Early lantern clock by the specialist maker Peter Closon, £7800 at Hutchinson Scott.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Lantern clocks are among the oldest class of timekeeper and a North Yorkshire auction featured an example dated to the earliest first period, the 1630s.

Offered at Hutchinson Scott (25% buyer’s premium) in Skipton, it was made by Peter Closon, one of the earliest and most prolific makers of lantern clocks with premises located at Holborn Bridge in London, as indicated by the signature on the chapter ring of this example.

Closon was one of the original subscribers to the incorporation of the Clockmakers’ Company rising to become assistant in 1633 and warden from 1637-39.

Hutchinson Scott’s 15¾in (40cm) high example, which featured a large bell set over the signed, pierced and engraved dial and had a weight driven movement and verge escapement, was guided at £3000-5000 and went for £7800.

Other similar-sized striking lantern clocks by Closon that have appeared recently at auction include a mid 17th century version that sold at Bonhams in London for £3200 in December 2020 and another sold by Sotheby’s in January 2023 for £7500.

Big block

A large section of Hutchinson Scott’s spring fine interiors auction from April 16-19 was devoted to horology, with around 200 lots of clocks and watches on offer. Several of these proved to be among the best-sellers in the entire four-day event.

Two modern 20th century man’s wristwatches - a 1980s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak on original steel bracelet and a 1965 Blancpain Aqua Lung ‘No Radiation’ watch on a later canvas strap - made £19,500 and £16,000 respectively.

Other timekeepers of older vintage also featured in the top 10 results for the auction alongside the lantern clocks.


Skeletonised Regency bracket clock by the Scottish maker John Henderson, £8000 at Hutchinson Scott.

John Henderson was a member of the Henderson family of Scottish clockmakers, born in Fife and working in Dunfermline. He was the maker of an elegant 16in (41cm) high bracket clock that went to an online bidder for £8000, comfortably over a £2000-3000 guide.

The skeletonised movement, signed and dated 1833 to the silver dial, was fitted into a rosewood case with glazed side panels.

Time to go to the tavern


One of two Chinoiserie decorated tavern clocks by Yorkshire makers that sold at Hutchinson Scott. The larger striking example here by Edwin Ram of Hull realised £6600.

Tavern clocks are a popular class, a distinctive form that has the bonus of much decorative wallpower often featuring cases embellished with chinoiserie decoration. This auction had a number of examples to offer including some by local makers with chinoiserie cases.

A striking version made by Edwin Ram of Hull, dated 1772 to the large painted chinoiserie case, measured a sizeable 6ft 1in (1.86m) in height from the base to its ball finial, its eight-day weight driven movement striking on the hours. It sold within the £5000-8000 guide at £6600.


Two Chinoiserie decorated tavern clocks by Yorkshire makers that sold at Hutchinson Scott. The smaller version by William Warren of Thirsk shown here sold for £5400.

A smaller version at 3ft 9in (1.14m), fitted with an eight-day movement and anchor escapement, was by William Warren of Thirsk signed prominently in the panel below the roman numeralled dial. This was estimated at £2000-3000 but went for £5400.


French novelty mantel clock formed as an industrial steam boiler, £7600 at Hutchinson Scott.

An interesting 13½in (34cm) late 19th century French automaton clock modelled as a vertical steam boiler also proved to be in demand despite some missing elements.

This had a flywheel, piston and governor and a barometer dial above a clock dial running on an eight-day spring driven movement. The clock and barometer movements functioned but the separate movement to run the automaton was missing and the mahogany base was a replacement for the original marble one. Notwithstanding, it surpassed its £2000-3000 guide to take £7600.

Early boxes

Beyond the horology section two notable prices were achieved for Asian works of art, both of them early caskets or boxes.

One of these was an export piece, a small 4¾ x 9in (12 x 23cm) casket described as Indo-Portuguese and dated to the 17th/18th century. It had highly decorative bands and panels of foliate shell inlay contrasting with its ebony ground and an interior of red lacquer.

Pieces in a similar style inlaid with shell or ivory were produced on the West coast of India in Gujarat and Goa (a former Portuguese territory) in the 16th or 17th centuries. This casket also had a signature to the underside which may perhaps have contributed to the appeal of what was anyway a highly decorative object.

A modest £300-500 estimate was not surprisingly outstripped with the hammer falling finally at £6300.


Indian lacquered box, £10,500 at Hutchinson Scott.

Selling for £10,500 against a guide of £800-1200 to an online bidder using was a larger 7¼ x 18in (18.5 x 45.5cm) Indian lacquer-covered, iron-hinged box dated to the 17th century.

It was decorated to all sides in red on a dark ground with panels of scrolling blossoming foliage inhabited by a variety of different animals - some mythical, others recognisable species.

The interior was also lacquered in red and was decorated with three crucifixes.