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The Antique Clocks of an Australian Castle

By Kames Narayanan

 
Nydia and Kenneth Lehmann’s Antique Clocks

Antique French bronze clock, “St George saves Princess Sabra from the dragon”, by E Vittoz Paris (1820) in the King's Chambers.

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Nydia and Kenneth Lehmann’s Antique Clocks

French ormolu rococo style gilt bronze clock (1840), by Vincenti & Cie in the Castle Chambers.

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Nydia and Kenneth Lehmann’s Antique Clocks

Antique clock in the Private Dining Room.

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Nydia and Kenneth Lehmann’s Antique Clocks

Antique bronze and gilded clock in the Observatory.

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Nydia and Kenneth Lehmann’s Antique Clocks

Gilt bronze English cartel rococo striking wall clock (1860) in the Castle Chambers.

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Hidden within the vastly untouched terrains of Stirling, South Australia is Thorngrove Manor. Fashioned after a European castle and with interiors to match, the manor is a step back in time. Its owners, Kenneth, 70, and Nydia Lehmann, 66, spent years scouring the globe for vintage finds to build an authentic environment into which guests can immerse themselves. Each guestroom (or “chamberes”) is outfitted with at least one special clock, at times, up to three.

“We only acquire antique pieces with a story to tell so provenance is extremely important along with artisan’s signature and verified documentation. As we are both creative people, and admire and follow the principles of the Arts & Crafts movement, the vision, heart and soul of the creator and their extraordinary skills capture our hearts,” says Nydia. “We also realise that the artisans who created these extraordinary pieces, die early as a result of their work. There is an enormous awareness of the fate of the creators. We feel privileged to be custodians of these items and provide them with a certain future, that the makers could not have even dreamed about.”

Above, a small selection of pieces from their extensive collection.

Illustrations by Felicia Yap