Half I – Gough Grandfather Clock Restoration C1690 – 1700.


This can be a Gough I’m engaged on amongst different issues and this text is nicely value a learn if you’d like a good fast backgound in early lengthy case manufacture.

This clock is the one I referred to in my final publish that I used to be fizzing with exitement about engaged on and Ive not been dissapointed. Its a extremely early clock as I suspected and is each uncommon and really attention-grabbing. Its says an excellent deal about early lengthy case clock making and would sit nicely in a museum.

A little bit of background about early grandfathers thats related to this clock and understanding it…..

The longcase advanced from using a pendulum as a regulator in 1658. Huygens the astronomer invented it sarcastically. This modified clockmaking from one thing very tough to do, to one thing a bit simpler and fundamental. A pendulum regulator means easier mechanics and a less expensive design. Thats to not say the clocks have been “everyman” but it surely meant the value of 1 got here down from Porche sort cash to mercedes pricing. The information of the engineering expertise and the commercial organisation was in place to construct the clocks so, even early on, components like dials, chapter rings, the motion, and the engraving have been separate expertise carried out by separate guilds of craftsmen in separate areas. Data was handed on by way of relatively lengthy apprenticeships – specifically on the motion facet of issues so….. we are able to say this Gough clock was most likely made by a 3rd technology of clockmakers at a time when there weren’t that many.

Model was instructed and managed by the apprenticeship system. Innovation and alter weren’t a part of the apprenticeship, fairly the alternative. It was market economics and aesthetics that advanced fashion inside these tight and norrow pointers, specifically in London which led the nation in defining the style of the day. This implies you may date a London clock from nuances within the fashion because it modified over time fairly precisely. The fashion of this clock is in step with 1700 or earlier within the London fashion, however, this clock is from Devizies in Cornwall which is odd in itself. Having mentioned this the motion is fully totally different from any London clock Ive seen with a single chain drive and cage. Anyway, all information unfold from London the place fashion was strictly managed and the additional you go away from London at any explicit interval, the extra deviation from the usual you are inclined to see within the design. I can solely assume this chap emigrated from London right down to the West nation having served his apprenticeship at a London maker or, extra doubtless was shopping for in the entire face from a London maker which isn’t unprecedented by any means – guilds and demarcation made this fashion of manufacture and sourcing common and acceptable. On stability might be the latter taking into consideration the unique motion design which I’ll cowl within the second article that may observe completion of the restoration.

I’ve not researched Gough past some fundamentals that he traded as a clock ans watchmaker up till 1730. The dial dimension and sq. face (no arch) tells me, inside 10 years when this clock was made so Im fairly assured at 1700 or somewhat earlier. The opposite main give all the time on the date are the dearth of the seconds hand. Early lengthy case clocks have been considered unbelievably correct already and the thought of “seconds” was simply alien to individuals. It wasn’t a unit of time in each day use.  Additional courting proof comes from the quarter hour markings on the inside chapter ring that have been included so individuals may learn the clock one handed. One handed clocks preceded two handed from about 1660 to 1690. After that two handers have been the norm however wanted to have the previous one handed legacy markings so individuals unfamiliar with two arms may nonetheless learn them. For them hours have been measured and referred to in quarters, not minutes which meant maths and training. All this, along side the bigger dial plate and (they elevated in dimension from 8″ in 1660 to 12″ in 1700 at 1″ per yr”) nails it to about 1700.

In the mean time it seems like a uninteresting monotone boring clock. It isn’t. Its a factor of large magnificence beneath which I intend to indicate. So to the restoration…

I’m guessing the silvering wore off in patches and the wax fell out of the numerals to such a level that someone simply gave up and wiped all of it off with a purpose to preserve some degree of neatness. I’ve thought of the chance that the chapter ring was not initially silvered or stuffed with wax as I do know there have been some brass chapter ring clocks on the market at the moment. I’ve seen a number of and they’re only a clock face carved into brass actually, single plate and engraved exterior the parameters of the London fashion.  I checked for previous wax within the dial grooves at their deepest level however there’s none, annoyingly. There ought to be some there. Along with this there’s completely no remnant of chapter ring silvering.

The factor is that this clock is so typical of the London face design that it’s nearly definitely a regular design clock the place the wax and silvering has been steam cleaned (or the equal) versus a unadorned all brass facsimile. Aside from this it must be thought of that there’s completely no benefit commercially within the maker not ending it off 100% London, having gone to the difficulty and expense of attending to the purpose the place its a few easy final phases. The clock would have been value extra within the London fashion that all the time led the style with its conservative values and high quality; so he would have completed it a such.

This clock subsequently wants re-silvering and waxing by hand. There isn’t every other method to obtain the supposed consequence so you need to use the unique processes and supplies. Its very fundamental stuff that shares little with fashionable manufacturing processes. The chapter ring image beneath exhibits the straightforward little bit of the waxing course of. Taking again the wax degree with the engraving is the following bit.

You cant use the processes or energy instruments you would possibly suppose because the shellac is glass like and to compound issues the sheet metallic manufacturing of the period wasn’t as much as a lot. The thickness and reduction of the sheet varies. Should you grind it with the straight edges on energy instruments you’ll find yourself taking the highest of the reduction off and inevitably carrying away the engraving in some locations greater than others. This implies hand instruments and judgement and no second probabilities as a result of there are not any spares or routes again apart from re-engraving. If you need to re-engrave for any cause you would possibly as nicely scrap the clock as a result of it looses the authenticity. Put on off the engraving and what you’ve got is a sheet of brass on which you’ll be able to, at finest, make a replica of what was there earlier than.

I hope this has been enlightening and when you have a clock like this you need restored who to name!.