As regular readers know I am a fan of Arthur Pequegnat clocks not just because they were made in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada but they are attractive, well made and hold their value well (in Canada!).
I have had clocks given to me in the past but this was a rather unusual situation. 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. I publish a regular feature called Tick Talk Tuesday in which I profile the mail I receive from readers. The mail is private email and not comments after a blog article. I receive many emails you will not find on my blog. 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 was still curious even though it likely required a lot of work to restore it.
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 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 parting with 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. Eddy then provided me with his address and telephone number. A meeting day and time was set up.
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, discussing my collection of clocks, talking about the clock in question, his fathers hobby of searching out old antiques and finally, matters related to his struggle with a serious illness.
I was a little confused. Was he was actually giving me the clock or did he expect money in return so I decided to ask him straight out. No, he said, you can have it. he then brought out three other clocks to the kitchen table, a cottage clock, a steeple clock and a swinger. He asked me if I wanted those as well and I thanked him for the offer but declined. While they were very nice clocks I felt awkward taking all of them for nothing. So, 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 hard. The impact point was the very top of the clock. Yes, it was in rough shape!
A challenge to repair? Yes, but I graciously accepted the clock knowing that I would have to spend several hours putting it right.
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.
Eddy suggested that instead of offering him money that we donate to a charity and so a cheque went to the Canadian Cancer Society. I have never given names to my clocks but this one will always be called Eddy in honour of a individual who felt strongly that a family treasure should go to an appreciative owner.