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A Clock, A Family and An Antiques Shop

uniting an historic piece to a family - Nostalgianique
Marble and Slate Ansonia Clock

A Clock

It began pretty much 11 months ago...found an antique Ansonia Marble and Slate clock with a plaque that read "Presented to JE Doody ESQ on the occasion of his severing his employment with Stuttafords Johannesburg (Ltd)" and dated the 31st January 1916. They were really precise of the language used back then...LOL!

I Sent the 107 year old Clock in for a major service (YES Clocks need that too) and inspection, found an original Ansonia key to wind it up and low and behold it ticked away at my home ever since...It just needed the service. Save for the occasions when I forgot to wind it up on the 6th or 7th day it ran and chimed its warm, rich and comforting chimes perfectly on the hour every hour.

Last weekend I had a customer walk in to the boutique enquiring of the clock that he saw in our online store...I promised I would bring it in for him to inspect as it was too delicate and heavy to move and wanted to limit the number of times it would need to move. So the 20 kilogram Marble clock was carefully and gently packed into my car the next morning and delivered to the boutique. Customer who requested the clock was informed it was ready for inspection. He was unable to come to the boutique immediately.

So not wanting to move it again...I picked a prime spot in the store for this beauty. We waited for the client who requested the clock be brought to the boutique but sadly, he never arrived. EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON as they say...well well ....did something special and amazing happen?! YES and just three days later...

Presentation Plaque

A Family

On a warm Wednesday morning a couple came in to "just browse" and viewed most of our Luxury vintage displays. As we always do we allow for shoppers to browse, share a memory and share mostly interesting stories of Nostalgia...our little boutique has that impact on everyone. Yes we Love when they choose something authentic and unique to purchase too. As they were browsing the words "Hey that's my grandads name J.E Doody" broke through the classic music playing in the background which immediately peaked my interest. "Excuse me sir" I enquired..."You have my grandfathers clock in your store" he said again. I was intrigued and proceeded to have a long discussion about how I had acquired it and how it was that it came into the boutique...and most importantly how this clock was part of his childhood. Derrick Doody (Grandson of John Edward Doody - J.E. Doody ESQ) and I were absolutely astonished, excited and almost bewildered at this. WhereNostalgiaLives! really does come to life in our boutique.

Returned to Family

As it turns out in fact this clock was presented to his Grandfather in 1916 whose occupation listed on his marriage certificate as "Furnisher" and he did work for Stuttafords Johannesburg for a period having left their employ to start his own import/export business. He arrived to South Africa from Ireland between 1890 and 1895 along with his two brothers and married in 1903. Sadly, he later passed away while serving in the Second World War...the clock itself was left to his daughter who kept it until her passing in 2021. The Clock was then put into her estate and I Nicholas bought it in September 2022 from a reputable auction house.

Derrick Doody with the Ansonia Clock - 1916

I Brought into the store upon request and was found by Derrick who had not been to Lifestyle Garden Centre for over six years and ironically only came to have breakfast with his wife. As I understand coming to Lifestyle was by pure and coincidental chance...but something was calling. Truly a series of unique, rare and an ironic events that lead to me meeting this wonderful couple and returning to Derrick and his family a clock he vaguely remembers from his childhood. We agreed that he could take the clock back "home" and all I wanted was the costs associated to the purchase and servicing. I felt it was the right thing to do, given the Families connection to the piece. We deliver promises and create memories and I believe in this case...we have re-united an heirloom with its family and enriched our business much more.

An Antiques Store

Ultimately we are a #smallbusiness with very very big ambitions to continue on a journey of creating unique, wonderful experiences and memorable moments, by bringing the finest quality #antiques to market - for this to have happened it made us realise how we enhance the human stories and create #nostalgia which is so important to all of us, after all part of the simplest learning experiences such as reading and writing is also part of Nostalgia . We appreciate Derrick and Gloria for enhancing and enriching our story and have vowed to remain friends and in contact with them for a very long time.

"Psychologists have defined nostalgia as a self-conscious, social emotion, bittersweet but predominantly positive. It develops out of happy memories mixed with a yearning for the past and the close relationships we had back then. Often, nostalgia involves sensory stimuli"

As always we look forward to every interaction irrespective of the outcome and will strive to create the best memories and feelings of Nostalgia for all people who shop with us. The probability of this ever happening again would be very slim - as was this meeting but we honestly believed when we started NostalgiaNique, that out there would be opportunities to reunite families and their pieces of history. We are proud of this story and how we gave Derrick and his family this iconic and beautiful clock back for years of more memories and enjoyment and we will be part of that story too.

Best wishes and thank you for reading


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