A wood movement tall case clock I bought recently...

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by tomvaughn, Jun 12, 2013.

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  1. tomvaughn

    tomvaughn Registered User

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    #1 tomvaughn, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2013
    i purchased a clock at the harwinton fairgrounds in harwinton CT this weekend. it was unsigned, and i thought it would be a fun clock to restore because i am a clock collector. i got the clock working without a problem, and then i tried to look for a maker- i knew for a fact that it is a silas hoadley movement, because i am exposed to these movements at the american clock and watch museum where i work. i thought it was weird because the dial is unsigned, and silas hoadley and seth thomas always signed their clocks. then i found this page- my clock has BOX 7 written in pencil on the back of the dial at the top, and the number is printed underneath it that says No73 also in pencil. the movement and dial is everything you described. at the museum i am required to teach about the porter contract, and i knew that the company in Ireland (which turned into hoadleyville in around 1830. then Greystone) only sold the movements to porter, this could be why all of the cases are dramatically different- my case is birch- and it unusually has the 2 windows on the side of the case- which is another reason why i bought it- all of the clocks at the museum that have windows have brass movements, and all of the wooden works have no windows at all. the case only has finials, and the bottom has no designs, just a flat square bottom. i live in Terryville- and my best friend lives in the house on top of the hoadleyville factory next to greystone waterfall. I am proud to share these pictures with you!
    - i am a 15 year old plymouth connecticut historian and clockmaker/clock historian, and dont get fooled by my age- i love what i do, and i honestly believe that the work i do on these clocks is professional, ive been doing this for a few years now, and have excelent wood worker and clock repair teachers-
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  2. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    #2 Peter A. Nunes, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
    Hi Tom, thanks for sharing your great find here on the M.B. The movement is a product of William Leavenworth, and you even have an original Leavenworth hand- the hour hand. Note the diamond shaped decoration on the hand shaft- only used by William, as far as I know. You will find that the wheels are screwed onto their respective arbors, and the movement posts screwed into the front plate. Even the dial mounting stud is likely screwed into the upper dial stiffener. This seems to be a feature used only by a very few Waterbury area makers. Read all about William Leavenworth and other wood movement makers in Philip Morris's book, American Wooden Movement Tall Clocks, 1712-1835. It is available at the ACWM, where you volunteer. Thanks for volunteering, by the way. I've attached a few pictures of a Leavenworth example from my collection, this one by William, Mark's uncle. Note the hand design. These hands are both original.

    DSC_0081.jpg DSC_0087.jpg DSC_0088.jpg
     
  3. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Welcome to the MB.

    Wonderful clock and more wonderful...you're only 15 years of age!

    I predict more great finds and discoveries ahead for you.

    Thanks for sharing!

    RM
     
  4. Don DeMarcus

    Don DeMarcus Registered User

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    #4 Don DeMarcus, Aug 22, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2014
    Peter
    I recently bought a Grandfather clock and have found out this is a Mark Leavenworth movement and have sent it out to have some of the missing gears made.
    Do you have any pictures of what the dial was suppost to look like, mine use to be a calander clock and someone changed the dial.
    I have taken some of the black pain off and see now that it had the numbers painted on the dial not brass numbers pressed into the wood.
    Mike had Roman numberals on it originally,
    I can post a picture but it does not really show up very well.
    Thanks for your time.

    I would like to see some pictures of the dial used by him.
    I know young women painted most of the dials but if possible I would like to have one copied.

    I found one dial with the vase in the top center of hte dial which I think mine had.

     

    Attached Files:

  5. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Hello Tom and welcome to the mb. That is a great find and i would be proud like you to own it. Nice to see younger people interested in this hobby.
    Peter that is a neat idea on mounting the movement to the wall so it can be enjoyed.
     
  6. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Kevin, I had several of those cherry brackets made maybe 15 years ago. I have many, many movements without cases, and I like to keep at least a few of them displayed.

    BRACKET3.JPG
     
  7. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Nice Peter, the brackets. Any problems with dust getting in the movement.
     
  8. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Yes, but I don't care. I blow them off every once in a while. I wind them almost only when clock folk stop by, to give the impression that I run them all the time!
     
  9. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Don, here are a few pictures of my Mark Leavenworth example. This is another one that I restored years ago, and recently cleaned and re-restored. This dial is quite typical of those I've seen on Mark L. clocks, which is admittedly not too many. Still, they are different than those by other makers, and I can spot them across the room in auction halls- very distinctive looking.

    The hands on this one are original too- I have another in the shop for restoration that has similar hands, but the little open circles at the tips of the diamond shaped part of the hour hand is repeated on the minute hand (I've included a picture of that set for reference). Note how distinctly different these are from the William Leavenworth example I posted earlier. Note also that Mark used two upper dial mounting studs, as opposed to his uncle William's one. Both makers feature threaded posts, studs, and arbors.

    markleavenworth.jpg markleavenworthback.jpg markleavenworthstrikeside.jpg markleavenworthtimeside.jpg Mark Leavenworth hands..jpg
     
  10. Don DeMarcus

    Don DeMarcus Registered User

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    Peter

    Thanks for the picture of the dial if you have any more please post them.


    I am waiting for the Dial House to respond abut this dial.
    My hands are like the one you posted and it has only one post to hold the dial in place.
    Do you have any idea what year it could be?
    It is a flat top grandfather clock whith the movement covered in a arch top with a Fan carved at the top of the skinny door and one in a circle in the base of white wood of some type.

    I also has diamonds in white wood inlayed in the case and wood diamonds glued to the top.

    I have to figure out how to make the pictures smaller.

    Thanks for your help.


     
  11. Don DeMarcus

    Don DeMarcus Registered User

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    Peter
    Can you tell me what length my pendulum would be?
    Is it cast iron or brass covered?

    Mine has one post to hold the dial and you said it was made by William Leavenworth?
    Is William older then Mark if so when did William make grandfather clocks?

    Was the case stained red if so do you have a name for the stain I might look for?
    don


     
  12. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Don, here is a picture of a few of my extra t.c. bobs. They are cast iron, weigh about a pound apiece, and are generally a hair over 3" in diameter. They show up on eBay fairly regularly, and I was able to buy one at the Eastern States Regional just a few days ago. Original examples all have the broken-off looking raised part in the back, where they were broken from the casting sprue.

    General thinking on these movements is that the examples one threaded dial mounting stud are by William Leavenworth, who bought James Harrison's clock business around late 1805. He produced tall case movements until around 1815 in Waterbury, for a few years after that in Albany, NY- dials of the Albany clocks are generally signed, Waterbury examples not. There are labeled examples. All this is well described in the literature.

    No idea about your case or its original finish- pictures will help. Kathi can do a good job re-painting your dial, I can provide her with pictures for something to copy, once you decide.

    Pendulums are generally around 39" from the suspension cock to the center of the bob- they vary a bit, I generally start off a bit longer and then shorten the rod in small increments until I get it within adjustment range. Don Bruno can supply you with a good pendulum rod.
    wood movement tall case bob.jpg
     
  13. Don DeMarcus

    Don DeMarcus Registered User

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    #13 Don DeMarcus, Sep 1, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2018
    Peter

    Thanks for talking to me about my clock you are very knowledgeable about this clock.

    I am not sure why I had to save this clock only time will tell.

    Can you please post some of the pictures I sent you about my saved Tall Case clock that I have saved from the Burning Man event. I guess he tought it is all made of wood even the movement and it can BURN.

    I found this clock on Craigs List and he was going to take it to the Burning Man event.

    It was listed for $75.00 but it was 70 miles one way to get it. I made an offer of $50.00 if he would meet me half way and his answer was no. So I made another offer of $25.00 and I would drive down and get it..

    HE ACCEPTED MY OFFER AND NOW IT IS UP TO ME TO SAVE IT.

    The movement was missing some gears and some damaged and I sent them off to be replaced. I am waiting for a reply back about my movement.

    The dial was painted black and I used amonia to remove the black pain and have saved some of the original imprint of the old dial design.

    I am still trying to find a dial with a movement made by William Leavenworth who I am told made the movement.

    I am not sure this find belongs in the post maybe there is another post of saved Tall Case clocks or William Leavenworth movements.

    If anyone can help with an example of a dial by William Leavenworth please post it for me.

    Pete has one with a Fan design in the corners of the dial and I really like that design since the front door has a fan inlaid in it and a circle like a fan in the base.


    PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN WITH INFORMATION ABOUT THIS CLOCK.

    Don DeMarcus



    QUOTE=Peter A. Nunes;890174]Don, here is a picture of a few of my extra t.c. bobs. They are cast iron, weigh about a pound apiece, and are generally a hair over 3" in diameter. They show up on eBay fairly regularly, and I was able to buy one at the Eastern States Regional just a few days ago. Original examples all have the broken-off looking raised part in the back, where they were broken from the casting sprue.

    General thinking on these movements is that the examples one threaded dial mounting stud are by William Leavenworth, who bought James Harrison's clock business around late 1805. He produced tall case movements until around 1815 in Waterbury, for a few years after that in Albany, NY- dials of the Albany clocks are generally signed, Waterbury examples not. There are labeled examples. All this is well described in the literature.

    No idea about your case or its original finish- pictures will help. Kathi can do a good job re-painting your dial, I can provide her with pictures for something to copy, once you decide.

    Pendulums are generally around 39" from the suspension cock to the center of the bob- they vary a bit, I generally start off a bit longer and then shorten the rod in small increments until I get it within adjustment range. Don Bruno can supply you with a good pendulum rod.
    212206.jpg [/QUOTE]
     
  14. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Don, the clock that Tom Vaughn posted is a William Leavenworth, and the pictures I posted as a response are of another W. Leavenworth movement with an original dial. There is a picture in Philip Morris's book of another example, and it too has floral decoration.
     
  15. Don DeMarcus

    Don DeMarcus Registered User

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  16. eculuke

    eculuke Registered User

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    Peter just wondering how rare the W. Leavenworth movement/tall case are? Compared to say a Silas H? Also what year he was producing these? I am asking for Phillips book for Christmas :)
     
  17. Tommy Thomas

    Tommy Thomas Registered User
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    Beautiful clock :)
     
  18. Tom Vaughn

    Tom Vaughn Registered User

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    He was making them at Waterbury, probably about 1805-1810/15 (rough date, not checked by Early Wood Tall Case book...), then later relocated to Albany to avoid imprisonment at Waterbury. I have seen maybe 15 of these over the past few years, they're certainly not rare, but no where near as common as a Hoadley. I believe there is a William Leavenworth movement on ebay right now with no dial. Candace Roberts, daughter of Gideon Roberts painted dials for him with two other girls until she was sent to live with Eli Terry and paint faces for him. She died in 1806 and wrote about her experiences with William Leavenworth.
     

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