John Birkett - Maker and Restorer of Clock Cases

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About Me

Hood with Caddy Top

In 1984, I attended the Manchester College of Building for one year and attained distinctions in cabinet making, French polishing, wood machining and antique restoration. I then worked as a cabinet maker for a short time. Then, in 1986, I spent one year at West Dean College in Sussex and gained a British Antique Dealers’ Association Diploma. This is how I came into contact with high quality furniture and, of course, clocks.

My workshop is near Petersfield in Hampshire where I have been carrying out my work for
over twenty-one years and accumulated extensive knowledge of both antique furniture and clock case construction as well as the ability and experience of restoring and surface finishing to match the surrounding areas of the items I am working on.

The cases are made for original movements and constructed in the traditional manner using animal glue, and nailed together or using joints where required. All the veneers are hand laid and all the mouldings, frets and columns are also made by hand to give an authentic feel to the case. The ageing and finishing work is very important and is done in keeping with the style of the case and quality of the movement.


Hood with barley twist and fret

In 1994, by which time I had acquired the know-how of making most parts for clocks, I was commissioned to make a longcase clock case for a movement dated about 1720 of walnut veneer on an oak carcase.

Since then, I have made numerous longcase and bracket clock cases and my speciality and particular interest have become the making of late 17th and early 18th Century clock cases, mainly in figured or oyster walnut veneer on oak carcases but also ebonised pearwood veneer on oak carcases (or ebonised on pine cases, depending on the quality of the movement).

My clock cases are made in good faith and in no way is deception intended. In fact, I tend to describe them as “in the style of” the period they are based upon.

Occassionally the clock cases can be seen at the clock fairs, either at the “Uxbridge Clock and Watch Fair” in Middlesex or at the “Midlands Clock and Watch Fair” held at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull.

So please contact me to find out whether I am going to be at one of the fairs or for any enquiry concerning the making or restoring of clock cases.