BOOKREVIEW: Anthony Ells: Finding and restoring longcase clocks (2001)

  • Thread starter Fortunat Mueller-Maerki
  • Start date

Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Life Member
Sep 23, 2001
by Anthony Ells

Published by Crowood Press, Wiltshire (UK), 2001, ISBN 186126-420-8;-144 pages, over 200 illustrations (some in color), glossary, index.

This is an ideal first book for the collector contemplating acquiring and/or restoring an antique longcase clock. The book was written by an English clock restorer and deals almost exclusively with classic British 30-hour and 8-day (and a few 30-däy) longcase clocks; the publication is of most use to anybody interested in these types of timepieces. But any of the lessons learned are easily transferable to, antique American or Continental clocks, or equivalent timepieces of newer vintage.

One of the book's strengths is that it assumes virtually no prior experience with the subject and starts with an overview of the relevant terminology before moving on to explain the common restoration errors and “marriage" issues most likely to create a less than satisfying collecting experience. The book consists of two sections, one explaining the gear train's function (subdivided into time and strike train chapters). The other section walks the reader step-by-step through a restoration project, illustrated by amply sized, clear, and instructive photographs (with chapters devoted to the movement, case, and dial), discussing techniques, costs, tools, supplies, and pitfalls. Short chapters on designing and building your own clock case, and instructions for setting up a longcase clock round out. the volume.

While written with the novice longcase clock owner in mind, this book contains enough depth, interesting examples, and miscellaneous facts that even the most experienced collector and restorer will enjoy it-and learn something. It is a thoughtful, down-to-earth, and practical introduction to owning and fixing antique longcase clocks.

(Fortunat F Mueller-Maerki)
Published NAWCC Bulletin December 2002

[colour=red]Just rediscovered ths lost file from 2002 and thought the members of the Horological books Message Board might enjoy ithe review even if dated.

John Nagle

Re: REVIEW: Anthony Ells: Finding and restoring longcase clocks (2001)


I almost put in a review of this book yesterday because I have always thought the title was a funny one. It sort of gives the reader the idea they are getting great insight into obtaining a clock. Other than luck it is always the same thing, money! Another goofy one is Clock Repair, Part Time Hours - Full Time Pay. This one gives the impression you are ready to take a ride on the gravy train.

I do agree with your opinion on the book's value to beginning collector /restorers. It is a nice book.

John Nagle
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