Sharon's Clock

Jim Andrews

NAWCC Member
Oct 11, 2018
165
53
28
Oklahoma panhandle
Country
Region
Sharon’s Clock

It was a warm spring day in 1970 when Sharon first saw the huge clock through the store window. She also noticed a “for sale” tag affixed to the clock. She made her husband go inside with her and they approached the man behind the counter to inquire about the beautiful old wall clock with the massive pendulum.

“It’s called a jeweler’s regulator” said the man as he peered over his Ben Franklin glasses. “It’s been here for over 80 years and it’s been the main clock for everyone in Grand Forks all that time.” Sharon’s thoughts wandered for a moment as she considered what it must have been like in 1890’s North Dakota. When the clock was delivered did it come by rail, then by a team and wagon? The room would have been lit by a coal oil lamp and the only other sounds would have come from other clocks or passersby on the street. She could imagine men in bowler hats retrieving their pocket watches to check their accuracy. She imagined people hurrying to appointments looking to see if they were late, then teenagers consulting the clock to make sure they were home before curfew……

The man in the spectacles spoke again and brought her back to the present. He said the clock had belonged to the previous watchmaker who had owned the store before him. He told her “I’m retiring and everything has to go.” Sharon consulted privately with her husband and smiled when she realized the clock would become hers. Sharon was beyond excited. She thought anyone could buy a grandfather clock, but THIS clock was special!

Time has erased the memory of the exact price, but Sharon remembers it was a considerable amount for a young married couple just getting started.

Over the next half century Sharon’s life was made of many chapters. Chapters that included raising a family, careers, and moving. She moved the clock from North Dakota to the redwoods of northern California. From there it went to Florida. Then in the mid 80’s the clock had come to the Rockies and the mile high city. With every move, her clock had been proudly placed in that one special spot where it was the focal point of the home. Where easy reference to it was afforded, where its soft tick could be heard like a heartbeat.

The Colorado chapter of Sharon’s life had witnessed her children grow into adults, her help with the raising of grandchildren, her husband’s retirement, and finally the loneliness of becoming a widow.

Through the years, her beautiful clock had needed some cleaning and attention at times and she dutifully sought out qualified clockmakers to bring it back to life. The clock had stopped working a couple of years back and her call to the shop she had trusted with its care was coldly answered with “the number you have dialed is no longer in service”. Now the clock’s pendulum hung motionless and there were no longer any wizards to revive it.

Sharon was not one to get stuck in the past. While she admired things like her clock, she also embraced emerging technology and at 75 was an adept hand at email and the Internet. After a time, Sharon decided that she didn’t want to spend the remaining years of her life alone and had become enchanted with a man from the land of enchantment. They'd be married soon and she would move to be with him.

Her next chapter would mean combining two lifetimes worth of accumulations into one new home. Sharon thought of her clock. It was time to do something with it. She’d asked her children and grandchildren if they wanted the great clock. Her inquiries had met with no interest. Sharon couldn’t bear the thought of her clock being thrown into the trash or being sold at some flea market. Surely there was someone out there who could appreciate this clock for what it was. She decided to try an ad on Craigslist.

After nearly two weeks there was finally an email from a man in Oklahoma of all places. She could tell from their exchanges that he knew exactly what a jeweler’s regulator was. The man didn’t seem to care that she couldn’t answer a lot of his questions about a maker. He told her it didn’t matter. He could see enough from her photos to realize what the clock was. A deal was made.

The man arrived on a beautiful summer morning and backed into her driveway. They both admired and talked about the clock. He was amused that it had always been “her” clock. She smiled inwardly as he pointed out little things like bubbles in the old wavy glass. Yes, she’d seen them many times she thought. She liked him and they talked about many things during their short visit. He handed her a bank envelope. She didn’t bother opening it. She trusted him.

He’d been fascinated with her recounting of her life with the clock and asked her to please write something down for him so it could become part of the clock. She was happy to do so and also happy that her clock had found a good home.

The man began to take the clock apart and she could tell he’d done this before. She helped him load the clock as much as she could. She got her last glimpse of the large cabinet as he wrapped it with a shipping blanket. Finally, after he’d strapped everything securely into his truck, they’d said their goodbyes.

Sharon walked into the house and smiled a bittersweet smile as she gently closed the door.

porcelain dial and crank.jpeg front with good view of details.jpg weight and pendulum.jpeg bottom detail.jpeg upper at home.jpg side at home.jpg lower at home.jpg
 

jkfabulos

NAWCC Member
Aug 21, 2001
967
111
43
SHOWN IN ONE OF THE AMERICAN WHOLESALE JEWELER'S SUPPLY CATALOGS.
ALSO CAME IN A FLOOR STANDING MODEL
CIRCA 1890'S-1910. MOST LIKELY AMERICAN MADE CASE WITH IMPORTED MOVEMENT.

jr1.jpg
 

Jim Andrews

NAWCC Member
Oct 11, 2018
165
53
28
Oklahoma panhandle
Country
Region
SHOWN IN ONE OF THE AMERICAN WHOLESALE JEWELER'S SUPPLY CATALOGS.
ALSO CAME IN A FLOOR STANDING MODEL
CIRCA 1890'S-1910. MOST LIKELY AMERICAN MADE CASE WITH IMPORTED MOVEMENT.

View attachment 659872
thanks jkfabulous - I was hoping someone could find a catalog image of my clock. There are no signs that the clock ever had a bonnet as shown here, but it's possible it slipped into the upper moulding and didn't need receiving slots etc. It's also possible that it was there and has been lost like many were. Given the move history of this clock it may have been used as a place to lift and been broken. There are some minor differences between the image you found and my clock. Those are that I don't see any signs there was ever an upper surround on the dial and the ribbon above the door is different. Thank you for posting the catalog image!
 

Royce

NAWCC Member
Oct 8, 2018
352
103
43
69
Houston
Country
Region
thanks jkfabulous - I was hoping someone could find a catalog image of my clock. There are no signs that the clock ever had a bonnet as shown here, but it's possible it slipped into the upper moulding and didn't need receiving slots etc. It's also possible that it was there and has been lost like many were. Given the move history of this clock it may have been used as a place to lift and been broken. There are some minor differences between the image you found and my clock. Those are that I don't see any signs there was ever an upper surround on the dial and the ribbon above the door is different. Thank you for posting the catalog image!
Jim,
Thank you for posting the pictures of this very prized clock (not sure of the monetary value but I surely recognize the emotional value). It is only surpassed by the story that accompanied it. I love it!!
 

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