Three genuine clock repair enthusiasts (see left, click to enlarge) came from Germany to Tsarskoe Selo for two weeks to fix nine Russian, British and French clocks from the historic collections of the Catherine and Alexander Palaces.
Messrs Bernhard Schmelzer, Günter Haut and Helmut Langner are among the thirty professionals of the clock restoration society at Schloss Raesfeld. The society members have been providing free repars of museum clocks and brought back to life over a hundred old clocks for museums in Russia.
The three repairers did a complete overhaul of the movements of three clocks from the Third Amtechamber and Arabrsque Hall of the Catehrine Palace and of six clocks from the Alexander Palace.
Günter Haut (see below left, click to enlarge), who also runs a small yet impressive museum of twenty nine tower clocks in Seehausen, revived for us a French nineteenth-century clock with a gilt bronze bust of Homer. Another artefact fixed by his magical hands was a clock by a famous London maker, for which Günter had to make the minute hand to the pattern of the surviving hour hand and fix some serious damages hindering the movement.
This year’s visit to St Petersburg is not the first time Bernhard Schmelzer (below right) from Duisburg, a sister city of Pushkin town (Tsarskoe Selo), helped not only with his craftsmanship but also as a volunteer at an orphanage in nearby Pavlovsk.