A timely clock auction that waits for no one
Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 22nd June, 2018
As a 14-yer-old mechanic’s apprentice with a Collingwood-based garage, 83-year-old Australian great-grandfather Ken Hose always admired an American clock that hung on one of the walls.
Some years later, when the garage was scheduled for demolition, Ken rescued the clock and so began his lifelong passion for the mechanics and measurement of time.
Now he and his wife Judy have a $1 million clock collection that occupies a dedicated room in his Mitcham home in Melbourne and features a plethora of grandfather clocks, skeleton clocks, bracket clocks, music boxes and a large 19th century New South Wales railway clock.
The collection will be auctioned from 6.30pm Monday June 25 by Leonard Joel at 333 Malvern Road, South Yarra.
The centrepiece is a cast iron turret clock with a 2.5-metre face that in the early 1900s was the eye-catching attraction of the Bristol Cathedral tower.
Removed during a renovation, the clock was shipped by a dealer to Australia and Ken bought it in 1974 at a St Kilda auction.
After he retired in 1980, Ken made clock collecting his new career and with Judy travelled as far as Russia and London to buy and view clocks.
While Ken saw cars as disposable, fixing clocks became his new challenge because they could tick over for hundreds of years – with each owner and repairer contributing to the clock’s story.
He has fixed clocks from little mantel models to the Tasmanian Government House tower clock.
With a keen interest in the mechanical workings of clocks, and not just their aesthetics, Ken became a prominent and respected member of the international clock community.
An auction highlight is a rare George II musical organ clock made in England about 1735 by Charles Clay with a catalogue estimate of $40,000-$50,000.
An unusual timepiece is the 1875 French clock set into a replica of the American Civil War ship USS Monitor, complete with rotating gun turret, lifeboat and faux waves.
The collection also features rare timepieces from Australian clockmakers Fritz Ziegeler and Charles Falck, both of whom are featured in books Ken published on the subject.
These rare timepieces feature three clocks by Falck, including an Australian hanging clock and two golden eagle swinging wall clocks, and Ziegeler’s tower clock and gravity tower clock.
Other attractions include a late 19th century Huon pine framed wall clock