I spotted this clock in an antique shop in Sables D’Olonne (Vendee region of France) last week. It caught my eye despite being in such a dark corner.  My French is limited but my sister-in-law, Siobhan, helped me bargain for it. We haggled and within minutes it was in a cardboard box. It was a testing walk on the sunny promenade back to the bus – even more testing carrying a clock. Pacing myself and taking the occasional break it made its way safely back to base.

Now back home it sits proudly on the fireplace. Research indicates that it was made around 1870 by clockmaker Japy Freres. The name Philippe is on the dial and this was the retailer that sold it. After a little elbow grease today it’s beauty shines through.

It’s remarkable how some beautiful treasures hide in dark places. It’s even more remarkable that after all these years this clock is ticking away and keeping perfect time.