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  1. #16
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barnes, Bartholomew and Co. Triple Decker

    George, not that it relates directly to your clock, but it is alleged that Barnes et'al were some of the very first to take the information, ideas, and methodology provided by Ives 1833 clock patent, steal the concept, and make the movements as that is found in your clock. While that is the claim it is not entirely clear it is accurate, but that is another story.

    We are pulling together a very large display of Ives and directly related competitive clocks for the upcoming NAWCC National in Dallas this June 28th-July 1. Would love to put your clock in the "line up" of Ives immediate competition but I suspect both time and geography are against that. Not to mention you might not want to let it out of you sight? We are pulling clocks from all over the nation, glad I am not doing the logistics (or insurance) for that little piece of the puzzle. Should be an interesting display of some very rare clocks. Please attend if at all possible.

    I suspect you are already aware your clock is fairly rare, and its condition is phenomenal! And luck of the Irish must have come into play! Did you see any leprechauns about when you picked up the clock?
    Last edited by Jim DuBois; 03-19-2017 at 06:56 AM.

  2. #17
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barnes, Bartholomew and Co. Triple Decker (By: Jim DuBois)

    Hi, Jim and All,

    Jim, please reference my PM about the upcoming NAWCC display. I'm more than glad to share my clock!

    As to the reference to similarities between genuine Ives movements and imitations, at first I thought this was an Ives movement. But upon closer inspection, it did not have roller pinions. It is quite similar in many ways to an Ives product. I have always wondered by poor Joseph constantly allowed competitors to walk all over him and his heartfelt and so well done movement improvements...

    Any thoughts yet on the direction the eagle faces? I found one weak reference to this being a political opinion on the state of the Union and succession views, but it was just a mention and not substantiated in any way. Anyone have any thoughts about this?

    Best to all,

    George

  3. #18
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barnes, Bartholomew and Co. Triple Decker (By: George Nelson)

    Thanks George. Regards the facing of the eagles head on a splat. I too have read there may have been a political implication inferred. But, never found anything conclusive in any way shape or form. Frequently old wives tales are just that and nothing more (apologies to my wife, who tells no tales) and apologies from my lack of political correctness as seemingly necessary these days. But, to the question you have George. How does one treat these Munger splats with 2 heads? Politically ambivalent? Don't much care? Or boy am I confused?

    Seriously, I don't think the direction of the eagles head matters in the least. At this time in our history folks were a bit more direct in what they thought......and in 1830-1840 the rift that resulted in the Civil War was fomenting, not yet boiling over, and the war of 1812 with pretty much history...
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  4. #19
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barnes, Bartholomew and Co. Triple Decker

    Hi, Jim and all,

    Jim, thanks for your comments. This, as Paul Harvey was so fond of saying, "is the REST of the story..."

    My curiosity about the direction the eagle faces was piqued for two reasons. First, I noticed that all of the other clocks with eagle splats in my collection faced left. Then, I stumbled upon a reference in the book "Good for a Time" by Christopher R. Brown, published by Oechsle-Brown Publications in 2011. This work documents the wonderful clocks in the The Christopher R. Brown Research Archive of Early American Wooden Works Shelf Clocks. On page 121 of that work, the author says while describing an E & G.W. Bartholomew wood movement triple decker: "...rare, right facing eagle splat and paw feet..." However, earlier in the book on page 76, another right facing eagle goes unmentioned and un-described. Could it have been that the reference to the "rare, right facing eagle" was referring to the carving and style of the eagle itself, rather than its direction? In the book, there are images of 8 eagle splats, with only two of them facing right.

    I was now motivated to research further. Knowing about the huge collection of pictures of clocks that have been sold in the past few years (35,373 as of March of this year) on the antiqueclockspriceguide.com website, I viewed 212 clocks with a carved eagle splat. The results of that effort have now made this discussion moot, as the results were as follows: 108 eagles facing left, and 104 facing right!

    I will note that an obscure Wikipedia reference found within a 'carved eagle' and 'clock' search mentions that "...the eagle often faces right, in a clockwise direction so as to be congruent with the direction of the moving clock hands..." At this point, we now know that the un-referenced comment is without merit. Sigh...

    Now, after all of this, I'm sorry to have brought the subject up!

    Best to all,

    George

  5. #20
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barnes, Bartholomew and Co. Triple Decker

    Hello, All,

    Well, I find myself replying to my own posting, but further research this evening has led to this update. In delving into some back issues of The Cog Counter's Journals (A publication of chapter 194, devoted to wood movement clocks) looking for other information, I came across an article devoted to the hand carved eagles found on many triple decker clocks like the one in this discussion.

    Not wanting to re-open my can of worms, I still must offer this quote from the CCJ #8, dated 11/1979. The quote is from a letter from Sheldon Hotch, who was in the business of reproducing carved splats for his customers and fellow Cog Counters: "The pictures you sent of the Seth Thomas 8D carved eagle are quite interesting, because the last eagle I copied (brought to me by a collector to put on a triple decker that it did not belong on) is the exact mirror image of the Seth Thomas. Your picture shows the eagle facing to the right, which is not usual. The eagle I copied is facing left; more common."

    He further goes on to comment about the presence of carved eagles on 8 day brass clocks: "What seems to hold true is that the individual clockmaker used a distinctive design that was like his trademark. The clock broker, who merchandised, used a similar design of the maker who manufactured for him. Carved eagles appear to be more often seen on tall carved column case clocks, 30H and 8D wood movements, and, therefore, would date within that period of manufacture. I have yet to see an original carved eagle on a triple decker with a brass movement, ...

    So now, I again don't know what to think. I cannot guarantee that my carved eagle is original, but it certainly seems likely, given the clock's history and condition. It matches the rest of the clock in both color and carving style. I will be returning to the purchase family, in order to gain more information on the clocks history, and will report back if anything comes of those efforts.

    In re-addressing my eagle count referenced in the previous posting (directly above) at the clock pricing website, I realized that my count included quite a few molded plaster eagles, all from the same prolific manufacturer, Seth Thomas. In eliminating that particular splat style and going back to carved wood splats only, and at looking at any case style including true transitional, carved column and splat and short case carved column and splat styles, I looked through more clocks, this time a total of 231 carved wood only. My count this time was quite different: 221 eagles facing left, and 10 facing right. The "right-facers" were not specific or more often found in clocks by one particular maker. Sigh...

    Now again fresh in my mind lurks the question of why so few right-facing carved eagles? The hand carved eagles represent more of an involvement with appearance and aesthetics than do the cast plaster examples, so I give a little more weight to them as being more of a decision rather than a design choice. It is much easier to cast 20 or so identical eagles from a mold than it must have been to spend 30-45 minutes in carving out one eagle. (The time estimate was kindly provided to me by a wood-carving friend, who reported that although mahogany is a rather easily-carved wood, there is a definitive time frame involved in producing a single bird.) Is the carving simply an aesthetic choice, a possible political statement, or, as Jim suggests, completely unimportant? I will continue research on the subject, and update this thread with any new information.

    Manically motivated, I remain,

    George Nelson

    Addendum: Of interest to Jim DuBois, who has been so very helpful in this thread, I have included a picture from the aforementioned Cog Counter's Journal of a carved eagle splat quite similar to the one in the picture he included, above. A very interesting similarity. This splat is a reproduction carved by Sheldon Hotch, referenced in this posting. Sheldon writes "... I carved this splat after... the unique double eagle that was used by Hotchkiss & Benedict. The two-head design resembles the Austrian Empire eagle, so the (original) carver may have been of that nationality. The acanthus leaf design is typical federal style; the flower rosettes, directly under the eagles' heads are seen in the Horns of Plenty carved splats on short case carved column clocks."
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  6. #21
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barnes, Bartholomew and Co. Triple Decker

    It is my recollection that the 2 headed bird can be found on a couple of Mungers. I think it was referred to as a 2 headed Phoenix. I owned one, nearly 50 years ago, seem to have no photos of it at all, but at the time we thought it RARE.

    Regards the right vs left facing eagles and Sheldon Hotch commenting he never saw a carved eagle on a brass movement triple decker? He didn't need look far. The John Birge brass movement clock I sent home last week after veneer repair not only has a carved eagle, but it is right facing. I also have a C. and L.C. Ives awaiting some glass in my upstairs bedroom right now, also very much a brass movement, with eagle splat, facing right. So, I would call them less common, but not rare, and frequently on triple deckers with brass movements. While things like splats can be replaced over time, there are usually traces of things being moved about, or parts not quite fitting, or finishes not correct etc. When they show none of the aforementioned, one tends to think them original. Not to pick on Sheldon, he did some really nice carving work and I know of no one doing such today work, at least at affordable rates.

    The John Birge came out of a recent auction, that is where the photo originated, no copyright infringement involved. As you can see the escutcheons and the wood around them was messed up, as were several small patches of veneer also missing. So, it was repaired. Birge clocks are not uncommon, but they are most often Birge and Case, or Birge and Fuller, or Birge and Mallory, etc. Being a "John Birge" makes it a pretty rare bird. so to speak, no pun intended. The case style and the movement are normal fare. Just the name on the label sets it apart. These cases, both the Birge and the C & LC Ives, are thought to be the product of Elias Ingraham, he made them pretty much exclusively. Or better put his case factory made them. It is said his production of cases was about 700 per month, just FYI.

    And George, your case would also be the product of the same factory as the records exist showing Barnes was a frequent buyer of Ingraham cases
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    Last edited by Jim DuBois; 03-20-2017 at 06:03 AM.

  7. #22
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barnes, Bartholomew and Co. Triple Decker (By: Jim DuBois)

    Ah, here I go replying to my own postings too....here is a bad photo of my 2 headed bird Munger. Sorry about the quality but it is apparently the only one I have...it is from back in the day when every photo cost a buck +/- so a lot less photos were taken back then.
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  8. #23
    Registered User Jim Burghart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barnes, Bartholomew and Co. Triple Decker (By: Jim DuBois)

    Great find George! Beautiful clock. The tablets are fantastic!

  9. #24
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barnes, Bartholomew and Co. Triple Decker (By: Jim DuBois)

    Hi, Jim and All,

    Jim, thanks again for the info. I was quite unsure about the rarity of brass movements in triple deckers comment, so I thought I would post it for comments and discussion.

    As to your Munger, how did you ever part with it? What a wonderful clock. I really like both the splat as well as the seemingly undersized face. And, to have a seconds bit, well, that is just icing on the cake!

    Best to all,

    George

  10. #25
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barnes, Bartholomew and Co. Triple Decker (By: George Nelson)

    Quote Originally Posted by George Nelson View Post
    Hi, Jim and All,

    Jim, thanks again for the info. I was quite unsure about the rarity of brass movements in triple deckers comment, so I thought I would post it for comments and discussion.

    As to your Munger, how did you ever part with it? What a wonderful clock. I really like both the splat as well as the seemingly undersized face. And, to have a seconds bit, well, that is just icing on the cake!

    Best to all,

    George
    Yeah, like a lot of other clocks I should have kept, this one falls into that category. Not only does it have the double bird splat but it also has the movement and dial that is most commonly found in the so called Ironing board Mungers. So, this is basically a transition clock I would guess. The old style was the traditional Munger ironing board top and here we have used that movement and dial in the new case style that is more common and a bit later. There are a few of this configuration of earlier movement and dial in the later case, but with the splat it made a keeper and I didn't.....
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  11. #26
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barnes, Bartholomew and Co. Triple Decker (By: Jim DuBois)

    Jim and Everyone,

    Munger clocks have always thrilled me-I have yet to be able to acquire one. One of these days...

    His pieces are so special and out of the ordinary. I'll bet he was quite an independent person. Jim, I can't imagine parting with it, but I have been guilty of the same thing-selling a clock that I would come to regret losing deeply.

    Thanks for posting the pictures. At lease I can spend a few quiet minutes alone, lusting after them. I particularly like the wallpaper in his clocks.

    George

  12. #27
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barnes, Bartholomew and Co. Triple Decker (By: George Nelson)

    Quote Originally Posted by George Nelson View Post
    Jim and Everyone,

    Munger clocks have always thrilled me-I have yet to be able to acquire one. One of these days...

    His pieces are so special and out of the ordinary. I'll bet he was quite an independent person. Jim, I can't imagine parting with it, but I have been guilty of the same thing-selling a clock that I would come to regret losing deeply.

    Thanks for posting the pictures. At lease I can spend a few quiet minutes alone, lusting after them. I particularly like the wallpaper in his clocks.

    George
    I picked up a Munger (actually a Hotchkiss and Benedict) a couple of years ago. A bit of a rat....weak label, pretty plain case, but it was saying buy me, so I did. One Munger I owned had perhaps 6 or 7 layers of wallpaper in it. Every time the parlor got wallpaper so did the inside of the clock. And it all stripped out to the original wallpaper, and the label was intact and close to perfect. It had been protected for 180 years....
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  13. #28

    Default Re: Barnes, Bartholomew and Co. Triple Decker (By: Jim DuBois)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DuBois View Post
    I picked up a Munger (actually a Hotchkiss and Benedict) a couple of years ago. A bit of a rat....weak label, pretty plain case, but it was saying buy me, so I did. One Munger I owned had perhaps 6 or 7 layers of wallpaper in it. Every time the parlor got wallpaper so did the inside of the clock. And it all stripped out to the original wallpaper, and the label was intact and close to perfect. It had been protected for 180 years....
    Jim,

    I don't recall seeing a dial like that before. It's fabulous.

    The lower spandrels are an angelic little child clutching a bird with roses for the upper.

    Can you provide more pix of the dial and details??

    RM

  14. #29
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    Default Re: Barnes, Bartholomew and Co. Triple Decker (By: rmarkowitz1_cee4a1)

    Outstanding find and gorgeous clock. She said it was ugly?!?!?!?!?! People just don't understand the history of these clocks. But I like people lol key you George. I dothe same thing you do. I'm honest with people when it comes to a sale. Mostly all people I deal with when buying have no clue what they even have and simply just throw out a price. I also inform them that it's worth a lot more than what they want and even offer them more. But after that whatever happens happens. I've already gotten clocks free because they assumed it was broken but I informed them nothing was broken. But once again very nice clock. I'd love to own one of these someday

  15. #30
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barnes, Bartholomew and Co. Triple Decker (By: Jasons34)

    Hi, Jasons34,

    Thanks for the compliment. I know it always costs me more money, but I just couldn't live with myself if I acquired a clock for my collection by knowingly taking advantage of someone. Sometimes, it pays off, like it did in this situation, and, sometimes, the seller gets dollar signs in their eyes and begins to ask double or even more than what I tell them it's worth. In those cases, I politely walk away.

    In one case, I informed a local seller of the value of their clock, they raised the price to way beyond what was reasonable. When I declined, they listed it on eBay- THREE times in succession! They never got their ridiculous asking price, and finally offered it to me for what I originally told them it was worth. By that time, I had such a bad taste in my mouth about it that I just passed. Luckily, about two weeks later, I stumbled upon a better example of an almost identical clock, and bought that one.

    Sometimes, just like you, a "broken" clock comes along at a great price, and again, just like you, I tell the owner that is is simply out of beat, or needs a new suspension rod. In almost all cases like this, they sell me the clock anyway, either unable to grasp the beat problem, or they are unwilling to locate a simple suspension rod. In those cases, I'm always more than happy to accept their low asking price, and can add it to my collection with a completely clear conscience.

    I do hope you are soon able to add a triple decker to your collection, Jasons34. I do indeed like mine!

    Warmest regards to everyone,

    George Nelson

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