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Book Review. French Marble Clocks, by Nicholas M. Thorpe

shimmystep

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Mar 5, 2012
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The French Marble Clock.
A guide for buyers, collectors and restorers with hints on dating and a list of makers.

Nicholas M. Thorpe
N.A.G Press
ISBN 0 7198 0230 X



For those wishing to know about the history of French clocks, their makers, materials used, modus operandi and how to restore them this book will go a long way to fulfilling that need.

The author, Nicholas M Thorpe takes the reader through a good gallop of known makers of these quality movements. Recognising where little is known about some makers and giving a particularly good account of Japy Freres. Brief notes are made around other clocks influenced by the production of French movements and the reader is given good advice with regards as to what to look for when buying a French Marble Clock, including some dating observations and the characteristics of the environments you might find one.

The different movement types are examined with a discussion around developments in the Brocot Suspension and verge formats. Good detail is given around movement types with a good look at how the rack and snail and count wheel movements operate.

Particularly useful to the repairer is the very well structured run through of parts functions and the restoration methods and techniques of the movements; from dismantling safely, repair and reassembly. Tools required are discussed and there is experienced insight into the types of issues the repairer is likely to encounter. The repair and restoration chapters are well laid out sequentially and the detail it goes into is well thought out.

The styles of marble cases are discussed with some helpful historical context. Materials used in manufacture is given space, interesting is the historical context of the marble and slate industry. Helpful advice is given around case restoration.

Throughout the book there are plenty of plates to reference alongside the text and serve well to facilitate understanding, especially when restoring a clock of this type.

There is, I am sure, a great deal more to say about French marble clocks, however the author has made a worthy attempt to encapsulate as many aspects as one can in a book of 270 pages.
 

Aaron

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Mar 12, 2013
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Thanks for the review. As I am particularly fond of French portico clocks I checked for the price of that book and was in for quite a surprise. On amaz*n.co.uk, one seller actually put a price of £954.26 on this very book. The situation on amaz*n.com was similar (same seller presumably). Gee, if that book actually does that price justice, I would imagine it's time for a reprint. I'd love to read more about these fascinating clocks. Thus, any further suggestions on literature would be very welcome.

As for myself, I'd rather invest the £954.26 into another French masterpiece. ;-)
 

shimmystep

Registered User
Mar 5, 2012
4,105
85
48
Cambridge, UK
Country
Region
Thanks for the review. As I am particularly fond of French portico clocks I checked for the price of that book and was in for quite a surprise. On amaz*n.co.uk, one seller actually put a price of £954.26 on this very book. The situation on amaz*n.com was similar (same seller presumably). Gee, if that book actually does that price justice, I would imagine it's time for a reprint. I'd love to read more about these fascinating clocks. Thus, any further suggestions on literature would be very welcome.

As for myself, I'd rather invest the £954.26 into another French masterpiece. ;-)
Here's a link where you can buy it for £20.00 plus postage, should give you change out of £954.26!

https://www.cousinsuk.com/catalog/books-catalogues/clock-books
 

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