• Clocks

    Conservation of a singing bird cage automaton

    Posted on 20th April 2020

    MA Conservation Studies alumni Dale Sardeson talks us through the final year practical project he completed in Summer 2019; the conservation of a singing bird cage automaton from the Edward James Foundation Collection. 

  • Clocks

    Freedom of Choice

    Posted on 3rd December 2018

    Deciding which course of treatment to take on an object can be a near-impossible task, and even after I've finished working on a clock and it's ticking away happily on a test stand, I'll still be wondering if there was something I should have done slightly differently...

  • Clocks

    Replication of a Marine Chronometer Gold Alloy Helical Spring: Conservation Project

    Posted on 12th June 2018

    The marine chronometer signed by John Lilley & son from 1929 has shown evidences of a failure of one of its major components. The helical hairspring which is co-regulating the frequency of the balance (factor determining the rate of the mechanism) was broken by fracture near its lower attachment point. The aim of the project was to provide a replacement spring for the chronometer which would possess the required mechanical properties (toughness, elasticity, shape, composition …).

  • Clocks

    Clock Conservation Project: A.Brocot and Delletrez c.1850

    Posted on 28th November 2017

    One of my recent projects is a 19th century French clock signed A.Brocot and Delletrez. I found a description of the mechanism in Chavigny's work on the Brocot family, which revealed that a patent was issued for this mechanism in around 1850 by Antoine Brocot.

  • Clocks

    Discovering a Japanese Lantern Clock

    Posted on 17th May 2017

    The aim of this project was to restore to safe working order a Japanese lantern clock belonging to the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum. The Museum's early records had classified the clock as Chinese. However, after conducting initial research it became clear that the object conformed to many stylistic features of lantern clocks from the early - mid period of Japanese clock making.

  • Clocks

    The Silver Swan performs for the press

    Posted on 7th February 2017

    The Silver Swan automaton conserved by Matthew Read, Conservation of Clocks Programme Leader at West Dean College, makes its debut at Robots the new blockbuster exhibition at the Science Museum.

  • Clocks

    A Louis XV (1710–1774) ormolu cartel clock made by Colin?

    Posted on 13th October 2016

    In the summer term I was given a clock by Matthew Read, the tutor for the clock's programme, with the advice that "it just needed the striking to be sorted out." Having a good idea of Matthew's sense of humour, I realised that this was going to be no ordinary endeavour!

  • Clocks

    Clocking up awards

    Posted on 3rd September 2015

    West Dean College student Tabea Rude has received a prize for the best conservation-restoration project from the Southern Section of the Antiquarian Horological Society (AHS) as part of the prize-giving ceremony for all West Dean programmes.

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