Friday, 30 September 2011
John Shepley Clockmaker (2)
Hyde's Clock Maker
In December 2010 we did a post about John Shepley Clock Maker who was born and bred in Hyde. I have since then seen one of his clocks for sale on ebay and recently we have been contacted by Peter Wattenburg from the Netherlands. Peter says he saw our site and was pleased to see we had a story on John Shepley and he is interested in finding out more information. If you have any information to share on this matter I'd be very grateful, as of course would Peter.
Peter wrote the following: I live in the Netherlands and I've collected English Long Case Clocks for more than 30 years now, As a matter of fact I have possibly the earliest known John Shepley clocks. It as a 10inch dial with the early spandrels and signed 'John Shepley Hyde'. The engraving is amateurish, so I believe John did this himself. I think on later clocks he hired a professional engraver or he learned engraving very fast. I would date this clock to around 1695 - 1700 at the time John was working in Hyde. I know of numbered clocks by him, this one dose not have a number so perhaps this was made prior to the time he started numbering?
It looks like John tried his own engraving. Several styles of engraving are used on the dial centre. There is some sort of wriggle pattern inside the chaptering which lookes like the engraving style used by the early Quaker-clockmakers like Ogden and Gilkes family. There are some floral engraving and a nice bird. The half-hour markings on the chaptering are following the early pattern with the meeting arrow points.
The original spandrels are also the earliest provincial cherub head spandrels. The hand is original and has been well executed. The movement bears also the early features such as the finely ringed pillars, heavy plates and quite high in size. The clock did not use a chain but did run on ropes, the rope-spurs are still in place. All in all a nice interesting clockwork from the very early days of clock making in Hyde.
I'd like to thank Peter for sharing this 'gem' of a clock from Hyde past and hope it draws some attention from other who have such clocks and send in information concerning John Shepley or his clocks. It would be nice to be able to feature a few more of his clocks on here.