Exhibition of “Twelve Lewes Clocks” – 6 to 20 December 2014, Tuesday to Saturday 10am-4:30pm

W.F. Bruce Antique Clocks are delighted to announce the launch of a fascinating new exhibition spanning over 100 years of clockmaking in Lewes, from 1715-1830. Lewes was a prolific regional centre for clockmaking in the 18th and early 19th centuries; a period which saw intense competition between makers, in terms of both quality and creativity. Open from 6 – 20th December, this new exhibition is a unique opportunity to see a diverse collection of clocks by several generations of clockmakers from the town. The exhibition is at W.F.Bruce Antiques, 5 North Street, Lewes, BN7 2PA.

Highlights of the “12 Lewes Clocks” exhibition include a rare 8 day longcase clock by the eminent clockmaker Richard Comber, the son of a barber in Cliffe Lewes. He was a maker who was highly respected during his lifetime and his clocks are still avidly sought by collectors today. Comber was apprenticed to William Kemp, a clockmaker who worked in Lewes for over 40 years, taking on eight apprentices and thereby embedding himself in the fabric of the town. The exhibition includes a fine 30 hour longcase clock by him from c.1770.

Other clocks of interest include one by Samuel Ollive, brother-in-law to the famous political activist, Thomas Paine. There is also a fascinating example by John Barnett, which still carries its original trade label (below). Interestingly, John Barnett took as his apprentice Edward Reeves, in 1837. Reeves later became a photographer in 1858, a family business that is still in existence in Lewes under his descendant Tom Reeves.

“The research for this exhibition has taken us from the son of a barber in Cliffe, Lewes to Benjamin Franklin, who was to become President of the United States,” comments antique clock expert Bill Bruce. “and is a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of clockmakers in this town.”

Left: Detail from a longcase clock by John Barnett, Cliffe, Lewes, c.1830
Right: Original trade label from the John Barnett clock

For further details please contact W.F. Bruce via their website.




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