Exceptionally Rare Quarter Striking Lantern Clock Made By Richard Beck
London Date/Period: 1650s
Measurement: Height: 16.75"; width: 6"; depth: 7"
Material: brass and iron
Condition: very good. The original balance escapement and alarm have been returned
to their original 17th century state utilizing new parts likely during the mid-20th century.
Additional Information: This is a quarter striking lantern clock by Richard Beck. He
was apprenticed to John Selwood, a noted clockmaker in Lothbury, a section of the old
city of London in May 1646 during the English civil war. He gained his freedom in May
1653 (standard 7-year apprenticeship) and probably died in June 1659. As he died a
young man, only 5 clocks are known by Richard Beck…this example being the most
complex and the only quarter striking clock. This is a clock from the second period of
lantern clocks as described in George White's book English Lantern Clocks.
This timepiece displays particularly beautiful proportions and quality, far better than
the standard lantern clock of the time. The feet and finials are unusual and relate to
those from the Fromanteel shop.
This clock was made before the pendulum was first introduced in mid-1657-8 and it
has been restored to balance. This clock, like nearly all balance clocks, was converted
to the more accurate pendulum escapement in the later seventeenth to early eighteenth
centuries. The unusual and rare pierced frieze at the top plate, which is in its original
position but also restored, hides the balance, and adds verticality that is rarely displayed
by standard lantern clocks.
While the clock was updated/changed over the centuries [likely during third quarter or
fourth quarter of the 17th century] (escapement, alarm, frieze, and rope converted to
chain), the process is “the norm”, in-other-words, these are usual and acceptable
restorations found on most seventeenth century lantern clocks, and do not diminish the
importance of this clock. The process, the undoing of “period” updates returns the clock
to its original state.
Quarter striking lantern clocks are extremely rare. This clock has two hands…
the original chapter ring which has minute marks on the outer edge which are features
found on quarter striking lantern clocks. Standard two train lantern clocks have a single
hand and the usual quarter hour marks on the inner edge of the chapter ring.
The side doors appear to be original, which is also a rarity.
Lantern Clock, Thomas Clay, Seventeenth Century
Chelmsford, Essex, England; 17th Century
The maker's signature is displayed on the base of the front fret; originally with balance wheel escapement, converted to anchor escapement early in its life, probably the late 17th or very early 18th century. This is a good, honest lantern clock with minor wear consistent with age. Literature: English lantern Clocks by George White, page 205, figure IV/104 (left). Now on a modern oak shelf copied from photos in Wallace Nutting's Clock Book. (H: 14.5", W: 7.5", D: 6.5")
Lantern Clock, Griffin Rayment, Bury, St. Edmunds, Suffolk, Prolific Clock Making Family
Griffin (1722-1769) was son of Son of the famous Richard Rayment (1686-1754)
30-hour rope driven, circa 1730-1760 - SOLD
Haggar and Miller, Suffolk Clocks and Clockmakers, reported that no Griffin or Giffin lantern clocks are known to be extant; by the late 1750s the demand for this type of clock had waned in favor of longcase clocks. This is likely the only example extant.
Posted by David Addy: “I received emails from Marc Honcoop containing pictures of a clock which he owns. "I live in the Netherlands. I have a Lantern clock of Giffin Rayment. This is the only one he made.... The clock is all original with no signs of restoration. The clock was bought about 40 years ago for fl.15,000 gulden. That was a lot of money for those years. I don't know the date the clock was made.” Possibly Rayment made the clock with his father about 1730-1740, but I think the clock is younger at about 1760."
Giffin Rayment died in January 1769, and he was buried at St James's church on January 24th. His widow Esther was granted Administration as he had not yet made a will, being only 47 years old.
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