A miniature French alarm lantern wall timepiece, circa 1760
7.5-cm shaped enamel dial which outlines follow the cast brass surround, Roman numerals, blued hands and brass alarm disc, 30-hour weight driven movement with verge escapement and silk suspended pendulum, alarm on a bell, brass case with doors to the sides mounted on the wall by hoop and spurs.
Small clocks are rare by definition because they are always a second or third clock in a household. Clocks were very expensive so the first clock in a home was for general use and therefore of normal proportions so all could read it. A second clock was a luxury and there was less market for them. This little lantern clock was probably made for the bedroom because it doesn’t have strike work but an alarm. The earlier lantern clocks have brass dials which get tarnished in time and are then harder to read. So when craftsmen were able to produce larger enamel dials many clocks started to be fitted with them. A nice feature of this clock is that the dial isn’t just a circle but it follows the outline of the decorative brass surround which is quite rare and attractive. It also shows the level of attention to detail that the maker had. Last but not least, the small size of the clock makes it easy to fit in any interior.