Last Update: 09-15-2022 @ 01:55
One day, a friend, an amateur horologist, asked me if I would like to acquire an old clock. He wanted to search for one with me. I spontaneously answered, “No.” I had other things to do. But later, when I was visiting an antique shop, a clock in a dark corner suddenly caught my eye.
My first old clock
The clock was about seven inches square and framed in rosewood. It had a dark red dial face, hands, and a time track in brass. At the rear, the backplate, the attached easel, and the round case were solid brass. Opening it disclosed a lovely movement with an engraved plate. It tick-tocks! The price displayed was very reasonable. However, I made an offer. The store owner accepted it, and I left with it. I began to search for a similar clock on the web and discovered a fascinating world. I finally found a clock like mine but in a “chinoiserie” style. A British antique dealer had sold it online in 2005, for a price several times what I have paid. It was an F. W. Elliott desk clock made in England.
My first lesson in clockmaking
I was proud to inform my friend of my new acquisition. When he came home to see it, we began to dismantle it carefully. So, I had my first lesson in horology. It had a French escapement on a platform. Finally, he left with my clock to clean, lubricate and adjust the movement. Then, in a brief time, I significantly increased my collection. With my friend’s help, I continued my initiation into practical horology. I even acquired some tools and set up a small workshop. Thus, I was able to carry out my first movement cleanings and my first restorations.
A website project
As I made my acquisitions, I needed to inventory and document them carefully. So, I looked at the literature. Unfortunately, what I found was incomplete, especially regarding the classification of clocks. Therefore, I decided to revisit the matter and create a whole new taxonomy. Then, I thought it would be useful to share it with other clock lovers. After thinking about writing a book, creating a website became necessary. A site allows for a more direct exchange with potential readers. I hope that other collectors and amateur horologists will offer their collaboration using Contact. And who knows? With its wealth of information, the site will encourage inexperienced people to start their collections. Therefore, they will find in one place a lot of information to start or continue a well-documented collection.
This site project and my collection of clocks occupy the heyday of my retirement after an academic career in the world of information and communication technologies.
P. Bordeleau, alias Bordloub
Beginning of the articles: 1.00 – Collecting Old Clocks