A treasured Black Forest Organ clock is now playing music again, following restoration made possible by a generous grant.
The rare antique clock has been at the Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery for more than 50 years, and proved to be a popular item with visitors who made donations towards the cost of restoration. The work was finally made possible due to a grant of £6,000 made by Arts Council England. The extensive work was carried out by specialists who could make the necessary repairs without damaging the clock in any way. Restoration of antiques in the North West should be dealt with by experts to avoid damage to items, especially furniture like an antique settee in Lancashire.
Taking around 10 months to complete, the work included the bellows and feeder being re-leathered, the restoration of the soundboard and windchest, reparation of the keyframe and replacing pipework that had been missing. A museum spokesperson said:
“Black Forest clocks are extremely rare, with only two others known to be held in public collections in Britain.”
The clock was originally made in Germany, in the Black Forest, by Johann Schlegel. As there are images of sailing ships on the clock, it may have been sold in Newcastle or Liverpool. A resident of Nuneaton restored the clock during World War II, with the assistance of a local organ builder and German Prisoners of War who were based at Arbury Hall. The organ clock plays six different pieces of music in total, which can now be enjoyed once again by visitors to the museum.
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