13 inches


The posted brass frame with top and bottom plates held by four turned brass pillars with integral finials and ball feet. The top with three shallow brass frets, engraved with scrolling foliage, the bell strap pin-fixed to the urn finials with a central conforming finial above, holding the bell. The sides with removable latched brass doors, with cut-outs to accommodate the pendulum, the whole hung from an iron hoop riveted to the top plate and steadied by spikes riveted to the backplate.


The shaped rectangular dial plate, signed to the centre Rich: Ames near St. Andrews Church in Holborne fecit around a replaced applied engraved silvered brass Arabic alarm disc, 1-12, with a silvered brass Roman chapter ring with quarter divisions inside the Roman hours, and fleur-de-lys half-hour markers, indicated by a pierced blacked-steel hand with an alarm tail.


The rope wound weight-driven movement has vertical plates for the going train, with pivoted verge escapement and short bob centre pendulum. The restored weight driven crownwheel alarm mounted on the outside of the rear plate, with its verge hammer slot-fitted onto the brass backplate, and sounding on the bell.


30 hours


Private collection UK.

Comparative Literature

George White, The English Lantern Clock;

Darken and Hooper, English 30 Hour Clocks Origin & Development 1600-1800, pp. 47-50.


Richard Ames was apprenticed through the Clockmakers’ Company in 1649 to Peter Closon, who was one of the earliest, best known and most prolific makers of lantern clocks. Richard was freed from his apprenticeship in January 1657.

His old master worked in Holborn, ‘near Holborn Bridge’, and it might be that Richard Ames succeeded to the Closon business as he too worked in Holborn, near St. Andrews Church in Holborn. He took successively senior roles in the Clockmakers’ Company, being made Assistant in 1669 and Warden from 1676 to 1681. He died on the twelfth of October 1682. During his years in the trade Richard trained several apprentices, the best known of which was John Ebsworth, who was also a maker of lantern clocks, as well as clocks of other kinds.