Meet Russell, a vintage dealer of clocks! Russell’s wonderful studio is a real cabinet of curiosities, filled from top to bottom with historical clocks. He invited two Vinterior team members to visit and they had a brilliant time exploring the collection and chatting to Russell about life as a clock collector!
How did you end up doing what you do?
I simply found myself doing this. It came from many years of selling antiques and collectibles as far back as the early 80s. I had a stand in Brick Lane when it was only antiques and collectibles. Later I had a stand at Greenwich Antique Market. From these beginnings, I started to specialise in clocks, lighting and mechanical oddities.
Do you have a favourite designer/artist and why?
Paul Nash. Nothing whatsoever to do with clocks but a brilliant lifetime’s work in several media. To my eyes, quintessentially English.
What would be your dream vintage/antique find?
A Paul Nash.
This is a lovely piece. Nash was quite an important English surrealist and this piece epitomises the surrealist ideals with a wonderful sense of the English countryside.
Best piece you’ve ever sourced?
A massive double-sided English factory clock from the 1950s. It is now in Australia.
Any interesting tales behind the pieces you collect?
Despite the obvious lies I’ve been told by many dealers, clock provenances are very difficult to provide. That said, I’ve sold a lot of items that were made and hung behind the iron curtain and many English clocks from railway stations.
What part of being a vintage clock dealer do you most enjoy?
Meeting customers. With my increased internet trading, I regret that this is becoming a rare privilege.
Can you describe your own home style in three words?
Practical, industrial, universal.
You have friends visiting. Where do you take them?
Proper pubs with good beer and without music.
Do you have a favourite vintage piece which you take wherever you go/had to keep for yourself?
I have a huge 1940s copper-cased wall clock made by International Time Recorders Ltd hanging in my kitchen.
What is the best thing about living/working in London?
There are people from all over the globe.
If your home was ablaze, what would you run back to save?
A massive collection I have of historical photos of my family that hangs along my hallway. I’d grab as many as possible.
And finally, what are you looking forward to in 2019?
Watching my daughter flourish.
Enjoy browsing through all of Russell’s vintage clocks here.