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  1. #1
    Registered User hemioutlaw's Avatar
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    Default Skeleton Clock....Old/New ?



    Greeting's,

    I just unpacked this L'il guy and while I know it's a skeleton clock my knowledge base of these timepieces is limited in scope and since I had little time to research this prior to purchase it was fairly cheap so I thought what the heck. I have read that building one of these in some instances were sort of a precursor to receiving your clockmaker credential's while under tutelage in the UK and I have also seen that these were sold as prefabbed kits you could purchase. This was purported to be from about the turn of the 19th century but not having the time to research it I'm either going to take my lumps if it's of recent manufacture or be happier if it is indeed of an earlier date.

    I have my own thought's which I'll keep to myself until other's of much higher Horological Intellect can weigh in. The photo's ironically make it look fairly clean, shiny and modern whilst in reality it's quite dirty with a very darkened patina to the brass which I actually like which leads to my next question on the acceptability of cleaning it without turning it into a Bright Shiny Object. I see it has a fusee with chain drive powering mechanism which will be the first in my collection and you could put on a small pinhead my knowledge of this type of mechanism.

    Any thoughts on Dating, Cleaning and pitfall's to avoid when working with this type of movement as always greatly appreciated.
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    Back the Blue!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Skeleton Clock....Old/New ? (By: hemioutlaw)

    One can often determine a rough age by checking the threads
    on the hardware.
    Many older clocks were not made with today's standard threads.
    Often clock makers made their own hardware, taps and dies.
    Tinker Dwight

  3. #3
    Registered user. roughbarked's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skeleton Clock....Old/New ?

    It is a quite unique piece. Doesn't look young from here. The cheaper modern Chinese ones often have the pendulum in front so that it has to be taken off to wind the clock. A lot of these are Chinese though.

    It has to be since 1900's to start with standardised threads.

    I'd suggest that using an axe as the hammer isn't on a lot of clocks.

    Was using that as a search term when I found this lovely clock https://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/de.../id-f_6259153/
    Last edited by roughbarked; 04-13-2017 at 06:06 PM.

  4. #4
    Registered User hemioutlaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skeleton Clock....Old/New ? (By: Tinker Dwight)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinker Dwight View Post
    One can often determine a rough age by checking the threads
    on the hardware.
    Many older clocks were not made with today's standard threads.
    Often clock makers made their own hardware, taps and dies.
    Tinker Dwight
    Good starting place Dwight and it wasn't purported to me nor did I believe it to be earlier then the turn of the 19th century, I checked one of the case screws and it's a standard M3-.5 metric, a further search of the history of threaded fastener's concludes that both Metric and American threads were standardized in the 1860"s so I'm post that period but was hoping that maybe someone could spot something in the movement that would be more determinate of a period. All my searches of images for skeleton clock kit's have shown nothing that is even remotely similar so far so good. The foundation for my collecting exploit's are Old = Good and modern ummmm, not so much.
    Back the Blue!

  5. #5
    Registered user. roughbarked's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skeleton Clock....Old/New ? (By: hemioutlaw)

    For some reason I cannot fathom, the axe head as the striking hammer seems to be related to some maker real or imaginary, in the back of my memory.

  6. #6
    Registered User hemioutlaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skeleton Clock....Old/New ? (By: roughbarked)

    Quote Originally Posted by roughbarked View Post
    For some reason I cannot fathom, the axe head as the striking hammer seems to be related to some maker real or imaginary, in the back of my memory.
    I have a feeling that the hammer and bell in my unprofessional opinion are of more recent manufacture, for one they are a dissimilar color, Two the hammer appears to be cast with remnants of slag that are painted over and Three it is the one component that I have seen offered on a modern skeleton. Hoping the rest of the clock is old but Pssssssssssst some of the air has come out.
    Back the Blue!

  7. #7
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skeleton Clock....Old/New ? (By: hemioutlaw)

    Quote Originally Posted by hemioutlaw View Post
    I have a feeling that the hammer and bell in my unprofessional opinion are of more recent manufacture, for one they are a dissimilar color, Two the hammer appears to be cast with remnants of slag that are painted over and Three it is the one component that I have seen offered on a modern skeleton. Hoping the rest of the clock is old but Pssssssssssst some of the air has come out.
    Sorry to say but it appears to be a Chinese replica made some time in the later half of the 20th century. There are a number of minor clues that suggest that to be the case, including the brass screws though out, the rather cumbersome pendulum support bridge, the too thin rod holding the hammer itself, the rather ungraceful crossings out of the wheels, and the construction of the pendulum all point to it not being a period English made skeleton clock.

  8. #8
    Registered User hemioutlaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skeleton Clock....Old/New ? (By: Jim DuBois)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DuBois View Post
    Sorry to say but it appears to be a Chinese replica made some time in the later half of the 20th century. There are a number of minor clues that suggest that to be the case, including the brass screws though out, the rather cumbersome pendulum support bridge, the too thin rod holding the hammer itself, the rather ungraceful crossings out of the wheels, and the construction of the pendulum all point to it not being a period English made skeleton clock.
    Don't Rain on my parade Jim....Lol

    In all seriousness I have yet to see an identical clock anywhere and from a production standpoint it seems logical that if they were chinking these out that they would be more of a production run than a one off creation and the plinth surely looks old. Still holding out hope but can live with the results either way.
    Back the Blue!

  9. #9
    Registered user. MartinM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skeleton Clock....Old/New ? (By: hemioutlaw)

    This one was assumed to be "Victorian" when it was sold:
    https://www.treasuretroveworcester.c...ton-clock-sold
    I have my doubts, though.
    Last edited by MartinM; 04-14-2017 at 11:32 AM.
    Living life at eight beats per minute.

  10. #10
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skeleton Clock....Old/New ? (By: hemioutlaw)

    Quote Originally Posted by hemioutlaw View Post
    Don't Rain on my parade Jim....Lol

    In all seriousness I have yet to see an identical clock anywhere and from a production standpoint it seems logical that if they were chinking these out that they would be more of a production run than a one off creation and the plinth surely looks old. Still holding out hope but can live with the results either way.
    Hundreds if not thousands of new skeleton clocks of all natures have been imported from Chinese makers in the last 50 years. I have seen row after row of them at various importers and the model you have was much like some IIRC. There were also a couple of English firms that offered kits similar to your clock as recently as maybe 10 or 15 years ago. May I suggest looking at some photos of known period skeleton clocks and consider the difference you see between yours and those in the books, or on line. Derek Roberts published a decent book on skeleton clocks in 1987 and it was reprinted in 1997 I think. It is not a cheap book but well worth the expense if you want to buy such clocks. There is also an older book by Royer-Collard with many good photos.

  11. #11
    Registered user. roughbarked's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skeleton Clock....Old/New ? (By: Jim DuBois)

    One should always look for evidence of copying or pretence. There is definitely something about this that doesn't quite ring true but never having seen an original of this design myself before makes it either more difficult or less so. Imaginative fakers may make stuff up. Are there no validatng marks to be seen anywhere on the clock?

    Have a look at these and compare. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3oNF9AUNxA

    http://www.sellingantiques.co.uk/419...keleton-clock/
    Last edited by roughbarked; 04-14-2017 at 03:00 PM.

  12. #12
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skeleton Clock....Old/New ?


  13. #13
    Registered user. roughbarked's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skeleton Clock....Old/New ? (By: Jim DuBois)

    I suppose it could be the lions that look too much like dragons in addition to the other clues mentioned above but I think it looks more Chinese than original. The pillars don't please me either. Somehow I think it is actually a kit clock.

    http://www.sellingantiques.co.uk/355...assing-strike/

  14. #14

    Default Re: Skeleton Clock....Old/New ? (By: hemioutlaw)

    What does the base attachment look like from underneath? Sometimes the oblivious pops up in the less obvious places!
    Willie X

  15. #15
    Registered user. roughbarked's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skeleton Clock....Old/New ? (By: Willie X)

    like a sticker with the word, China?

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