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Museum Adds to its Great Exhibition of Historic Clocks

Pace Pyramidal Skeleton Clock Goes on Display

Pace Pyramidal Skeleton Clock Moyses Hall Museum 965x540

Cllr Ian Shipp and Pace Pyramidal Skeleton Clock

A very rare clock, believed to be one of just eight in existence, is back on display in the town where it was invented, replacing one stolen by burglars over 30 years ago.

John Pace was working out of Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmunds, from 1823 to 1855, when he created his Pyramidal Skeleton Clocks.

Marvelled at for their scientific and artistic design, the clocks were demonstrated at the Great Exhibition in 1851. It is said that among those on display at the Great Exhibition in Crystal Palace, was a Pyramidal Skeleton Clock capable of running for three years on a single wind.

Now Moyse’s Hall Museum, run by West Suffolk Council, has secured a John Pace Pyramidal Skeleton Clock to include as part of the Gershom Parkington collection it has on display.

The purchase has been made possible using £3000 from the Gershom Parkington bequest and the assistance of its previous owner, Mr W. Barnard facilitating its re-homing within West Suffolk’s collections.

In 1952, Frederick Gershom Parkington left his very rare collection of clocks to the town in memory of his son who had died during World War Two. Alongside this was funds left for their upkeep and purchases of clocks to add to the collection.

The following year 1953 saw a museum open on Angel Hill where the pieces were displayed. But that museum was targeted three times by burglars - the last of which saw a Pace Pyramidal Skeleton Clock stolen from the collection in 1991.

Over the years the council has tried unsuccessfully to acquire a replacement clock, such is the rarity and high demand when they become available at auction.

Now Moyse’s Hall Museum which displays the Gershom Parkington collection, has managed to acquire another Pace Pyramidal Skeleton Clock, similar to the one stolen decades earlier.

Cllr Ian Shipp, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture at West Suffolk Council said: “We are delighted to have secured this fascinating and extremely rare timepiece made in Bury St Edmunds and now proudly on display in the town.

“The design of these clocks was of great national interest more than 170 years ago, and it had been a great loss to the collection when our only Pace Pyramidal Skeleton Clock was stolen over 30 years ago.

“Now after all these years and previous attempts to buy others, we have finally been able to reintroduce one of these magnificent clocks back into the Gershom Parkington Collection, which we are proud to display at Moyse’s Hall Museum.”

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