English Lantern Clock

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English Lantern Clock

New postby fjmenez » Wed May 13, 2009 4:50 pm

In 1967 I was shopping for horological items in Portobello Road antiques market London, and came across on one of the side streets a small antique shop that had a large selection of antique clocks. On the floor in a corner of the shop was a lantern clock in a very dirty condition. I purchased the lantern clock for a very modest price.

When I got home I discovered that the Lantern clock dial was signed Thomas Swinnerton Fecit. North Country Clockmakers by G. L. Reid had a 1680 date for this clocks. I sent in a picture of the clock to the British Antiquarian Society and it was published in their journal with a description. Shortly after that a member of the board informed me that Thomas Swinnerton was the earliest known clockmaker from the town of Newcastle.

When this lantern was made it had a balance wheel escapement, however it was converted to anchor escapement with long pendulum.

The top plate shows where the banking pins were, when it was a balance wheel escapement. In the beginning it had one hour hand, but minute work was added later.

Received a letter from Newcastle that the local museum would like to have first refusal if I decided to sell the clock.

Lantern 092.jpg
Lantern 093.jpg
Lantern 094.jpg
English Lantern Clock.jpg


PS I might add that there are several areas on a old lantern clock that indicate the conversion from Balance Wheel to Anchor.
Last edited by Glyn Meredith on Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:34 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Reason: 1.Added pics. 2. edited "Thomas Swinnerton Newcastle" to "Thomas Swinnerton Fecit" 3. Dial pic replaced with newer photo.
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Re: English Lantern Clock

New postby John Moane » Wed May 13, 2009 11:02 pm

Yes, Portobello Road is a great place to get some bargains. I bought a number of fine pocket watches there a few years back, but nothing as interesting as your lantern clock. You must be very pleased. John
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Re: English Lantern Clock

New postby fjmenez » Thu May 14, 2009 4:41 pm

John
I see you have a connection with the BHI. During the 60s I became a member of the BHI (Ipswich Branch) and participated in many of their activities. Was introduced to many great British horologists. I had the good fortune of being invited to the old BHI Headquarters by Frank West who was secretary at that time. He also made arrangements for me and some of my friends to climb the 300+ steps to view the movement of Big Ben.

Living and working in Japan you must be some what of an expert on Japanese Timepieces. In 1952 I went to Tokyo and Nagasaki for a visit. Should have purchased those Japanese lantern clocks.

Frank
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Re: English Lantern Clock

New postby John Moane » Sat May 16, 2009 1:13 am

Yes, Frank, I am a member of the BHI and have done watch repair courses at Upton hall. The last time I was there I was fortunate to meet George Danials and a few other interesting people. I would recommend the place to anyone that was interested in learning clock and watch repairs. Thanks, john
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Re: English Lantern Clock

New postby fjmenez » Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:15 pm

I have now added a rear view photo of my Lantern clock.
Last edited by Glyn Meredith on Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Information about added photo edited.
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Re: English Lantern Clock

New postby fjmenez » Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:40 pm

For additional information on the Swinnerton Lantern Clock go to Antiquarian Horology And The Proceedings Of The Antiquarian Society Number Twelve Volume Five Sept 1968 Page 465.
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Re: English Lantern Clock

New postby Nigel Watts » Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:35 am

Thomas's brother John, also a clockmaker, was my ancestor. There was another clockmaker bother, Joseph. I have been looking for a clock by John for a while. A nice longcase by Joseph came up for sale a couple of years ago but at the time I couldnt afford it.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/photo.php?pid=398132&id=628418472
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/photo.php?pid=398133&id=628418472

n628418472_398132_400.jpg
n628418472_398133_740.jpg
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Re: English Lantern Clock

New postby fjmenez » Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:49 pm

Nigel

The only information i have ever been able to find on Thomas Swinnerton was his name listed in North Country Clock Makers by C.L Reid. The entry reads Swinerton, Thos. Newcastle Lantern bracketclock, about 1680. No other Swinnertons are listed. I understand that Swinnerton is a common name in the Newcastle-under-Lyme. Frank PS I would appreciate any info you may have on Thomas.
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Re: English Lantern Clock

New postby fjmenez » Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:21 pm

I found some additional info on my lantern clock- Newcastle-under-Lyme Parish Register of deaths 1693-1733 list Thomas Swinnerton clockmaker died 14 July 1708
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Re: English Lantern Clock

New postby fjmenez » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:49 pm

I have found some more info on Thomas Swinnerton- Born 1653 and free of his apprenticeship by purchase in 1674. He was overseer of the poor, a sergeant, churchwarden, bailiff and made Capital Burgess in 1689. He was a Presbyterian and his house used for worship. He died 14 July 1708.
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Re: English Lantern Clock

New postby Peter Blunsdon » Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:46 pm

Frank,
Forgive me if you know but Newcastle (upon Tyne) and Newcastle under Lyme are some 200 miles apart.
Newcastle under Lyme is in north Staffordshire.
Not to say that your information is incorrect, but I would double check if you have two Swinnerton's.
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Re: English Lantern Clock

New postby fjmenez » Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:43 pm

Peter
As far as II can determine from various sources, my clock was probably made in Newcastle-under-Lyme Straffordshire. At one time the local museum was aware of my lantern clock and asked me for first refusal if I decided to part with it. There may have been a Swinnerton in both Newcastles. The only identification on my clock is Thomas Swinnerton Fecit. I have been told that Swinnerton is a common name in that part of Great Britian. Frank
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Re: English Lantern Clock

New postby Nigel Watts » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:56 am

These Swinnertons were certainly of Newcastle under Lyme in Staffordshire, an early centre of provincial clockmaking in England. Swynnerton, being the name of a Staffordshire village, falls into the category of surnames deriving from a specific place. The further back in time one goes the more they tend to cluster around their place of origin. The name is still more common today in the Midlands than in other parts of the UK.

All three Swinnertons are listed in Clockmakers and Watchmakers of Central England by Joseph McKenna, which also illustrates a lantern clock. A pegidgree was developed by the Swinnerton Society, a family history society for those of that surname co-founded by my late uncle but which has recently had to close down. I can trace my descent directly from this clockmaking family. I believe this Swinnerton line died out in the male line when my grandmother's twin brother was killed in the first world war.

http://www.swinnerton.org/index.htm
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Re: English Lantern Clock

New postby fjmenez » Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:29 am

Nigel
Thanks for the information. I just ordered a copy of J. McKennas book. Frank
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Re: English Lantern Clock

New postby fjmenez » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:41 am

A closer look at the photos of my lantern clock show that the bell straps are not properly inserted into the finials. As a result the bell is lower than it should be. I need to take some new photos with the bell in its proper position. I need to pay more attention to details. Perhaps I will leave things as they are, does it really matter?
.
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