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anonymous 17th century outside countwheel 8 day

novicetimekeeper

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The auctioneers have not yet given permission to use the pics so a link will have to do.

A 19th Century brass 8-day longcase clock movement and dial, a/f

I have wanted one for a while to fill in a gap in my collection. I did not see much hope of getting a local one as longcase clocks were not made here this early so I would think this is London.

Auctioneer says there is no signature under all that green. No engraving between spandrels which is a disappointment.

The minute hand looks possibly original, the hour hand looks like it might be formed from the original. All the collets are the same shallow dome design. No bell sadly, 17th century bells seem particularly nice, but at least it has the original detailed bell stand.

That ship on the top isn't original I'm sure, but fortunately that seems to be the only bit that got messed with, which is pretty remarkable for something probably made around 1690.

It is an 11" dial, I have a spare 11" walnut veneered case (repro, not contemporary)
 

novicetimekeeper

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Now I have learned a bit more about this type of external countwheel I'm looking forward to finding out how the barrel,greatwheel , countwheel, and winding arbour all get along together.
 

Jim DuBois

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Nice little addition. Actually a very interesting find. I have had one 8 day American tall clock with a countwheel on the greatwheel, but it was the more common and later between the plates version, by Aaron Miller, dating a 150 years later than yours. We don't see many English clocks that are of this early period....greatly appreciate your sharing of your collection, before and after is even better....

aaron miller.JPG
 

novicetimekeeper

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Nice little addition. Actually a very interesting find. I have had one 8 day American tall clock with a countwheel on the greatwheel, but it was the more common and later between the plates version, by Aaron Miller, dating a 150 years later than yours. We don't see many English clocks that are of this early period....greatly appreciate your sharing of your collection, before and after is even better....

View attachment 474113

I have three with internal countwheel now, and have seen quite a few others. The countwheel is fixed to the greatwheel either on the outside or inside of the click. That's ok because it can then rotate with the wheel no problem.

The problem here is you want it to rotate with the greatwheel but it sits on the arbour that is used to wind the clock. I think it will be very similar to Peter's sketch. I've heard them called split barrels, which is how they work.

If you look at this one you can see the countwheel is held on with a pin. When I get it that's the first thing I will take off to see it it explains it. I can't afford to get it done up yet, too many others have priority. However I am intrigued to know how this bit of it works and I will also be hoping there is a signature.

You will have to wait a while for the after pics but I will add before pics to this thread in case the auction link gets broken
 

novicetimekeeper

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can't get the second pic to open either


That countwheel looks a bit different doesn't it? This one seems to have a raised section with a pin going through it.
 

DeanT

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Page 129 and 193 of Dawson, Drover and Parkes show a clock by Edward East with the countwheel attached to the barrel arbour.

Page 134 has one by Fromanteel

Page 198 has one by Henry Jones

Page 194 and 207 has one by Knibb
 

novicetimekeeper

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I'll have a look this evening. It's in Nottingham, which sadly means the nearest MBE is the one that delivered your hooded wall clock and I'd rather not use them again but I have not had a quote from anybody else yet.

Sadly I rather doubt my clock is by any of these illustrious names, though it did cost twice as much as my John Knibb!
 

DeanT

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Page 117 has the description. They call it a floating arbour.
 

Ralph

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Dean,

Yes the arbor is in 2 pieces. The greatwheel/countwheel partial arbor slips into the drum. Robey's picture in his Longcase Reference, is the only place I know of, that shows one disassembled.

It's interesting in that his comment suggests that they sometimes did a similar floating arbor on the time side.

Cheers, Ralph
 

P.Hageman

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Hmm thats nice, I came up with a solution which has been used in the 17th century. Seems someone then had the same thought :coolsign:
 

novicetimekeeper

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Looks to me like it was once 5 pillar but is now 4, there is a hole in the front, and a rivet in the back with no pillar.

I initially thought at 11" it must be later than it looks but I think it is quite possibly before 1690. I also think it must be a London clock.
 

DeanT

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The individual minute markers makes me think earlier rather than later. So I would think the earliest 11" dial.

Would be surprised if it isn't London made. I like it!
 

novicetimekeeper

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The individual minute markers makes me think earlier rather than later. So I would think the earliest 11" dial.

Would be surprised if it isn't London made. I like it!

I have seen several books now saying there were 11" dials in the 1680s. The plain arbour holes support an early London, and the minute ring suggests pre 1690. I keep looking at the pics but I don''t think a signature is going to be appearing out of the green :(
 

DeanT

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I have seen several books now saying there were 11" dials in the 1680s. The plain arbour holes support an early London, and the minute ring suggests pre 1690. I keep looking at the pics but I don''t think a signature is going to be appearing out of the green :(
oh well.....it's London made and doesn't have a tudor rose so how does that fit the collection? Might have to send it my way......

I like the backcock in particular. That's a quality detailing worthy of the best makers.

.
 

novicetimekeeper

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Not 30 hour, not single handed, not Dorset, definitely not suited to the collection!

I was looking at the very short bell hammer, not quite sure what the bell would look like to get hit by that and be on what looks like the original bellstand. I have seen them with short hammers where the bell stand has the bell over at an angle but this does not look like it has been bent back. You occasionally see bells that look like the top of death cap mushrooms, perhaps it looked like that.
 

novicetimekeeper

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It has arrived, in an enormous box, I had to unwrap it to fit it in the car.

There is no signature on chapter ring or dialplate so it will remain a mystery. I will have a closer look in daylight tomorrow, not sure if I can get the hands off just yet so can't check behind the chapter ring. I wonder if the lack of a seconds subsidiary points to the early date as Clement was messing about with them in the 1680s wasn't he? I will see if I can count some teeth to see what the pendulum might have been.
 

novicetimekeeper

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The really great news is it has a bell, they must have taken it off for the pictures and not taken one of the bell.

I managed to get the hands off but the pins in the chapter ring are very corroded. May even need to resort to alum!

The hands are very interesting, the minute is original, I thought initially the hour might have been fashioned from the original but I wonder if it is the original.

The collets are all original, everything looks right, and very high quality. Originally 5 pillar but one has been robbed out, the awful boat thing has gone now.

I think this is a 1680s clock a very early 11", and my earliest clock.

DSC_0561.JPG DSC_0562.JPG
 

novicetimekeeper

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oh by the way, the awful boat thing is HMS Victory, this clock was in its 70s when HMS Victory was launched, and around 120 when HMS Victory led the fleet at the battle of Trafalgar.
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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oh by the way, the awful boat thing is HMS Victory, this clock was in its 70s when HMS Victory was launched, and around 120 when HMS Victory led the fleet at the battle of Trafalgar.
I think I may have found some additional info about the rocking ship that came with your clock.

You are quite correct that it is later, in fact, much later than the movement.

My curiosity was peaked because there are so many pieces of HMS Victory memorabilia. Some were fashioned from actual bits and pieces (wood, copper sheathing, etc.) of the ship. The bits and pieces were the product of repairs, refittings, etc. They can have some significant age in that instance.

Others are not, but more modern reflecting the ongoing importance of the ship to the nation's history and pride.

I should add, a very similar situation to the USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides") here in Boston, MA. I have even encountered furniture made from timbers removed in the course of one of the many rounds of sometimes extensive restoration the ship has undergone.

See this website:

HMS Victory stern brass souvenirs

The ship appears to be a "stern brass". In the website, they state:

"Brass badges depicting HMS Victory have been used on many domestic items and sold very well across the world. They mostly date from the 1930s but some were produced again during the 1950s onwards after austerity restrictions on the use of metals were relaxed."

Apparently these were made to adorn a variety of items ranging from "toasting forks" to "ashtrays".

I think you will also find there an example that pretty much matches the rocking ship on your clock. So, someone used one to make a rocking ship.

It might have some value as a HMS Victory souvenir??

By the way, another fun and interesting thread.

RM
 
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novicetimekeeper

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Fantastic research, thank you. I think it must be Vss 67, That appears the closest, it is the correct size. Unfortunately they do not show the detail of the top which I assume has been cut off.

This one is in an unpolished condition as you can see from the pic, so was perhaps pretty new when used for this. They filed a bit off the arbour of the anchor to secure the clamp, it is a heavy lump and I am lucky the arbour has not been distorted by it.

DSC_0577.JPG
 

novicetimekeeper

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BTW for those not familiar with her HMS Victory has had a rather chequered history a bit like this clock.

She was destined to be scrapped several times in her life, even before she was famous, and was quite old already by the time of Trafalgar.

The Admiralty have never been terribly interested in preserving old ships and only various public and Royal interventions have saved her from destruction. He final permanent home came about because it wasn't really safe to take her anywhere else. She is longest serving commissioned warship in the World, the USS Constitution is the longest serving afloat.

There would have been a lot of news about her in the thirties which would explain the brasses.

HMS Victory - Wikipedia
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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Fantastic research, thank you. I think it must be Vss 67, That appears the closest, it is the correct size. Unfortunately they do not show the detail of the top which I assume has been cut off.

This one is in an unpolished condition as you can see from the pic, so was perhaps pretty new when used for this. They filed a bit off the arbour of the anchor to secure the clamp, it is a heavy lump and I am lucky the arbour has not been distorted by it.

View attachment 476414
BTW for those not familiar with her HMS Victory has had a rather chequered history a bit like this clock.

She was destined to be scrapped several times in her life, even before she was famous, and was quite old already by the time of Trafalgar.

The Admiralty have never been terribly interested in preserving old ships and only various public and Royal interventions have saved her from destruction. He final permanent home came about because it wasn't really safe to take her anywhere else. She is longest serving commissioned warship in the World, the USS Constitution is the longest serving afloat.

There would have been a lot of news about her in the thirties which would explain the brasses.

HMS Victory - Wikipedia

You're welcome. Part of the fun.

As with the HMS Victory, the Constitution faced many threats to its survival in the course of its > 200 year history.

Not meaning to commit a high jacking, but here's a link to the official Constitution website:

Home - USS Constitution Museum

It is my understanding that the 2019 NAWCC National will be in Springfield, MA. So, a visit to the Constitution and Boston might be a fun day trip?

RM
 

novicetimekeeper

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I have been on both the USS Constitution and HMS Victory. :)

Oh and for me you can always bring up sailing ships, they were a big part of my life.
 

zedric

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I was standing on the deck of the Victory only three weeks ago - but like many an old clock, there’s not as much original about her as you’d like - only one canon that fired at Trafalgar remains (and most on view are fibreglass copies), the mast is not original and the timbers are slowly being replaced due to wear and rot - and at the rate they are going in another couple of hundred years there will be little left from the original. But conservation was never the first thought on a working ship...
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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I was standing on the deck of the Victory only three weeks ago - but like many an old clock, there’s not as much original about her as you’d like - only one canon that fired at Trafalgar remains (and most on view are fibreglass copies), the mast is not original and the timbers are slowly being replaced due to wear and rot - and at the rate they are going in another couple of hundred years there will be little left from the original. But conservation was never the first thought on a working ship...
I believe that the only original piece of the Constitution that remains at this point is the keel.

RM
 

novicetimekeeper

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Yes they are replacing bits of her at a pace at the moment, but she still has a tremendous feel about her. It's not great for wooden ships to spend much time out of water, they cannot support their own weight, so it is important to take out a lot of the heavy stuff and the cannons definitely had to go.
 

Uhralt

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It is like the story about the axe that has been in the family for centuries. Only that the handle has been replaced five times and the blade four times....

Uhralt
 
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novicetimekeeper

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Back to the clock, these are some of the finest spandrels I have ever seen. Virtually no flash, and all the detailing finely chased. Once cleaned and lacquered to simulate the gilding again they will look fantastic.

DSC_0582.JPG DSC_0580.JPG DSC_0581.JPG DSC_0579.JPG
 

novicetimekeeper

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After lots of chemicals and cleaning I got brave and tried 00 wirewool on the dial to see if I could find a signature I could not. However I did identify the red I think, I'm pretty sure it is rust. I think this was sitting in somewhere very damp with some associated iron bits, and the rust is now on the brass.

Although we don't know who made it (apart from a Tompion fan as those were his favourite spandrels at the time) we do know who serviced it in 1912.

Perhaps the last service it had in its original case because in the thirties it probably got the Victory treatment and was in a different case.

Perhaps the owners in 1912 were badly affected by WWI as so many families were and fell on hard times.

DSC_0584.JPG
 

DeanT

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nice spandrels! How you intending to clean them? Could i suggest a very non-invasive method to start in case they are gilded?
 

gmorse

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Hi Dean,

Could i suggest a very non-invasive method to start in case they are gilded?
I expect if they were originally gilt some traces of gold on the backs would be more likely to have survived.

Regards,

Graham
 

Jim DuBois

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Novice, what is the approach planned for the rust? Just curious as to the plan and what might or might not be acceptable in your collecting circles.
 

novicetimekeeper

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I think that removal of any loose rust and then chelating for the rest.

As to the spandrels, initially a tooth brush I think with some mild detergent, but I don't know if there is going to be much gold left. (there is some on the backs)

There is a lot of rust deposited on the brass from poor storage conditions, going to be a slow process get all the brass clean.

The guy who usually restores my clocks is very keen on the bling, and to be fair the steel should be clean and shiny, just don't want to lose too much.

The surfaces must first be free from loose rust and then stabilised after that we can see where to go.
 

novicetimekeeper

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I don't usually do much work on the movements, I usually do the dials. However I thought I might take the bellstand off and give that a go and see how I get on. It's a particularly nice one I thought, so will be careful with it.
 

Ralph

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Nick,

Is there any evidence that the bell stand was originally mounted on the front plate. It's sort of out of character for an early clock movement to have it on the back plate... at least in my experience.

Ralph
 

zedric

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I've read somewhere that it used to be thought that having the bell on the front plate was a sign of an older movement, however the book stated that there are enough examples of the bell mounted on the backplate that this is not a reliable indicator of age. I haven't seen enough in the flesh to form any opinions myself, although I live in hope!
 

novicetimekeeper

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No Ralph, it has always been where it is, and is a very ornate one, I've never seen a bellstand foot like that before.

Zedric, I have others that are later with it on the front, some makers clearly had their own way of doing things and were not going to be influenced by fashion.

When I saw the initial pictures there was no bell and I could not fathom the short hammer. I suggested to Dean a bell would be difficult to find as it would be an unusually shaped one like a drooping mushroom head. I was so pleased to find it came with one.
 

novicetimekeeper

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I think Ralph has pointed to one of several things that have made me rethink the age of this movement and dial.

The good news is the belong together, and apart from the addition of HMS Victory (now removed) very little has changed since it was made, and everything is where it is supposed to be.

The question becomes is it a late external countwheel movement or an early 11" dial?

I can only offer what I have seen, not sure anybody can be sure.

Later features

11" dial plate
use of collets
rear mounted bellstand
narrow more parallel arbours
no engraving between spandrels


Early

minute numerals within minute division ring
early style of anchor
plain winding holes (ask Herbert Cescinsky, he hated rings with a passion)
external countwheel


Features of note, not necessarily indicative of date

carved detailing on backcock
carved detailing on bellstand foot
high quality spandrels
fine matting
no seconds subsidiary
provision for pull cord to reset strike
Hammer spring mounted in rectangular slot and retained by a pin
shallow dome collets throughout
half hour markers of simpler arrowhead form
unusually small bell of deep cup design
escape wheel low in movement
small winding barrels relative to greatwheel size
5 pillar
very deeply finned pillars.
 

P.Hageman

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Nick, why do you think the spandrels original were gilded? If so there would not have been that much tarnish on them. That is my experience with gilded spandrels. I know I had an early longcase movement with gilded spandrels, movement and dial was very dirty, but spandrels were still more or less clean due to the gilding. (except for those area's where the gilding was worn away)
 

novicetimekeeper

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I have only found traces of gilding on spandrels before, never found them to be in good condition.

I mainly buy distressed clocks though, it may be rather different to buying something that has always lived in the same case.
 

Ralph

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One check that may or may not be conclusive is looking at the rear of the spandrel for traces of gilding. That is a good test for checking if an item, e.g., a dial, was ever silvered, ... check the back..

Nick, I know of a 1690-95 London clock with the same spandrels and 2-1/2 minute markers,

Ralph
 
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novicetimekeeper

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I will photograph the backs this evening. Not sure I have ever managed to get silvering on the back when silvering though but a bit of gold is more likely I would have though as you have to paint on the amalgam.
 

Uhralt

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The upper right one looks like it has been golden some time ago. There are also small residues on the others.

Uhralt
 

novicetimekeeper

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Yes, and I just had a go at one with a toothbrush. Clear evidence of gilding though only in the recesses now. High points seem to have lost it long ago, very polished bit is much more recent, not me. Probably in carriage to me or the auction house.

DSC_0586.JPG