The interest in
clock collecting has grown tremendously over the past few decades. Why
all of this fascination with old clocks? Well, it is a bit ethereal,
but let me try to explain my own pleasures. I find antique clocks a
delight on several levels. There is my admiration for the early scientists
who imagined and executed the mechanical works that form the heart of
a clock. Yes, scientists is the correct description of these men. They
were the observers of natural phenomenon. They were the measurers, the
men who wanted to understand the movement of the stars and planets.
They were Galileo, Huygens, Newton and many less well known engineers,
scientists and thinkers who came before and after them. There is also
the fascination with time itself. We all have an intuitive notion of
what time is, even if we find it difficult to articulate. If nothing
else we have an understanding of its passing, of its apparent unidirectional
movement. Then there is the beauty of the cases that house the clock
movements. These range from the primitive to the incredibly elaborate.
Many are true works of art. And of course there is their place in history
and the fine craftsmanship from bygone eras. Clocks reflect a world
view of their times and carry the imprint of their makers. Finally,
I am continually fascinated by the fact that these machines are still
capable of accurate time keeping even after a hundred or more (sometimes
many more) years of operation. They are marvels of beauty, craftsmanship
Paul D. Phillips,
American antique clocks, period furnishings and works of art.