I have often railed about keeping original surfaces, maintaining patina, and folks belt sanding clocks. While I recognize there are always clocks that are past salvation of original surfaces/patina and the like, I am not an advocate of making them look new when restored. Showing age when appropriate is a better solution in my opinion than converting a clock to a piece of plastic. I recognize there are other opinions on the subject. All that considered I recently obtained a clock that for lack of a better term, had been stripped of all original surfaces, cleaned to the extent there was little color left in the wood, and then finished with a few coats of poly. Not a pleasant sight. So, it happens, what is the big deal? Would it help to know that a well-meaning party had done this to a quite rare clock that even in a properly restored appearance might well command a price of $25,000 or more? One recently sold for an excess of that amount and had it a bit of apparent restoration work. The one I now have in its current condition is worth little more than pocket change. I am not going to picture that particular clock here; I plan to do a before and after paper on it later, assuming the restoration goes well and it turns out looking more as it should. But, here are some photos, the first of which is what is left of a New Hampshire time and strike mirror clock. Some well-meaning party spent hours stripping off all the paint, removing all the gold leaf, removing all the gesso and certainly stripping all remaining patina from all observable surfaces of the case. This clock is a lesson on how to make a clock that could have been worth $1000-3500 even in today's market worth almost nothing. As is it is worth whatever its movement and dial will bring, and the case will bring almost nothing? I bought it for less than $100. I am attaching a photo of a complete NH mirror clock as well as a plain NH mirror. Both show wear, patina, and some crusty finish on the clock. In my opinion either is perfectly acceptable in my house and far better than the badly skinned and poorly refinished example. A final example of skinning off all patina can be seen in the tall clock photo(s). The stripped version is what I generically call “belt sanded.” While its details can’t be seen so clearly in the dark brown finish, it does not look even close to proper in the skinned look. At least to me. If I can encourage a few folks to treat patina and original surfaces gently, versus stripping and completely refinishing, then this rant is worth something.