• Important Executive Director Announcement from the NAWCC

    The NAWCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Rory McEvoy has been named Executive Director of the NAWCC. Rory is an internationally renowned horological scholar and comes to the NAWCC with strong credentials that solidly align with our education, fundraising, and membership growth objectives. He has a postgraduate degree in the conservation and restoration of antique clocks from West Dean College, and throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to handle some of the world’s most important horological artifacts, including longitude timekeepers by Harrison, Kendall, and Mudge.

    Rory formerly worked as Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where his role included day-to-day management of research and digitization projects, writing, public speaking, conservation, convening conferences, exhibition work, and development of acquisition/disposal and collection care policies. In addition, he has worked as a horological specialist at Bonhams in London, where he cataloged and handled many rare timepieces and built important relationships with collectors, buyers, and sellers. Most recently, Rory has used his talents to share his love of horology at the university level by teaching horological theory, history, and the practical repair and making of clocks and watches at Birmingham City University.

    Rory is a British citizen and currently resides in the UK. Pre-COVID-19, Rory and his wife, Kaai, visited HQ in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where they met with staff, spent time in the Museum and Library & Research Center, and toured the area. Rory and Kaai will be relocating to the area as soon as the immigration challenges and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 permit.

    Some of you may already be familiar with Rory as he is also a well-known author and lecturer. His recent publications include the book Harrison Decoded: Towards a Perfect Pendulum Clock, which he edited with Jonathan Betts, and the article “George Graham and the Orrery” in the journal Nuncius.

    Until Rory’s relocation to the United States is complete, he will be working closely with an on-boarding team assembled by the NAWCC Board of Directors to introduce him to the opportunities and challenges before us and to ensure a smooth transition. Rory will be participating in strategic and financial planning immediately, which will allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Columbia

    You can read more about Rory McEvoy and this exciting announcement in the upcoming March/April issue of the Watch & Clock Bulletin.

    Please join the entire Board and staff in welcoming Rory to the NAWCC community.

Black Forest Schilduhr

Jeremy Woodoff

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Jun 30, 2002
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This Black Forest Schilduhr just arrived from a small auction house not too far away. It's a standard clock of its type but older than most out there. This one has a hand painted dial with landscape scene in the arch and a convex chapter ring. The movement has cast brass wheels but wood arbors, with the original silver paint to fool purchasers into thinking they were steel. The time and strike trains are side-by-side rather than front-to-back, but the pendulum is in the older style, behind the backboard of the clock. It strikes on a gong; bells were earlier. All these characteristics lead me to date this one not earlier than about 1820 or later than about 1850.

The original side doors have been replaced with heavier wood ones screwed to the movement frame. At first I thought these should be replaced with traditional hinged doors, but they serve to stabilize the movement, as these often sag. These doors have been in place for a long time, so I think I'll leave them. You can also see strips of wood that have been added to the back of the dial to help stabilize it. I think the dial could probably be cleaned up, but the patina is quite wonderful, and I think I'll leave it alone. The missing paint and cracks are very old and it all seems very stable. It came with chains but without pendulum or weights. The auction price was $58.
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Chris Radano

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Feb 18, 2004
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Alterations done to these clocks to stabilize the movement frame have been frequently done for many years, and are accepted as part of the aging process of this type of clock.
In fact, some alterations can be very creative, and/or effective in their simplicity.

I would also suggest the painting in the arch was redone earlier in the 20th century, based on the original.
 

Uhralt

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Sep 4, 2008
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This is a rather interesting "transitional" example. It is also atypical to find a gong in a clock with wooden arbors and the outside pendulum location, rather than a bell.

This is the first time a actually see the silver paint on the wooden arbors. I had read about it but all of my Black Forest clocks with wooden arbors show wood only.

Uhralt
 

Betzel

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Dec 1, 2010
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original silver paint to fool purchasers into thinking they were steel.
Nice find! And, a very interesting layout.

Every village has at least one idiot, though competition remains strong in all parts, but could many have been "fooled" by all that paint? Were they "stuck" in production run of wooden spindle material? Was a "warped, miserable old man" (like me, perhaps?) at the helm who refused to change his shop's ways, but having a more youthful salesforce?

Makes you wonder what they were up to! :)
 

Jeremy Woodoff

NAWCC Member
Jun 30, 2002
4,164
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48
Brooklyn
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Nice find! And, a very interesting layout.

Every village has at least one idiot, though competition remains strong in all parts, but could many have been "fooled" by all that paint? Were they "stuck" in production run of wooden spindle material? Was a "warped, miserable old man" (like me, perhaps?) at the helm who refused to change his shop's ways, but having a more youthful salesforce?

Makes you wonder what they were up to! :)
At this period in the Black Forest, as I understand it, the brass industry was developing, thus the switch to brass wheels from wood, but it was still much cheaper to continue to make the arbors from wood. I guess you have to ask why the arbors would be painted silver except to simulate steel arbors, which knowledgeable buyers might be aware were typical on clocks from other regions. At some point it probably became just part of the tradition to paint them, without really fooling anyone.
 
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