Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Lantern clock

Lantern clock

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1650 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bouquet, David (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraved silver; the gong and finial are later restorations

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery, case 3

Object Type
Lantern clocks were first developed in England in the 1620s. Their design was based upon the simple weight-driven iron clocks made on the Continent. The name 'lantern' is probably based on the word 'laton' - meaning brass - as most of them had brass cases. These clocks were always driven by weights. They were made either to stand on a bracket or to hang on the wall from a stirrup on the back plate.

Materials & Making
This is the only known lantern clock with a silver case. The dial plate, chapter ring, alarm disc, side doors and pierced silver gallery are all of silver. It must have been made as a special commission for a wealthy patron.

David Bouquet was a French immigrant who was admitted to the Blacksmiths' Company in 1628. He joined the Clockmakers' Company as a founder member in 1632.

Physical description

Lantern-shaped clock on four ball feet, the front engraved with pinks, tulips, lilies and other flowers; above, an openwork gallery surmounted by pierced floral crestings with vases at the corners; dial ring with black numerals.

Place of Origin

London (made)


ca. 1650 (made)


Bouquet, David (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Engraved silver; the gong and finial are later restorations

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed: 'D Bouquet A Londres'


Height: 20.1 cm, Width: 9.4 cm, Depth: 8.6 cm

Object history note

Made in London by David Bouquet (active 1632, died in London, 1665)

Descriptive line


Labels and date

This clock, with its finely pierced and engraved silver case, is signed on the dial 'David Bouquet A Londres' thus betraying the French nationality of its maker.
David Bouquet, who was made free of the London Clockmakers' Company in 1632 and died in 1665, was perhaps better known as a watchmaker, and watches by him are to be found in the British Museum, the Mallett Collection and the Palais du Cinquentaire, Brussels. There is an interesting reference to a Bouquet watch in the London Gazette of January 10th, 1680: 'Lost lately, a steel watch, finely cut, and the work of it made by Bouquet, in a black shagreen case. Whosoever hath found the same, if they bring it to Mr Michael Scrimpshire, Goldsmith, at the sigh of the Golden Lyon in Fleet Street, shall have 20 s. reward.'
From the style of its decoration the case of this extremely rare clock appears to have been made about 1650; the gong and its finial are modern restorations.
'Masterpiece of the Week' (date unknown) []
British Galleries:
This clock was made by a French craftsman who had settled in London by 1628. This is the only surviving lantern clock of its period in a silver case, as brass was the usual material. This suggests that it was a very special commission. [27/03/2003]
Treasures of the Royal Courts: Tudors, Stuarts and the Russian Tsars label text:

Lantern clock
About 1650, with later additions

English lantern clocks normally have brass cases. This is the only known example with a silver case, which shows that it was a luxury commission. The maker, David Bouquet, was a Huguenot craftsman
who sought refuge in London when Protestants were exiled from France.

Supplied by David Bouquet
Silver, engraved
V&A M.1139-1926





British Galleries


Metalwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.