A Becker I have Not Seen of the Torsion Spring Variety

Discussion in '400-Day & Atmos' started by claussclocks, Feb 10, 2020.

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  1. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    I picked this up at an estate sale for almost nothing. I did not examine it too closely and thought it was French from the circular markings. Once home I cleaned it a little and discovered it is a Gustav Becker. I thought it was unusual enough to share since I know nothing about it.

    DPC

    Front.jpg Back.jpg Side.jpg Back of movement.jpg
     
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  2. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    It would be nice if a moderator could move this to the 400-day forum area.

    The serial number is obscured so it's hard to date the clock. Maybe John Hubby has something from a catalog, but something tells me this might be a homemade case.

    Kurt
     
  3. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    #3 etmb61, Feb 10, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
    Looks like it could be 1873497. The condition of the gold medal stamp is similar to others I've recorded in that number range.

    I've recorded two others of this same model, 1945913 and 2236896.

    Eric
     
  4. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    Serial number is 1873497

    I don't think this case is homemade. The front and side glasses are beveled, hard to see from these pictures, and the joints look typical for construction from the time period compared to other types of clocks.

    I am also curious about the more copper looking parts that can be seen

    Pendulum 1.jpg Pendulum 2.jpg
     
  5. John Hubby

    John Hubby Senior Administrator Emeritus
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    David, thanks for your inquiry and posting the photos of your GB clock. This is a quite unusual one, the oak Art Nouveau case I've not seen in any GB catalog but have seen very similar cases in other maker's catalogs. Based on the movement serial number it was made about October 1905. For all, in my opinion this isn't a homemade case, very definitely factory original but likely a third party. Similar cases have been documented with JUF, Junghans, and Kienzle movements. The serial number is 1873497 as Eric reports, and David has advised me privately the pendulum has the same serial number so it's all original.

    David also has informed me the dial does not appear to have been silvered originally. I believe it is likely the same material as the metal trim at the top of the case, it would look great with a matching (brass?) dial.

    Here are a couple of Photoshopped versions of David's clock as to what it might look like if really cleaned up. I think all can see that the details are quite clean and the case well made with an interesting Art Nouveau design, quite unlikely to be a homemade case.
    1873497 Front PS.jpg 1873497 Rear PS.jpg The dial should be yet lighter in color and more uniform of course. It is definitely an unusual and interesting GB, well worth complete restoration.
     
  6. John Hubby

    John Hubby Senior Administrator Emeritus
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    David, you have noted more info regarding the construction of the case that also led me to conclude it is not homemade.

    The coppery color on the pendulum parts is most likely the result of someone leaving the parts in an ammonia cleaning solution, or using ammoniated polish. This will leach out the zinc from the surface of the brass and leave the copper, thus giving the copper color. I suggest you do a complete disassembly of the pendulum and do a complete cleaning, then polish with a good paste polish such as PEEK, Simichrome, or other. The copper color may or may not go away but with everything polished it will be less noticeable.
     
  7. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    Thank You, John and everyone else who have commented on this little clock. It is definitely a keeper for my collection and as time allows I will start the restoration.

    DPC
     
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  8. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User

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    I think I'd leave the underside plate for the pendulum alone, rather than chance messing up the serial number.
     
  9. brc

    brc Registered User
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    I have the same clock and the pendulum has a copper finish so I suspect that your pendulum is just missing some of the finish. If you look at the round buttons on the top right and top left of your clock, I think you can still see some remnants of a copper finish surrounding the buttons that has been mostly polished off. Mine has the same issue. It is mostly brass now.

    Mine also has a Becker movement. I will try to get some pictures posted.

    Do you have a mirror on the inside back door?

    Bruce
     
  10. John Hubby

    John Hubby Senior Administrator Emeritus
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    Bruce, thanks for posting. Amazing that two of the same cases show up at once, certainly confirms that they were factory made. Will very much look forward to seeing photos of your clock including the movement back, pendulum serial number etc.

    Also, since you say your pendulum also has copper coloring on some parts it may be that overall a color scheme of copper and brass was used for the metal decoration at the top, the dial, and the pendulum. A mirror on the back door of the clock would add a lot of life to watching it run. I've seen a few done that way that appeared to be original, all wood case clocks.
     
  11. brc

    brc Registered User
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    As promised here are some pictures of my clock. The serial number may be difficult to read on the movement but it is 2030012

    Bruce

    beckerFr.jpg beckerMvt.jpg beckerPend.jpg beckerPendBot.jpg
     
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  12. John Hubby

    John Hubby Senior Administrator Emeritus
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    Eric, do you have photos of the second one? I have both of these serial numbers recorded but somehow lost the photos for the 2236896.
     
  13. John Hubby

    John Hubby Senior Administrator Emeritus
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    Bruce, thanks very much for posting. Your clock was made about March-April 1908 based on the serial number. So far the date range for the four clocks mentioned in this thread is from 1905 to 1912, actually a relatively long model life for special designs such as this one.
     
  14. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    As was mentioned earlier this example seems to have a mirror in the back. That gives the clock an additional feel of depth. I may look into adding that to mine during restoration.

    DPC
     
  15. brc

    brc Registered User
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    Hi John,

    Thanks for the dating info!

    Bruce
     
  16. MUN CHOR-WENG

    MUN CHOR-WENG Registered User

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    John,
    A picture of this clock with sn 2236896 is featured in the June 2018 issue of The torsion Time on page 30 in the RECENTLY SEEN FOR SALE section.

    Mun C W

    20200218_092555.jpg
     
  17. John Hubby

    John Hubby Senior Administrator Emeritus
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    Thanks Mun, when I first saw the photo that Eric passed to me I thought it looked familiar and now I know where I did see the clock earlier.
     

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