Many times people will comment that we must see some very interesting clocks come into our shop. In the three decades that I have been repairing clocks (we have now completed over 10,000 clocks) we have had some very memorable time pieces come in for repair. Two are mentioned below.
One such clock was an Ingraham square mantle that had belonged to the customers father. The customer was in her late 80's when she brought the clock in and explained that this clock had been relegated to a shed behind her fathers house by people whom she had rented her fathers house out too. The case looked to be a disaster the paper dial had been consumed by rodents and inside was a special surprise. A mouse had gotten entwined in the clockworks and had died there sometime ago. When the restoration was completed on this clock it looked amazing. A new paper dial, a good wax job on the case and a fully refurbished movement and the clock ran like new. The customer was moved to tears as she saw the clock and remembered her father again.
Another memorable time piece was an Ithaca Calendar Clock. A customer had brought this clock in that had spent several years in her sons basement bedroom. The customers former husband had given the clock to his son. As the father had found the clock in his fathers basement when the house was being torn down, the father felt is had little value and would be interesting for the son to play with. The son had given the clock (which was his grandfathers when you chase down the series of events on how he came to possess this item) to his mother to bring to me for repair. One look at the clock and I knew it was a gem. This clock was a #3-1/2 Ithaca Clock Company Parlor regulator with original black dial in great condition. I had explained that this clock should be worth in the neighborhood of $4000.00 once it was repaired. The clock simply needed a cleaning and oiling to run and additional adjustments to have the roll calendar, day and date mechanisms run correctly. When the owner came to pickup the clock I explained that if he wanted to obtain the most money as possible from the sale of this clock it needed to go back to Ithaca, New York.
The gentleman went one step further to ensure he would obtain top dollar. He found that Antiques Road Show would be shooting in a location near his home and he had a friend take his clock in to be appraised. The appraisal came in above what I estimated at $7000.00 - $8,000.00.
I found out later that this clock sold through Sothebys Auction House in New York at above appraisal. But for me to see a clock that I had restored on national television was quite a thrill.
I never get tired of seeing the clocks come in for repair. Some are more run of the mill than others, but all have significance to the owners and tell a story or have memories that cannot be replaced. My family and I are very mindful these memories and family treasures and treat all pieces with the respect they deserve. We hope to see you and your treasure in my shop soon.