Art Deco Clock Help Needed On Identification

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by willtexas, Oct 26, 2016.

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  1. willtexas

    willtexas Registered User

    Sep 13, 2016
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    I picked up, at an auction, this Art Deco Clock with a Westminster Chime and happily it is running and chiming nicely. It came without a pendulum, so I am using one from another clock I own. The face and the movement are not signed as far as I can tell. The only information on the movement is a C in the lower left corner and a 15 in the lower right corner. A note is present on the inside of the rear door, I am not able to read it and do not even know the language. It seems to be saying that it is an 1899 German clock, but I could very well be wrong. Any help regarding the maker, model, age, origin, and so on would be very much appreciated. Also, as it is my first clock of this type, I have a couple of questions regarding using it properly. I am used to clocks with one or 2 winders (one for chime and one for time), but this one has three and it also has a slider on near the 3 on the dial. If someone would be kind enough to explain how to use it properly (the function of each winder and the slider), I will be forever in your debt. Thanks so much for looking and any assistance you can render!
     

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  2. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
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    The note inside the clock is in Dutch. The person who wrote it identifies the clock as an 'IROD'. This is wrong, since the name of the maker is actually GIROD, but the trademark has a G which almost encircles the rest of the word, so many people read it as IROD.

    The writer was correct in saying that the firm was in the Jura region (of France). They made clocks from the 1930s to the 1960s, so I have no idea what he meant by the figures 1899. Your clock is definitely not from 1899, which was long before GIROD even began, so I suspect this may be a repair tag number or some such reference. GIROD made all sorts of mantel and wall clocks, many with Westminster movements and all in a this art-deco style, so I think the writer has idientified the clock correctly.

    The note tells of the service work which was done, i.e. new spring on the going train, various other small repairs, a bushing, cleaning the case, and cleaning and 'conserving' the dial. I am wondering if this cleaning of the dial removed the very distinctive GIROD trade mark logo, or, if the dial needed 'conservation', whether the logo had been rubbed off already.

    It is an attractive clock.

    JTD
     
  3. willtexas

    willtexas Registered User

    Sep 13, 2016
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    Excellent information JTD! Thank you so very much for your reply! Now I need to find a smaller pendulum bob, so it will not run so fast. Just wondering which hole on this is for the main spring and are the other 2 both for chimes. Also, I am curious about the slider. Is that a silencer for the chimes or a selector for different chimes?
    I love the clock, it has very interesting lines. I have not found it anywhere online since you so kindly identified it.
     
  4. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
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    The center winding arbor is for the time, the other two for the chimes/strike. The slider is an on/off switch, the clock only has Westminster chime.

    JTD
     
  5. willtexas

    willtexas Registered User

    Sep 13, 2016
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    Thanks again JTD. The slider does indeed silence the clock and it is good to know which winding arbor does what. Also, as you stated, it does only have the Westminster chime. I missed the mark behind the pendulum on the back plate. I am just curious if anyone recognizes the mark and I am posting a photo of it. I do not know if it is a Girod movement or not. I actually am finding very little about the maker online. I see a fair number of art deco wall clocks by Girod, and several shelf clocks but I have not found this one thus far. I am very impressed by the movement, it runs very strong. It wants to run even without the pendulum.
     

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  6. willtexas

    willtexas Registered User

    Sep 13, 2016
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    I think I was able to answer my own question using one of the resources on this great site. If I am reading correctly the movement was made by
    Villingen Urgos in Germany. Probably part of a reparations deal after WWII if I had to guess.
     
  7. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
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    Yes, this is the mark of Haller, Jauch & Papst Uhren und Gong fabrik Schwenningen (thus URGOS). The firm wasn't in Villingen, it was in Schwenningen, although the street was Villingerstraße.

    Whether this is a replacement or the original movement I do not know.
    JTD
     
  8. willtexas

    willtexas Registered User

    Sep 13, 2016
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    Thanks again JTD. I seem to be wrong about the theory it is post WWII. URGOS apparently was nationalized as part of the war effort during WWII by the Nazis and did who knows what. After the war, the equipment was sold off as part of war reparations and the new URGOS was not formed again for many years mainly making movements for U.S. tall clocks. By this reasoning, the clock would almost certainly have been made between 1923 and 1938 (if the movement was original to the clock). Regardless, it is an amazingly strong movement and the clock case is very unique. Having an art deco clock is great, an unusual style even better.
     
  9. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
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    I am not sure that we can speak of URGOS being 'nationalised' during WWII, in the sense that it was taken over by the government. However, during the war a great many clock manufacturers stopped manufacturing clocks for domestic use and turned their capabilities to making armaments, often timers for bombs etc.

    URGOS was one of these and it is true that their machinery was dismantled immediately after the war. However, they were very quickly back in business and, for instance, were advertising a mantel clock with floating balance in 1957.

    I am beginning to think that there was never a Girod movement in your clock and that the message inside is a red herring and possibly refers to some other clock entirely. Can you see in the case any signs (screw holes etc.) of some other movement having been there? I agree the dial is very typical of Girod's style, but as far as I know Girod dials were always marked with the name. And of course they were not the only people making art deco style clocks.

    The URGOS trade mark on your clock was first registered in 1923 and used right up to the end of business in the 1990s. If I had to guess, I would agree that your clock was indeed made between 1923 and 1939, as you suggest, but probably right at the latter end of those dates.

    It's a handsome looking piece and, as you say, a very good movement.

    JTD
     
  10. chimeclockfan

    chimeclockfan Registered User
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    Dec 21, 2006
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    I'm a bit skeptical of the claim that the entirety of Urgos' factory equipment was dismantled and sold off after World War 2. Many of their postwar clock movements shared some patterns and tooling with those made prior to the war. Chime cams, hour racks, probably much of the gearing as well. We know that Urgos also made a multitude of clocks for the domestic European market and abroad which would suggest they got back into clock production prior to 1957 (or that many of the postwar clocks we've found are newer than anticipated). It is unfortunate that much of Urgos' historical archives were destroyed upon being purchased by Walter Steinbach.

    It does not look like a Girod clock, it looks more like something originally destined for the British market. They once also desired streamlined Art Deco lines and rectangular dials. All gone by the 1960s... o:)
     
  11. JTD

    JTD Registered User

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    I did not mean to suggest that they did not produce anything before 1957, simply that they were in a good position by that time.

    JTD
     
  12. willtexas

    willtexas Registered User

    Sep 13, 2016
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    Thanks very much for your replies JTD and chimeclock fan. Looking at the mountings of the movement, I do not see any extra holes that would indicate a different movement was mounted prior to this one. This movement is mounted on 2 arc shaped black metal brackets. It is a shame about the documents having been destroyed by fire. I failed to mention the source of the clocks in the auction. This particular clock came from London, England. I would be just as pleased were the clock to be a Urgos. A friend of mine from high school runs the Hermle operations in Amherst, VA. I have not spoken to him in years and it would give me a great excuse to get back in touch!
     
  13. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
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    Well, the movement is certainly an URGOS and I am now (bearing in mind that there are no extra screw holes etc.) that your clock always had a URGOS movement.

    I am also now even more of the opinion that it is not a GIROD clock and that the paper message from a Dutch repairer is a red herring.

    As Chimeclockfan has said, it does look like something intended for the British market and the fact that it came to you from England reinforces that idea.

    JTD
     
  14. Anvil2k9

    Anvil2k9 Registered User

    Jan 27, 2009
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    Old post though, but another one will pass by one day again.

    Recently bought such a clock and was mistaken either.
    It would seem there are more Irods on the web than Girods due
    to the dodgy initializing of the French manufacturer. And one
    quotes the wrong from another in a way "monkey see monkey do".

    So, I was very very grateful for your post, which I may support with a picture for
    further clarification.

    Subject you get this JTD, where did you get the unreferenced history from?
    Because it is impossible to get further information on late Art deco clocks
    from Girod or Odo. Wikipedia knows nothing about both, even here nobody
    more than you do.

    Take care.
    Michael Damian

    Girod.jpg
     

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