How to find the right clock maker to repair your antique clock?

Repairing a clock is delicate work that requires deep understanding of the various components of a clock. Because there are many different clocks and mechanisms, this trade is not suitable for just anyone. It takes someone with a great appreciation of clocks, patience and precision. A clock has to be repaired in a way that it was originally constructed. If it is repaired the wrong way it can actually causes problems for the clock and devalue your clock.

If you have a clock that needs repairing, make sure you choose the right person to do the job for you. The first thing to look at is the qualification of the clockmaker. Secondly experience comes into play as with many expert trades. Last but not least, most clockmakers in Australia will be a member of the Clock & Watchmakers Australia.

With nearly 30 years of experience Jot of Dutch Antiques is a well-known clockmaker in Perth and surroundings in the Antique Clock market.

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Is my antique clock broken?

Do notice that antique clocks are not as precise as modern clocks. It’s quite common for antique clocks to deviate a few minutes every week. This is one of the characteristics of antique clocks, your clock is not broken. If you are still in doubt, contact us.

The three oldest significant clock inventions

The history of the clock can go back many thousand of years. The origin of the first clock is debatable as the sun was used to create timekeeping devices.

A major breakthrough however was the first mechanical tower clock, which was made in Italy in 1275.

It took over nearly 4 more centuries before the second significant invention took place. In 1656 Christiaan Huygens invented the pendulum which changed the clocks as we know them today. He didn’t just invent the pendulum, but he was also the first to derive the formula for the period of the pendulum. His researched was combined and published in 1673 in his work “Horologium Oscillatorium sive de motu pendulorum”.

The third invention followed Huygens’ discovery quite quickly. Only 15 years later Robert Hooke or William Clement came up with the anchor escapement. The design of the escapement looks simple, but the detail is in the simplicity. This invention works well together with the pendulum as it maintains the swing of the pendulum giving it a push each swing. The wheels of the escapement also help the clock’s hand to move forward.

An overview of antique clocks can be found in our online shop or in our store located in Perth, Western Australia.

Clock of the Month – October – Winterhalter & Hoffmeier

A piece of history with a story. This Winterhalter & Hoffmeier mantle clock (ca 1880) is loved by collectors. The origin of the company goes back all the way to 1810 when Thomas Winterhalter founded his firm. He moved in with the family Friedenweiler a few years later. But it wasn’t until the 1850’s when the company was called Winterhalder & Hoffmeier when Johannas Hoffmeier got involved. Since then the company has had several minor name changes until it eventually had to close its doors due to problems related to the First World War.

This beautiful clock has an oak case and 8 day movement. This clock is of a high quality standard as it is made in the Black Forest. The oak case is beautifully combined with the silver engraved dial.

Visit the product page here:

Different type of clock hands

A detail of clocks that is not very often discussed are clock hands. Interestingly enough however, as the clock hands is the most crucial visual part of the clock. Even without a clock face you could still get an idea of what time it is by looking at the clock hands.

Throughout the years clock designers have been very creative in the different clock hands designs they came up with.

When we look at vintage clocks such as the industrial slave clocks, we see a very simple straightforward design that matches the overall look of the clock.

In some cases the clock hands are solid and there are no openings, such as these examples of a Brillie wall clock, an Art Deco mantel clock and a French carriage clock:

Hand clocks that do not have a solid design are often open at the tip of the hand where the hand widens.

Although sometimes the entire hand has a comprehensive design, such as this Swedish Cartel Clock

In some cases the small and large clock hand have different designs, there is truly no limit to the designs possible. The only convention that has been introduced is that the small hand depicts the hours and the large hand tells you the minutes.

How’s the weather today?

By Sarah McNeill

The model alpine chalet with a man or woman coming out of the front door, depending on the weather, has been a popular souvenir for many decades.

View our collection of weather houses here.

But in the 18th and 19th centuries, weather houses were serious forecasting instruments, particularly around the Alps, where a significant change in humidity indicated the possibility of avalanches. Dutch Antiques, in Chelsea Village, Nedlands, has acquired a collection of 50 weather houses dating back to the 1860s. Dutch clockmaker Jot Rijks sells and repairs antique clocks, barometers and scientific instruments.

He said the rare collection included some museum-quality pieces. “Weather houses show changes in humidity”, he said. “When the air is moist, a man comes out of the house; when the air is dry, a woman does. The two figures are hung by catgut which is sensitive to humidity. It stretches when moist and shrinks when dry.”

He said that in alpine homes, weather houses were hung under the eaves and warned home-owners when a sudden dry wind was coming. Such a wind was often warm, which could cause melting snow to trigger an avalanche. Some early designs used the window shutters of the houses as indicators. One 1860s design had a single man who turned his back when the air was dry. By the 1950s, the classic, cute Swiss chalet became popular and regions such as the Black Forest specialised in making them for tourists as souvenirs.

Jot said he hoped someone would buy the entire collection, given to him by a Perth Dutch family, but he would consider selling individual homes.

Reflex hammer

Hammers are multifunctional devices. Originally these hammers were used for percussion instruments, but in the 1870’s Wilhelm Erb saw the possibilities of using these hammers to test the knee reflex. Every since, hammers have been a tool to test reflexes.

At Dutch Antiques we sometimes have these very special products available.

Are you interested in a reflex hammer? View this beautiful item at

Besides reflex hammers we also have a beautiful surgical hammer in stock

The History of Antique Microscopes

Like a lot of discoveries, the origin of the microscope is not entirely clear whom it should be attributed to.  There are three people who have been said to be the inventor of the first microscope.

On one hand there is Hans Lippershey, on the other hand it was the family Janssen. Lippershey is most well-known because he was the first to file a patent for the microscope. On the other hand the family Jansen have a background in making spectacles, which makes them logical inventors of the microscope.

Looking for an antique microscope for sale? Visit our webstore to see a wide variety of choices. Our assortment regularly changes, so bookmark our page and keep visiting our page. If you are after a specific model or type antique microscope, contact us and we may be able to help you.

Whoever was the original inventor of the microscope, it changed a lot for mankind. Up to the discovery of the microscope, people couldn’t see things smaller than a grain of salt or sand. But with the discovery of the microscope, a whole new world opened up. Suddenly it was discovered that there are living organisms in our water and even on our skin! The impact on health care has been significant as micro-organisms could finally be seen and identified.

The Evolution of the Microscope

Although it is said that the first microscope was invented in the 1590s, scientists from various countries had in the earlier years found ways to magnify images. The magnification process may have been different and the quality of the images not as clear, but the work of these scientists served as a foundation that led to the evolution of microscopes.

The single-lens

The invention of spectacles is linked to two Italians, Salvano d’Aramento Degli Amati and Alessandro Della Spina. Alessandro was open about his invention and the process, while Salvano kept his invention a secret. Salvano died in 1284, about 33 years before Alessandro’s death. Unfortunately, the reasons behind the absence of documentation of Salvano’s work remains unknown.

The water microscope

Although the information on this microscope is scanty, it is linked to ancient Chinese scientists. They used a tube with a lens on one end. In a bid to produce images with varying clarity, the water poured into the tube were of different levels. This microscope was invented about 4000 years ago. However, the clarity of the object viewed through the lens was quite impressive, considering the standards then.

The Compound Microscope

The compound microscope has a rich history with several scientists linked to its invention and advancements in the later years. Although the Jansen’s invented it, other scientists in the following years made improvements on the magnification.

The first compound microscope used two lenses. One lens (objective lens) was close to the object. Its purpose was to produce the image. The second lens, which was referred to as the eyepiece, magnified the image picked up by the objective lens.

In 1595, the Janssen’s further improved the compound microscope by adding a third lens and using three sliding tubes. Each of these tubes was linked to lenses with different magnifying abilities. This microscope is presently in the Middleburg Museum. This microscope magnified images up to nine times the original size of the object.

When he was a youth, Robert Hooke was fascinated with objects and the mechanical make-up of the microscope. He observed several organisms, including lice, plants, and fleas. He was also curious about snowflakes. Although the magnifying power of the compound microscope was impressive, the images were blurry. Galileo Galilei and Robert Hooke improved on the work started by the Jansen’s in 1609 and 1665 respectively.

In the 1670s, the microscope had a single lens that could magnify up to 270 times the size of the object. This leap in the magnification power is credited to Antoine van Leeuwenhoek, a Dutch scientist. His effort is largely responsible for the identification of the bacteria that caused tuberculosis. This was a breakthrough for many physicians who were trying to understand the causes of some of the ailments. Leeuwenhoek studied the red blood cells, yeast, protozoa, bacteria, as well as human and dog sperm.

Electron Microscopes

Although the compound microscope was highly effective, some scientists wondered how they could make improvements on the already highly functional lens. In 1933, Ernst Ruska and his advisor Dr Max Knoll, an electrical engineer, invented the electron microscope. Ernst studied electronics in college, and this background helped him design a lens from the magnetic field with the use of electric current. No microscope, at the time, exceeded the magnifying limits introduced in the electron microscope.

An Australian Masterpiece

When you think of Dutch Antiques you may think we only have and repair clocks. But we actually have more than just clocks. Take this Australian masterpiece, which was created in the 19th century. This Australian carved emu egg has many very typical Australian characteristics such as the Emu, Kangaroo and image on the Emu egg. The base is a black jappened and has a silver plated stand in the shape of a palm tree that holds the Emu egg. Interested? View the product in our webshop or contact us.

When were Antique Barometers invented and how do they work?

A barometer is a weather instrument that give you insights in atmospheric pressure. Scientists use water, air, or mercury to determine air pressure in a specific environment.  Meteorologists mainly use the mercury and aneroid barometers, but we start off with the water barometer.

The water barometer

Why start with the water barometer when mercury and aneroid barometers are mainly used? Because the water barometer is the first of its kind. There are conflicting reports on who invented the first barometer. Either Torricelli or Berti, There are indications that the Italian born Gasparo Berti, accidentally created a water barometer between 1640 and 1643. And although it didn’t work as expected, it was still a barometer..

Giovanni Battista Baliani sought out Galileo Galilei seeking his opinion for the failure. Galileo felt that the water was being held up by the vacuum. Since the siphon was at the top of the hill, the height of the water became unmanageable, and so it was impossible to determine the pressure of water.

Galileo suggested the use of something else, other than the siphon, to create a vacuum. In 1638, Gasparo Berti and Raffaele Magiotti tried to find alternative ways to create the required vacuum. Berti chose to use a long tube that was plugged on both ends. He then placed the tube in a basin of water. He then opened the bottom end. Some of the water in the tube flowed out, while some was left behind. The space left at the upper part of the tube was free of air and illustrated the possibility of a vacuum existing above water.

Torricelli disagreed with the argument that the air above the water had no weight. He believed the weight of the vacuum was pressing on the water that remained in the tube. Instead of water, he felt a denser liquid, mercury, would work better than water. This made it possible for him to use a shorter tube (80cm).

Some of the scientists that built on Torricelli’s theory and the mercury barometer include Blaise Pascal and Pierre Pettit. After carrying out several experiments, the duo discovered that Torricelli was right, the air had weight. He used the mercury barometer in places with various heights. In 1648, it was confirmed that the mercury level in the barometer was lower when used on higher ground.

We have a wide variety of antique barometers for sale in our shop, such as stick barometers, banjo barometers, pocket barometers, aneroid barometers and barograph barometers.

The mercury barometer

The traditional mercury barometer was invented by Evangelista Torricelli, an Italian physicist and mathematician, in 1643. It was referred to as the Torricellian barometer. Torricelli was a student of Galileo’s. His barometer was a simple one. He used a tall tube that was closed on one side. He filled it mercury, inverted it, and then placed it in a bowl.

When the air pressure was high, the mercury rose higher in the tube. Before turning over the tube, Torricelli put his finger on the tube to prevent air from entering the tube. This was the first time a vacuum was created in the laboratory.

Aneroid barometer

Although the mercury barometer was found to be reliable and accurate, some scientists were worried about the use of mercury since it is poisonous. The aneroid barometer was invented by Lucien Vidi, a French scientist in 1844. This barometer does not use a liquid as the earlier barometers. Instead, a small metal box made from an alloy of copper and beryllium is used. This barometer has a glass face. A needle inside the barometer keeps changing based on air pressure at the time of the reading.

We have various antique aneroid barometer for sale. Check our shop in Perth or visit our online store. We ship globally.

To find out the air pressure, all that was required was for one to tap on the glass face. When the needle moves clockwise, the pressure is high. If, on the other hand, the needle moves anti-clockwise, the pressure is falling. The next time the pressure is checked, the needle will be in the same position it was during the last reading. For a new reading, all one needs to do is tap the glass face.

English Long case clock

Around 170 W.Barlow Ashton designed a beautiful English long case clock. Besides presenting you with the time and date, this clock also shows you the moon phase. Beside various engravings there is also an image of four people standing in a landscape. It’s for sale and you can find it here: