Historic clocks displayed on Isle of Man for first time

  • Published
Design of watch face and engraving of King James I of EnglandImage source, Dr John C Taylor
Image caption,
A watch made for King James I in 1618 by Royal Clockmaker David Ramsay is on display

An "incredible collection" of "some of history's most significant timepieces" has gone on display on the Isle of Man for the first time.

The Luxury of Time exhibition features 30 clocks dating from 1500 to 1800, including an intricately decorated watch made for King James I of England.

Manx National Heritage (MNH) said the display was "a wonderful opportunity" to exhibit "some really rare pieces".

The items will be on show at the Manx Museum in Douglas until 10 May.

The timepieces are part of a private collection owned by inventor and island resident Dr John Taylor OBE.

Image source, Dr John C Taylor
Image caption,
The exhibition features pieces made by British clockmakers Thomas Tompion and John Harrison

The exhibition also includes a precision longcase clock made by John Harrison which helped to solve the problem of determining longitude at sea.

There are also several pieces by Thomas Tompion, a prominent horologist in the late 1600s who is widely regarded as the "father of British clockmaking".

Kirsty Neate, of MNH, said the display "takes you through the mechanising of time, when that happened, the construction of time, and the making of time".

"It gives you a sense of 300 years of development of the mechanisation of time and why measuring time became more and more important," she added.

Image caption,
The timepieces are part Dr John Taylor's private collection

Dr Taylor, whose interest in horology stems from childhood memories of watching his father repair grandfather clocks, said he hoped displaying the objects would help to show "young people in particular" the "magic" of the craftsmanship of clockmakers.

"They're not just boring old clocks, they are fascinating, wonderful pieces of engineering," he added.

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