Jump to content
  • john nelson
    john nelson

    From The Pieces

    FrenchClock.jpgA few years ago, I saw an ad for a very large auction in Boston. In the ad was a photograph of a beautiful, unusual, scroll saw clock. It had a minimum starting bid of $500.00. I just had to have it so on the day of the auction, I got up very early and drove all the way to Boston from New Hampshire. It was a 3 1/2 hour drive.  

    The auction was held in a very large room with many items to be auctioned off. I walked around the room two or three times and could NOT find the clock. I finally asked an attendant where it was. (Real men NEVER ask for directions) He told me it was completely destroyed on the flight in from Hawaii.  He told me they built a box around it to try to protect it but somehow it was destroyed. He brought me over to a table in the far corner of the room where they had put all the pieces. The pieces were in three large ziplock bags with a photograph of what the clock   DID look like. Most of the pieces were the size of a half-dollar coin. A few a little larger. I was thinking, I still want it and surely NO ONE in their right mind would want it, so I would be able to get it for almost nothing.

    When the bidding finally came up the pieces were brought out. The bidding started at $50.00. Believe it or not, there was another "clock-nut" and HE wanted it as much as I did. The bidding went up over $270.00, but, I won the bid. I am positive, everyone there thought I was completely out of my mind to spend that much for three bags of pieces and a photograph. 

    I took the three bags and photograph home and set up two card tables side by side and laid out all the pieces. It was like putting together a very large puzzle. As I assembled the individual pieces I glued them together as best I could.  After three or four weeks I had most all the individual pieces put back together. (I had to guess at a few) I took the individual glued pieces and drew each one out on paper. The only original pieces were good enough to save were the ones that formed the round head that supported the clock movement... everything else had to be remade. 

    After a few weeks, it all came together. Of all the clock designs I have copied and recorded, this clock is, by far, my favorite and I think one of the most beautiful scroll saw clocks ever designed.


    Written by John Nelson.  Reprinted with permission from the author. 


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    To answer your question,  No, I never found out who designed it.  Most of the original clocks I have recorded throughout the years were designed in Italy round 1880,  so I assume most of then designers are dead by now.   Lol.     Just think about how they cutout these beautiful clocks back then.  Most people back then worked 6 days a week, 10 to 12 hours a day at a regular job and cut out of those clocks by hand or with a pedal scroll saw at night by the light of a wale-oil  lamp.   They used old cigar boxes for the wood. They glued the original paper patterns on the wood with a mixture of water and flower glue. They had no way to make a copy of the original pattern so they were all lost in the process.  I really appreciate those original old clock designs and the scrollers who made them.   AMAZING   The most popular scroll saw clock of all time I think was the CHIMES OF NORMANDY.   Plans are still available for it today.  If you want an interesting  project, try that one.   I gave the one I made out of birds-eye maple to a friend and she lost it in a house fire.   Happy scrolling,  JAN

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Sponsored

    (Log In or Sign Up to remove this ad.)

  • Create New...