|Scottish Tallcase Clock
Repair & Case Restoration
|A Monthly Sample of Clock Repair Projects
This month I'm featuring the restoration of an early-to-mid 19th
century tallcase clock by William Lindsay of Edinborough,
It has the classic white painted dial with the 4 great poets of
Scotland at each corner: Robert Burns, Allan Ramsay, Robert
Fergusson and Sir Walter Scott and a depiction of the "Cotter's
Saturday Night" above the dial.>>>>>> This is taken from the
Robert Burns poem of the same name; the painting is a rather
whimsical homage to the laboring farm families (Cotter's) at that
time, and their one night of "relaxation" which was apparently
filled with bible reading and.... the cutting off of cat-tails?!!!.
One interesting note: many British Tallcase clocks of this era
(including this one) have had their calendar mechanisms taken
out, surely due to malfunctions. This presents a nice challenge
for the clockmaker, as a complete restoration job should
include putting the calendar work back into operable condition.
As you can see in the photo, the intermediate gear is missing>>
and must be made to - not only - mesh with the motion work on
the front of the movement, but also advance the calendar gear
on the back of the dial upon each turn.
A common Victorian-esque treatment (or mistreatment) was to
"update" the striking from bell to gong>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> The
longcase bell strike may have seemed old fashioned at that
time - and perhaps rightly so if you've ever been close to one
as it striketh the hour. Though easier on the ears, I've always
felt the gong had more of an impending doom quality to it
("Your time is short, young man!!"), whereas a bell strike almost
commemorated the hour...
Preferences do matter in this regard; particularly if the clock
has been in the family as a gong strike for the past 125 years
(even if it wasn't such 150 years ago). But collectors will not
have such nostalgic feelings and may want the strike restored
to its original state.
Such is the case here; our patient has had this "update" and
the owner wishes to restore it back to it's original bell strike