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Preparation & Restoration

The majority of clocks and movements supplied by Priory Clocks are sourced through local auctions in the West Country, (Devon & Somerset). With the emphasis on the originality of the piece, I will carefully examine each part of the clock in my workshop, from the cases to the locks. Where possible I will carry out restoration work myself in locating and fitting missing parts, cleaning the movement, and replacing gut lines.

More advanced repairs are referred to chosen specialists for work such as such as dial restoration, case repairs, polishing, or attention to the movement.

Each clock sold carries a 3 month mechanical warranty, subject to conditions.

I will be pleased to set up the clock in your home by arrangement, and will always offer personal after sales help and advice.






Works In Progress V
Halliday & Rich, Bridgewater. Drop dial wall clock (W020)

A few photos of a 'before restoration' wall clock which I bought at auction in Chippenham in July 2020.
This clock has a rosewood veneered fusee drop dial wall clock with elaborate mother of pearl inlay which had been badly affected by damp and water. Most of the inlay had fallen out and also the outer pieces of the case, and the movement also needed repair.

I have painstakingly re-glued most of the remaining mother-of pearl, and the outer wood frame, and it is now with my restorer for repolishing.

Another clock by Rich of Bridgewater which will hopefully be saved.













Works In Progress IV
A. Rich, Bridgewater (GF100)

Recently purchased privately from Watchet, the clock is by Rich of Bridgewater (as it was spelt then).

Signed 'Rich Fecit', meaning 'Made by Rich', this could be by either Abraham or Andrew Rich, who were both working in the early 1800's.

The case is a nice mahogany case, and the dial is intriguing as it would appear to have once had an automata in the hole in the arch of the dial, now missing.

I am now researching it to find out whether is was a rocking ship, swan, or what may have been in the arch, as I will have it restored.

In the meantime the movement requires repair and cleaning as it has been neglected and left unused for at least 10 years having spent at least 80 years in the same family, and variously in Evercreech, and Ireland, so its a well travelled Bridgewater clock that could tell many tales!












Works In Progress III
Abraham Rich, Bridgewater 1810-1835 (GF092)

A clock which I bought a number of years ago as a complete but neglected project with no legible name on the dial.
On examining the dial under bright sunlight I could make out a name and the town name Bridgewater (the old spelling). I decided to have the attractive dial restored by Brookes Restorations, and the finished work is pictured here.
I will check the movement again which I have serviced, and renovate the oak case.













Works In Progress II
Antony Lawley Of Taunton (GF075)

The movement required further work as it would not keep running for more than a few minutes. The pallets needed attention so it is now with Steve at Langport Clocks who is doing the necessary restoration. A photo of the cleaned movement is below.

Meanwhile the dial has arrived back and looks superb, ready for assembly when I have the movement back. Photos of the dial are shown below.

The case is also awaiting collection from Honiton.







I bought this attractive clock at auction in November 2017, although it appeared to have been abandoned in a shed for decades. I burst into action in Autumn 2018, and started to restore the clock.

The painted dial is attractive with a rural scene of a shepherdess tending her flock, and the case of inlays and mahogany had some very fine features such as the side reeded columns with corinthian capitals.

The clock dates to about 1830, Mr Lawley was born in Germany in 1794, and was trained in making wooded clocks, and traded in East Reach, Taunton in 1830, and Victoria Place 1851.




I have taken the case to my restorer in Honiton, and he will bring out the colours in the dirty case, and repair any damage.

The case is definately original as on the reverse it has written in pencil - 'For Mr Lawley, clockmaker, Taunton' which is rarely found on cases.

I have also now sent the dial to Sara, my restorer in Hereford to refresh the colours and blackwork.

The movement was smothered in oil and dirt, and I have now given it a double cleaning before polishing and testing. It appears complete.

The next stage will be to test the movement and reunite it with the restored dial when it returns.










The movement required further work as it would not keep running for more than a few minutes. The pallets needed attention so it is now with Steve at Langport Clocks who is doing the necessary restoration. A photo of the cleaned movement is below.

Meanwhile the dial has arrived back and looks superb, ready for assembly when I have the movement back. Photos of the dial are shown below.

The case is also awaiting collection from Honiton.















May 2019 - The movement has been serviced and repaired by my local clock repairer, and has been on test and reunited with the restored dial.

Now all running perfectly and ready for the restored case. Photos to follow soon.






Completion

The clock has now been re-united with its case, looking stunning, and is now listed for sale on our website as GF075.









Works In Progress I
Abraham Rich, Bridgwater 1826-1835. (GF060)

Phase One

One of the most satisfying aspects of my work at Priory Clocks is the renovation of damaged, neglected, and abandoned longcase clocks. It is an exciting challenge to begin with a dusty clock movement, perhaps covered in cobwebs, and bring it back to life as an attractive working clock.

We have previously published pictures of dials, before and after restoration, but I want to track the progress of a recent aquisition of a long dormant and damaged clock by Abraham Rich of Bridgewater (made before the 'E' in Bridgwater was dropped!) which has a very attractive arched dial with a rocking ship automaton. Unfortunately the clock has been dropped at some time, and the top of the dial is badly bent and a large piece broken out of the steel.

The photos show the dial at the beginning of the process, and the original state of the 8 day movement.

The dial has now been sent to Sara Harvey in Hereford for restoration, and the movement stripped and cleaned.

It appears to be complete, and the operation of the movement will be checked once it has been reassembled.
I will add further installments which I hope you find interesting.








Phase Two
The dial has now returned from Sara Harvey who has made a brilliant job of repairing the broken section of the arch, and restoring the paintwork including removing dirt from many years of smoke, and restoring the blackwork.

In the meantime I have cleaned the partly dismantled movement in specialist cleaning fluid, carefully reassembled it with new gut-lines, and tested it with weights and a pendulum. . I was pleased that for the first time in decades the movement appeared to be in good working order. I then added the rocking ship itself, as this can upset the balance of the movement, and found that it still kept ticking well.

My next step will be to fit the 2 hands, and further test the movement. the minute hand is a later replacement, and poor quality, so I will find a replacement to match the hour hand. After this the dial can be refitted and the clock tested.









Phase Three
Having fitted the hands to the cleaned movement, I found that the minute hand was slipping, and further examination revealed that this was due to a poorly fitting spring behind the hour pipe. I then refitted the restored dial, and set up the rocking ship centrally in the opening.

The pictures show the dial and movement mounted in a case of similar style to the original, which needs restoration. My next job is to fit a replacement minute hand, and repair the original pendulum, and consider whether to restore the original oak case. In the meantime I am enjoying the tick of the clock and the gentle rocking of the galleon! A big improvement on the condition when I collected it from the auction house!

The clock has now been sold to a new home



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