Select firm but ripe fruit. Wash and remove blossom ends only. Cover fruit with water and boil 10 minutes. Drain. Prick skins gently with a fork.
Put the spices loosely in a small bag (clean with cloth or double thickness cheesecloth) and tie closed.
While pears are draining, put the water, vinegar, sugar and spice bag in a kettle. Bring syrup to a boil and keep it boiling for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, place pears in syrup, cover and set aside to cool over night.
In the morning remove the spice bag and the pears and bring the syrup to a boil. Stir frequently to prevent scorching.
Pack pears in sterilized jars, pour the hot syrup over them, filling to overflowing. Seal at once with sterilized rubbers and lids.