A miniature Tompion timepiece lantern clock, No. 505, with alarm and replaced bell was sold Christie's London, 6 July 2001, lot 58 (£14,687). Another, No. 535, lacking its alarm train and with added strike train, was sold Sotheby's London, 18 Novembber 2009, lot 219 (£27,500). G. White illustrates a further example, No. 519, and R.W. Symonds shows another, No. 518, alongside this one. He suggests a date of circa 1680 for this clock, presumably because it is un-numbered but also because it has a narrower chapter ring than the aforementioned later examples.
The provenance of this clock prior to 1951 is given by Symonds (p. 276) who states that it was owned by the collector Richard Norman Shaw (an influential British architect from the 1870s to the 1900s). This is confirmed by George White (pp. 33-34) who reproduces an advertisement for the clock placed by Percy Webster in The Connoisseur in October 1902. White quotes from Norman Shaw's biographer, Andrew Saint: 'After designing, Shaw's only major interest was collecting. [F]rom 1890, it was all overshadowed by a more consuming passion - clocks. until then he had a number of timepieces scattered about, but now he began to buy. He owned ninety two at the turn of the century and seventy in 1910...his real penchant was for small ones.'
Thomas Tompion (1639-1713) is commonly regarded as the greatest English clockmaker of all time. Most famous for his superb and highly refined longcase and table clocks, he is known to have made a small number of lantern clocks. Unlike his other clocks, which were significantly superior to those of other makers, these were of a more standard production and were presumably 'bread and butter' business.