Sometimes, it’s the simplest clocks that bring the most pleasure. This fusee English wall clock hangs in our kitchen and is a precise time keeper. No clues as to its origins, but it’s fusee through and through.
This dial came to us in perfect condition. Never recondition original parts, even dials, if they arrive to you this way. However, faces often suffer the most over the years and if you find one that is so flaked as to be unreadable, there are professional restorers who can help you out.
I particularly like it when we come across clocks that still contain on their dials the names of the establishments in which they hung. This fusee gallery clock is labeled Thomas Armstrong & Brother, a respected maker of scientific instruments based in Manchester, UK, founded in the nineteenth century.
Eventually, the firm began making optical equipment and in 1877 the company was officially appointed as the opticians to the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital based on Oxford Road. (source)
An English firm making premier instruments utilizing an English clock to tell time. A lovely memory of a time no longer with us.
We are fusee maniacs; we have fusee mania. Say it with me, “I’m a fusee maniac.”
Next to Gledhill Brook time recorders (which use a fusee movement!!!), English fusee clocks are our favorite. We have close to ten really nice specimens. Here are three dials which required attention. So, we had them redone and labelled with some Tunbridge Wells / Kent landmarks that are part of our personal history and close to our hearts.
Avon stores was a shop at the bottom of Avon Road near the Rec in Tunbridge Wells in the early 1970s.
No trip to the UK would be complete without seeing an original Thomas Tompion specimen. The Pump Room clock in Bath.
Tompion clock in The Pump Room
Thomas Tompion (1639–1713) was an English master clockmaker and watchmaker known today as the father of English clockmaking. His work includes some of the most important clocks and watches in the world. This famous clock is located in the restaurant, The Pump Room, at the Roman baths.
Make it a Day Trip
If you get a chance to visit, allow enough time to walk across the plaza and take a tour of the Bath Abbey tower clock.
Weight driven, 30-hour, time and strike New Haven OG clock.
New Haven OG clock. ca 1870.
These clocks were exported in vast quantities to England from the United States in the 1800s. Many are now finding their way back through estate sales and lots sold for export to auction houses in the States.
There is a market for these clocks in the US more so than in England. Personally, I think England is getting the better deal out of this exchange……not the most attractive clocks in the world!!
Britain v. USA
British clocks are widely regarded as some of the finest clocks made. There were numerous clockmakers manufacturing fine handmade time-pieces in Britain throughout the nineteenth century. However, there was never a company mass-producing clocks for the masses in Britain and many US clock companies saw an opportunity to export cheap clocks for the working classes.