Brian Loomes is probably the best-known name worldwide in antique clocks and Britain's longest-established clock dealer. He and his wife, Joy, began dealing in antique clocks in 1966, since when they have supplied collectors, dealers and museums as well as individual buyers of single clocks on a worldwide basis.
BRIAN and JOY LOOMES specialise in genuine antique English lantern clocks - as well as hooded clocks and hook-and-spike clocks, when we can get them. We have dealt in antique clocks for over forty-six years now, and have written 27 (twenty-seven) books and hundreds of articles about antique clocks. Our researches into the background history and styles of British clocks have revolutionised understanding of the subject and of the makers themselves. Several of our books have become definitive texts and are used by museums, libraries, auction houses and collectors the world over. So much so that even many of the terms today used to describe certain type of clock features were first coined in these books.
We are now taking things a little easier and concentrating mainly on lantern clocks, of which we usually have a stock of over twenty. In fact right now we have for sale twenty-nine (29) LANTERN CLOCKS as at 19 January 2015.
We have 8 pages of clocks for sale on the web site, and over 118 articles by Brian Loomes on clock collecting, clockmakers and clock care and identification, and a large archive of sold clocks. For more information, please click on any of these links highlighted above.
Lantern clocks were the earliest kind of household clock made in Britain. At first they were called 'house clocks' or 'chamber clocks' or simply 'clocks', as there was no other kind of domestic clock. The origin of the name Lantern Clock is sometimes said to be from the fact that the clock vaguely resembles a hand lantern, though in fact there is no evidence for this and the true origin of the name is unknown. We do know that the name 'Lantern Clock' is relatively modern and is probably not more than a hundred years old. The clocks themselves may be as much as four hundred years old though reproductions were made into the twentieth century.
Lantern clocks of the traditional type were first made in England from about 1600 and continued to be made in London until about 1700, after which they gradually fell from fashion there. However they continued to be made in provincial England especially in the South-east counties until as late as the 1760s.
Being the first type of household clock some lantern clocks are excitingly ancient yet some of their makers are scarcely known at all. For over forty years Brian Loomes has specialised in researching little-known clockmakers of the past, documenting their lives and publishing the findings. The results are set out in twenty-seven books and hundreds of articles he has written. Many books and articles that mention early clockmakers acknowledge that many of the facts about their lives come from our researches. Others don't, but may still have taken their information from these sources.
A lot of nonsense and inaccuracy appears on the internet about lantern clocks, some of it written by people who never did a day's research in their lives yet who write as if they did - which is galling to someone seriously interested in the subject. Research and study into early clockmakers is something we specialise in. If you buy a lantern clock from us we will tell you not only about its age but also the fullest details known about its maker, often including much new information which is the result of our own, personal researches.
Brian Loomes's latest book Lantern Clocks and their Makers was published in August 2008 and is in print today. Anyone contemplating the purchase of a lantern clock should find this book helpful. For more detail see the books page.
Clock and clock dial restoration, clock repair work, clock servicing and clock conservation, AND NOW WATCH MAKING, are also undertaken on behalf of clients. This is carried out by our son, Robert Loomes, whose workshops are located at, and can be contacted at, 4, St. Mary's Hill, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 2DP, phone 01780-481319. Robert Loomes is a member of the British Horological Institute and the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers. For more information, please click on any of these links highlighted above.
We do not exhibit at any antique fairs or trade shows, nor do we sell through any agents or outlets except our main showrooms, where we will arrange by prior appointment to be here in person to advise and assist potential clients. A selection of clocks, including some illustrated here, is on display at the showroom of Robert Loomes at 4, St. Mary's Hill, Stamford, Lincs, PE9 2DP.