Gepubliceerd op: 13 September 2011

Rare clock rescued at the last minute

Zaltbommel – “I am incredibly happy that a seemingly simple, but rare clock has been saved from destruction in the nick of time. For this clock it really was five to twelve.”

Clockmaker/restorer Frank van Nuus from Den Bosch is delighted with the beautiful clock that he restored for the municipality of Zaltbommel. The craftsman spent a few months working on the movement, which now looks pristine again.

It all started with the town clerk of Bommel, Huug Derksen. Punctual as he is, he wanted a clock in his room. An official remembered the old clock that used to hang in the mayor’s room in the old town hall. it was still stored somewhere. Maybe this could be something?? The town clerk soon got the clock on his desk, in bubble wrap. Pretty battered, yes. Frank Van Nuus was asked if the clock could still be restored. He immediately saw that it was a rare item and discovered that the clock was made around 1850 by Alexander Kaiser, one of the few Dutch clockmakers who could make high-quality precision timepieces. Kaiser’s ‘timekeepers’ were known in the 19th century as the most accurate clocks on Dutch soil. These clocks were placed in many Dutch municipalities at the time, following a recommendation from the Minister of the Interior to local administrators. Despite the fact that the Bommelse clock is numbered 25th, only two are known in the Netherlands: in the Boerhaavemuseum in Leiden and the Clock Museum in Schoonhoven. Only the clock in Bommel is 100% authentic, thanks in part to former municipal messenger WIjnand van der Flier, who wound the clock weekly for years and carefully preserved a broken pointer. “It is more than a museum worthy piece”, says Frank Van Nuus. “It is so ingeniously made with mechanisms to absorb temperature changes and vibrations and with an invariable pendulum to accommodate expansion and contraction.” After years, the clock is back in its old place in the mayor’s room.

Brabant Dagblad 13 September 2011 – Tineke van der Zanden