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RNAS Trench Art Propeller Hub Clock
Another beautiful example of the trench art craft at its very best! Many of the prop hub/clock conversions that we have seen over the years can look a bit hit and miss, or spoiled by the inappropriate addition of a modern clock but this is the exception. The curve of the original propeller blade blends finely into the line of the hub, in which is set off by a very fine 8 day clock and the finished effect is close to sculptural.
Whilst yet again its maker and history are not known, below the clock dial is mounted in relief an RNAS eagle, so we assume that to be the origins of the donor prop although we do not have clues as to the type of aircraft it came from. Whilst a little indistinct below the eagle are the original propeller stamps, including an AID 357 inspectors stamp. The Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) was the air arm of the Royal Navy, under the direction of the Admiralty's Air Department, and existed formally from 1 July 1914 to 1 April 1918, when it was merged with the Army's Royal Flying Corps to form the Royal Air Force, the world's first independent air force. It seems almost certain therefore this was crafted sometimes during the 1914-18 War.
It remains in very sound condition with no rot or worm but it does have a minor crack in timber below the RNAS eagle, that could well be as a result of an accident and why the prop became unserviceable. It is made from laminated timber and is beautifully waxed and polished. This functional yet decorative bit of aviation art has been enjoyed in my own personal collection for the last 11 years. When it was purchased we had the clock movement serviced (our clock repairer was very complimentary about the quality of the movement and indicated it may be French) so after this period of time it may be worth having it serviced again but suffice to say it is working perfectly at the moment and keeping excellent time. It comes complete with period key and the winding and hand adjustments are carried out from the rear by removing the brass panel. The clock stands 11 1/2" tall and is 10 1/2" wide measured on the base (29 cm x27 cm).