Time has moved on for 'Leeds Clock'

BY KATIE BALDWIN

IT stood in the window of a landmark Leeds shop for more than 80 years and now this piece of history is about to get a new home.

The so-called Leeds Clock, an Edwardian long case clock, was displayed in the window of John Dyson and Sons in Lower Briggate until the store closed in 1990.

It was bought from the estate of Grace Dyson, the great granddaughter of John Dyson and the last family member involved in the business. Now it is on sale at Tomlinsons antiques warehouse near Wetherby.

Sarah Worrall, sales director at Tomlinsons, said: “It is very special to local people and many will remember it from their childhood.”

Anyone wanting to buy the clock will have to splash out at least 7,500, plus VAT.

Dysons was established by John Dyson in 1865 and he installed a large clock on the outside of the building, which remains a Leeds landmark. In 1910 he added the smaller clock to celebrate his wife Lucy Ann’s birthday and the Leeds Clock stood in the shop’s main window.

It is thought to have been built between 1900 and 1910, has a tubular striking mechanism and features the brass owl of the city of Leeds above an arched hood.

It was acquired by Tomlinsons last year from Grace Dyson’s estate. Several other items from her estate, including a 19th century marine chronometer and a silver-framed manuscript presented to John Dyson from the National Association of Goldsmiths in 1901, were auctioned by Bonhams last year.

Generations of Leeds residents used the Dysons clocks to set their watches – the Time Ball on the front of the building was connected to Greenwich.

Dysons was one of the first shops in Leeds to be lit by electricity as its two chandeliers used electric light bulbs, powered by gas engines in the cellar. The chandeliers were bought at the 1890 Paris Exhibition with money that Mrs Dyson had won on the gaming tables at Monte Carlo.

Today the shop has been restored and now houses colonial-themed restaurant Georgetown.

For more information about the Leeds Clock, contact Tomlinsons on 01423 358833 or log on to www.antique-furniture.co.uk.

katie.baldwin@ypn.co.uk