The " lantern " clock is the direct progenitor of the so-called "bracket" clock, and illustrates the misleading character of the latter name, as the unconverted " lantern " cannot go other than on a bracket, owing to the space required for the long - or "royal" - pendulum and the fall of the weights, whereas the " bracket " clock will go equally well on a shelf or a table, - hence the name of "table" clock, generally used in the eighteenth-century design books. Fig. 476 shows one of these early lantern - or "bird-cage" clocks, - to employ another name used at the time when they were made, - with its long pendulum and weights complete.
Lantern clocks have certain peculiarities which seldom vary. The "train" is nearly always one of three wheels from main (in this case the wheel over which the weight-cord runs) to escape. Eight-day clocks of this form, although exceedingly rare, are known. Figs. 477 to 479 illustrate a fine miniature clock by Edward East having this duration. Fig. 477 shows the finely engraved brass case, which is water gilt; Fig. 479 has the side door removed, and the four-wheel train of the eight-day clock can be seen. As this illustration of the clock is from. the back, i.e. the pendulum side, the going train is on the right, the striking train being always at the back in these lantern clocks. The two cross-bars actuate the hammer-tail, naturally from the striking side of the movement.
Fig. 476. Thos. Trafford, Fecit. - 30-hour Brass, Striking Lantern Clock. Date 1660-70.
Fig. 477. Front View.
Fig. 478. Side view showing the engraving of the case.
Fig. 479. Side view showing door removed. - The 8-day train of four wheels can be seen. - Eduardus East, Lond1ni, Fecit, - 8-day Miniature Striking Lantern Clock,, with finely engraved brass and mercury-gilt case. Chased frets. Unique example. 8 ins. high over all, by 3 3/8 ins. wide. by 3 1/2 ins. deep. Date about 1660.
Fig. 482. Wm. Payne, In East Smithfield. - 30-hour Brass Lantern Striking Clock. - Balance-wheel control. - Very rare example. 15 3/4 ins. high over all, by 6 1/4 ins. wide, by 5 3/4 ins. deep. 1 in. hour circle. Date 1618.
Fig. 484. Eduardus East, Londini, Fecit. - 30-hour Brass Lantern Clock. 1660.
The second peculiarity of these clocks consists in this planting of the one train behind the other, just referred to. Long or short pendulums appear to have been a matter of fancy on the part of the maker, but, in the case of clocks prior to about 1670-5, the pendulums themselves are conversions, the original escapement being a large balance-wheel placed horizontally under the large bell. Fig. 482 shows a balance escapement in situ, photographed from above, and Fig. 480 is the clock itself, shown in side view, with the doors removed, in Fig. 481. The wheel oscillates in the same way as the balance of a watch, only, naturally, much more slowly. With each oscillation, it strikes against the "potence bar" shown in the illustration. The holes left by the removal of this "potence" are always to be seen in an early, converted, lantern clock. Original balancewheel lantern clocks are exceedingly rare. I have only seen two, and have heard of a third, as the result of years of examination of these early clocks.
Figs. 483 and 484 are two views of a fine early example, the weights carried on chains instead of plaited cords, and possessing the early characteristic of a clock of high quality, the simple pierced hand, the narrow hour circle, the engraved dial-plate and side doors and the chased frets. The clock is signed across the dial immediately under the hour ring "Eduardus East, Londini."
For the collector, several points must be stated in connection with these lantern clocks. They were made, especially in remote country villages, as late as the end of the eighteenth century, many of the early characteristics being repeated over and over again. An early clock should not only possess-the character of its time; it should be fine in workmanship, and signed by a London maker. I have never seen a 1670 clock of good character with a provincial maker's name upon it. A minute hand, with its minute motion-work, is always a later addition. If the minute wheels under the dial are original (in any case an old minute hand would be used) the clock is later than 1695-1700. Fig. 485 is a minute-hand clock by John Crucifex, London, and is probably later, or at best only a few years prior to the date of his C.C., 1712. The frets above the dial, if original, are some indication of date, but these were copied at all periods, from 1710 to the present day. (I believe there is a thriving factory, in or near Birmingham, which specialises in the manufacture of " old " lantern clocks.) The earliest is the heraldic or armorial fret, as on Fig. 486. Fig. 487, a fine clock by John Bowyer, chiming on a nest of ten bells and striking on the large one, shows the elaborate type of this fret. Fig. 488 exhibits the dolphin fret of 1675-1695, with an early type of hand. Fig. 489, to conclude these examples, illustrates types of lantern-clock hands from Mr. Richard Arnold's collection, and Figs. 490 et seq. show examples of the hands from early long-case clocks.
Fig. 486. Lantern Clock With Heraldic Fret. - 1660-70
Fig. 485. John Crucifex, London. - A late example with a minute hand. c. 1710-15.
Fig. 487. John Bowyer, London. - Lantern Clock chiming on 10 bells. c. 1660.
Fig. 488. Lantern Clock With Dolphin Frets. - An example converted from a balance to pendulum control. 1660.