Glovers Repository: Steel and curved glass vitrine containing the 24 gloves of historical figures which have been deceived, or have deceived, in their lives. Each glove rotates the number of years each individual lived in a single hour via a mechanism based on the workings of Big Ben.
Glovers Repository: End Views of the Glover’s Repository
Glovers Repository: Biographies on the flanking walls relate to the gloves in the vitrine.
Glovers Repository: Rear view of the clock showing the Grimthorp escapement and pendulum in situ.
Glovers Repository: The Gloves of Clement Ader and Irene Adler. Ader falsified claims as to being the first to fly. Adler (a fictional character) deceived Sherlock Holmes his only true love.
Glovers Repository: The view of Nino Farina in relationship to the Glovers’ Repository.
Glovers Repository: Nino Farina.(Speed King) 2015. Glass case containing a racing glove which rotates at the speed of Farina’s fastest lap at Silverstone’s 1st Formula 1 race in 1950, (1.50 rpm). His glove is driven through the gearbox of a speedometer. 42 x 10 inches Dia.
Glovers Repository: The Cam Box connecting to the 24 trip mechanisms on each individual glove.
Glovers Repository: Rear View of the clock with weights in place
Glovers Repository: Cam drive mechanism showing the ratcheting section
Glovers Repository: View looking down on the large bevel gears, which drive the top level gearboxes.
Glovers Repository: The original frames and dial taken from an E. Howard No.1 tower clock, the clock maker’s model to first adopt the Westminster chimes to its mechanism and basis for the Glovers’ Repository’s time keeper.
The Glovers' Repository: Helle Nice (Speed Queen) glass case containing Nice's glove, rotating at the speed of her fastest lap at Montlhéry, when she set a new land speed record for women 1929; her glove is driven through the gearbox of a speedometer, 42 × 10 × 10 in.; 107 × 25 × 25 cm. 2015
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ABOUT GLOVER'S REPOSITORY (2015-2017)
Subterfuge, the recalcitrant nemesis of deception, lingers in the crystalline temple appropriately named The Glovers’ Repository.
This illuminated specimen vitrine holds a sampling of twenty-four gloves sourced from historical figures spanning a period of some 300 years. Each figure has committed a deception or is the victim of a duplicity. The case contains greatly varied examples, explicated through biographical notes concealed in the four archival drawers at the lower right.
A glove is a metaphor and a tool, akin to a`n insulator or isolating membrane, enabling its wearer to renege on implausible promises through an apparent lack of touch, or feeling. A glove’s caress is a seduction that may deny its intention!
Centrally placed in this cabinet of gloves, gauntlets, and mittens is an elaborate clock, adapted from a Howard No. 1 turret clock. Howard, an esteemed American clockmaker, adapted the Westminster mechanism from the legendary Big Ben at London’s Houses of Parliament. This iconic mechanism is universally understood as the foundation of modern timekeeping. Its extreme accuracy comes from one refinement to its escapement, which notably improved upon the earlier “grasshopper” design. The Repository’s clock has a facsimile of this very mechanism to guide its movements.
The gloves, mounted on fine-geared spindles, are all enabled via elaborate clutches to the clock’s drivetrain. At a designated time each day, the cam box (a brass mechanism of twenty-four individually cut, staggered cams mounted to the underside of the clock’s upper frame), begins a two-hour cycle of systematically tripping miniature brass levers attached via cables to each glove. The cables engage miniature clutches so each glove rotates in one hour the same number of years that each individual lived. A ballet mécanique, an orrery of sorts, the gloves glide in unrepeatable orbits, presenting imperceptible subtleties with their transfigurations.
The twenty-four characters are all legends in their own right—some self proclaimed—sometimes conceived through carefully manipulated myths, or made legendary through a single act. The heterogeneous diversity of the group may be appreciated by reading the individual biographies. Some are derived from literature, for example Irene Adler in Scandal in Bohemia, where Sherlock Holmes’s love interest attempts to deceive him through a set of compromising photos. Some deceive through social class, as with Audrey Hepburn’s character Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Napoleon was deceived by his paramour, Josephine. Mary Toft deceived the entire British medical profession in the eighteenth century by giving birth to rabbits. The fifty-two assassination attempts on King Zog go some considerable way to explaining his character.
The Contessa di Castiglione, an exceptional beauty in her youth, garnered lovers from the rich and influential, including Alfonso XII of Spain, causing irreparable irritation when he chose Mercedes of Orléans over Castiglione. In a fit of jealousy she gave Alfonso an exquisite opal ring for his wedding present: this ring managed to extinguish four people in quick succession, leaving Alfonso the last to sport its evil charm, before it was banished to Madrid’s Almudena Cathedral to prevent further carnage.
Primo Carnera, an ambling ape of a man, could not believe his good fortune in 1933 when the world heavyweight boxing championship was bestowed on him. Shockingly, he was oblivious that an entire set of matches had been rigged in his favor by a corrupt and avaricious manager; his later years were spent running a liquor store in Culver City, California.
Gabrielle D’Annunzio, renowned womanizer, warmonger, and political adventurer, had few moments in his life in which deception did not play a role. His immaculate silk glove, protected by chainmail, shows the fragility of his most vital appendage, his hand, for as a poet he would charm the world.
Here lie the hidden beauties of The Glovers’ Repository.