Any help identifying this longcase clock would be tremendously appreciated.

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by Skiggity, Nov 15, 2019.

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  1. Skiggity

    Skiggity New Member

    Nov 15, 2019
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    Apparently this clock was in the waiting room of a grand-uncle's medical practice, I have no idea how long he owned it or how he came to have it, but I grew up with the clock in our own home, and now it's a part of my family. The clock keeps excellent time, I did a bit of oiling to the movement and chimes and adjusted the strikers so both the Whittington and Westminster chimes work. Now it just needs an unbroken minute hand and I'll be in great shape, but I figure I'll have better luck finding a replacement hand if I have some clues about the origin of the clock itself. The minute hand has a square hole, closeup photo included. Thank you for any insight into the age and origin of this clock.

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  2. Skiggity

    Skiggity New Member

    Nov 15, 2019
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    Oh, I should mention, the circular part of the clock face is 12 inches in diameter, and the case stands about 99 inches tall including the ornate wooden piece above the cabinet.
     
  3. gleber

    gleber Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
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    That's a beautiful looking clock. A nice heirloom for sure. Sorry, I can't help much with the identification. It looks a little top heavy on the smaller base. I don't know that I've seen any like that. I really like the dial.

    Tom
     
  4. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    Nov 13, 2011
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    the base looks wrong to me... like maybe someone swapped or replaced it in... the proportions are off (for me).

    you might find identifying marks on the front or back plates of the movement. are you comfortable pulling the hands and removing the dial? you would have done that when oiling, yes?
     
  5. Skiggity

    Skiggity New Member

    Nov 15, 2019
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    All oiling so far has been done with a long tube oiling device, and not by me, my stepdad is into clocks and was the most recent custodian of this one. I will poke around the movement plates next time I'm in there. Also, I think there's some fisheye effect going on in that photo, it is robust up top but not to the extent it appears in that image. I'll try for a different shot of the full thing, it's very tall.
     
  6. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

    Jan 20, 2017
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    that...is a very interesting clock. chimes on bells and gongs. my guess is mid to late 1890's.

    there are many uncommon elements here. the chime setup is one of them. it appears to play westminster on the gongs and whittington on the bells. the barrel design pendulum is unusual(and possibly not original to this clock). roman numerals on a dial like this are unusual. the tiny little base under such a monumental looking clock is unusual. the spandrels and engraving on the dial is unusual for this type of clock. this clock seems like the "grandfather" (pun intended) or an early rendition of the tubular bell hall clocks which had their heyday in the 1920's.

    i could probably go on but i need to get to bed. i need to get up early and "drive" to punta cana. it will be interesting to see the comments of others in the coming days.

    the movement looks european to me. i see several elements from the netherlands. possibly germany and maybe a little english looking too. normally, on clocks like this one, the maker's insignia is located between the 12 on the dial and the moon phase above it. this appears to be the case here, but i do not recognize the logo.

    do you have the rest of the minute hand? it appears to have broken off at some point in its career.
     
  7. chimeclockfan

    chimeclockfan Registered User
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    Dec 21, 2006
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    Chime setups with 8 bells and 5 gongs were originally an English device, though more often found in bracket clocks. There were some longcase clocks with 8 bells and 5 gongs offered regularly during the 1890's with the movements being made in England by high-end firms such as J. J. Elliott or J. Smith & Sons. The coiled gongs give a deep mellow sound very much like 'Big Ben' in London, a contrast to the lighter chiming bells which serve for the Whittington chime. German companies would eventually copy the English chime clock trade during the early 20th century.

    The bells were normally cast by a bell foundry such as Whitechapel or Gillett & Johnston. Unfortunately clock bells are not normally signed so deducting their exact manufacture is impractical. It is out to debate whether the gongs were also made by specialty trade or in-house with the movement and other components.

    The case aesthetics tend to vary stylistically and for a while during the 1890's you did find cases like this which were inversions of what was accepted as the norm. So long as the clock stands without any balancing issues, it was probably like this from the beginning.

    The 1890's was an experimental time for chiming longcase clock development, residing between the earliest developments during the late 1880's but before everything considered 'normal' became firmly established during the 1900's. Besides the works of Walter Durfee, very little from this period has been documented in much detail.
     
  8. Raymond Rice

    Raymond Rice Registered User
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    Feb 14, 2011
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    Nice looking clock, and I don't find the case proportions to be out of character for the period. The works and gong/bell arrangements appear remarkably similar to my J. J. Elliot movement in a Harrington and Harris case. I see that the retail sellers plate has been removed from your clock, as evidenced by the two screw holes above the the six o'clock position. I am attaching some pictures of the works in my clock. (I originally had posted a lot more pictures, but I fear they were lost in "The Great Software Upgrade".

    Ray Rice

    PB150002.JPG PB150003.JPG PB150004.JPG
     
  9. Skiggity

    Skiggity New Member

    Nov 15, 2019
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    Thanks to all who have offered their knowledge. Raymond, that is very similar indeed! The clock has a wonderful deep BONG for the hours and the Westminster chimes are similarly deep and ringing thanks to (what I assume is) spring steel coils.
     

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