eighteenth century iron cased hook-and-spike wall clock by Richard Savage of Shrewsbury. Dating from around the c1720s it is a very interesting type of wall clock which may have been sold to one of Savage's less wealthy clients as a cheaper alternative to a typical brass lantern clock of the day. Savage has made the clock using a much larger proportion of iron than brass. For example instead of Savage using brass turned movement pillars he has turned the pillars in iron and rather than having brass side doors he has made side door/dust covers out of sheet iron to house the movement instead of brass. The clock has also been made without brass frets and instead of a brass top finial(s) it has been finished off with a large fancily shaped iron nut that sits on top of the bell.
he round brass dial with applied chapter ring has attached trident half - hour markers and is signed R. Savage, Salop. The dial centre is matted and the superb single iron hand is original. The birdcage movement is very original throughout and has many typical Richard Savage features including iron top and bottom plates, lovely goblet shaped brass collets and Savages unique iron L shaped bracket to the top plate which fixes the dial to the movement and is pinned to the top plate and riveted to the dial. This charming wall clock also retains its original wheel-work, anchor escapement and iron hoop-and-spurs. It still has much of its original black laquer/paint and is in a lovely untouched/unrestored condition throughout. It also retains its original iron chain, wooden pulley, lead counter weight, lead going weight and very primitive two piece pendulum which Savage has signed 'S ' on the reverse side of the brass and lead bob. Interestingly as with the movement, Savage has executed some nice individualistic and matching ironwork to these items. Please see pictures.
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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