Lantern Clock by John Smorthwaite


c. 1710 with later fusee movement
John Smorthwaite lantern clock

A nice example of a lantern clock by the very well-known John Smorthwaite of Colchester. This clock has been subject to a fusee conversion, probably by the Victorians as this was a very popular conversion at the time, to make lantern clocks freestanding and free from chains or rope and pendulum.

The clock keeps excellent time, counting the hours by a single hammer on the original lantern bell. The frame of this clock is totally original, as made by the Smorthwaite workshop, including original cross dolphin frets and nice original iron back plate (see photograph). The doors appear to have some age, being well-scraped, cast brass and may therefore be original. The top plate has been only partially covered to protect the fusee movement from dust rather than a complete blanking cover which would hide all of the early 18th century workmanship and markings (see photograph).

The clock having 5 1/2" square frame, 6 1/2" diameter chapter ring of 1 1/2" width and finely engraved 6" high dial plate with centre signature "Smorthwait in Colchester". The clock stands 14 1/2" high to top of bell finial.

John Smorthwaite was one of Colchester's earliest and most prolific clockmakers, working there from around 1710. At least 21 lantern clocks are known by this important maker and all were originally made with anchor escapement.

John Smorthwaite lantern clock dial detail John Smorthwaite lantern clock backplate John Smorthwaite lantern clock movement John Smorthwaite lantern clock movement John Smorthwaite lantern clock detail

Price: SOLD

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