiful dial conceals an early crown wheel pendulum by Peter Closon, c1660. The 'wings' and top finial are of recent date, the hand has been altered." And later "Figure IV/25 , for example, is believed to be one of the first lantern clocks ever made with a pendulum. The engraved design is not known on any other clock and is of particular beauty." On page 190 White continues "Dawson, Drover and Parkes note that no pre 1665 pendulum clocks are known, other than those made by the Fromanteel family. This is undoubtedly so with cased clocks, but may not be true of lantern clocks. Figure IV/25 shows a pendulum clock with especially high quality engraved decoration, signed by Peter Closon. David Todd, who conserved the clock in 1971, noted that it was equipped with a 'pendulum swinging between the trains....but with a conventional pendulum bob' and that there were no signs of its escapement being changed. Yet Closon is last mentioned by the Clockmakers Company records in 1660."

    The fret gives further evidence of a pre-1660 date - a variant of this foliate fret is shown in White, Figure III/8 on a quarter chiming lantern clock by Thomas Knifton which was presented to Adams School in 1657. Its use within the clock making trade at this time ties in very well with the theory that this is one of the earliest lantern clocks with a pendulum escapement.

    The Knifton fret is 'double height', a form usually associated with quarter chiming movements wherein the section below the foliage is arcaded. The central bulbous sections of the Knifton fret is decorated with simple shading. On the current clock, however, these protuberances are decorated with birds heads. Interestingly, the side frets are similarly engraved - a rare process which petered out, presumably on account of the additional costs and time in manufacture. One other example of the birds head decoration is illustrated in White, see Figure III/41 by Thomas Loomes. Other non-bird versions are found, on clocks by Thomas Knifton, III/26/43/44/45 and Thomas Milles in Shoe Lane III/21 and a variant by Ahasuerus Fromanteel see Figure III/22, the latter two both quarter chiming.
Contacts
A very rare mid 17th century brass striking lantern clock with unique dial pattern and very early pendulum escapement Peter Closon, London
A very rare mid 17th century brass striking lantern clock with unique dial pattern and very early pendulum escapement Peter Closon, London
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