ook-and-Spike clocks were relatively simple clocks designed to hang on the wall as a cheaper alternative to a lantern or longcase clock. Most examples were made with the new owners having either a cheap option to just hang the clock directly from a simple iron nail on the wall or they could also use a more expensive option which was to hang the clock from the backboard of a wooden longcase to keep the dust out - which is what happened to many examples at a later date when the owners had more money to spend. However the Richard Savage hook-and-spike illustrated here, I suspect has only ever been used as a wall clock since it was made originally with its own specially made iron side doors/dust covers by Savage - keeping the movement housed and clean and therefore making it a self contained wall clock - without the need for a wooden longcase.
ichard Savage was born in Wenlock Magna ( the ancient name for Much Wenlock), Shropshire, on 2 August 1663, the son of William & Joan Savage. He was one of the middle children of a family with at least 11 children, not all of whom survived their childhood.Richard married Elizabeth Price of Bridgenorth in 1685/86, after he would have finished his apprenticeship. Their children included William, born in Wenlock Magna on 15th September 1687 and Thomas, also born in Wenlock Magna, on 17th August 1690. William was apprenticed to his father, in Shrewsbury, in 1700 and Thomas, also in Shrewsbury, in 1703 when both were aged 13. Elizabeth, Richards wife, died in Shrewsbury on 7th March 1722. Richard re-married, to Margaret Jones on 19th October 1726, but he himself died, in Srewsbury, on 27th June, aged 64.
everal clocks signed by Richard Savage are known, and some of these but not all, are dated. Richard was apprenticed around 1677, and was a qualified clockmaker from about 1684/5. There is a lantern clock dated 1692 (illustrated on this website. It has no place name but was made in Wenlock Magna) and another lantern dated 1694 signed ' Wenlock Magna'. There are also several wall clocks by Savage dated during the 1690s, signed '' Wenlock Magna' (all have beautifully engraved dials) and a dial and movement (only) of a wall clock known to exist by Savage that is dated 1688. Recent examples to have come to light by Savage include a hooded wall clock of the late c1680s and a round dial hook-and-spike of the c1720s (illustrated here).
he question arises as to who taught Richard Savage his skills. While unsophisticated, his work shows good attention to detail and decoration, and is in no way crude. He is most unlikely to have been able to teach himself, in those days, to an acceptable standard. There is no evidence about his apprenticeship,and one can only conjecture. Assuming that the date of 1677 is right for the start of his apprenticeship, there were 5 clockmakers working in Shropshire at that time, with 3 watchmakers working in Shrewsbury. Of the clockmakers, two worked at the other end of the county and another appears to be an itinerant church clock repairer. The most likely candidates appear to be William Haseldine of Rowton (working 1672-1726) about 15 miles from Much Wenlock, Edward Norton of Berrington (1680), 8 miles from Much Wenlock, and Richard Bird of Much Wenlock itself. The formers two existence is only known from the records of repairs to church clocks in those places, so they might have been itinerants too. Richard Bird, however, was born in Wenlock Magna on 25th August 1605, and married there on 3rd March 1632. He would have been 72 when Savage started his apprenticeship and 79 when Savage became free – he was definitely working in 1659 and the possibility that he was Savages mentor is strongest.
or me the round dial hook-and-spike wall clock illustrated here is a very
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hown here is an interesting, anonymous Quaker hook-and-spike which is housed in a wonderfully primitive and interesting carved oak case.
The nine inch square solid brass dial with shell spandrels and lozenge half-hour markers, has a zig-zag engraved dial centre and retains its original single iron hand. The iron and brass hook-and-spike birdcage movement is very original throughout including all of its original wheel-work and iron hoop and spurs. Although anonymous - the clock is typical of the North Oxfordshire families such as the Gilkes of Adderbury and was probably made during the c1740s.
The rustic carved oak case is most interesting and has some nice quirky / primitive features. It retains a lovely rich colour and patina and may well have been made by a local coffin maker rather than a cabinet maker as the case is more box like in appearance instead of a typical longcase of the day.
The carving to the trunk door (which is believed original and not Victorian) appears to represent a soldier from the English Civil War with the Kings head carved below the soldier on the original base.
Interestingly The Society of Friends ( Quakers) were founded during the English Civil War of the 1640s and it is possible that the carving on this case represents the centenary of the founding of the Quakers - when the then first Quaker owners would have celebrated the 100 year anniversary of their existence - or maybe for other family reasons - as it does appear to tell some kind of story! However I do not have any evidence to support this theory and it is only based on assumption on my part!