I have had clocks given to me in the past but this was a rather unusual occasion. As readers know I publish at least seven or eight articles a month in order to provide interesting content on all aspects of mechanical clocks. Though some replies are posted for everyone to read I receive many emails you will not find on my blog. For whatever reason some people prefer writing to me privately and that is perfectly fine.
I received one such email some time ago from Eddy who lives in the Quebec City area (Province of Quebec, Canada). Eddy was researching my blog and discovered that I admired and collected Canadian-made Arthur Pequegnat clocks. He wondered if I would have an Arthur Pequegnat clock added to my collection.
Because it was an Arthur Pequegnat I was immediately interested but I did not expect a reply. To my surprise Eddy answered with five photos of the clock from various angles. It was a mantel clock in pretty rough shape and after seeing his photos I wondered if it would be worth looking at it at all since it required so much work.
In his email Eddy explained that he was having serious health issues and was taking stock of his life. He had a number of antique and vintage items that his father and grandfather had left him and he strongly felt they should be passed on to someone who would appreciate having them. As Eddy explained, “My father had that clock as a trade against work done for people he helps with their house and lawn chores. He gave it to me since he’s got too many, just like my grand-father did. He was okay with me departing of it.”
I wrote back and told him that a meeting was indeed possible. We would be passing through the Quebec City area in the next few days on our way to our cottage in Quebec to open it up for the summer. We (my wife and I) had even planned to stay in that area for the night. We could stop by to have a look at the clock, I replied. Eddy then provided me with his address and telephone number. A meeting day and time was set.
After nine hours of driving we arrived at his door. He invited us in and we spent a very pleasant two hours getting to know each other, talking about my collection of clocks, talking about the clock in question, his fathers hobby of searching out old antiques and matters related to his struggle with a serious illness.
While I was still not convinced that he was actually giving me the clock or if he expected money in return I decided to ask him straight out. No, he said, you can have it. At that point there were three other clocks on the kitchen table, a cottage clock, a steeple clock and a swinger that he had brought from different areas of the house. He asked me if I wanted those as well and I thanked him for the offer but declined. While they were nice clocks I felt awkward taking all of them for nothing. Not wanting to take advantage of the situation we left with just one clock.
We walked out the door with clock in hand and for the next hour of our drive we talked about Eddy and his gift of an Arthur Pequegnat clock.
The clock was complete with original hands, pendulum bob, coil gong and of course, the signature Arthur Pequegnat movement with nickel-plated steel plates. The only visible sign of an issue with the movement was the time side mainspring which, as Eddy explained, could not be wound with a key. Damaged veneer, side trim pieces splitting open was clear evidence that at some point the clock had been dropped or fallen as the impact point was the very top of the clock. So, it was in rough shape!
A challenge to repair? Yes, but I graciously accepted the clock knowing that I would have to put several hours of time into case and other repairs.
Thanks to Eddy I am now the new owner of an Arthur Pequegnat, Bedford model that I will add to my collection of four other Pequegnat clocks. In a later post I will detail the repairs to this fine Canadian made clock.
We liked Eddy’s suggestion of making a donation to a charity. I have never given names to my clocks but this one will always be called Eddy in honour of a individual who strongly felt that an elegant vintage clock should go to an appreciative owner.