It was thanks to makers such as Thomas Veale, Edward Webb and Edward Bilbie, whose distinctive style of lantern clock was made alongside more general metal-casting and bell-founding work.
Estimated at £2000-3000, this hook and spike verge lantern clock sold for £15,500 at Gardiner Houlgate (22% buyer’s premium) in Corsham on October 21. It is signed to the corners above and below the chapter ring Edward Webb Chew Stocke (sic) and to the centre with ownership initials and the date 1662.
As recorded in The Clock Makers of Somerset (1650-1900) by AJ Moore, Edward Webb Snr (active 1663-94) is thought to be the son of Charles Webb who owned a foundry in Chew Stoke.
Around a dozen clocks by Edward Webb are recorded variously dated 1676-93, so either the date 1662 is a later addition or this is much the earliest known.
Certainly the clock shares the same distinctive frame castings that were favoured by the Bristol and Chew Valley school of clockmakers and a distinctive dial engraving centred by a winged female mask that appears to have its roots in the work of Thomas Brown, a Bristol clockmaker active during the 1650s.