Antique French wall clock

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by jimmyriddle, May 15, 2017.

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  1. jimmyriddle

    jimmyriddle New Member

    May 15, 2017
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    This is a clock recently given to me by my father. He bought it around 15 years ago in Vilnius, Lithuania.

    The face of the clock contains the text "Le Roie" and "Paris".

    My father seems to remember that when he removed it from its case, there is some kind of engraving on the back of the movement that dates it to some time in the 1830s.

    As the pictures show, it has unfortunately seen better days cosmetically. It hasn't been used for a number of years, however, I have wound it up, mounted the pendulum and got it working. It's been running for a few days now and seems to keep the time quite well.

    It chimes once on the half hour, and chimes out the number of hours on the hour. One issue I am having is that approximately once every twelve hours (I haven't yet worked out when or if it's always at the same time), the chime 'loses' half an hour and so goes out of sync by a half hour. If anyone has any pointers on what might be causing this, it would be much appreciated.

    Also, if anyone has any information on this clock, it would be gratefully received. I realise it isn't going to be rare or valuable, but it would be interesting.

    Photos below. No full-on shots of the movement at this stage I'm afraid - I'm afraid to remove it from the case for fear of misaligning or damaging anything.

    View attachment 343705 View attachment 343706 View attachment 343707 View attachment 343708
     
  2. tkmc37

    tkmc37 Registered User
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    Feb 26, 2017
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    Honestly, they're not that difficult to remove, however if you are nervous doing so I would take it someone with a bit more experience.. The clock in question goes by a few names but I've seen them referred to as bakers clocks more often than not.. I have also seen two dominate types of movements in them as well, both being French... the Morbier style movement and the standard wall clock movement most notably Jappy Freres, that being said the earliest one I've seen was from 1855... as for the chime it could be a number of things and it would really help seeing more of the movement...

    Tim
     
  3. jimmyriddle

    jimmyriddle New Member

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  4. Ticktocktime100

    Ticktocktime100 Registered User

    Nov 11, 2012
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    Hi,
    This is known as an "oeil de boeuf" (bullseye) wall clock and not a baker's clock. It dates to roughly 1880, perhaps slightly earlier. This isn't a Morbier-type movement as the gears are not mounted in an iron frame. It's more a "mouvement de Paris", which is a movement made in Paris or the surrounding areas. Indeed, this style of clock was very popular, so many Parisian makers started to make their own versions of Morbier clocks. It would not surprise me if Japy Frères made your clock, as it has been said above, but their stamp would be on the back plate of the movement. For that reason, the movement does need to be removed for definite identification. I know we can not discuss values in this forum, but you do have a nice and rather valuable clock, despite the condition issues.
    Regards.
     
  5. Ticktocktime100

    Ticktocktime100 Registered User

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    #5 Ticktocktime100, May 15, 2017
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
    I see you posted the required pictures as I was writing my first reply. So, that confirms what I thought. It was indeed made by Japy Frères. However, they won the "médaille d'honneur" (medal of honour) for this movement in the 1855 exhibition, but that does not mean your movement is from that exact date. Its production continued for a number of decades afterwards.
    Regards.
     
  6. jimmyriddle

    jimmyriddle New Member

    May 15, 2017
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    Thank you for your reply - obviously some real experts in this forum!

    Any help with determining if there is a way I could get the chimes working properly would be much appreciated.
     
  7. tkmc37

    tkmc37 Registered User
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    Feb 26, 2017
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    Of course I would leave out one of the other names.... I should have been clearer and said that it was not a Morbier movement, ( I do own a few of these style clocks with both movement types) interestingly enough of the ones that are brass movements they are japy with the 1855 exhibition stamp...

    Tim
     
  8. shimmystep

    shimmystep Registered User
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    Mar 5, 2012
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    Your clock 'strikes' the hour and 1/2hr as opposed to 'chimes'. An example of chimes would be a Westminster chime.

    It likely requires a service as part of the process of gaining a fully functioning clock, and the usual advice re oiling grimy pivot holes applies.
    It is less usual to have a count wheel movement strike on the half hour as well as the hour.
    Without knowing when it goes out out of synch and by how much, it is hard to try and I.D where the issues lies.
    Try moving the minute hand round and making notes around what it strikes and when, then do it again and see it if repeats the irregular pattern. Doing this with the movement out will allow you to watch the countwheel modus 'operandi'.

    It's not unheard of for the countwheel to have been replaced on the arbour in the incorrect position, which can cause a problem. Sometimes the manufacturer will mark the arbour and the countwheel to avoid this.
     
  9. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

    Jun 1, 2006
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    Nice example of its type with the square version of the pendule de Paris movement. The usual problem with countwheel striking is the number of hours struck doesn't match the time so it is out of synch. It is easily fixed by lifting the small lever at the side of the countwheel and allowing it to strike until the time and number of hours struck match. Your description of the problem sounds odd as it implies it is striking the hour at the half hour. Anyway shimmy has given you good advice.
     
  10. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

    Oct 26, 2009
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    The countwheel of your clock has notches wide enough as to allow room for the lever lifting and falling again once for striking the half hour after the former full hour has been striken but before the next full hour is stricken. In short, not a mechanical issue: the clock is out of synch. When the minute hour is marking a full hour and the clock strikes half, just lift the side lever and let the clock strike the next full hour. If the number of strokes is different from what the hour hand tells, you can either keep on lifting the lever and allowing for the striking of half and full hours until you get a full synch or (less recommended for a novice) move the hour hand to the correct hour.

    Aitor
     
  11. jimmyriddle

    jimmyriddle New Member

    May 15, 2017
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    Thanks. Unfortunately I don't think that will solve my problem.

    When I first received the clock, I wound it up and set the time. Of course, when the clock struck the hour, it was out of sync. I then did as you suggested: I moved the hour hand to the hour that had just struck. I then moved the minute hand through the hours, allowing it to finish its strikes each hour and half hour, until I had the correct time. Then, for the next few hours, when it struck it was correct both on the hour (striking the number of hours) and the half hour (striking once).

    However, at some point during the following hours, it went out of sync. It then started striking once on the hour, and striking the previous hour's time on the half hour (so, for example, it struck nine times at 9.30).

    So, I "reset" the strikes by moving the hands as described above. Again, the clock struck accurately for the next few hours, but again, at some point during the following few hours, it went out of sync by a half hour again.

    Basically, it seems to lose half an hour every 12 hours. I can reset it, but the problem recurs every time.
     
  12. shimmystep

    shimmystep Registered User
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    #12 shimmystep, May 16, 2017
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
    So you need to see where on the count wheel cycle it is going out of synch. A prime candidate might be the indent after the 12 o'clock plataeau on the wheel. In that indent, the idea is that the strike train will rotate enough to allow the 12.30, 13.00 and 13.30 single strikes before the next plateau allows the train to strike twice at 14.00. This is the first place I would check its operations.
    For example, if it allowed only two strikes in this indent instead of 3, then for the rest of the cycle you would be striking the hours at the half hour.
    You could try the count wheel in the other 3 positions, easy and quick check.
     
  13. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    #13 gleber, May 16, 2017
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
    I agree with Shimmy. It is either missing a strike, or running over on a strike. The good thing is that if it happens consistently every 12 hours, it should be easier to find than if it happened randomly. Something should be obviously off rather than slightly off. You'll have to run it through a few cycles watching to see what is happening.

    In your photo showing the count wheel, the lever is in the 2:30 strike complete position. The next slot to the left is the 3:00/3:30 strike complete positions and the wider slot to the right is the 12:00/12:30/1:00/1:30 strike complete positions. After the 12:00, each time in this span only requires one strike, so the level can just drop in the same slot.

    Your set up is a little different, but study this: https://mb.nawcc.org/showwiki.php?title=Count_Wheel_Basics
    and you should be able to apply what you learn to your mechanism, which uses the same principles if not the same shape levers/wheels.

    Good luck and let us know what you see or ask questions if you are not sure what to look for.

    Tom

    P.S. My paternal grandparents were from Lithuania, and I had the pleasure of visiting Vilnius and Kaunas in 2013. I wonder how your clock found its way there?
     
  14. Ray Dennis

    Ray Dennis Registered User
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    Sep 2, 2010
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    Hello Jimmy Your problem with the striking going out of sequence is possibly caused by the fact that the count wheel is not positioned on it's arbour correctly. The count wheel is set on a square on it's arbour and in many cases these wheels are not replaced in the exact original position after cleaning.
    Many repairers assume that just replacing it in any position will work with out trying out the whole striking sequence through 12 hours. I'm not sure of your skill level but if you are able to remove the count wheel and try it in a different position, you have the choice of four positions around the square but, you have to test it in each position and run through the whole 12 hour sequence.
    If all is working properly it will strike the hours and then once on the half hour. Once you have that striking sequence corrected , all that remains is to rotate the hands to set off the striking and move the hour hand to the last hour struck and it's done. Just remember to always allow the striking to finish before moving the hands forward to the next hour etc.
    This all assumes that the striking train wheels have been properly assembled between the plates. If not they could be contributing to your strike situation.
    The 1855 mid 19th century date is correct for that type of clock and they were used every where. A wonderful attractive clock. The French movements are wonderful quality and delicate in their own way so if you don't feel confident in doing the correction best to take to a repaired who is skilled enough to work on it.
     
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