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  1. #16

    Default Re: Comtoise, cleaning the faceplate...how? (By: soaringjoy)

    Thank you,
    Jacques...can you give us any websites for these manufacturers? So we can see what is being made today and how they might differ from the older Comtoises? That might be interesting to see.
    Thank you!

  2. #17

    Default Re: Comtoise, cleaning the faceplate...how? (By: Andy)

    André, the nearest supplier to me is in la Charente, the next departement to La Gironde. Their name is MAINGOURD established 1875 in the city of Angoulême. They did not have a site, but do do email. maingourdsarl@wanadoo.fr SARL is a type of french enterprise. I only have edition no 2 of their book, and the head of the house told me that a new book is being prepared. The traditional movement they have in No 2 is €399 HT (hors taux)

    The cases are still made, Lyre type in the Jura, and also the modern panelled type. The modern type have no true provenance and are a nasty mix of the older panelled type and the later lyre type. To my surprise I find them here on the messagerie in a posting called "france markets". A Irelandais person has put them in. It is very surprising to see things from France here, and to see all the church clocks is a big occasion, especially the examples from my departement.

    M. Soaringjoy, merci pour votre salutation.

    amitiés, Jacques Lepousse

  3. #18

    Default Re: Comtoise, cleaning the faceplate...how? (By: ludovictrarieux)

    Thank you Jacques,

    I understand that the clockmaker firm is making a new catalog, correct?
    That is a lot of money for a movement. Too bad they do not have a website as it would be interesting to look at. I could not find the posting you mentioned, maybe you can insert a link to it for me.


    In the meantime...that beast has arrived. I had to take it in by the courtyard entrance as "she who must be obeyed" didn't want it in the house and thinks it was a bit Kookook to buy it anyway. So it is in the barn. It is raining and storming out there tonight, so pictures will have to wait till hopefully in the morning. I did though look at it. If it's a fake, it's a good one. And the faceplate is brass. The picture I had of it was just really the whole color. The metal is really greenish in the daylight.

    Would like though, now that we are talking about it...to post pictures, so maybe I will dash out and do it now. It's only ten o'clock...still too early to go to bed

  4. #19
    Registered User soaringjoy's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia

    Default Re: Comtoise, cleaning the faceplate...how? (By: ludovictrarieux)

    Il n'y pas de quois, M. Lepousse.

    The NAWCC Message Board is pushing strongly on an
    international basis, but the French colleaugues are very rare...,
    although enough French clocks appear and are discussed here.
    Altogether, though, it is a different scenerie, than what we
    have over here in Europe and that is why we are happy about
    your support.

    Jurgen "tempus nostrum"

  5. #20

    Default Re: Comtoise, cleaning the faceplate...how? (By: Andy)

    The rain wasn't that bad...so take a look.

    Think it is absolutely complete. Down to the washers keeping the hooks from being drawn up into the case during the winding. The doors and back plate are all fine though not pictured and even the door latches are good. Both the trains move with the finger and the gears do not have too much wear at first glance. The worst problem is definitely going to be the bends in the paper thin brass at the bottom of the clock. Really nasty, tight bends. There are a few stress cracks at other places already.

    Does anyone have experience with straightening this kind of a bend in brass sheet metal? Any tips...other than forgetting it?

    PS...now does anyone think it might be a fake? And I'd say it has been a bit cleaned up from when I bought it too...there are less bugs in it :-)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSC05183.JPG   DSC05184.JPG   DSC05188.JPG   DSC05194.JPG   DSC05193.JPG  

    DSC05191.JPG   DSC05185.JPG   DSC05186.JPG   DSC05195.JPG  
    Last edited by Andy; 12-29-2011 at 04:05 PM.

  6. #21

    Default Re: Comtoise, cleaning the faceplate...how? (By: Andy)

    It looks like you have a lot of work to do! I do not think it is a fake. I see that it has an anchor escapement and would probably date to the last quarter of the 19th century.

    I even see the original (or possibly replacement) red cord on one of the barrels.

    The bends in the fronton are pretty bad but you might be able to straighten them somewhat. Just get it right the first time since repeated bending will probably break it off.

    Thanks for posting and good luck.


    Richard T.

  7. #22

    Default Re: Comtoise, cleaning the faceplate...how? (By: Richard T.)

    Andy stated in part: "......Down to the washers keeping the hooks from being drawn up into the case during the winding."

    Take a close look at the "washers" Andy. These are often coins used as winding stops and if dated may reflect the period when the cords were replaced. The period would have been when the monetary value of the coins was nil or nearly nil.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Morbier Mvt Bottom.jpg  
    H.J. (Les) Lesovsky, Alhambra California

  8. #23

    Default Re: Comtoise, cleaning the faceplate...how? (By: eskmill)

    That tip sent me running out in the early morning fog (we are having very strange "winter" weather) to go into the barn and look.

    Hit the nail on the head !

    2 Coins...both made of pot metal, one a smaller denomination than the other, 25 and 10...and strange as it may be, dated 1918....and 1941. For sure it tells about when the cords were last replaced...while ago. It tells not so much as to when the clock was made...but it brings up an interesting fact. The French were evidently stubborn enough to still mint coins with all the french mottos,(even RF, Republic of France), etc, on them...even though the Germans had taken the country over in 1940. Good example of the old saying..."never say Die!"

    So...thanks for the very good tip, Eckmill....talk about clock archeology LOL

  9. #24
    Registered User Burkhard Rasch's Avatar
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    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Comtoise, cleaning the faceplate...how? (By: Andy)

    Congrats,the date wheel is there incl.the spring-wheel to hold iz on rest.No,that´s not a fake!
    As the shape of the brass front is irregular (not square or arcaded-square)I have the idea that the edge of it might not be completely flatt/straightend originaly,but the outward part was bent backwards as a "rim" for about10-15mm.If it was mine,I´d try to egalize the main part,the "bezel"should cover the dial edge closely but leave the outer rim as is.I don´t have my book at hand,I´ll see if I find a pic of the original shape of Your brass trim in the evening and post it.You can perhaps also bulge some dings when You can compare Your´s to the original.Use rounded wooden sticks of different diameter to push the soft brass,don´t use a hammer or a chisel.It´s not difficult when done with care.
    Gigni de nihilo nihil,et nihil in nihilum posse reverti

  10. #25

    Default Re: Comtoise, cleaning the faceplate...how? (By: Burkhard Rasch)

    Thanks Burkhard,

    I think you are correct, the edges were turned over a bit, but the bottom edge is really bent down, and more is bent than the original edge of it. The bent metal is in the way of the Pendel, so that wouldn't swing. Something will have to be done about most of that. Your idea of leaving it mostly the way it is, is a good idea as the job of trying to make it look "like new" just won't do the trick. It would never look like new, anyway. In the end, it might be better to leave it with some of the damage it has acquired over the years and be happy. I see no purpose in totally "restoring" it to new condition anyway. I'm more of one of those "repair and let it be " guys. I did that with a 41 Wanderer motorbike and it goes great on the road, will do a good 60KMH (37MPH) but looks like it came straight out of the barn...(which it did) ;-) I like it that way is for some reason.

    So just what I will do with the clock...we will see when it is apart, but it most likely will be just clean and give the parts a good coat of wax let it be. Sure...the heavy rust will have to go, but I most likely will not take the metal down to get rid of all of the rust damage...there would be nothing left, LOL So...it will run I'm sure...but it won't win any beauty contests. That's OK...if I had wanted one of those...I'd not have bought it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSC02691.jpg  

  11. #26

    Default Re: Comtoise, cleaning the faceplate...how? (By: Andy)


    You have a nice clock, and sadly it has been neglected. I recently bought four, which had been left in a grenier for over fifty years, so Madame told me. I have cleaned one of the brass surrounds with an old mix told me by a Dutch collector, who had a early twentieth century book on repairs. You must be careful when repairing the bents, as hammering can spread the metal. The machine pressed brass is not as pliable as proper hand made repoussé objects. Hand work is generally done with silver or copper, as they are more pliable, but need to ne annealed. Annealing brass is not as easy, because the other metal mixed with the copper, doesn't like it.
    Bon courage et bonne chance!

    I am thinking you might live in Europe, Angleterre perhaps, since you mention "she who....", I spent some time working in Angleterre, and watched Maitre Rumpole on the TV. I also watched Mr Fawlty and his famous hotel, and maybe we should take his advice and "don't mention the war". This part of La France didn't do very well in the last conflict.

    amitiés, Jacques Lepousse, La Gironde.

  12. #27
    Registered User soaringjoy's Avatar
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    Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia

    Default Re: Comtoise, cleaning the faceplate...how? (By: ludovictrarieux)

    A really nice find, Andy and I'm sure glad, it's an original.
    That might be an enjoyable job to restore it step by step.
    Maybe the clock won't win a beauty contest - as you say -
    but it will look real fine when finished, I'm quite sure.

    The only advice I can give you is, try warming up the metal
    shield in hot water, before you start work on it. That may help
    more than anything else.
    If possible, you can try to gently and very gradually, rub out some
    creases from the back side, using a wooden dowel or popsicle stick,
    for example. From my experiance, it's better than bending and worth
    a go at it.
    After cleaning the shield, personally I would try to softly "highlight"
    some of the higher mouldings. Doing that very subtly often has a
    tremendous effect and it will not look "over-restored".

    Jurgen "tempus nostrum"

  13. #28

    Default Re: Comtoise, cleaning the faceplate...how? (By: ludovictrarieux)

    Hi Jacques,

    Send us some pictures of those 4 clocks if you can...

    If you wish to, please let us know about that cleaning solution...I'm curious about it.

    I live over the border, past Saarbrucken.

    I know of "Fawlty Towers"...and "she who" was what my mother was called by the family LOL


    Thanks for the tips...good idea, heat. Work with gloves and it might work.
    The thing with the coins...what a surprise!

    It will somehow work out with some of the bent metal, I just have to wait till I have room on the work table, I have about 6 clocks apart now. All waiting for parts or a miracle. That shield will need lots of room to work on it. But we will see...I might be impatient and start anyway.
    The shield is held by small screws and nuts, by the way, no rivets...so it must have been apart at least once. Then again, if you want to remove the backing plate and dial...those screws would make the job much easier than removing rivets to get to the screws that hold the backing plate to the frame. Are the screws/nuts then correct for this clock?

  14. #29
    Registered User soaringjoy's Avatar
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    Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia

    Default Re: Comtoise, cleaning the faceplate...how? (By: Andy)

    Warmth, like hot water, not heat like open flame or something,
    mind you.
    I wouldn't even think of rushing in on that one, if I were you.
    Sleep it over and take your time...
    Jurgen "tempus nostrum"

  15. #30

    Default Re: Comtoise, cleaning the faceplate...how? (By: soaringjoy)

    Most that I have seen have had screws/nuts holding the fronton to the rest of the clock.


    Richard T.

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