Antiques News & Fairs
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ANF Blog

In conversation with ... Paul Nunn of Olde Time Clocks

Continuing our series of In Conversation with ... we talk to Paul Nunn who with his partner Tracy Wright, own Olde Time Clocks based in rural Norfolk.  Paul and Tracy are well known figures on the national fairs circuit and share a passion not just for antique clocks of the very best quality, but also for horses.

Meet Paul and Tracy in person at the following fairs in March:  The Wilton House Antiques Fair and The Open Art Fair and Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair in May.  They also exhibit at Cooper Events Harrogate & Chester Fairs and The Northern Antiques Fair


 

ANF:  as one of the leading UK dealers in period clocks from the 17th century to Art Deco, when did you start the business?

OTC: I have always been involved in collecting and restoring antique clocks whilst pursuing a career with horses, in time I found more and more people asking if they could buy select pieces so it seemed a natural progression which then resulted in the creation of Olde Time towards the end on 1998.

ANF:  How important to your success has been your membership of respected associations like BADA, LAPADA, AHS (Antiquarian Horological Society) and the B.H.I. (British Horological Institute)?

OTC:  We see membership of the leading antique and horological associations as being absolutely vital to the success of our business.  It is so important that our customers derive confidence from the knowledge that we are governed by a strict code of practise which places originality and authenticity as being of the utmost importance.  Our whole approach to the antique business is built upon trust so membership of the leading antique associations is absolutely essential for us.

ANF:  Your business is located in a very beautiful building where the clocks can be seen to their best advantage set in the exquisite East Anglian landscape which is a slightly remote part of the UK – is this an intentional decision on your part and how important are antiques fairs for your business? 

OTC:  Yes, it is true that we are very much ‘out in the sticks’ here in rural Norfolk where we love the location and from the outset we have tried to develop our farm buildings and our house to showcase our unique stock of antique clocks.  Everything we do here is centred around our antique clock business and we are very fortunate that customers beat a path to our door from all over the country and beyond!  We have open weekends with complimentary food and drinks and we encourage everyone to come and enjoy the day and browse through our extensive array of barometers, clocks, scientific Instruments and furniture.

Antique fairs are an integral part of our business, they provide an opportunity tobroaden our customer base by meeting customers old and new from different parts of the country.

ANF: You will be exhibiting at the new Open Art Fair 18-24 March and you were regular exhibitors at the original BADA Art & Antiques Fair at the same location on the King’s Road, Chelsea before the event was sold to Thomas Woodham Smith and Harry van der Hoorn, founders of Masterpiece.  As BADA members how do you feel the membership have responded to this new style of fair organised by (a very successful) third party organiser, celebrating antiques and art with design? 

OTC:  The BADA Fair has always been a very successful fair for us. It is a beautiful fair, superbly organised with the leading dealers in the country showcasing the very best that the antiques industry has to offer and I think that after the initial surprise most dealers are keen to embrace and support the new look ‘Open Art Fair’ and are excited by the opportunities that it will undoubtedly provide.

ANF:  How important is your website and social media in your business?  Do you consider social media a vital part of your brand?

OTC:  We believe that the website is becoming increasingly important as a link between Olde Time and our customers and as a special way of showcasing our horological treasures. We spend a great deal of time in an attempt to make the website as interesting and exciting as possible and we get a lot of satisfaction from people telling us how much they enjoy spending time on the Olde Time website.  Being very old fashioned I’m afraid that social media does not play a significant part in promoting our business.

ANF:  With more and more dealers closing their high street shops to trade by appointment and online, would you agree that fairs have become an essential component of the trade where buyers can actually meet the dealers and see the stock in real time?

OTC:  Definitely, from our point of view, good antique fairs provide us with the perfect opportunity to interact with potential customers.  Here we can describe and explain the intricacies of our clocks face to face which is so important. We always much prefer to meet our customers whenever possible.

ANF:  Which other fairs do you regularly attend and how do you select stock for different events – do you analyse the audience at each fair? 

OTC:  Wilton House Antiques Fair, Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair, The Northern Antiques Fair, Harrogate Antiques & Fine Art Fair, Chester Antiques Fair.   We are not terribly scientific in analysing our stock for each fair but we do get a ‘feel’ for what type of piece is more popular than another in a certain area.  We try very hard to keep the stand looking exciting with some unusual pieces (a couple of which are going to be making their first appearances at the Open Art Fair in March).

ANF:  What is your policy when looking for new stock?  With so many styles of clocks in your wide inventory including Longcase clocks, bracket clocks, carriage clocks, wall clocks, French clocks, Art Deco & Atmos clocks, skeleton clocks, mantel clocks, Vienna Wall Clocks, chronometers, barometers and barographs how do you select for your client base or do you buy on rarity and quality only?

OTC:  We always try to buy pieces which are of the highest quality with the emphasis firmly on originality. Unfortunately over the years many antique clocks have suffered at the hands of over zealous repairers especially where the movements are concerned so we spend a great deal of our time making sure that everything is correct before we decide to buy a particular clock.  Just like most other antique dealers we are always searching for that rare and unusual special piece!

ANF: We heard on the grapevine that you have another great interest in your lives – racehorses and that you have a bespoke accommodation at fairs courtesy of this other big part of your lives?  Tell us how you manage to keep on top of both clocks and racehorses!

OTC: My Partner Tracy and I are fortunate in that we share a passion for both show jumping horses and antique clocks. We have wonderful facilities here for the horses so each day is spent juggling time between clocks and horses but our antique showrooms are right next door to the horses so it’s just a matter of working a little longer each day! It can be difficult to balance both but we seem to manage mainly by starting early every morning -   horses are very demanding but we wouldn’t have it any other way!

 

 


French Bronze Elephant Clock from a selection on the website of Olde Time Clocks.
A beautifully cast bronze Elephant clock

with raised trunk (a sign of good luck)standing on an ormolu Roccoco base supporting the cylindrical clock movement

 



Antiques News Blog

In conversation with ... Paul Nunn of Olde Time Clocks

Continuing our series of In Conversation with ... we talk to Paul Nunn who with his partner Tracy Wright, own Olde Time Clocks based in rural Norfolk.  Paul and Tracy are well known figures on the national fairs circuit and share a passion not just for antique clocks of the very best quality, but also for horses.

Meet Paul and Tracy in person at the following fairs in March:  The Wilton House Antiques Fair and The Open Art Fair and Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair in May.  They also exhibit at Cooper Events Harrogate & Chester Fairs and The Northern Antiques Fair


 

ANF:  as one of the leading UK dealers in period clocks from the 17th century to Art Deco, when did you start the business?

OTC: I have always been involved in collecting and restoring antique clocks whilst pursuing a career with horses, in time I found more and more people asking if they could buy select pieces so it seemed a natural progression which then resulted in the creation of Olde Time towards the end on 1998.

ANF:  How important to your success has been your membership of respected associations like BADA, LAPADA, AHS (Antiquarian Horological Society) and the B.H.I. (British Horological Institute)?

OTC:  We see membership of the leading antique and horological associations as being absolutely vital to the success of our business.  It is so important that our customers derive confidence from the knowledge that we are governed by a strict code of practise which places originality and authenticity as being of the utmost importance.  Our whole approach to the antique business is built upon trust so membership of the leading antique associations is absolutely essential for us.

ANF:  Your business is located in a very beautiful building where the clocks can be seen to their best advantage set in the exquisite East Anglian landscape which is a slightly remote part of the UK – is this an intentional decision on your part and how important are antiques fairs for your business? 

OTC:  Yes, it is true that we are very much ‘out in the sticks’ here in rural Norfolk where we love the location and from the outset we have tried to develop our farm buildings and our house to showcase our unique stock of antique clocks.  Everything we do here is centred around our antique clock business and we are very fortunate that customers beat a path to our door from all over the country and beyond!  We have open weekends with complimentary food and drinks and we encourage everyone to come and enjoy the day and browse through our extensive array of barometers, clocks, scientific Instruments and furniture.

Antique fairs are an integral part of our business, they provide an opportunity tobroaden our customer base by meeting customers old and new from different parts of the country.

ANF: You will be exhibiting at the new Open Art Fair 18-24 March and you were regular exhibitors at the original BADA Art & Antiques Fair at the same location on the King’s Road, Chelsea before the event was sold to Thomas Woodham Smith and Harry van der Hoorn, founders of Masterpiece.  As BADA members how do you feel the membership have responded to this new style of fair organised by (a very successful) third party organiser, celebrating antiques and art with design? 

OTC:  The BADA Fair has always been a very successful fair for us. It is a beautiful fair, superbly organised with the leading dealers in the country showcasing the very best that the antiques industry has to offer and I think that after the initial surprise most dealers are keen to embrace and support the new look ‘Open Art Fair’ and are excited by the opportunities that it will undoubtedly provide.

ANF:  How important is your website and social media in your business?  Do you consider social media a vital part of your brand?

OTC:  We believe that the website is becoming increasingly important as a link between Olde Time and our customers and as a special way of showcasing our horological treasures. We spend a great deal of time in an attempt to make the website as interesting and exciting as possible and we get a lot of satisfaction from people telling us how much they enjoy spending time on the Olde Time website.  Being very old fashioned I’m afraid that social media does not play a significant part in promoting our business.

ANF:  With more and more dealers closing their high street shops to trade by appointment and online, would you agree that fairs have become an essential component of the trade where buyers can actually meet the dealers and see the stock in real time?

OTC:  Definitely, from our point of view, good antique fairs provide us with the perfect opportunity to interact with potential customers.  Here we can describe and explain the intricacies of our clocks face to face which is so important. We always much prefer to meet our customers whenever possible.

ANF:  Which other fairs do you regularly attend and how do you select stock for different events – do you analyse the audience at each fair? 

OTC:  Wilton House Antiques Fair, Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair, The Northern Antiques Fair, Harrogate Antiques & Fine Art Fair, Chester Antiques Fair.   We are not terribly scientific in analysing our stock for each fair but we do get a ‘feel’ for what type of piece is more popular than another in a certain area.  We try very hard to keep the stand looking exciting with some unusual pieces (a couple of which are going to be making their first appearances at the Open Art Fair in March).

ANF:  What is your policy when looking for new stock?  With so many styles of clocks in your wide inventory including Longcase clocks, bracket clocks, carriage clocks, wall clocks, French clocks, Art Deco & Atmos clocks, skeleton clocks, mantel clocks, Vienna Wall Clocks, chronometers, barometers and barographs how do you select for your client base or do you buy on rarity and quality only?

OTC:  We always try to buy pieces which are of the highest quality with the emphasis firmly on originality. Unfortunately over the years many antique clocks have suffered at the hands of over zealous repairers especially where the movements are concerned so we spend a great deal of our time making sure that everything is correct before we decide to buy a particular clock.  Just like most other antique dealers we are always searching for that rare and unusual special piece!

ANF: We heard on the grapevine that you have another great interest in your lives – racehorses and that you have a bespoke accommodation at fairs courtesy of this other big part of your lives?  Tell us how you manage to keep on top of both clocks and racehorses!

OTC: My Partner Tracy and I are fortunate in that we share a passion for both show jumping horses and antique clocks. We have wonderful facilities here for the horses so each day is spent juggling time between clocks and horses but our antique showrooms are right next door to the horses so it’s just a matter of working a little longer each day! It can be difficult to balance both but we seem to manage mainly by starting early every morning -   horses are very demanding but we wouldn’t have it any other way!

 

 


French Bronze Elephant Clock from a selection on the website of Olde Time Clocks.
A beautifully cast bronze Elephant clock

with raised trunk (a sign of good luck)standing on an ormolu Roccoco base supporting the cylindrical clock movement