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  1. #1
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    Default Samuel Marti et Cie mystery

    Hello all! After the excellent help I received last fall with my ST and Sessions mantle clocks, I though I'd try my luck again with odd clock identification.

    I was recently given a very heavy slate (or perhaps marble?) mantle clock. I'm trying to ID it. I attached a picture of the movement. I *think* it is a Samuel Marti et Cie movement, but it has no telltale stamp. It only has two numbers stamped on it - a "1276" and a "41" (or a "4" and a "1", I suppose).

    The face is painted metal but otherwise unmarked. The tempo adjustment is above the face in an odd spot.

    The bob and rod are one piece, with a "2939" stamped on them.

    I've also attached a few photos of the case - sadly, the front bottom piece of slate / marble / ?? is broken.

    So, any ideas? Is this a mid-1800s French clock? An impostor?

    Thanks ahead of time!

    Mike
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_0982_small.jpg   IMG_0983_small.jpg   IMG_0984_small.jpg   IMG_0985_small.jpg   IMG_0986_small.jpg  

    IMG_0987_small.jpg   IMG_0988_small.jpg  

  2. #2
    Registered user. jmclaugh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samuel Marti et Cie mystery (RE: Michael Martell)

    Certainly looks French and I'd say second half of the 19th C. As it has no maker's mark you can't attribute it to a particular maker. It is not uncommon to see the Brocot adjustment arbor through the bezel as opposed to the dial. 4 1 is the pendulum length in French inches, 1276 is a serial #, the fact it doesn't match the number of the pendulum indicates the pendulum is not the original one though it is French. HTH.
    Last edited by jmclaugh; 07-17-2011 at 06:02 AM.
    Jonathan.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Samuel Marti et Cie mystery (RE: jmclaugh)

    Michael, Jonathan is correct in what he says, except, I would mention that the "serial" number, is in fact a sort of "batch number". In most cases (ptp) you will also find that number somewhere on the front framing of the clock.

    The batch numbers just refer to the model type: long pendulum / short pendulum, etc, and the same number can be found on the clocks of other companies, but the specs aren't the same!. If you go over to this thread, you will see what I mean.
    http://www.mb.nawcc.org/showthread.p...d=1#post570591

    Your case is made from a belgian black marble, from the Dinant region of Wallonia.(french speaking Belgium).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Samuel Marti et Cie mystery (RE: laprade)

    Hello Jonathan and Laprade,

    Thank you both for your help. I am ignorant when it comes to French movements, and very, very new to clock collection / repair.

    Should I be concerned about the serial / batch number mismatch?

    Laprade - I read through the suggested thread and it looks like I'll have to leave it to the experts as to identifying the manufacturer, date, etc of the movement.

    I was happily surprised to learn that the case is Belgian black marble! It is very unfortunate that the front lower section is broken. Aside from sentimental value (of which this clock has none to me), does anyone think the case is worth repairing, assuming I get the movement operational?

    Cheers,

    Mike

  5. #5
    Registered user. jmclaugh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samuel Marti et Cie mystery (RE: laprade)

    Quote Originally Posted by laprade View Post
    Michael, Jonathan is correct in what he says, except, I would mention that the "serial" number, is in fact a sort of "batch number". The batch numbers just refer to the model type: long pendulum / short pendulum, etc, and the same number can be found on the clocks of other companies, but the specs aren't the same!. If you go over to this thread, you will see what I mean.
    Stephen, no offence meant but the purpose of the numbers commonly called serial numbers that are found stamped on French movements is not known and it has not been established that they refer to any of the things you claim for them above and as such should be classified as no more than possibilities.
    Jonathan.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Samuel Marti et Cie mystery (RE: jmclaugh)

    Jonathan, the numbers on the movements are obviously not serial numbers, because of the few digits used. I base my opinion on the fact that the same number appeared on a pendulum, found separately by an owner, but did not match the clock with the same number. (No point in going down that road here, as it is discussed elsewhere) I don't think it is unreasonable to say that the numbers were batch (or type even) used by makers, regardless of the fact that others would use the same number at some stage.

    Michael; black marble is quite rare, but is still quarried in Belgium, but I doubt if you could get a small piece, from there. Best to ask about for a smashed case, which has a bit that is big enough to cut to size. I suppose, in the mean time, a piece of ebony would do.

    I'll send you a PM, about the marble.

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    Default Re: Samuel Marti et Cie mystery (RE: laprade)

    Laprade,

    Thank you for the advice. I'll search the forums to see if anyone has a broken black marble case they are willing to part with, and I'll canvas western Massachusetts to see if I might get lucky locally.

    My next step is to get the movement operational!

    Cheers,

    Mike

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    Default Re: Samuel Marti et Cie mystery (RE: laprade)

    Quote Originally Posted by laprade View Post

    The batch numbers just refer to the model type: long pendulum / short pendulum, etc, and the same number can be found on the clocks of other companies, but the specs aren't the same!.
    Most French movements have the pendulum length marked on the movement, so there would be no need to keep the same pendulum length on the same run of batch numbers, however proving this one way or the other would be quite difficult. One could assume that certain case styles required certain pendulum lengths, and the assemblers would know to use the correct movement based on the movement's markings. Numbering the movements, pendulums and often the bezels kept everything together through the assembly process.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Samuel Marti et Cie mystery (RE: harold bain)

    Oddly enough, Harold, the pendulum lengths are also varied. I have one that states it is 17 (post hole) 1

    Which is exactly the distance from the hook to the center of the bob: but it is in cms! 17.1 cms.

    It would seem that some of the companies may have changed over to metric, or started up after metric was introduced. No maker's name, and if anyone is interested, the number is: 18141.

  10. #10
    Registered user. Talyinka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samuel Marti et Cie mystery (RE: laprade)

    I think this clock may be slightly newer, based on its decoration style and also on the fact that is uses a rack rather then a count wheel to count hour strikes. 1880-1900, in a modest/mid price range, I would say.

    Very nice clock - it is going to look fab once restored. I have a couple of very similar ones.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Samuel Marti et Cie mystery (RE: Talyinka)

    Quote Originally Posted by laprade View Post
    Jonathan, the numbers on the movements are obviously not serial numbers, because of the few digits used. I base my opinion on the fact that the same number appeared on a pendulum, found separately by an owner, but did not match the clock with the same number. (No point in going down that road here, as it is discussed elsewhere) I don't think it is unreasonable to say that the numbers were batch (or type even) used by makers, regardless of the fact that others would use the same number at some stage.
    Stephen, opinions and suggestions as to what the numbers mean are fine but my point is it is not known what they mean therefore when making suggestions or voicing opinions on their purpose it should be made clear that is all they are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talyinka View Post
    I think this clock may be slightly newer, based on its decoration style and also on the fact that is uses a rack rather then a count wheel to count hour strikes. 1880-1900, in a modest/mid price range, I would say.

    Very nice clock - it is going to look fab once restored. I have a couple of very similar ones.
    Afaik I know the the type of striking used is not really that helpful in dating French clocks based on the fact both types were in use concurrently over a long period of time. That said your dating may well be correct.
    Jonathan.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Samuel Marti et Cie mystery (RE: jmclaugh)

    Quote Originally Posted by jmclaugh View Post
    Afaik I know the the type of striking used is not really that helpful in dating French clocks based on the fact both types were in use concurrently over a long period of time. That said your dating may well be correct.
    Absolutely correct, Jonathan, and I would dearly like to find authoritative information concerning when the rack counter was first used - but I don't think as early as 1860, I may be wrong.

    I would like to spend some time researching the archives of the AFAHA in Becanson to see what they know about these things...

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