English Lantern or Chamber Clock
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English Lantern or Chamber Clock


18th Century

Clockface engraved ' St Xaverius '
Brass and bronze, with original decorative frets
Cm 34 altura x 18 frente x 14 fondo

Originating in the 17th century, the lantern clock (also known as a "chamber clock") was wall mounted and driven by free-hanging weights. This example is made primarily of brass and dates from the 18th century, has a single hour hand and is complete with chains, weights, pendulum and a functioning mechanism. The clock has an intricately engraved face featuring the words "St Xaverius" the Latin name of St. Francis Xavier, a 16th century missionary from the north of Spain. Included is a sturdy and finely finished wooden wall bracket.

Lantern clock design was derived from architecture. The body of the clock has four "pillars," one at each corner, inspired by classical Greek columns. Each pillar has a vase-shaped finial at top, and a foot at the bottom. From the finials are attached the bell straps that hold in place the large bell, which forms the domed "roof" of the clock. Also attached to the finials are the pierced and decorated "frets" surrounding three sides of the clock, used to hide the empty space between the bell and body of the clock. Though some parts may have been replaced over the years (as is common with this style of clock) this is an excellent and functioning example of a historically important timepiece design.


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