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  Reader's letter | October 2003 | Clocks Magazine

Napoleon hat

I have recently acquired a perfectly ordinary looking Napoleon hat clock with three chimes, all on a horizontal eight-rod set of gongs with a silent facility. The three chimes are marked: ‘Westminster’, ‘Whittington’, and ‘FAV’.

Try as I might I cannot identify the ‘FAV’, which uses six gongs at the hour. One suggestion I have received was at Haydock Park Clock Fair earlier this year when a gentleman said he thought that he had heard the chime before and that it was French. I am fond of music, including French regional and traditional tunes, but I have never heard this tune before.

One suggestion is that the tune was made ‘bespoke’ by the manufacturer for the purchaser as indicated by ‘FAV’ which it was suggested could be short for ‘favourite’. I think this is unlikely, to say the least—one would not expect that on a mass- produced clock. Furthermore, I have never heard of this facility being available on any other clock.

There are no makers’ or repairers’ marks on the movement to provide any clues.

I appreciate that any musician would need to hear a tune in order to identify it, but I wonder if any reader or contributor has encountered this ‘FAV’ and/or could help identify this tune from the information I have given? Or will my frustration have to continue?

Ivan Millington, UK

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