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  1. #1
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Eli Terry Jr Eight Day Just Acquired

    Hi, All,

    Just want to share my newest addition to the family, an Eli Terry Jr. eight day "woodie" that is seemingly most original and is a superbly strong runner. It has what I believe to be all original hands, crank, weights, upper and lower glasses, movement and door lock. I'm not sure about the winding key- it is old, but I'm unsure of its originality. No door key came with it.

    It survived shipping fairly well-the only loss was the top splat, which had been cut off to shorten it anyway. I have currently put a home made substitute on it until a proper replacement can be located. (If anyone has one, please let me know!)

    At first, I questioned that since the clock had carved columns it should have had a carved splat. The seller had the same questions, and wrote to George Bruno while he was fixing the clock. Here is Mr. Bruno's response:

    "Regarding your question about the absence of a carved splat, I have worked on two Terry Jr. clocks just like yours, and both of them had carved columns and a flat, stenciled splat. I can only surmise that at some point, Terry Jr. ran out of carved splats, and substituted flat ones until his supply was replenished. I've found that in servicing more than 1000 woodworks clocks that subs like this are fairly common. I've even seen mismatched gears in some movements, that while inappropriate, still worked well and were original and not later replacements.
    The stencil pattern on your splat is identical to several Terry Jr. splats I've seen and is the same as the two I serviced, so its originality is not in question. It is a darn shame that some idiot chopped the top off of it, as that is an expensive and difficult repair. I would not welcome the job myself. Perhaps in your travels you can locate a loose Terry Jr. splat for replacement. The glue blocks, although one corner one is missing, are strongly in place, adding to my conclusion that this splat is unquestionably original to your clock.

    The case style of your Terry Jr. clock is uncommon. Most I've seen have just a top and bottom glass, not three separate pieces. Also uncommon is the presence of original weights and pulleys. On most 8-dayers, these are modern replacements..."


    I noticed that the bell, which shows no signs of being changed, has a rather large casting defect. It is curious that Terry Jr., known for quality in his clocks, would include a bell with such an obvious defect. I suspected that it would sound horrible, but it has an absolutely charming, on the quiet side, deep, rich tone! I was sure it would sound flat...

    So, I am in search of a splat. All else is well, and I'm quite happy with my purchase. Comments and/or questions always welcome!

    Best to all,

    George
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  2. #2
    Registered user. ballistarius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eli Terry Jr Eight Day Just Acquired (By: George Nelson)

    Beautiful, rare and original clock, George. Congrats!
    I like the tablets: They look untouched.
    Being such a rare clock, I would consider keeping the original splat on the clock, no matter its disgraced condition.

    Aitor
    It's all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever. Steiner

  3. #3
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eli Terry Jr Eight Day Just Acquired

    Hi, Aitor and All,

    Thanks, Aitor, for your most valued opinion! It is most appreciated, and quite a valid point!

    I am in the process of trying to put the original splat back together- it was splintered rather badly. It is interesting to note that it was not mortised into the left and right chimneys as most other makers did, but rather put on from the front, with four glue blocks on the back side supporting it. Quite a difference from all of the other column and splat clocks I've seen.

    I should also have mentioned that I believe the clock to have retained its original finish, as there are no signs whatsoever of it having been molested. I know it would probably look better with a refinish, but in having it retain the original finish in pretty good condition, I am loathe to disturb it. Complete originality, when practical, is very important to me!

    The delivery service must have dropped the box on its top rather harshly to cause the kind of damage that occurred. The box was very carefully packed and even marked "This side up at all times, please!" but it was to no avail. There were heavy crush marks on the top of the box, indicating that it was either dropped on its top, or a VERY heavy box was dropped onto it. Either way, I was very blessed that none of the glasses were broken!

    Since my interests have lately been directed to eight day wooden movement clocks, I've stumbled upon several who have had their splats shortened purposely. I believe this to be because they are too tall to fit between the top of a standard height mantelpiece here in the US and our most common eight foot ceiling heights. So many people will not hesitate to mutilate one of our beloved clocks to suit their "purposes of the hour".

    I'll post my repair results here when finished. In any case, even if the repairs are not successful, I will keep the original splat with the clock.

    Best to all,

    George
    Last edited by George Nelson; 04-23-2017 at 05:16 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Eli Terry Jr Eight Day Just Acquired (By: George Nelson)

    Thanks again for a wonderfully educational post, George!

    Just a thought re the shortened splats - although our mantles and ceilings are often at fairly standard heights now, think of the historic homes where this clock might have spent some of it's life. Mantles might have been higher and ceilings lower. It would be interesting to know when the splat was shortened, and why. Perhaps another of those questions we'd like to ask "if clocks could talk"!

  5. #5
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eli Terry Jr Eight Day Just Acquired (By: PatH)

    Good point, Pat! I had forgotten that in days past there were few "standards"! In fact, in our yearly tours of historic homes here in and around Knoxville, TN, my wife and I see houses from the 1700s all the way into the early 1900s. Windows, furniture and even doorways were not "standard size". I never really paid attention to mantle heights, but certainly will this year! Thanks for the heads up.

    Best always,

    George

  6. #6

    Default Re: Eli Terry Jr Eight Day Just Acquired (By: George Nelson)

    I would never have a clock like this with original tablets shipped- except maybe with one of the antique transporters who handle things personally. You are indeed lucky that the glasses survived intact. We have a pretty effective "underground railroad" for good clocks like this- they can usually be picked up at a regional after a few months, or at least get close enough to be picked up. Many of my collector friends and I participate in this scheme, helping each other out.
    NAWCC 25131

  7. #7
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eli Terry Jr Eight Day Just Acquired (By: Peter A. Nunes)

    Wow, Peter! Another thing I did not consider! I am usually close to the Southeast Regional, the only one I'm able to attend. Next time, I'll pursue that possibility. Should have thought of it myself- perhaps, once again, my old age gets in the way of practical thinking! I was indeed quite blessed that the glass arrived intact.

    Thanks so much,

    George

  8. #8
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eli Terry Jr Eight Day Just Acquired

    Regarding ceiling heights a lot of homes in New England and there about may have 7' or 7.5' ceilings, or on some occasions even under 7'. Several of our houses suffered from that little problem while living in New Hampshire. Would need to cut off about 18" off George's clock to use it on a couple of these mantles...but I guess it is fortunate that George's clock only lost 1/2" or so....not good but could be worse.

    And Peter is quite correct, there are several folks who make some cross country runs to various regionals and other clock related things and can be enticed to haul things for reasonable amounts. I am of the firm belief that "this side up" or "fragile" on a box selects it for special handling all right...let's see if we can break it becomes the norm. And collecting on insurance? Good luck on that.....
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Eli Terry Jr Eight Day Just Acquired (By: Jim DuBois)

    Thanks for the pictures, Jim. The pillar and scrolls, and other items on the mantels certainly tell the story. Not having lived in a house with these issues, the first one that came to my mind was the original part of the Willard House where I almost felt compelled to duck.

  10. #10
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eli Terry Jr Eight Day Just Acquired (By: PatH)

    Pat and Jim,

    I've never been to the northeast- but what a trip it would be for me! I would dearly love to see the Willard house that Pat mentions, and to visit New Haven, Thomaston and all of the other "landmark" towns for us clock collectors would be a thrill indeed! I'd even love to visit some of the old graveyards, to say a heartfelt thanks to those wonderful clock experts of yesteryear... Sigh.

    Jim, your former homes are just beautiful, and the whales tail pillar and scroll must have been quite a treasure. I believe you told me you have since parted with it- whoever owns it now must be very proud! Those New England rooms are so beautiful, and such perfect homes for our beloved clocks.

    Thanks to the two of you for your welcome comments.

    Best,

    George

  11. #11
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eli Terry Jr Eight Day Just Acquired (By: George Nelson)

    Well, everyone, I have completed my repairs on the shattered splat. I'm fairly pleased with the results, considering it was in seventeen pieces, many of them shards or splinters. The poor thing took quite a hit!

    Thankfully, the wood was dry and seemed to shatter cleanly, with little distortion from the impact. This allowed me to put the pieces together cleanly, using standard, extra-strength wood glue. The results are pictured below.

    I put each of the 17 pieces in place one-by-one, clamping tightly each time. I think that my large assortment of clamps is one of the best tool investments I've made over the years. Each piece seemed to fit closely, with little trace of gaps, at least to my eye. All in all, I'm fairly happy with the results.

    I have the clock on a shelf with a navy blue wall behind it, so the chopped splat is not terribly distracting. If a proper Terry splat rears its head, I might change it out. Otherwise, I'll just consider the mutilation a part of what I'm sure is the clock's most interesting history, and leave it at that.

    As always, comments and suggestions are invited!

    Best to all,

    George
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  12. #12
    Registered user. Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Eli Terry Jr Eight Day Just Acquired (By: George Nelson)

    Great looking clock George a sweet find a 8 day. Your repairs look good. I have a 30 hour Terry and i really like them too. Thanks for sharing it here.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
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  13. #13
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eli Terry Jr Eight Day Just Acquired (By: Kevin W.)

    Kevin,

    Many thanks for your kind comments! They are most appreciated.

    My favorite clocks are always from the Terry family. They produced wonderful, historic pieces. Are there pictures of your Terry posted somewhere? I'd love to see it!

    Best,

    George

  14. #14
    Registered user. ballistarius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eli Terry Jr Eight Day Just Acquired

    Good job, George!
    The stencilling is marvellously preserved, moreover. If my Terry&sons P&s would be a quarter as well preserved as that, I'd be dancing on my head!
    Aitor
    It's all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever. Steiner

  15. #15
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eli Terry Jr Eight Day Just Acquired (By: ballistarius)

    Nice repairs George! I had better send you some of my projects as that splat is better than I could do.....

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