Tick Talk Tuesday #42 – Ridgeway clock damaged in shipping

Tick-Talk Tuesday is about the letters and comments I have received from readers concerning clock issues, challenges faced, a clock you would profiled or advice on your particular clock concern. For those comments and questions that stump even me, I consult within my clock circles for the best possible answer

PS writes;

I have a 35+ year old Ridgeway Tall Case “Sussex” clock that was severely damaged in transit.  It is my parents 35th wedding anniversary gift to themselves from back in the mid 80’s.  They have both passed and I inherited it.   It was shipped from Chicago to Phoenix where I live last month and when it arrived it was crushed pretty severely.    All of the weights are dented and scuffed,  the face is detached from the case and the case itself was all but destroyed. 

Similar to the Sussex

The carrier is requiring me to get a detailed repair estimate,  which I am more than happy to pay you for.    The insurance on the freight was $3500.00 and was one of the highest policies available.    Now they want a detailed breakdown estimate for repairs,  which will likely exceed the 3500.00 it is insured for. 

Can you please help me  with this? And if you could,  I would be happy to pay for your estimating services. 

Please let me know so I know how to proceed.

My reply:

As I am not a professional appraiser all I can do is give some advice.

I am sorry to tell you that while your Sussex clock may have cost your parents $3500 in the 1980s it is worth far less today. I have a similar model in my dining room. It is in excellent condition but it is worth no more than $500CDN. They are simply not collectible and grandfather clocks generally are not sought after unless they have historical value or a special provenance. You will be paying many more times what it is worth to repair it. Although for sentimental reasons the cost may not be important.

I have two suggestions. One, take whatever money you can get from the carrier without having to justify a breakdown of the cost. The carrier is engaging in a stall technique and may not even agree with any appraisal you submit to them. In other words take the money and run.

My second suggestion is to find another Ridgeway Sussex (or similar model) and marry the best parts of the two clocks. Chances are you will have good weights, and good glass etc. from the replacement clock. A replacement Sussex (or similar model) should not cost more than $500 and may well be much cheaper. It will take some looking around but they do come up on auction or for-sale sites occasionally.

Clock face showing moon dial
Clock face showing moon dial

I have another bit of advice. Your grandfather clock movement (the mechanical works) is at the end of or near the end of its service life. The  movements in these clocks were generally designed to last about 25 years. It may last longer but it is living on borrowed time. They can be repaired ($$$) but replacing the movement is more cost effective.

Hope this helps with your decision.

2 thoughts on “Tick Talk Tuesday #42 – Ridgeway clock damaged in shipping

  1. Anyone remember the “dot com bubble burst” of about 1998-2002? High tech start-ups listed on stock markets doubled, tripled or more their share prices almost overnight. Dropped as a stone shortly after. Often worthless.

    Point being a lovely Tall case clock, was once someone’s pride and joy. Now unloved by the market. Glad I didn’t open a retail Clock Shop. Would have gone bankrupt. Even faster if sold fine bone china dinner sets along with.
    What if instead dumpster dived behind car repair garages for empty oil cans, and other tossed out “junk”?
    Someone once said: “Market value is whatever people willing to pay”. Cynical but true.


    1. Always amazes me that people think if something is 150 years old (a 30-hour ogee clock) it is worth a fortune because of its age.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.