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  1. #1

    Default unmarked banjo clock...

    my clock mentor and i just did some horse-trading... he got my dad's omega seamaster deville w/ 18k band, i got this banjo clock and cash. since i don't wear watches and the omega had been sitting in a drawing for 10+ years, coming up with a clock and cash seemed kind of like died and gone to heaven... a great win-win deal.


    here are some pics... would appreciate comments, especially around probable date made?

    thx!




















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    Last edited by bruce linde; 07-25-2017 at 06:35 PM.
    i collect antique clocks because i get all that extra time...

  2. #2

    Default Re: unknown banjo clock... (By: bruce linde)

    and some more photos...

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    Last edited by bruce linde; 07-26-2017 at 12:20 PM.
    i collect antique clocks because i get all that extra time...

  3. #3

    Default Re: unknown banjo clock... (By: bruce linde)

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce linde View Post
    and some more photos...

















    Hmmm.
    “If one tells the truth, one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out.” - Oscar Wilde

  4. #4
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: unknown banjo clock... (By: Steven Thornberry)

    Hi, Bruce and All,

    Bruce, your second posting of pictures did not load properly- there is nothing here. But, based on your first posting, and while I'm not a patent timepiece expert, it looks like you have a nice, period clock that seems to be pretty clean and sound.

    The weight is probably not original, based on the grinding marks, but is now the proper shape, rounded off so that it will not catch on the weight shield (if present). We need pictures of the inside of the throat and base areas.

    I cannot explain the two color backing of the dial, but it appears to be period as well. We also need to see pictures of the hands.

    If you can post more pictures (hands, inside top, throat and bottom, back, etc.) we can tell you more.

    Good acquisition for sure!

    Best,

    George
    Time is a great story teller... Irish Proverb

  5. #5

    Default Re: unknown banjo clock... (By: George Nelson)

    Hello Bruce,

    Your clock was produced in North Attleboro, MA based on the movement mounting (screws through back plate upper right and lower left). I agree with George that weight is a later replacement.

    The dial appears to be repainted.

    The bevel frame case were typically produced by Horace Tift in North Attleboro; clock dates from 1840s. These clocks had typically black glasses with painted gold simple gold decoration in throat glass & lower tablet. The reverse painted glasses and brass sidearms are much later replacements; these clocks typically had either no or wood sidearms.

    Andy Dervan

  6. #6

    Default Re: unknown banjo clock... (By: Andy Dervan)

    not sure why the second round of photos got munged, but i've uploaded new ones.

    thx all for your comments... more please! 8-)
    i collect antique clocks because i get all that extra time...

  7. #7

    Default Re: unknown banjo clock... (By: bruce linde)

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce linde View Post
    not sure why the second round of photos got munged, but i've uploaded new ones. thx all for your comments... more please! 8-)
    i figured the dial had been repainted and the weight was newer.

    based on the new photos, is there a time when you think those glasses might have come from?

    and, is it a banjo clock, a patent timepiece, or both? :-)
    i collect antique clocks because i get all that extra time...

  8. #8
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: unknown banjo clock...

    Hi, All,

    Bruce, 'patent timepiece' is the truly correct term for this type of clock, but in today's world, 'banjo' and 'patent timepiece' are used pretty much interchangeably.

    My experience tells me that the glasses are old repaints, perhaps from the 1920s era or so. The throat glass is very well done, while the bottom glass just a little less so. It is a typical scene reminiscent of George Washington's house, (but not that house) in my experience, at least, more often found on clocks of a later vintage.

    The hands appear a bit too thick to be originals.

    As for the side arms, I agree with Andy's comments. If you compare pictures of your clock, you'll see that most often, original side arms are indeed wood or absent altogether. The brass ones on your clock, while nice, are just a little too big, going too far up on the sides of the top, round portion of the case.

    So, in my opinion, here is your 'shopping list' for this very nice clock:

    - Either remove or replace side arms with period wood examples.
    - Obtain a set of truly period hands (thinner, more delicate)
    - Replace glasses with more appropriate ones based on examples of unmolested clocks of this type.

    It seems to me that at some point, an owner tried to 'fancy up' your clock. If it were mine, I would endeavor to bring it back close to it's original state. However, this is still a VERY nice clock any way you look at it!

    Best,

    George
    Last edited by George Nelson; 07-26-2017 at 04:05 PM. Reason: Add information and comments
    Time is a great story teller... Irish Proverb

  9. #9

    Default Re: unknown banjo clock... (By: George Nelson)

    george -

    i appreciate everyone's comments and have added them to my folder of info and photos for this clock.

    i might go for truly period hands and will keep my eyes open... i'm reluctant to muck around much with anything else as i think it's lovely the way it is... even w/ all of the caveats raised by yourself and others.

    that said, i will of course now be reviewing every horace tift i can find online! 8-)

    thx,
    bruce


    p.s.: well, i might pull the sidearms and see how it looks... 8-)
    i collect antique clocks because i get all that extra time...

  10. #10
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: unknown banjo clock... (By: bruce linde)

    Bruce,

    Here is a link to a YouTube video of an Antiques Roadshow appraisal of a Tift patent timepiece by John Delaney:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/sea...40--201308A06/

    A cursory search of Attleboro clocks shows the majority of them as we have proposed, but I did see two that were fancier and with brass side arms... Perhaps we should slow down a bit here and research more? There are ALWAYS examples of different attributes with our clocks!

    Best always,

    George
    Time is a great story teller... Irish Proverb

  11. #11

    Default Re: unknown banjo clock...

    Quote Originally Posted by George Nelson View Post
    Bruce, Here is a link to a YouTube video of an Antiques Roadshow appraisal of a Tift patent timepiece by John Delaney: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/sea...40--201308A06/ A cursory search of Attleboro clocks shows the majority of them as we have proposed, but I did see two that were fancier and with brass side arms... Perhaps we should slow down a bit here and research more? There are ALWAYS examples of different attributes with our clocks!

    george -

    thx for sending the antiques roadshow link... stayed up late last night watching it! 8-)

    it took 30 seconds to remove the brass side arms, and i like the cleaner look better. in fact, while i appreciate the original wood side arms and certainly wouldn't kick an all-original tifft out of my collection, i'm going to stick with this look for now and keep a casual eye out for more original/delicate hands.

    note: i found five tiffts online that had the same brass side-arms. i would think that would make mine original, but there are additional older mounting holes on each side... hmmm...

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    Last edited by bruce linde; 07-26-2017 at 05:21 PM.
    i collect antique clocks because i get all that extra time...

  12. #12

    Default Re: unknown banjo clock...

    Hello Bruce,

    It looks better without brass sidearms; you can find correct reproduction wood sidearms.

    I suspect glasses are later than 1920s as there is no lifting of the background. The throat glass maybe slightly older as it executed in more detail and skill than tablet glass.

    The lower tablet scene is simplistic version of Boston State House.

    See attached images of Tifft Timepiece and Waltham Willard Clock Boston State House tablet glass

    Andy Dervan
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  13. #13

    Default Re: unknown banjo clock...

    Now I am pondering whether my brass side arms are original,the color matches the color of the brass bezel.....hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?
    Bruce
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    Es mejor morir de pie, que vivir de rodillas.....Emiliano Zapata Salazar

  14. #14

    Default Re: unknown banjo clock... (By: Bruce Barnes)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Barnes View Post
    Now I am pondering whether my brass side arms are original,the color matches the color of the brass bezel.....hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?
    Bruce


    Bruce -

    all of the images of tiffts i found with brass side arms had brass bezels... and i think they look more natural with those. i think your clock looks cohesive, but what do i know?!? 8-

    here are photos of the brass side arms i just took off of mine... i wonder how they compare to yours, and if there's any way to put an approximate date on them, based on pitting, shapes of the little diamonds, etc.?

    bruce



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    i collect antique clocks because i get all that extra time...

  15. #15

    Default Re: unmarked banjo clock...

    I've carefully reviewed the pix and the very thoughtful comments of others.

    As per usual, I'm going to start by recommending that you consult an authoritative source, namely, Paul Foley's banjo book.

    Also as per usual, I will qualify my comments by saying that there are many many things about the patent time piece (which I will abbreviate going forward as "PTP") that I still need to learn.

    To me, the most important thing to remember when evaluating any antique is to critically examine it as "res ipsa loquitur".

    Side arms, especially wooden ones, are rather vulnerable and were often lost or removed due to being damaged. It is not uncommon to find "armless" PTP's that if one examines them closely, you will find evidence that they have gone missing or may have been changed.

    One thing I find useful regarding "side arms" is to carefully examine the sides of the "head", "throat" and top of the bottom "box" for evidence of holes for the pins or brads that once held them in place as well as other evidence, eg, differences in finish, etc.

    I think the side arms are not period. In my experience, period side arms pin to the clock through the side arms. Note the brass side arms of your clock use small tabs. That reminds me of the side arms on my early 20th century NH PTP (a 30 day clock no less!) and other similar PTP inspired clocks of the 20th century.

    Furthermore, I think if you look closely at one of your pix which shows the top of the box, I think I see evidence of where the bottom of another side arm once resided. That place is almost exactly where the bottoms of the scrolled wood side arms of my Attleboro School banjo sit.

    So I think the side arms are problematic.

    The dial is at best repainted. I'm uncomfortable with all of the various unused attachment holes around it. So, I would be concerned about the dial.

    The hands look like repro's to me.

    Is the actual glass used for the tablets even old, eg, thin, ripples, imperfections or is it modern glass? If the latter, the discussion is closed. Furthermore, the glasses really do look like later reproductions and especially the lower one, looks rather amateurish. The oculus in the lower glass is too high up. I think originally that the clock could have had glasses with gold leaf decoration on a black asphaltum background. Sometimes a gold leaf floral or foliate pattern was used for the throat. I suppose even figured mahogany panels could have been used.

    Someone went at that weight with a grinder. Yikes. Wonder why?

    Multiple times on the MB it has been discussed how plainer PTP's were altered into a form to make them more desirable. A VERY common occurrence, unfortunately. Some were skillfully done down to a wrong but convincing Willard family signature. Unfortunately, there are also lotsa of mangled PTP's out there as a result. I do believe that's what's happened here. I suspect it might have started as a plainer Tift or Attleboro School PTP and was reworked.

    What to do? Leave it as is or try to return it to some semblance of what it looked like? Unfortunately, what the latter was is rather speculative at this point.

    And remember, "res ipsa loquitur".

    RM

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