Advice on Kroeber cast iron mantel clock Asia No. 1

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by whcureton, Jan 14, 2016.

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  1. whcureton

    whcureton Registered User

    Oct 27, 2010
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    Calling all Kroeber mantel experts!

    DSCN0918.JPG DSCN0919.JPG DSCN0920.JPG DSCN0921.JPG I recently "scored" my second Kroeber. This time it's the bronzed
    cast iron Asia No. 1 and I have a few questions to ask of any Kroeber
    experts out there.

    As you will see from the photos attached, the movement is attached
    directly to the cast iron back plate of the case via a large wood
    block. It is fastened to the inside of the case by three brass slot
    wood screws from the outside rear of the rear case plate.
    The movement fits and is aligned perfectly. My question is, I have
    never seen this kind of mounting arrangement before with American
    mantel clocks. Since I have never owned a Kroeber mantel before
    I'd like to know if this s this correct.

    Second, and the only drawback with the clock when I got it, the
    glass door and bezel was missing so I'll have to be on the lookout
    for one. It came with a dial pan with beauty ring which fits
    perfectly but it has suspiciously too many holes in it's outer
    ring so that is a "red flag". No markings on the dial saying "F Kroeber"
    or anything else. When I look closely at the inside lip of the
    brass trim holding the dial pan I see a small "Pat 74" or "Pat 76"
    stamped on it. When I look at Ly's book on Kroeber it is difficult
    to make out details of dial and bezel from the photographs.
    One thing that is curious, the missing glass door was hinged on
    the right hand side with the friction latch on the left hand side.
    This is most odd. Most American mantel clocks open from the
    right hand side swinging on a left hand hinge.

    Many thanks in advance!
    - Bill
     
  2. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Bill, the hardwood block is original. I've seen that on enamelled iron cases by Nicholas Muller's Sons who are related by marriage to Kroeber. Also the left side opening door is common on Muller clocks. Post a few pictures of the case.
     
  3. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    It might be as well to see the back plate of the case. It might bear comparison with the bit of such shown in Tran's Kroeber on page 228, fig. 704, which shows a screw serving some sort of purpose and a few other holes. Apparently the Asoia No. 1 could have either a front mount or back mount movement.

    The patent date. Hard to say. If 1874, it might be one or the other of these two: 152292 or 155656. Nothing I've found from 1876 fits any better.

    As for the orientation of the door hinge. Browsing briefly through Tran's Kroeber, I noted that the Cathedral (fig. 720), the Dolphin (fig. 726), the Dexter (fig. 729), and the Eagle (fig. 736) all seem to have the hinge on the right. These, however, are shown from dates earlier than the date for the Asia No. 1 (1884 catalogue), so I am not sure if they are apt comparisons.

    I see Harold was a bit ahead of me. Good to know about the wood block.
     
  4. whcureton

    whcureton Registered User

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    A poor workman always blames his tools so that gives me an
    opportunity to blame my camera for these poor photos.
    (Sorry about the encroachment of the unidentified Delft Tile mantel).

    I did get a fairly decent shot of the heavy, cast iron black plate
    that shows the three pyramid
    spaced wood block mounting holes.

    That is very excellent news to me ... music to my ears from
    Harold and Steven. It could be that the door originally hinged
    on the right hand side. Odd, don't you think, that the dial
    face has no inscriptions or writing or logo's on it? I would have
    thought "F. Kroeber" would have been somewhere. I want to
    get Doug Legge in Canada to make a new dial for the clock but it
    has to be just perfect. My first challenge will be to find a door.

    After looking again at the backside of the folded brass lip at the rear
    of the dial (holding the pan in place) the date reads "Pat 74"

    DSCN0922.JPG DSCN0927.JPG DSCN0929.JPG DSCN0930.JPG DSCN0931.JPG
     
  5. whcureton

    whcureton Registered User

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    Tran shows Asia's on two pages (227 and 228). It's really difficult to tell
    the differences between them. Did you see the fancy movement back plate
    from the Zerfing collection? Wow! I checked mine. No such luck. None of
    the Asia No. 1's shown by Tran show open escapements as pictured in the
    related Arabia. My dial is a conventional paper or vellum dial (with no markings).
     
  6. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    I wouldn't fret the absence of a logo or name. The clock dials of many makers often carry no maker's mark of any kind.
     
  7. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    The casting could quite likely have been done by Muller. The extra holes in the dial pan would indicate it is not original, but finding an original could take years. Well worth restoring this clock, as it is not often seen.
     
  8. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    I wonder whether any of the holes in the rim of Bill's dial look as if they have never been used. I can't tell for sure and ask because the dial rim to my Kroeber Newton has one extra hole that seems never to have been used. Can't figure out why it is there. I also wonder whether the dial rim might have a patent date. I assume not since Bill did not mention it.

    The Dolphin and Eagle that I mentioned above, BTW, are Muller castings. They can be found in Arlyn Rath's book, Nicholas Muller Horologist Extraordinaire.
     
  9. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Yes. I had a Dolphin with a Welch movement. It does show up in a few makers catalogs. I think Muller's Sons, and Kroeber were pretty close, after Nicholas died, when it came to clocks and clockmaking. But I don't think either made their own movements, even though their movements are stamped with their names.
     
  10. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    Yeah, Kroeber was good at getting others to put his name on the movements they made for him. He did, however, hold some patents relatring to movements, as well as some case design patents. There is a good overview in the back of Tran's Kroeber book.
     

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