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Living with Antique Clocks

Not only useful, we all need to know the time, antique clocks are beautiful items to own and bring life to the spaces and places they occupy.  There is something soothing and reassuring about the gentle, rhythmic tick of a longcase clock in the hall or mantel clock on a fireplace. Our lives may at times feel frantic and rushed but time passes as it always has and I love hearing the soft sound of our longcase clock ticking in the hall as I move about the house. When it strikes eight in the morning my eldest son knows he needs to be heading out of the door for school and a single strike at one in the afternoon means time to head down into the kitchen for some lunch if I'm working from home. I like the fact that sound plays a part in our everyday home lives and I like the fact that an hour passes as the hands of our clocks move around their dials. I can see time has passed by looking at the clock on my phone but it isn't the same as looking at a friendly dial.

Our longcase clock in the hall has a moon phase at the top of its silvered dial and as the moon waxes and wanes so the moon on our clock comes and goes in its golden recess. Simple but beautiful. We live in a village without street lights and the moon makes a real difference at night. A full moon and you can see to the bottom of our garden from our back door, the lawn all silver and the shadows of the birch trees long and mysterious. It makes me think of highway men and smugglers. It also means you can walk to the pub without a head torch. No moon and the garden is blackness from the bottom of the steps.

Winding antique clocks is a satisfying thing to do. Some are month going but most need to be wound weekly with their own keys. The keys are often beautiful things with turned wooden handles. The clicking sound indicates the weights rising back up, I like to open the door and watch, then you are set for another week. I think about all the other people who have wound the clock and listened to its ticking. I think about the days and years that it has sat in different houses, the events it has witnessed and then I get back to my own life with a sense of perspective, knowing my biggest worries will not last forever and remembering to enjoy the happy moments as and when they present themselves. Antique clocks can also be part of shared experiences, whether that is learning to tell the time on the clock in the hall or standing on a chair as a child to help wind a wall clock in the kitchen. These shared experiences become fond memories that last through time and generations. The simple things often come to mean the most to us.

Antique clocks are good for the soul. Once you've lived with them you'll never want to be without them. Some of our clients give them names which is easy to do because usually the name of their maker is proudly engraved or painted on the dial. Mr East, Mr Graham, Thomas, we have customers with a beautiful porcelain clock they call 'The Painted Lady'. Find a place for an antique clock in your life, they have small footprints in terms of space but add a great deal in terms of character to your home.

Date: 27/11/2018 | Author: Julie Birch

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