John Mason London Grandfather Clock Head – Building a clock part I

Ok, so I’ve not reached the stage where clock snobbery is effecting me. It is a powerful and damaging condition that effects the vital organs of finance such as the wallet and debit card.

Ive have a Grantham made grandfather clock that has a tooth missing from the escapement cogg. While this is not a terminal condition for a clock, its expensive to get new wheels made and hard to find anyone who will do it. I therefore decided to replace the complete movement with something a bit better.

In grandfather terms “better” generally means older so Ive been looking out for an early 18th century face and movement for some time. My ship came in and now I have it. I know this is an early movement because the face dial is hand engraved and features the old one handed clock markings. You can see the quarter hour divisions on the innner chapter ring of the clock for this. There are a few other features that confirm its date to 1725 – 30 as well as the fact that John Mason, the London clock maker, was released from his apprenticeship in 1711.

The intention is to fix the assorted problems with the movement and then put it into my 1780 Grantham case. If you can get a good condition head its easy to build the clock you want to see. It does of course effect value if the head is not original to the clock but to be fair most old heads are in newer cases simply because the cases are the first things to rot and wear away.

Ill be doing a post on the finished article shortly. Im fizzing with excitement about building this thing and will be getting on with it!.

If you want to build your own grandfather you have to learn about clock face design in relation to date. Grandfather clocks, specially from London makers, are very regimented in thier design and certain features were incorporated for short periods so by examining things like dial size and clock face markings so its possible to date any clock within about a 10 year time frame. Brian Loomes does an excellent book on Grandfather clocks that I highly advise you purchase before looking for your components. Its on Amazon and Ebay most of the time and about £30 – 50. Well worth the investment to do your research.

Anyway, heres the clock head and watch this space to see where I get to with it!.