Timepiece Antique Clocks brings horology to Dublin 8

Photo via Timepiece Antique Clocks

Photo: Timepiece Antique Clocks

Horology is a trade not often heard of nowadays. It is the study of mechanical timekeeping devices; clocks to you and me.

Upon realizing that Dublin lacked a dedicated antique clock store, Kevin and Carol Chellar founded Timepiece Antique Clocks in 1986 on Patrick Street.

Initially the shop concentrated on the technical restoration of timepieces. Later, the Chellars began to accumulate a stock of fine clocks and the business of buying and selling antique clocks was underway.

The shop specializes in ancient clocks and it stocks the highest quality French and European pieces, along with a selection of barometers and other scientific instruments. Kevin underwent formal training as a horologist at the Irish Swiss Institute of Horology in Dublin and qualified in 1981. He is also a member of the Irish Antique Dealers Association and CINOA, and Timepiece Antique Clocks participates in the annual antique fairs held by the Royal Dublin Society.

In a street surrounded by the historical cathedrals of St. Patricks and Christchurch, it is perhaps fitting that Timepiece Antique Clocks is located between these two timeless buildings. The shop is a source of great interest to tourists, particularly Americans with Irish connections. Coleman Curran, an assistant of two years, showed some of the ticking treasures in the store. He explained that up to the early 20th century Ireland had a worldwide reputation in clock making.

A grandfather clock sat in the corner and Curran explained it was a William Booth cabinet clock made in Dublin in 1790 and retails for €7,900 euro. Thinking that was expensive for a clock no matter how beautiful, Curran said they have stocked clocks valued at €40-50,000. An Irish bracket clock taking pride of place in the window retails at €6,900.

When enquiring if this was a shop only for the wealthy, Curran disagreed and said: “Our clientele is very varied”. He added: “Many local people from the Liberties area come to have a clock repaired which may have sentimental value and we endeavour to repair it and regard it as a labour of love”.

Curran also mentioned: “It is sometimes used by RTE News as a backdrop to the news, at the end of March, to remind people that the clock goes back an hour”. In this treasure trove time truly stands still.

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