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Richard Savage

Hook-and-Spike, c1720

Shown here is a Richard Savage of Shrewsbury, round dial hook and spike wall clock dating from around c1720. He is the first clockmaker of Shropshire by whom domestic clocks are known to survive and all of his known work do seem to be quite interesting in their own right. The clock shown below is also interesting and is in a wonderfully original condition throughout. It is a fairly late example by him, dating from around c1720 and near the end of his working life as he died in 1728. He possiliy made this clock as a round dial example instead of the normal square dial (with spandrels) to make a cheaper clock for a particular customer looking to keep the cost down. Savage initially made lantern clocks, but after his move to Shrewsbury his output was mainly longcase and hoop and-spike wall clocks.

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Above.  Showing a close-up of the round dial hook-and-spike by Richard Savage c1720. Original iron hand. Photographed by Lee Borrett.

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Above.  Showing a close-up of the signature and is signed 'Rich. Savage, Salop (Shrewsbury). Lovely fleur-de-lis half-hour markers.  Photographed by Lee Borrett.

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Above.  Showing the Savage round dial  hook-and-spike with the dial remove. Note the fancily shaped iron hammer arm. Photographed by Lee Borrett.

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Above.  Showing a side view of the hook-and -spike movement which is in a wondefully original condition throughout. Photographed by Lee Borrett.

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Above.  Showing the lovely goblet shaped brass wheel collets which are typical of Savage work. Photographed by Lee Borrett.

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Above.  Showing a side view of the top plate and all very distinctive of Richard Savage's work. Photographed by Lee Borrett.

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Above.  The top plate. Note that the dial is attched to the movement by an L shaped iron bracket which is pinned and screwed in place and I have seen this on at least five other Richard Savage clocks. Photographed by Lee Borrett.

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Above.  Showing the original hoop and spurs which are screwed in place and is a typical feature of Savage. Another typical feature of Richard Savage is that he used iron top and bottom plates for his birdcage movements. Photographed by Lee Borrett.

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Above.  Showing the interesting, original Richard Savage brass and iron pendulum. The bob hangs from the iron rod instead of being screwed in place. Photographed by Lee Borrett.

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Above.  Showing the back of the Savage brass and iron pendulum bob which hangs from the iron rod.  Photographed by Lee Borrett.

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Above.  Showing Richard Savage's original fancily shaped iron bell nut. Photographed by Lee Borrett.

Richard Savage was born in 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 Much Wenlock on 15 th September 1687 and Thomas, also born in Much Wenlock, on 17 th 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 7 th March 1722. Richard re-married,
to Margaret Jones on 19 th October 1726, but he himself died, in Srewsbury, on 27 th June, aged 64.

Hook-and-Spike 

Wall Clocks

In the 18th century, Hook-and-Spike clocks were a cheaper alternative to the brass lantern clock and full longcase 30-hour clocks of the day. In essence, it was a smaller thirty-hour longcase which in fact had no case, but was made with the hoop and spurs with which the lantern clock had always been equipped, and which could thus be hung from any convenient wall hook, exactly as the lantern clock had done. It would have been a very popular and much more affordable clock to own.

Summary

In summary we have a wonderfully original early 18th century  hook-and-spike wall clock by Richard Savage who is the first clockmaker of Shropshire by whom domestic clocks are known to survive today. The clock was made towards the end of Savage's career and is unusual in the fact that it is a round dial example which did not come into fashion until the 1760s, however, one thing I have learned about collecting Richard Savage clocks is that he did not follow the normality. Every example I have owned have all been very unusual in some way and Savage clearly did his own thing. The heavy duty iron hoop and spurs are also very unusual but they are held in place with their original (painted) and untouched fancily shaped iron screws that are typically Savage. I am now looking foward to the next unusual example by this fascinating early Shropshire maker that will hopefully be coming my way! 

Acknowledgements

Much of the above information on hook-and spike wall clocks has been taken from the excellent book entitled ' The Concise Guide to British Clocks' by Brian Loomes , who is the expert on such clocks! 

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