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  1. #1
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    Default Gustav Becker Skeleton Clocks

    I read John Hubby's analysis of the production batches of these clocks and their respective pendulums with interest (as referred to in this post below)

    http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?5...l=1#post439202

    Having looked at several of these clocks recently I am struck that there are several variations of the dial. The photos left to right below are:

    Number 2131419, Pendulum 23, silvered dial

    Number 2131408, Pendulum 23, blue enamel dial

    Pendulum 17, white dial with blue numbers

    Is there any correlation between batch and dial, or can any dial be found with a clock from any batch? Are there any further variations I have missed?

    I would be interested to read any comments!

    Tim
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Gustav Becker Skeleton Clocks (By: Mothyman)

    I think that the pendulum on the second skeleton becker from Your pictures is not oryginal - it should look identically as the pendulum 23 from the first picture (should have cuts on the disk rune)

  3. #3
    Registered user. shimmystep's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gustav Becker Skeleton Clocks (By: Kamil Urbanowicz)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamil Urbanowicz View Post
    I think that the pendulum on the second skeleton becker from Your pictures is not oryginal - it should look identically as the pendulum 23 from the first picture (should have cuts on the disk rune)
    can see why you would think that Kamil, though I think it is an original GB pendulum, a variation, I think it may be different run, but I'm no expert on these. John Hubby will be definitive I'm sure.
    shimmystep.

  4. #4
    Registered User etmb61's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gustav Becker Skeleton Clocks (By: shimmystep)

    I've recorded two BHA Beckers, both with the silvered version of dial and #23 disc pendulums. They are 2131305 and 2131361. I think the BHA Beckers tended to have silvered dials in each form they were produced.

    Eric

  5. #5

    Default Re: Gustav Becker Skeleton Clocks

    I have (haved) three skeletonized beckers in my collection and all have this rim - so the proper pendulum for GB skeloten anniversary clocks should have it. Please can You add the pictures of the bottoms of pendulum it will clarify a lot.

    About the dial I belive it is oryginal and someone just repair it (repainted it).

    I ve seen this dials - but need to go thru my database to see if with gb stamps instead of BHA

  6. #6

    Default Re: Gustav Becker Skeleton Clocks

    Eric I found the pictures:
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    Last edited by John Hubby; 06-17-2017 at 02:52 PM. Reason: Deleted oversize photos

  7. #7
    Registered User etmb61's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gustav Becker Skeleton Clocks (By: Kamil Urbanowicz)

    Kamil,

    I think you could be right about the ribbed edge on the pendulum. I've only recorded a few clocks of this style and all but the center one shown above have the ribbed edge on the disc.

    As for your dial, I don't see any reason to suspect the paint isn't original.

    Eric

  8. #8
    Principal Administrator John Hubby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gustav Becker Skeleton Clocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Mothyman View Post
    I read John Hubby's analysis of the production batches of these clocks and their respective pendulums with interest (as referred to in this post below)

    http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?5...l=1#post439202

    Having looked at several of these clocks recently I am struck that there are several variations of the dial. The photos left to right below are:

    Number 2131419, Pendulum 23, silvered dial

    Number 2131408, Pendulum 23, blue enamel dial

    Pendulum 17, white dial with blue numbers

    Is there any correlation between batch and dial, or can any dial be found with a clock from any batch? Are there any further variations I have missed?

    I would be interested to read any comments!

    Tim
    Tim, thanks very much for posting the photos of these GB skeletons. Not often we have the opportunity to see three of these at the same time. I presume since you didn't post a serial number for the third clock that you don't have that information? Also, do you have any other photos for any of these clocks? That would help provide clear documentation of the clocks.

    Following comments for each clock:

    SN 2131419
    Firstly, could you confirm or show the serial number for this clock? I have recently documented what appears to be the same clock but with serial number 2131418. Also, does it have an original dome?

    In either case this clock is GB model No. 499 and was made in January 1910, among the first "batch" of about 600 clocks. The dial has the typical basic design of all that have been documented for this first batch, being stamped from brass plate with embossed convex circles containing the raised numbers in the manner of a cartouche, and having a triangular point between each round segment with a chevron on the point. The convex area within each circle was very lightly dimpled that is almost imperceptible when finished.

    Within this design there were two finishes used: One appears to be a true silver finish as found on this clock, or a silver-colored finish that evidently was electrically or chemically deposited. All of these dials then had the numbers finished with black lacquer. As Eric mentions, it appears the BHA logo versions had the silver finish, but a number of others also had this finish so it isn't clear what criteria applied to which finish was used.

    The pendulum is the fifth of nine different versions of the No. 23 disc pendulum that I have documented, having the ribbed flange (rune) at the upper rim of the disc (see my comment for the next clock). Do you know if there is a serial number scribed underneath the pendulum disc? If the same as the movement that shows the pendulum to be original to the clock.

    SN 2131408
    This clock was also a model No. 499 made in the first "batch" of GB skeleton clocks. I had already documented this one earlier, and the only info I don't have is whether the pendulum has the same serial number scribed underneath the disc as found on the clock movement. At the time I added this one to my database it had its original dome.

    With regard to the dial, all should note that the dial design and features are identical to all the silvered or silver-colored dials found with the 2131xxx clocks in the first batch. My opinion is that the dial has been professionally painted in the approximate colors of dials found with the second and third batches, that we will discuss in the third clock in this group. It is a fantastic work of art, but simply speaking the finish is not 107 years old, nor have any other painted dials been found among the clocks documented to date.

    Regarding the pendulum, we need to know whether it has a matching serial number to the movement before reaching any final conclusion whether it is original. However, the smooth flange (rune) found on this pendulum has been well documented before and is a variant that I have classified as the sixth version of No. 23, having the identical gallery features as the fifth version and the same disc except for the ribbed flange. There are three other skeleton clocks in my data that have this version, two of which have matching serial numbers. The ribbed version first appeared in 1906, the smooth version in 1908. Both were used up to the beginning of WWI.

    SN Unknown with "chandelier" pendulum No. 17:
    This clock with the blue numbered dial and No. 17 pendulum is also classified as a model No. 499 even with a different dial and pendulum compared to the catalog illustration for that model. I would have expected GB to have given this variation it own model number, however that has not yet been found.

    This clock could have been made either in the second or third batch of GB skeleton clocks, depending on the movement serial number. The second batch serial numbers were in a group 2135xxx, and the third batch were in a group 2138xxx. Once we know the serial number we can place this one in the correct batch. For info, over 90% of the clocks found with pendulum No. 17 have matching serial numbers for the movement and pendulum. The serial numbers on these pendulums are found on the underneath of one of the decorative radial arms that form the top of the pendulum disc.

    The following clock models have been documented in the second batch (SN 2135xxx):

    > Model No. 499 clocks identical to those made in the first batch, the only difference being the serial number series.
    > Model No. 499 clocks that have a cream color painted chapter ring dial with blue numbers, otherwise being identical to clocks made in the first batch. Sometimes GB assigned a new model number for a distinct variation such as the painted dial, however we have not yet found any such reference.
    > Model No. 499 clocks that have the same cream color painted chapter ring dial with blue numbers, but have the "chandelier" pendulum No. 17. Same comment as for the previous variation, I would have expected to find a separate model number for the pendulum No. 17 variation, however none so far.
    > Model No. 502 clocks that have a large round top mahogany 4-glass bracket style case with front and rear opening doors. All these clocks documented to date for this batch have the cream color painted dial with blue numbers and the "chandelier" pendulum No. 17.

    The following clock models have been documented in the third batch (SN 2185xxx, made January 1911):

    > Model No. 499 clocks that have a cream color painted chapter ring dial with blue numbers, and are fitted with the "chandelier" pendulum No. 17. These are identical to the same models found in the second batch, the only difference is the serial numbers. As noted above no separate model number has yet been found for this variation.
    > Model No. 502 clocks that have a large round top mahogany 4-glass bracket style case with front and rear opening doors. All these clocks documented to date for this batch have the cream color painted dial with blue numbers and the "chandelier" pendulum No. 17 and are identical to the same models found in the second batch.

    The following clock models have been documented in the fourth batch (SN 2227xxx, made November 1911)

    > Model No. 499 clocks that have a flat silvered chapter ring dial with engraved numbers in each of the circular segments of the dial, and are fitted with the "chandelier" pendulum No. 17. The numbers on the dial are filled with black lacquer. These clocks are identical to the same models found in the second and third batches except for the serial number series and the dial. As noted above no separate model number has yet been found for this variation.
    > Model No. 502 clocks that have a large round top mahogany 4-glass bracket style case with front and rear opening doors. All these clocks documented to date for this batch have a flat silvered chapter ring dial with engraved numbers in each of the circular segments of the dial, and are fitted with the "chandelier" pendulum No. 17. These clocks are identical to the same models found in the second and third batches except for the serial number series and the dial.

    With the above I have included information about all four production runs of the GB skeleton clocks, this time incorporating information regarding all known variants of the dials and specific information about the pendulums used. I will need to make another post with photos of all the nine No. 23 model variations, but that will be another day.

  9. #9
    Principal Administrator John Hubby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gustav Becker Skeleton Clocks (By: Kamil Urbanowicz)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamil Urbanowicz View Post
    Eric I found the pictures:
    Kamil, thanks for posting the photos of your GB skeleton clock. Based on the serial number 2135670 your clock was made in February 1910 in the second batch of GB skeleton clock production that has serial number series 2135xxx. At least 500 clocks were made in this production run.

    I first documented your clock about 4-1/2 years ago when it was up for sale on eBay by a previous owner. The condition of the paint on the dial has not changed since that time and it has all the same parts. One thing I neglected to mention in my earlier message is that nearly all the dials like yours have a brass ring backup, shaped just like the painted dial chapter ring. On some clocks that backup ring is also painted. It appears yours has the backup ring, will appreciate your confirming if this is present.

    I've commented regarding the the differences found for otherwise identical looking GB disc pendulums. I'll post a separate message about the differences found for the nine variations found to date.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Gustav Becker Skeleton Clocks (By: John Hubby)

    Thank you, John, for the fascinating information on these clocks.

    SN 2131419
    This is the correct number, with a matching pendulum. The dome is certainly old and the glass is rippled, though I can't tell if it's totally original as it differs slightly in height to the one below.

    SN 2131408
    Kamil is correct - the pendulum is mismatched, it has number 2265911, so I guess I am now looking for an authentic replacement! The dome is old, bubbled and heavy so I guess it is the original.

    If the face is a repaint, which I now tend to agree with on closer examination, it is very convincing and of very high quality. I attach a close up showing the detail.

    Finally, John, could you upload a picture of the flat silvered dial you mention was used in the fourth batch of skeleton clocks - it would be interesting to have all the dial styles documented in a single post.

    Tim
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Gustav Becker Skeleton Clocks

    Tim, thanks for the additional photos and confirmation of serial number info. Based on the pendulum SN 2265911 found with skeleton clock SN 2131408, it was originally fitted to a clock made at the end of 1912.

    I'm attaching a photo of the flat silvered dial for a clock from the fourth production run. Those clocks have serial numbers 2227xxx:

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    Note that the backup for this dial is an actual brass ring. The backup for the second and third production runs is a circle of roundels the same shape as the dial itself and isn't visible except from the side or at a sharp angle. I overlooked mentioning this point in my earlier post; actually all the clocks (except one) documented to date for the fourth run have this backup ring. On that one the ring was missing.

    As I mentioned earlier I'll be posting a set of dial photos later to show all the known versions for these clocks.
    Last edited by John Hubby; 06-19-2017 at 07:17 PM.

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