fail to excite me in one way or another. I do find Savage's earliest work most interesting, and although many of his early clocks all seem to have very similar features to both his dials and movements - like the goblet shaped collets and iron top and bottom plates for example - they each have their own unique charm and character about them which makes them different to each other and very desirable to me - as a collector.

 

 

 

 

      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 c1680s  (illustrated here) and a round dial hook-and-spike of the c1720s.  

 

   

   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.

 

 

 

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eventeenth century clocks by Richard Savage of Shrewsbury never

     recently and does not disappoint. Dating during the 1680s, it is a rare and very early example, and survives today in its original primitive oak hood. Not only is the clock particularly interesting in its own right and made by the earliest domestic clockmaker in the county of Shropshire from whom work is known to survive today, but it also has a wonderfully historical provenance attached to it. The clock, hood and its fascinating story is fully illustrated and revealed below!

 

 

 

 

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         stonishingly, to make the 10-inch dial, it looks like Richard Savage has used some kind of old brass vessel that has been joined together from two separate pieces of brass. The joint - which can be seen running in a straight line right through the matted dial centre and then which curves off at each end has been castellated and brazed together just like when they needed to make joints on old brass or copper cooking pots, water jugs and other vessels of this period to make them watertight. It is a total mystery to me why Savage has made his dial from something like an old cooking pot, but the fact that he did use the above method for this dial gives us a very rare insight into some of Richard Savages earliest working practices never seen before. Another interesting talking point is Richard Savages signature. It is quite normal to find 17th century Savage clocks signed with the place name as ‘Salop’ or ‘de-Salop’, (in French), but this is the first time I have seen an example signed ‘of Salop ‘ and the use of the word ‘of ’ (in English) in his signature is extremely rare. The superb iron hand is original and typical of other Savage clocks. It has meeting arrowhead half hour makers and cherub head spandrels to the four corners

 

 

 

     condition throughout and has many typical Richard Savage features including the tapered iron arbours with his trademark brass goblet shaped collets. Other typical features are the iron top and bottom plates with pre- drilled holes for his optional  screw on hoop and spurs (if required). It also has Savages unique way of fixing the dial to movement by having an upper iron L shaped iron bracket which is riveted to dial and then fixes on top of iron top plate of movement by a screw and pin. Also a dial lug is pinned to the lower movement - exactly same features and locations as others I have owned and seen by him

 

 

 

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he iron and brass lantern type movement is in a wonderfully original

      brackets and just like Savages castellated jointed brass dial - it is just as interesting. There is no hood door opening, so the hood which retains its original wavy glass, needs to be removed to adjust the time. The case retains its lovely original blacksmith iron hooks that prtrude through the backboard and are clearly custom made for the Richard Savage clock to hang from. Interestingly the whole front of the hood has been made up with just two solid pieces of vertical joined oak and then the large square hole to receive the glass has been cut out with no joins at all to the four corners. This has caused some expected splits because it is not a good working practice. However, I have seen this same feature before on another early Savage clock case. Other clocks by Savage where the hood glass opening has been constructed using this very peculiar method can be seen in the book entitled Lantern Clocks by Brian Loomes pages 379-380,  where two examples are illustrated and both have been made in a very similar way and were probably made by the same case maker who made the hood shown here. The glass opening is 11 inches square and the dial is only 10 inches square meaning there is a  half inch gap around the dial. However, the fact that Richard Savage has made the dial with a castellated joint showing right through its matted centre, also the fact that the clock hangs from its original long iron hooks clearly made for the Savage movement to hang from and the peculier way the hood glass opening has been made resulting in large splits (but is the same peculiar feature to other early known Savage cases) - shows us that for whatever reason - Richard Savage was not too bothered about this hooded clock looking too perfect and in a way the gap around the dial is in keeping with the other inperfect finishes of this rustic, rare and very early example!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

c1688

he Richard Savage hooded wall clock shown here, came to light

Sav 1689 Dial A

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of the very early working practices Richard Savage used to make his dials.

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Sav 1689 Hand (1) C

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Sav 1689 Span C

Meeting arrow heads for the half hour markers.

howing the cherub head spandrels to the four corners.

Sav Move L

howing the Richard Savage castellated brass dial. Note how the join

curves off towards the left at the top and to the right at the bottom of dial.

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howing a side view of Richard Savages lantern type movement.

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Tapoured arbours with goblet shaped brass collets, iron top and bottom

plates and ringed iron work are all typical features of Richard Savage clocks.

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    howing the top plate. Note Savages upper iron L shaped iron bracket which is riveted to dial and then fixes on top of iron top plate of movement by a screw and pin. Another typical Savage feature here shows the iron top and bottom plates have pre- drilled holes for his optional screw on hoop and spurs (if required)

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howing a rear view of Richard Savages lantern type movement.

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© West Linton Historical Association. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk

Sav SignatureC

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howing Richard Savages signature ' R. Savage of Salop'

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The Hood 

he clock is housed in its original primitive oak hood with tulip themed

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      large hole to receive the glass has been cut out with no joins at all to the four corners. This has caused some splits because it is not a very good working practice. This feature is also known on other early Savage cases.

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Movement

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howing the original

primitive oak hood c1680s

The use of the word ' of ' (in English) in his signature is a very rare feature.

       the highly respected Jeweller Keith Walter FGA who runs his business in the Scottish centre of Peebles' historic High Street occupying a shop that has been a quality Jewellers since 1864. Keith who is also a qualified gemmologist and goldsmith, had inherited the clock from his dad Graham Walter in 1980 who in turn had previously inherited the clock from his own dad James Walter (Keiths Grandfather). Keiths Grandfather purchased this Richard Savage hooded wall clock from the  house and contents sale of Sir James Fergusson (the clocks former owner), at the Spitlelhaugh Mansion  (the clocks former home) in West Linton, Peeblesshire in 1927.  Keiths first memory of the clock is when he was a child and it was located at the top of the stairs in his parents house. Keith had Scotlands Master Clockmaker Archie McQuater clean and service the movement to a good working order in 1999, but because his wife didn’t think it suited their house, it lay unused in the basement until 2014 and thats when Keith decided to contact me!

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howing a close up of one of the tulip themed oak brackets.

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Below

howing a close up of the Savage top plate hanging from the iron hooks.

howing a overhead view the original blacksmith iron hooks.

howing a close up of the matted dial centre. Original iron hand.

howing the reverse side of the castellated dial, revealing some

Spitllehaugh B

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purchased this Richard Savage hooded wall clock in 2014 from

10th August 1895 and died 28October 1924. Sir James inherited Spittlehaugh and his title of 2nd Baron when his Father who was Sir William Fergusson of Spittlehaugh 1st Baron died in the 1877. Sir William was Surgeon to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. He married Lady Helen Hamilton Ranken who was heir to Spittlehaugh and her family had lived there since the 1730s and it is highly likely that this hooded wall clock was first brought into the Spittlehaugh Mansion with the Hamiltons during the 1730s and has been passed down through the Hamilton and Fergusson families until it was sold to Keith Walters Grandfather in 1927.

 

 

 

Murray back in 1678 who rebuilt the Spittlehaugh dwelling house and the 17th century building still forms the central part of the present house today. Then in the mid 19th century, Sir William Fergusson had major additions built to the house which forms the outer part today.

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ir James Ranken Fergusson 2nd Baronet of Spitalhaugh was born

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howing a picture

of Spittlehaugh, the

clocks former home.

© West Linton Historical Association.

Licensor www.scran.ac.uk

The inner house was built during the 17th century with the outer part added in the 19th century.

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Sav seat 2a Sav 3a

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of

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Left

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howing how the Richard Savage movement hangs from the

blacksmith iron hooks and is also supported by sitting on two oak blocks

howing another view of

the Richard Savage

movement in its

original oak

hood.

The

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he hood has tulip

The Dial

ichard Savage

Salop, c1680s

Hooded Wall Clock

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by

brackets

themed oak

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Provenance

About

Richard Savage

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Wanted

Summary

   n summary, the fascinating Richard Savage castellated dial and the peculiar primitive working practices of the original hood as discussed above plus the very rare inclusion of the word ‘of’ (in English) in Richard Savages signature suggests to me that this is an exceptionally early Savage clock. Because of  the other 17th century Richard Savage clock dials that have come to light so far have all been made of a certain very high standard throughout including some beautiful and fully engraved highly desirable dials - and the fact that he obviously took great pride in his high quality work including his beautiful goblet shaped brass wheel collets - the question arises as to why Savage decided to make his hooded wall clock dial from something like an old cooking pot knowing that the joint would always be on show and visible to anyone  looking at his signed dial? One possible but strong theory of mine is that Richard Savage made this hooded wall clock during his apprenticeship around 1685 for his own use and this would explain why he made his dial out of an old watertight brass vessel and was not concerned about the castellated join that would always be seen in his dial centre, or the gap around the badly measured hood glass apature. Other possible theories to consider are that Savage was out of dial-sheet castings and had to make do with what he had, or the customer wanted the cheapest cased example he could get (hence the hooded wall case, rather than a full longcase).

 

 

       nfortunately,  we will never know the answer to the above question and it will always remain a mystery. However, I can be certain of one thing. This is an exceptionally rare and interesting 17th century Richard Savage hooded wall clock and you will not find another like it!

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Clocks 

17th century clock by Richard Savage Wanted

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pittlehaugh and its surrounding lands had been sold to William

Spittlehaugh Small Sir W Ferg Small Spitllehaugh BB