Hugh Gordon throat
Hugh Gordon tall-case clock

Unfortunately I do not own this clock but if I did it would be proudly displayed in my home. However it is a friend’s clock and he asked me to research it. I will continue to report on my findings as I explore this fine old clock in more detail. Here is what I have discovered so far.

Hugh Gordon clock
Hugh Gordon tall-case clock

It is a Hugh Gordon time and strike clock. Hugh Gordon was working in Aberdeen, Scotland from 1748-90. He had previously worked in Edinburgh and London. He was a very proficient clock-maker but little of his work seems to have survived. This is an excellent example and was likely made between 1760 to 1770 judging by the design of the spandrels.

Hugh Gordon face, hands and spandrels
Hugh Gordon face, hands and spandrels
Hugh Gordon bonnet and face
Hugh Gordon pagoda hood and face

It features a second hand just below the 12 o’clock position and a single date aperture just under the hour pipe. It is a very nicely proportioned clock with a tall centre throat and pagoda-styled top bonnet; the centre engraving is a typical feature of the Scottish clocks of the latter part of the 18th century as is the box calendar opening (date aperture), side glass on either side of the hood and doped canvas top cover. These clocks also tend to be not overly tall at about 7′.

It is my feeling that it is missing one top finial and the left and right finials. Close inspection reveals that either none originally existed or the mounting holes were covered over by a later canvas re-application. The chapter ring and dial centre would have been silvered at one time and likely rubbed off with over-polishing over the years. The hour hand looks about right but the original minute hand would have had a serpentine design in keeping with the hour hand.

Hugh Gordon bonnet top
Hugh Gordon pagoda-styled bonnet top
Hugh Gordon face and hands
Hugh Gordon face and hands

This fine old clock has been in my friend’s family since 1850 having been brought over by ship when his ancestors immigrated to Canada. It seems to have survived quite well and it appears to be well taken care of.

Sadly it is not in running order. I suggested that my friend seek a clock repair person (horologist) who is very knowledgeable in the repair of antique tall-case clocks particularly with clocks of this era as special care and attention is required if parts need to be rebuilt/repaired to remain consistent with the period.

If you have any information about Hugh Gordon clocks please leave a message.

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