• 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.

Sharp Leighton floor clock date and information please

THTanner

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Jul 3, 2016
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A customer's family has had this clock for about 40 years. It is currently laying flat on its back in the garage due to some case damage that makes it iffy to stand up.

They know little about it since it was passed down to them not working.

So far I have found reference to Sharp Leighton clocks from Bonham England from about 1790s and Stratford on Avon from about 1810 :???:

One similar to this is shown as a single finger (hand) 30 hour clock. It appears to have a small counter weight showing in one photo.

They would like to know a bit more about it before they decide if they want to pay to have the case fixed and the movement serviced with the idea of selling it.
I am guessing a 30 hour clock like this in the Western USA would not find much of a market, but I have never heard of these so I have no idea.
thanks
tom

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JTD

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Baillie lists William Sharp working in Leighton in the third quarter of the 18th century, around 1774.

Leighton was the town of Leighton Buzzard, about 35 NW of London.

I cannot help you with the value of a 30 hour single-hander in western USA, but I am sure there are those here who will be able to give you some idea.

The clock does not seem to be in bad condition, although you don't show us the movement or the damaged case, but in my opinion it would be worth restoring.

Others will know more.

JTD
 

novicetimekeeper

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you may want to add English names to the title as you will make life easier for those researching and attract more interest in the thread. Longcase or even tallcase would help.

The maker is Thomas Sharp of Leighton, late 18th century, though I don't know if this is Leighton in Cheshire or Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire. ( I see JTD came up with William, perhaps a relation)

The case has been stripped, and pictures of the movement would be needed to check originality. The driving weight is presumably present but out of shot, the counter weight keeps the chain on the sprockets but is more necessary with rope drive.
 
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novicetimekeeper

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You don't quote dial size, some thing under 10" will increase the value.
 

novicetimekeeper

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My apologies, it is indeed Thomas, not William, that was a careless typo on my part.

JTD
I'm not at home so can't access my books, is it clear this is Bedfordshire not Cheshire from the listing?
 

Les harland

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Loomes Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World lists:-
Sharp Thomas (1) b 1712 Aston Abbotts Buckinghamshire apprenticed 1728 to Thomas Smith of Leighton Buzzard Bedfordshire qv marrried 1736 died 1764
Sharp Thomas (2) Leighton Buzzard Bedfordshire b1737 son of Thomas Sharp (1) qv d 1821
 
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THTanner

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Thank you all for these answers. I have not yet laid hands on this clock. These photos were sent by the owner seeking info before committing to any costs for repair. Their story is that the father of the current owner bought the clock in England in 1960. The current owners have had the clock in the San Francisco Bay area for the last forty years. They have never had it serviced and had no idea the clock is that old. It has basically been a piece of furniture until they cracked the base moving it to Reno. I look forward to visiting them next week to discuss what they want to do. I will get more photos if they allow and post details. They thought the clock was from 1900 or so.
They asked me to thank you all for your help.
Tom
 

jmclaugh

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The one thing single handed brass dial longcase clocks have got going for them commercially is they are way less common than their two handed cousins but they are nearly all of provincial origin. They kept going longer in the south of England for some reason than elsewhere. I've always liked them and the movements are less complicated than most to service even though they strike the hour.
 
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THTanner

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I spent about an hour with the family discussing options about this clock. In the end the two brothers who own the clock decided they did not want to pay anything to service or restore it since their only goal was to sell it. They decided they would just as soon sell it as is and take the XMAS cash so they asked me if I would give each of them 200 US$ and haul it away.

So I bought the clock and brought it home. The dial and movement are in great shape. The case had been screwed to the wall in four places to keep it up right for 20 years, then laid on its back on a concrete floor and covered with a blanket for two years while they tried not to step on it.

It is a single weight bell ringer which is something i have never worked on, but it looks fairly straight forward with very little wear and is complete. I am puzzled about the small ring weight not being on a pulley and just getting worn away as the chain slips through it. Is that normal? It is shown in one of the pictures.

I am not sure what I am going to do about the case. It was stripped a long time ago and nothing was put on the wood. There are worm holes and chewings and a lot of damage. There are hints of the cherry color it had originally where the stripping was not complete. I plan to brace from the inside to make it stable and solid enough to stand on its own, but am not sure what to do about the old wood. The wooden frame for the dial glass still has the old glazing, but no glass. It was hinged with single pins top and bottom on one side and the pin holes in the wood are large and chipped so I suspect it fell off one day and shattered. The wood frame is serviceable.

The dial has one dark spot - I presume oil stain below the six and some darkening around the -3-4-5 area. The spandrels are very shiny and not at all tarnished like the rest of the brass. They do not appear to have been touched, polished or replaced. I am wondering what they are made of.

Anyway - ideas and suggestions welcome.

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THTanner

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More photos of the case - in two photos you can see where the bob had too much amplitude and chipped holes on opposite sides of the case

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oldcat61

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Dec 12, 2008
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Congrats on your purchase/adoption. I would done the same; better than to leave it with unworthy owners. Keep us posted. Sue
 

novicetimekeeper

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yes, very normal for the lead doughnut.

Early spandrels were fire gilded, I don't know if that was the case this late.
 
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THTanner

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yes, very normal for the lead doughnut.

Early spandrels were fire gilded, I don't know if that was the case this late.
Perhaps this suggests that this clock was made by Thomas Sharp the elder rather than his son?

Thanks so much for the info :)
 

novicetimekeeper

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these spandrels are full on rococo, I don't think the elder one could have built a clock with these which would have been in the provinces in the seventies I would have thought.
 
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THTanner

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It seems that the case was likely made of pine? That would certainly make it easier to repair/replace the damaged wood
 

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