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Anton Hawelk, Wien 8-day Bracket Clock

bwclock

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Feb 17, 2015
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The following bracket clock is from a recent local estate sale. I went to the sale to buy an Evans skeleton clock and ended up also taking home this Anton Hawelk bracket clock. The case style is not to my taste however I bought the clock anyway as I was curious why the movement did not work and also because I thought the dial would look nice when restored. At the time of purchase the name Anton Hawelk meant nothing to me but it was apparent that the dial was finely crafted and that the movement was skillfully made. Anyhow,

Anton Hawelk, Wien.. Here is a blurb giving some background information: Anton Hawelk (a.k.a. Harvelk or Hawelka) was an extremely gifted watch- and clockmaker who was active in Vienna in the late 19th and early 20th century and worked for the local University Observatory. A number of high quality deck watches and wall clocks made by Hawelk have survived. His early use of the Riefler pendulums in the late 19th century proves that his precision pendulum clocks were of particularly superior quality.

The CaseThe walnut case is approximately 25" tall by 15 1/2" wide. It is well-made and skillfully carved. I spent quite a bit of time cleaning and spiffing up the case but did not polish the brass ornamentation. The ornamentation is easily removed however the three horizontal bands are one-piece castings and would need a wood piece made to support the corners during cleaning and polishing. The finials and lower brass shield were removed for the case cleaning and waxing but not polished so that they might blend in with the horizontal bands.

The Dial…The engraving is deep and is of top quality. There is a recessed moon dial in the arch which is painted in its center and which has a silvered ring around its periphery with numerals. The moon dial is a brass disc with the moon, stars and numeral ring being raised (bas relief) and with the background being filled with blue paint. Additionally there are two subsidiary dials in the arch, the right one being for chime/silent and the left one being a selection for either for grande or petit sonnerie chiming. There is blue paint filling the center of each of these dials. I re-silvered the moon dial, subsidiary dials and the chapter ring and cleaned the painted portions. The spandrels retained their original gilding and cleaned up nicely. The dial plate was polished and everything was waxed. The nameplate is on a reserve rather than being removable and had to be silvered in place. It looks a little dicey in the photo of the finished dial but looks fine in person. What appears to be brass colored around the edge of the name reserve is actually the bevel where it tapers into the plate.

...The Movement… The 8 day movement is finely crafted and finished. All three barrels are provided with stopworks on the barrel cap. The movement is now working properly but should be overhauled. The pin hole on the strike side gathering pallet arbor extension is torn almost completely through and will have to be dealt with when/if the movement is overhauled. It holds the gathering pallet on for now should be attended to.

The Striking and Chiming System… The right side subsidiary dial gives the option of chime or silent. On silent, the wire on the back of the dial merely interferes with the flirt, limiting its upward travel, thus preventing it from raising the chime rack hook. There is no provision for strike only. If the chime does not activate, one does not get a strike as the strike function is initiated by the chime. When the selection is in the chime position the movement chimes each quarter on the smaller bell followed by the corresponding hour on the larger(strike) bell. There is only one chime peal at the quarter, two at the half, three at forty five and four at the hour.
The left side subsidiary dial provides the option of either full-chime at the quarter hours (quarter followed by the hour) or quarters only at the quarter hours. The sole function of this dial is to lift the interference lever so that it does not hook with the pin on the strike rack at the full chime setting. When the interference lever is not raised its notch hooks the strike rack at the three quarter-hour positions preventing the strike from actuating. At the hour, the chime racks fall far enough that its pin hits the strike interference lever extension which then releases the strike. If this discussion has not put you to sleep already and you give a hoot, the annotated photo of the movement front plate illustrates this.
The chime function on this clock, by way of summary, is similar to what we are used to seeing on 3-weight Vienna regulators but with the additional feature of chime selection.

The Moon Dial Trip Lever…The tip of the moon dial trip(advance) lever pivots about a point and is spring loaded. When the lever drops back down after advancing the moon the pivoting actin allows the tip to clear the next moon dial tooth. The spring tips it back into place after the tip clears the tooth. The last photo shows this.

Case/Movement installation… The movement is pinned to the dial by means of four posts. This assembly in turn is installed in the case from the back. The dial is pressed forward into a recess and against the dial mask(masque?). The four discs mounted on the dial, which are truncated on one side, are rotated so that their edge goes into a slot in the case. The photo of the back of the case with the movement installed and a close-up photo of one of the discs illustrate this.
bwclock

Hawelk.jpg Mvmt. back.jpg Mvmt. chime side.jpg Mvmt. frtpl. annotated .jpg Mvmt. strike  side.jpg pendulum.jpg Dial before.jpg dial, back.jpg dial, moon close-up.jpg dial.jpg back of case.jpg close-up of mounting.jpg moon dial trip lever annotated.jpg
 

Ralph

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Jan 22, 2002
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All I can say, is you have more interesting estate sales out there then we have here.

Ralph
 

bwclock

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Feb 17, 2015
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All I can say, is you have more interesting estate sales out there then we have here.

Ralph
Ralph,

Usually there is squat of interest locally and what one finds is frequently in deplorable condition requiring hours of rehab. On the NAWCC Forum I refer to anything I buy locally as an "estate sale" but these are really targeted finds I locate on local internet ads rather than seeing a garage sale sign while driving and stopping for a peek. This year was a bit of an anomaly in that some better clocks showed up. By better I mean, ignoring condition, I was able to purchase this Hawelk and: a dwarf serpentine one weight, Seth T. Lincoln, Seth. T. Garfield, one weight Biedermeier Vienna regulator, Seth T. "Peanut" Seth T. #8 Parlor double dial, Evans single train skeleton clock, T&S carriage clock, pub fusee clock(English dial clock).

I have been an English clock fanatic since the1970's and am disappointed about the infrequency of English clocks being offered on local internet ads. The skeleton and pub clocks mentioned above are the only English clocks I have seen in local ads in quite a while. The others types of clocks I end up buying are merely scratching an itch without actually satisfying it.

Bruce
 

Mike Phelan

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Dec 17, 2003
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All I can say, is you have more interesting estate sales out there then we have here.

Ralph
Sadly, we don't have estate sales in UK unless they are called something else, but a bit of Googling didn't help. Nearest is car boot sales, auctions and driveway sales.

What a lovely clock!
 

bwclock

Registered User
Feb 17, 2015
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Sadly, we don't have estate sales in UK unless they are called something else, but a bit of Googling didn't help. Nearest is car boot sales, auctions and driveway sales.

What a lovely clock!
Hi Mike,

"Estate sale" is a much abused and non-specific term used here and it encompasses driveway sales, boot sales. Sometimes an estate sale entails the sale of the contents of house at the house from where someone is moving or has died. The Hawelk was part of the furniture and personal contents in a house, sold at that house over two days.

I often wish I lived in the UK as there are so many auctions there . I look at these on the internet, some of which have interesting clocks. For example Hutchinson Scott has an auction this coming week with some nice clocks. The advantage of being in the UK is one gets the opportunity to inspect the item before bidding and avoid the risk and expense of shipping. Granted, a local has the VAT to pay, which is waived on sales being exported.

Maybe the phrase "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" has some validity! Over the last twenty five years, excluding the skeleton and dial clock I mentioned previously, I have found only two good English clocks locally through "estate sale" adverts.
Regards, Bruce
 

Jezster18

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Jan 31, 2011
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Wow the clock looks fantastic.
a very informative write up as well, I enjoyed reading how it works & excellent pictures.
 

rgmt79

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Jul 23, 2016
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Sadly, we don't have estate sales in UK unless they are called something else
Unless it's a big aristocratic country house sale, which are sometimes called 'estate sale', they are usually referred to as 'house clearance sale' in the UK. Unfortunately, not very common these days. I used to love going to them, they would often be held at 'the house'. which added to the atmosphere and of course was more convenient for the auctioneer for logistical reasons.

Richard
 

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