Wednesday, 11 November 2015


I am presenting the photograph of the above goodies  not as any form of 'mystery object' but as the sort of work that I have been doing lately.  I am, as you know, by profession an antiquarian horologist, but lately the dozen - no!- twenty or so good antique clocks that I keep in good running order in the area have been behaving themselves beautifully, and have been in no need of Michael's attention; so that I have been spreading myself a bit work wise - broadening my horizons you might call it, and turning my skills to all sorts of other things. As above, a flintlock musket that I purchased whilst on holiday in the West Country. It had not worked for some years, and I spent about three days putting it back into good working order. It is, as you can see, a military musket of circa 1750-1770, and originally of French/German origin. I've enjoyed playing with it, and it's now in good working order. The sword is a massive 'hand and a half sword' of German make (probably Solingen) and XVIth / XVIIth century date. When I was first shown it, most of the grip, and all of the grip binding, were missing, or to put it another way  - most of the hilt (or what was left of it) was clattering around.  Anyway, another two good days work did the trick, and I was able to , at least, FEEL busy.  This last few years I've survived in business by having turned meself into an antique restorer/dealer.

Then yesterday we took two telephone calls, both from owners' of antique clocks (both clocks date from the first half of the 1700s)  and both are beginning to feel their age a bit (yes gentle reader or rather Crowbard and Rog - I do know how they feel). The point of this  blog entry is that, however slack things seem to be, there are always jobs to be done:

  "For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen,
Before we go to paradise by way of Kensal Green."

G.K. Chesterton- The Rolling English Road.


Margaret Brocklehurst said...

It's good to keep busy. I was supposed to retire down here in Cornwall, but find I am busier than ever. Keeps the brain ticking over.
I don't comment very often Mike, but I check into your blog everyday, really enjoy it. Keep telling myself I must start one, but don't seem to find time.
Lots of love to you both xxx

Mike and Ann said...

Thank you, Mag. It's a good way of staying in touch.

Z said...

I would love to hang my Dutch wall clock, would you look at it and see what sort of awful neglect I've inflicted on it, please? Come to lunch too, of course.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Z. Gladly. I'll get Ann to give you a ring tomorrow, diary at the ready. Come to think of it, probably in the afternoon.

Crowbard said...

What a handsome old couple of brutes they are Mike. (No, not your blog-followers, the weapons). The sword particularly appears to have had an active and effective life, signs of frequent use and at last a well deserved over-haul. I respect the warriors who wielded such hefty blades, seriously fit blokes no doubt. Personally, I prefer the Italian short-sword for ease of accurate application ~ most offenders quickly get the point and desist. But I wouldn't want to have to defend against that big German jobby.

Crowbard said...

I like the sound of Paradise, but since I wot not of Kensal Green, nor the road thereto I shall have to forgo "the decent inn of death".

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Crowbard. That's one of my favourite lines of poetry -

But walk with clearer eyes and ears this path that wandereth,
And see undrugged in evening light the decent inn of death.

Rough said...

Tis a tad maudlin me Thinks
For I'll not stop for Death
But walk among long dappled grass
and take Another breath.

Crowbard said...

Thanks Rough, delighted to be reminded of the last verse of one of my all-time favourites;

The Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

William Butler Yeats