Aaron Miller Tall Case

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by Russ Granzow, Jan 10, 2019.

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  1. Russ Granzow

    Russ Granzow Registered User
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    Jan 10, 2019
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    New Member here! Just acquired an Aaron Miller and would love to hear from anyone about what I have gotten myself into.. haha.. I feel lucky and in over my head at the same time. Curious if anyone can narrow the date down to early Miller or late. It has been cut down and re-attached but otherwise an aesthetically please case. Works need a lot of work. Measures 97 inches to top of center finial. Any thoughts on whether this is a matched case and next steps would be much appreciated. I live in NJ. External countwheel correct?

    AaronMiller_1.jpg IMG_1998.jpg AaronMiller_6.jpg IMG_2003.jpg IMG_2002.jpg IMG_2004.jpg IMG_2007.jpg IMG_2006.jpg IMG_1959.jpg
     
  2. Russ Granzow

    Russ Granzow Registered User
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    New Member here! Mistakenly posted in a different forum...
    Just acquired an Aaron Miller and would love to hear from anyone about what I have gotten myself into.. haha.. I feel lucky and in over my head at the same time. Curious if anyone can narrow the date down to early Miller or late. It has been cut down and re-attached but otherwise an aesthetically please case. Works need a lot of work. Measures 97 inches to top of center finial. Any thoughts on whether this is a matched case and next steps would be much appreciated. I live in NJ. External countwheel correct?

    430236-b9ef17502b127c4f8803bc4fc709cfc9.jpg 430237-7ddd0d886faeaf2224313cf2213d221b.jpg 430238-b95b0b554a3ede666b02af85962ca502.jpg 430239-42519e52a49e2bd5ada2d449f477c07a.jpg 430240-798ae9eec2ea460e18877e860891a15d.jpg 430241-fad0a64c7c07a8c72bf9c0c18e9d9d9c.jpg 430242-0c39b5b6a5de88fbbedcfc1545d9cebe.jpg 430243-4f2c95fcf76c92ca436f3db5bf2caa69.jpg 430244-ee110f5c1fef2f7341a31fea77ce3974.jpg
     
  3. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    looks good, but your photos are all too small... <200 pixels wide at 72 dots per inch..

    the MB will support (and endorses!) images as large as possible... which means 1600 pixels wide.

    would you mind re-uploading largest possible images?

    not sure what you mean by early or late miller... ?
     
  4. Russ Granzow

    Russ Granzow Registered User
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    Jan 10, 2019
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    Thanks Bruce. Most of the photos are 2k x 1.5k some are 300dpi others 72 I don't see any that I uploaded that are 200pixels. Am I doing something wrong during the upload? This one is 1920x7000 at 300dpi.. Is it better?

    Miller Full view.jpg
     
  5. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    that one's great... and a lovely clock it is!

    the ones in your original post are all small... if you click on them they will open (as close to) full size (as possible)... you can see that they're somehow smaller...
     
  6. Russ Granzow

    Russ Granzow Registered User
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    and these....

    Miller Dial.jpg miller movement right side.jpg Miller movement left side.jpg
     
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  7. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    now that's what i'm talking about... hopefully @novicetimekeeper will be along shortly... he is very informed on these.
     
  8. wow

    wow Registered User
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    Russ, do you have the weights? Think it is an eight day? Nice !
     
  9. Russ Granzow

    Russ Granzow Registered User
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    yes an 8 day and have both weights. Wooden winding drums and Miller's characteristic cutoff of the corner of the brass plate. better pics attached now Miller movement left side.jpg miller movement right side.jpg Miller Dial.jpg Miller Full view.jpg Miller Signature.jpg
     
  10. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    All that can be seen of the movement and the dial suggests you have a real and proper Aaron Miller 8 day count wheel strike wood barrel iron posted movement. And the case looks to be in decent shape. You have a valuable clock even in today's market. It has good lines. A very nice American clock from New Jersey circa 1760-1779. The style of your case suggests it to be from the latter period of his work. You have an expert in NJ clocks located in Cranberry, NJ that you might contact.
     
  11. novicetimekeeper

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    Not me, this appears to be American, rather than simply imported. From an English perspective I'd agree with Jim's dating toward the end of his date period as it has full rococo spandrels. The hour hand , had it been on an English clock, would be much earlier, suggesting that is a local feature too. Would they have imported the spandrels or cast locally? They are an English design.
     
  12. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    Nice clock indeed. As notso_novicetimekeeper has indicated this is almost certainly an American clock and I am sure so of our American experts will be along to give you some more details.

    I've never seen dial feet or pillars like those on an English clock.

    Cheers

     
  13. JTD

    JTD Registered User

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    It would be better, and less confusing, to have this thread amalgamated with the other one you have started on the same clock. It is difficult when two threads on the same clock run concurrently.

    Perhaps a moderator can combine them for you. But it is a very nice clock - congratulations!

    JTD
     
  14. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    This is an internal countwheel. External countwheels were earlier.(though continued much longer on 30 hour clocks)
     
  15. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Regards the throwback hour hand, Miller must have had a pocket full of them as several of his clocks existing today have the same hour hand. Miller's son-in-law, Issac Browkaw continued making very similar movements/clocks to this one, but he did transition to painted dials, but still used the count wheel strike control, as well as most often used the wood barrels. Millers clocks are certainly not common, perhaps we could call them rare, with a few found in major museum collections (for example see the Yale collection, as detailed in The American Clock 1725-1865 by Battison and Kane).
     
  16. Russ Granzow

    Russ Granzow Registered User
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    Thanks novicetimekeeper, particularly interested to hear from this Board what is known about rococo spandrels and who was exporting them from England in the late 18th century.
    Is there a technical name for the signed disc with Aaron Miller on it? Was it originally silvered? Or were some done in brass

    Miller Spandrel.jpg
     
  17. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    We generally refer to the name placard as a "boss" and yes it would have been silvered originally.

    6372_C.jpg 6372_B.jpg Jul02_26.jpg
     
  18. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    The disc is the chapter ring, a name that refers back to the original use of clocks for calling the monks to prayer. They were silvered to provide contrast against the black wax so that they could be more easily read in candle light.

    Very little is know about the early brass founders. We know that the definition of spandrels changed, suggesting later generation moulds, and we know there were some subtle differences in design suggesting a multitude of suppliers, but I don't think we know much about the who or the where from. Go back to the 17th century and we do, at least, know where the foundries in London were.
     
  19. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    oh, my bad, yes that's a boss.
     
  20. Russ Granzow

    Russ Granzow Registered User
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    requested this thread be combined with the one on the same topic in Newly Acquired Forum... sorry folks, I'll just post repair questions here... :$
     
  21. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    The evolution of clockmaking in America was often dependent on English made clock parts. Be it spandrels, or dials, or precut pinions, or other brass parts, a lot of our production of clocks was supported by the importation of English parts. In some cases whole movements, with or without dials, were imported and sold as locally made products. This all becomes even more interesting giving the period of say 1770-1820 and our war of revolution followed by the war of 1812 etc. Even though we were fighting with England it is apparent that a lot of clock parts made it here. Never let a war get in the way of commerce?
    As strange as it may seem today we did not have the ability to produce "new brass" in any quantity or decent quality until about 1830. Good American produced steel was even a bit later, more like 1845. American brass prior to 1830+/- was almost always remelted of old scrap brass. Many of the truely American made clocks have poorly cast frames and other parts, and ratty looking movements with major casting flaws tend to be American cast brass.
    I would suspect the spandrels on this Miller are English in origin. The plates and other parts are most likely made (cast) in America as while they are decent castings they tend to be thinner, rougher, and show occasional flaws more than English supplied plates. Tom Spittler and Robert Cheney have pretty well detailed the use of English made parts. Their writups concerning this can be found in an article in Antiques Magazine, another in Clocks Mag, and in a book by Cheney concerning American clock making...and other places too...
     
  22. Russ Granzow

    Russ Granzow Registered User
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    #22 Russ Granzow, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    Thanks Jim and novicetimekeeper, fascinating and highly informative.. makes sense, and I find the fact that parts still flowed to the colonies telling of the times. We live in an historic 1765 home right near where Washington crossed the Delaware on that pivotal night and it is meaningful to me to understand how this clock was built in and around the same time our home was built as we try to create a living history of that period. Given the clock face is in such good condition, what explains then the complete absence of silvering on the boss? A better photo is attached. Especially with a glass door in place.. I guess a controversial question will be whether to re-silver it during restoration or not.... our intention was not to touch the face at all.

    Miller Boss.jpg
     
  23. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    As silvering tarnishes on dials, chapter rings, bosses, and the like they most often get polished and depending on what is used to polish the silvering can be completely removed. As has happened with your clock.

    Pictured here is a clock I own from about the same period as yours, perhaps a bit earlier, and it apparently has never been re-silvered or messed with. I have had others that still preserved what was apparently original silvering. Why some survive and some do not remains a bit of an enigma.

    We owned a house in New Hampshire circa 1746 where we did a fair amount of restoration so we understand your interest in preserving the historic aspects of houses and clocks....and other things too.

    In respect to resilvering, I guess that depends a lot on how serious you are about preserving details. I have resilvered a couple of dials recently out of necessity and ultimately was not happy with the results. They end up looking like a bumper on a '57 Chevy more than I like. My last effort I left the silvering a bit thin around the high points on the parts, like it would have been worn off over time, and left the brass a bit dark also. I like that much better. And yes, that is the dial shown in my avatar...the Cheney dial is original silvering IMO.

    2018-01-14 16.22.26.jpg 2018-01-14 16.22.32.jpg
     
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  24. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    When I resilver I try to remove as little material as possible in the preparation so that I retain some of the original graining. That seems to successfully restore the functionality without removing any sense of the history.
     
  25. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    Threads merged.
     
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  26. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    If it were my clock I would resilver the boss as it should look the same as the chapter ring.
     

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