Benjamin Sudlow of Yarmouth, England. A miniature time and alarm lantern clock.
Benjamin Sudlow, the son of Samuel Sudlow, is listed in Brain Loomes' “Watchmakers & Clockmakers of the World” as being born in 1715 and getting married in 1745. At this time he was working in Beccles (Suffolk). He moved to North Yarmouth (Norfolk) by 1763 and dies in 1787. He is buried at Lowestoft. Long case & bracket clocks are known.
This clock is a miniature example and was made circa 1765. The composite brass dial measures approximately 4 7/8 inches across by 6 7/8 inches tall. The more common dial size for a lantern clock is seven inches wide by nine inches tall. As a result, today’s collector considers this miniature version is far more desirable and it is much harder to find.
This is a fine miniature gentleman’s traveling alarm lantern clock. These clocks were originally made for and sold to the upper middle class of traveler. They were intended to be taken with them on their journeys. It is thought that they would have been sold with a special made wooden carrying box. These very rarely survive today. Lantern clocks were designed to be hung from a nail in the wall. This one is in surprisingly good condition having its original verge pendulum. The verge pendulum was almost always used on such clocks. It provided the advantage that the pendulum is attached to the clock making it conveniently portable. A long pendulum would have been separately attached and would be a real nuisance when traveling.
This is a true lantern clock. The dial resembles a tall clock dial in that it is arched. The decorations are applied to the traditional arched form. The cast decorative spandrels are applied to the dial sheet. They feature a female head with headdress and a sweeping foliage design. The spandrels that frame the engraved name boss depict a male figures head. He is also wearing a fancy hat and sports a long beard. The applied chapter ring is engraved with Roman hour figures, interior minute ring and simple half hour markers. The center is finely matted. An engraved alarm disk and a single hand complete the dial presentation. The single hand would have been adequate during this time period. It was also less expensive to manufacture. The movement is constructed with four turned pillars with top and bottom plates, side doors or dust covers and side frets. The original verge escapement and the verge alarm hammer is powered by a weight driven rope drive. The alarm strikes on a bell mounted above the clock. The height of this clock determines the length of the run. Most run thirty hours at normal height.
This clock has had some restoration, Its hanging hoop has been repaired and its wall spurs and one side of the bell mount are missing. We will restore the bell mount. A neatly made wall bracket mounts the clock to the wall.
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