Saturday, August 4, 2012

How it got started

My interest in French art Deco period clocks began with a small, tarnished brass DEP clock bought in a flea market. I cleaned the case to a shiny brilliance and then plunked the dirty movement in a special clock cleaning fluid and left it there overnight. 80 years of old oil, dirt,  nicotine and coal dust oozed to the bottom of the dish. I wound it up and lo and behold, it began ticking. I was hooked.
During the past nine years, I've done a lot of research on DEP clocks as well as on the majority of French clock manufacturers. As my personal collection grew, I met dozens of equally passionate clock collectors, attended clock fairs, dug up old papers, catalogues and histories, visited clock museums and had the priviledge of meeting the late Georges Lacroix who owned the greatest DEP clock collection in existence. A true renaissance man, Georges not only generously shared his collection but also introduced me to the descendants of the original DEPery family. Interestingly, Georges' father and grandfather were also clockmakers and worked in the DEP manufacturing plants.
What has always intrigued me about clocks is how such functionally mundane object could be interpreted so many different ways - especially the dials and numbering.
There are thousands of clock collectors in the world, each of them with their own special interest and clock fairs bring out the best of them and there is no doubt that we all roam the aisles and happily discuss our collections, always in the hope of finding that one clock that we don't have yet.
So happy hunting to each and every one of you.

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