Blog

Big Ben, The Illustrated London News.

The Great Bell of Westminster is an integral part of the fabric of London, it is so well known it's nickname is often employed when referring to either the clock or the tower, recently renamed The Elizabeth Tower. So, when whilst searching for some period clock bells I stumbled across some original, contemporary newspaper articles relating to its manufacture and history, I bought all I could find. The assorted pages came from The Illustrated London News dated between 1856-1858. Started in 184...

Posted on 6th November 2013

Hoop and Spike Wall Clock.

 The restoration of a clock dial is something that needs care and thought. A few years ago it was fairly standard procedure for most restorers to completely strip a brass dial of its surface and polish then bright lacquer the brass parts and cut back and even re-grain with abrasive the silvered chapters. Not only did this result in a standard uniform look to every dial it also destroyed large amounts of original patina with the variation of lacquer through time. Heavy abrasives on engrav...

Posted on 4th October 2013

Silent escapement, gut pallets.

The verge escapement with it’s distinctive crown wheel is notable not only for its early adaptation in the first pendulum clocks of the 1650’s but also pre-pendulum clocks such as the early 1371 iron clock Richard of Wallington in Winchester cathedral. It continued to be used in domestic timepieces up to as late as the1800’s with one of its distinct features being the vigorous swing of the pendulum, sometimes visible on the dial in the aperture of the false pendulum. This ac...

Posted on 4th October 2013

Years of poor repairs and bad workmanship.

Antique clock movements run continuously without problems for remarkable periods of time; most of the subsequent wear results from the deterioration of the oil and the accumulation of abrasive dirt on working surfaces. Most of this wear and tear can be repaired and adjusted without recourse to making new components, which is ideal from a conservation point of view. Although not a scientifically reached statistic, it is my experience that pieces only need remaking if the original parts have be...

Posted on 5th August 2013

Seven Oaks long case clock. Wm Bowra.

One of my newest acquisitions is a local clock, something always of interest but this one is unusual and has a feature I have not seen before. The timber was at first difficult to identify, it had the characteristics of a fruit wood but the flecks of grain typical of quarter sawn oak. It turns out to be lacewood which is from the plane tree, famous on the avenues of London for shedding its bark, however lacewood is quarter sawn, a method of cutting that produces better quality timber but with...

Posted on 21st July 2012