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.
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. The side doors appear to be original, which is also a rarity.