Arnold Marine Chronometer ID

Discussion in 'Chronometers' started by ced0412, Jun 18, 2019.

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  1. ced0412

    ced0412 Registered User

    Jun 18, 2019
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    Looking for some more information on this. All the ones I have found online have the name Arnold & Dent, not just Arnold.

    See picture, I can get better ones if needed.

    Screen Shot 2019-06-18 at 12.37.12 PM.png
     
  2. MartyR

    MartyR Moderator
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    Arnold & Dent was a joint company comprising John Roger Arnold and Edward John Dent which started in 1830 and ceased in 1840.

    Your chronometer is probably by John Roger before the partnership with Dent.

    See this thread.
     
  3. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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  4. ced0412

    ced0412 Registered User

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    #4 ced0412, Jun 18, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
    Thanks for the info.

    This is a little strange, the actual chronometer has Arnold No. 1849. There is a decal missing from the outside of the box and I forgot to look under it for any info, I'll do that next time I'm around it.

    The wind key has 1195 engraved in it and the box has some faded paper sticker with print and hand writing that says the following:

    Chronometer no. 1195

    Hennessey

    Chronometer maker to the admiralty 5. Wind Street, Sw (rest of illegible, I think it's Swansea)

    I put some pics in an Imgur gallery Imgur
     
  5. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Hennessy would be the name of a service point. The whole box could have joined the chronometer later in life, they often got repaired or improved by just swapping. It was also common practice for chandlers to beat out the dial and rename the chronometer with whatever name was selling well.

    The tub appears to be original and the number is appropriate for the 1810 period with lots of variability in year vs number. To know much about the piece it needs to be taken out of the tub and photographed from the movement side. When the mechanism is removed from the tub, the tub can be locked in the gimbals and the chronometer laid dial down on top of the tub.

    You can host your Imgur images here, if you like, to protect them from loss of availability when Imgur changes its sharing rules. The camera buttons below this edit/replay window allows pictures to be loaded from either your PC or the web.
     
  6. ced0412

    ced0412 Registered User

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    #6 ced0412, Jun 18, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
    I'm only 2 hrs into my clock education so not sure I follow what you would like pictures of, you mean the sides the gimbal(?) attaches to?

    Edit: Actually I think I see what you're saying, the dial side can be pulled out of the brass cup / tub housing?

    I'll stop by for some more pictures tomorrow and post them. For some history this apparently was given to my grandmother's grandfather as a payment on money owned to a bank in Pensacola, FL back in the early 1900s.
     
  7. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    If you have never done this, you may need help from someone who has.

    If you look at the dial, the glass over it is held in a brass bezel which should unscrew from the brass tub holding the mechanism. When the bezel has been removed, with the gimbals locked, you can turn the box so your hand covers the face and drop the mechanism into your palm with the dial facing into your hand. The you can carefully let the box back into its upright position and you will have the mechanism in one hand and the empty tub facing up. There should be a pin on the dial rim of the mechanism and a small slot in the rim of the tub. You should lower the dial face down to the tub and get the pin to rest in the slot. The dial rim will prevent it from falling into the tub.

    After you have done this, you can see the movement as it rests safely on top of the tub still fixed inside the box. At that point you can make pictures of the mechanism and pay particular attention to any engraving on the mechanism.

    You must be very careful not to touch any of the pieces on what was the back side of the movement and is now on top. On this piece the cost of making an error handling it could be a few thousand dollars.
     
  8. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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  9. ced0412

    ced0412 Registered User

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    #9 ced0412, Jun 19, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
    I'll definitely read the presentations, this has been interesting to research this.

    I added pictures of the mechanism to the original Imgur album, I'll upload some to here as I know Imgur does a lot of compression. Some things I found is that the tub has a different number stamped in the bottom, 1241.

    There is some writing on the underside of the dial face, seems to be worn out engraving, I'll examine it more when I have time. I also can't make it out, working on that as well. Some type of reference on what is usually engraved on these would help.

    All pics at Imgur

    IMG_1945.jpg IMG_1937.jpg IMG_1940.jpg
     
  10. ced0412

    ced0412 Registered User

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    I can't edit my post for some reason, here a few more pictures.

    IMG_1943.jpg IMG_1946.jpg IMG_1947.jpg
     
  11. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi ced0412,

    That's a wonderful balance, presumably a variation on John Roger Arnold's version of William Hardy's 1804 design.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  12. ced0412

    ced0412 Registered User

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    #12 ced0412, Jun 19, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
    Any tips on reading the engraving? Can you do an old fashioned rub or would an antique expert have some tools to do so? I can make out "May of" and would like to be able to read the date.

    Are there any archives or records of what serial number was sold to whom? I'm interested in how this went from the UK to Florida, USA.
     
  13. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    There is a book by Hans Staeger where he attempted to catalog all know or referenced Arnold timepieces. Your Marine Chronometer is not listed, which simply means he had not seen or heard of it.There are no Arnold records available.

    You will notice that the size of the movement is much smaller than the dial. It seems to me that this piece was likely in John Arnolds hand for a long time and may have been finished by Frodsham after Arnold's death. If Dent had worked on it, he would have signed it.

    As Graham mentioned the balance is special and is an example of the efforts to compensate for "middle temperature error."

    There is a thread showing a number of other examples at Early Methods of Correcting Middle Temperature Error
     
  14. ced0412

    ced0412 Registered User

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    #14 ced0412, Jun 19, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
    This is interesting.

    Would the Mercer book "100 Years of Precision Timekeepers from John Arnold to Arnold & Frodsham" have any info on this?

    Can you make anything out of the engraving on the backside of the dial? I was afraid to touch it so I'm not even sure if it's engraved or just pencil or ink, I'll inspect it better next time.

    Not sure if this is any better, tried to improve the image a bit.

    Screen Shot 2019-06-19 at 1.38.19 PM.png
     
  15. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Hand written notes whether pencil or engraved are the thoughts of someone who worked on the piece. I would guess that the dial is rather later than the basic machine, so it may have something to do with making it commercial. I think I see the word vibrate in one of the notes that would indicate the hairspring had been replaced at one time.

    That title is for the Hans Staeger book. Mercer wrote books on Arnold & Son, The Frodshams and The Dents. They are all good books but probably will not help much in identification or nailing down the history of your piece.

    The International Chronometer Registry at the Maritime Museum in Greenwich might have some information and some of the early chronometers have notations in the U.S. Naval records that I think are in Newport.

    Those are all long shots and the best chance to know more is to have someone who knows these things examine it.
     
  16. ced0412

    ced0412 Registered User

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    Is there a resource to locate people that know these things? I’m not going to have anyone local I wouldn’t think.

    I emailed the maritime museum this morning, I’ll try the naval place as well.

    Thanks for all the info
     
  17. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    The NAWCC has chapter and regional meetings all over the country where the members gather to swap stuff and talk about horology.

    If I knew where you were, I could probably suggest someone. Anything much beyond what you will find out here from people looking at pictures will require a careful physical examination and almost certainly a disassembly. You would probably need to travel to do that.

    If you want to talk in a less public way, you can click on the avatar of anyone on the site and select Conversation from the pop up list.

    upload_2019-6-19_21-46-10.png
     
  18. ced0412

    ced0412 Registered User

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    Thought I would update this thread with what we've found so far.

    I'm interested in the history of this piece so I've been researching the trade label that is inside the box that says Hennessy.

    It's from a shop at 5. Wind Street, Swansea (Wales) owned by Bernard Rudkin Hennessy.

    LARGE COLLIERY BAROMETER BY HENNESSY c1890 - Sold - Vavasseur Antiques

    "Bernard Rudkin Hennessy is recorded as working at 5 Wind Street, Swansea from 1841-1875 as a clockmaker, scientist, gunsmith and optician, as well as a shipping magnate (he owned for a while the iron sailing vessel 3-masted barque Atlantic). He is noted in Peates, Iorwerth Clock and Watch Makers in Wales as a contractor to the admiralty, and was a maker of nautical instruments, including chronometers, barometers and sextants."

    He died in 1887 and his estate and business assets were distributed out from what I can tell from newspaper archives, so he would have touched this before then.

    There is handwriting on the label as well, driving me crazy trying to decipher it. I can make out "Captain Ship" and can't quite make out 2 words before "of the north".

    It's difficult to get good pictures but anyone who wants to take a stab go for it.

    IMG_2030.JPG Screen Shot 2019-06-21 at 4.46.42 PM.png Screen Shot 2019-06-21 at 5.00.42 PM.png IMG_2014.JPG
     

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