Archive for the ‘Cherry Grandfather Clocks’ Category
Wild Cherry timber is highly sought after for its rich reddish-brown color. Top of the line violins, cellos, and other string instruments are often carved from wild cherry. Furniture makers are also fond of the richly colored hardwood. I personally own two cherry grandfather clocks that chime on the hour from their home in my living room.
In North America, wild cherry timber is used for smoking. The smoke from wild cherry timber is distinctive and delectable when infused into meats. Gum from bark wounds make an excellent chewing gum substitute.
That may be true, but the Island of Malta is sure a beauty. Our cruise ship has docked in Valletta, and immediately I am made aware of a Maltese clock maker and inventor who was born in Mqabba (Micabba), a small village in the south of Malta. Michelangelo Sapiano (March 19, 1826 – December 2, 1912).
Although Sapiano was born in Mqabba, he went to live in Luqa when he was 21 years of age after he married a girl from Luqa. When he was 14 years of age he opened a watch repair shop and at such a young age he managed to repair the clock found in the Parish Church of Mqabba when other clock makers couldn’t. This paved the way for him to become famous and gave him the courage to start making clocks.
He is most famous for large clocks which were made for churches, convents and sacristies in various towns and villages in Malta and Gozo and also for a large clock he made for the Church of Saint Catherine of Alexandria in Egypt.
His masterpiece is a grandfather clock which till a few years ago could be found in No.11, Pawlu Magri Street, Luqa, the house (which still exists) where Michelangelo Sapiano used to live after he married. The clock can now be found in the Mdina Cathedral Museum. For this clock he was awarded a silver medal in an Industrial Exhibition which was held in 1864. Apart from showing the time, days and date this clock also shows the moonphases and the time in which the sun rises and goes down. This clock also has a mechanism which marks when a year is a leap year.
Off to Italy in the morning.
Ever since the mid 17th century, pendulum clocks have represented one of the most reliable ways to keep time. Obviously the innovations that have come along in the digital age have replaced many older analog clocks, but no digital clock can match the stately charm found in grandfather clocks. The basic parts of a pendulum clock include its face – complete with the hands and numbers necessary to tell time – the weights and the pendulum.
In the case of a grandfather clock, most of the mechanical parts will be encased in a long box that serves as the clock’s base. Typically the pendulum will swing once ever two seconds, and the mechanism will need to be wound on a regular basis. Winding the clock actually entails pulling on the weight and providing it with potential energy. The clock tells time as this weight unwinds.
Grandfather clocks are distinguished from other timepieces with a pendulum mechanism in that the pendulum is encased. Antique clocks often featured a 30-hour movement, which required that they be wound once a day. It’s not uncommon for novice collectors to discover an old grandfather clock, wind it, and then believe that the clock is malfunctioning because it stops a day later.
Most new cherry grandfather clocks have been upgraded to an eight-day movement, requiring the owner to wind them once a week. Some have claimed that this type of movement decreases the longevity of the clock’s mechanism, but very little evidence has been presented to support it. In any case, grandfather clocks bring a sense of stately elegance to any room.