Antique Clock and Furniture Restoration

Restoration Undertaken On All Antique Clock Movements And Cases

Dutch Marquetry HoodWe restore all types of antique clocks including.

  • Grandfather clocks
  • Long case clocks,
  • Wall clocks,
  • Mantle clocks,
  • Clock movement repair and overhaul, wheel cutting,
  • French movements,
  • Fusee movements.
  • Dial and Face painting and overhaul,
  • Clock case restoration,
  • Dutch Marquetry restoration
  • Bird Cage Movements.

Dutch marquetry case restoration and movement restoration of clocks from the William and Mary period, are our speciality.

Restoration of one of these clocks can be seen on our photographs of Antique restoration in progress page

Restoration of Dutch marquetry work can also be seen at our Furniture restoration page.

The Antique birdcage movement.

Birdcage movements as they are known are the predecessor of the slightly later longcase clock movement.
These movements differ in many ways but initially the plates which hold the movement parts such as the wheels and barrels together are on the top and the bottom of the movement rather than the front and the back as with traditional longcase clock movements.
These are the early longcase clock movements and the early ones were not in cases but hung on the wall rather like lantern clock movements, they had names such as wag on the wall.
Below you can see a rather dirty birdcage movement prior to restoration.

Birdcage movement

This movement had not been restored for about 50 years after cleaning we discovered that many of the pivots were warn and the bushing obviously had to be undertaken which on a birdcage movement can be problematic as the wheels and shafts run from front to back on small vertical sections of brass therefore the room for fitting the Bush is minimal.

Below you can see the movement after restoration.

Birdcage movement after restoration

The Antique English Dial Clock

The rather well known and loved timepieces known today as the act of Parliament clock was suitable for large rooms such as found in large halls and public buildings, but towards the end of the 18th-century it became fashionable to produce a slightly smaller clock with a light-coloured dial.

At first the dials were made of brass and silvered over and engraved. Later the painted iron dial was used as on contemporary long case clocks. Dials by this time were usually covered with a glass.

As a further stage of their development, these clocks were made smaller still and became spring driven. This eliminated the long trunk to contain the weight and the whole case was hidden behind the dial-hence the type became known as the office dial or often just the dial clock.

The movement's on the earlier clocks were based on those of the bracket clocks of the time. They had verge escapements and fusee escapements. Later, the verge escapement was replaced with the anchor escapement.

The cases of these clocks were usually made of a base wood which was sometimes grained or lacquered or Japanned and later on they were made from mahogany or later on still in oak .

Please contact us regarding any antique English dial clock restoration you may have and we will be pleased to answer any questions.

The Antique Gallery or Turret clock.

Clocks of this nature were often used in large galleries or turrets.
They often had long case style or fusee movements but were made rather sturdily as they were often placed outside, these clocks were generally weight driven.

Gallery Clock

Lantern clock restoration

Up to the end of the Elizabethan era there were scarcely any English clock makers.. Practically all the clocks and watches used in Britain were made abroad or by foreign workmen who had settled in this country. These people used the techniques and design of the countries from which may have originated, a lot of these people were French.

At the beginning of the 17th century the first truly English style began to emerge, it was a weight clock based on the Gothic wall clock found in Europe but included a large proportion of brass in the movement while the Gothic clocks were made of iron and the external finish consisted of brass instead of sheet iron decorated with paint.

This type is generally known as the lantern clock the reason for this name is not certain, though there are many ideas as to why they were called lantern clocks. These original clocks were shorter than the Gothic wall clocks and had brass frets that would make the movement accessible for adjustment purposes. These clocks were rope driven and often had a weight with a slight indent in the top where lead shot could be added to make the clock run faster or slower.

Around 1657 with the application of the pendulum to the clock work, lantern clocks were also made with pendulums. The early pendulums were very short and they were used with a verge escapement. After the invention of the anchor escapement long pendulums were used and these early clocks hung on the wall by a wooden bracket or two metal prongs.

Lantern clocks were originally meant to stand on a bracket on the wall. These clocks have nearly always been converted in some way, generally with the escapement being changed. We are more than willing to revert converted escapements to there original crown wheelverge escapements.

We are able to recast any missing parts including brass side frets etc.

French clock styles and movements

French movements where fitted into all sorts of cases from particularly fine French porcelain cases to black slate clock cases.

There are many styles and types of French clocks some have very attractive gilded sections with figures such as (Diana holding a bow and arrow as can be seen in the photographs below) and some are more conservative in their design.

This garniture set has been restored in exactly the same way as it was made the gold is now 24 carat gold and the verdigris surface has been revived in the movement has had bush and pivot work undertaken and cleaned

Diana garniture set art Nouveau

This design aspect relates very much period of construction and the type of movement.

My own particular likes are the Empire period French clocks, clocks of this nature are symbolic of the Roman or Greek and associated Empire styles.

We are able in our workshop to replace missing sections of bronze or spelter by using the lost wax principle

This clock has been restored, and gilded items that were originally missing have been replaced such as the wings that can be seen on the butterfly.

Showing replaced gilded sections

The wings that can be seen above have been replaced by using the lost wax method one has to first of all have an item such as a wing to make another one this item is used in the mould to copy.

If you do not have such an item then one has to be made by carving the required item

The picture below on the right is of a French movement that has been converted by having a platform fitted. It is quite possible to have this clock movement returned to its original condition, having an anchor escapement and pendulum such as the example below.

Dirty French movement before restorationFrench movement that has been converted by having a platform fitted

On the left you can see another French movement prior to restoration this was found in a garden shed and is extremely dirty and rusty.

Below you can see this movement after restoration. French movement fully restored

This work involved cleaning each individual part thoroughly, de-rusting all the metal and brass parts and making any part that was beyond restoration exactly in keeping with the original profile.

An Irish clock restorer once told me that when he was young in the 1920s there were so many worthless back slate clock cases that they were sold for hardcore for the roads!

That has of course changed and some of these black clocks now are highly sought-after with their fine French movements.

The English fusee

Below in the photograph you can see a very fine drop dial fusee clock by Charles Frodsham, unfortunately this had fallen off the wall and completely smashed.


The case as you could see was completely smashed.

The repair and restoration of the clock included the replacement of the domed glass, the bezel was completely bent and had to be remade and the movement had bent shafts and the brass plates had become badly distorted.

Below you can see a picture of the restored clock. Drop-dial-After-restoration

This clock restoration was undertaken in such a way that when the client received it back he said it looked much better than before the accident.

Please contact us regarding any clock restoration project you might have. We would be quite pleased to receive photographs of your damaged clock.

Looking for an experienced antique clock restorer -Green & Cockburn on …
Tel : 01462 790646 or E-mail

The British antique furniture restorers Association

We are accredited members of BAFRA, (British Antique Furniture Restorers Association).

Horologists, Conservators and Restoration Specialists To The Art, Antique And Museum Professions.

Conservation help and advice
We at Green & Cockburn are willing to help with any antique restoration project. Please contact us with your antique clocks and furniture restoration problems. Perhaps we can offer help and advice.

Historic Houses

We are Corporate members of the Historic Houses Association or HHA

Some of these fine antiques are looked after and housed in fine buildings supported by the Historic Houses Association.