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Bailey Banks & Biddle Striking Carriage Clock

Isaac

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Aug 5, 2013
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Spied on this clock and I had to put in a bid on it - I don't usually collect carriage clocks, but I saw this "striking" striking carriage clock and it seemed like a good price compared to some other striking carriage clocks I've seen go online. French movement and case. Seems very nicely built, and has a pretty huge and thicker coiled gong compared to other striking carriage clocks. A shame the BBB on the dial is faded out, but not a super big deal.

Seems like the movement is a bit wider than the normal carriage clock movement. 11 jewels (are jeweled movements the norm for French carriage clocks?)


Any more information (dates, anything) is very much appreciated as always. Any ideas on this clock's manufacturer that BBB worked with?

Isaac
 
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Isaac

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Good catch, I just saw hour originally and assumed it was a marking for the arbor o set the hands, didn’t see the C. H mark.
 
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zedric

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Charles Hour, who later formed part of Hour Lavigne, was one of the later makers of carriage clocks, and this one looks like it was made in the early 20th century. The gong is certainly unusually shaped, but looks to be original, as does the rest of the clock. It will look good with a bit of a clean up.
 

Isaac

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Charles Hour, who later formed part of Hour Lavigne, was one of the later makers of carriage clocks, and this one looks like it was made in the early 20th century. The gong is certainly unusually shaped, but looks to be original, as does the rest of the clock. It will look good with a bit of a clean up.
Thanks for the information. It's interesting to note that it appears the inside of the case (by the back plate of the movement) is also stamped C.H. Hour. I suppose this would be to also mark the case the movement is in also being of manufacture by C.H. Hour.

How do their movements stack up to other movement manufacturers in general at the time?
 

Salsagev

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Isaac, you’re always the one person that “one-bids” a clock and wins it. I am the opposite - whatever I bid on will have many competitors and whatever I don’t bid on will go for dirt bottom cheap.

It is a very nice find! Most on FB wouldn’t sell it for that low. Yes, the gong is very unusual and I would be interested in hearing it! A small carriage clock is very nice to have around! Especially since it fits in a wall clock or desk!!
 

Isaac

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Isaac, you’re always the one person that “one-bids” a clock and wins it. I am the opposite - whatever I bid on will have many competitors and whatever I don’t bid on will go for dirt bottom cheap.

It is a very nice find! Most on FB wouldn’t sell it for that low. Yes, the gong is very unusual and I would be interested in hearing it! A small carriage clock is very nice to have around! Especially since it fits in a wall clock or desk!!
Thanks! Luck tends to really favor me when it comes to finding decent prices that people pass over.

The gong is strange (and really makes the movement look wide). I've not seen such an example of this type of gong on a carriage clock before.

Am very curious how people know the grades/quality of carriage clocks. All of the French made carriage clocks I've seen all have had thick plates, solid pinions, and stout case construction - not much to improve on? How does C.H. Hour stack up to Drocourt's and Jacot's examples? Was C.H. Hour a finisseur of these movements, or did C.H. hour build these movements from scratch?

Interested to hear everyone's thoughts.
 

jmclaugh

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Was C.H. Hour a finisseur of these movements, or did C.H. hour build these movements from scratch?
According to A&B's book Carriage Clocks he finished bought in roulants and escapements.
 

Isaac

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According to A&B's book Carriage Clocks he finished bought in roulants and escapements.
So he brought in roulants and escapements and fitted them to the movements he made under his name?
 

zedric

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So he brought in roulants and escapements and fitted them to the movements he made under his name?
Not quite. Roulant means the unfinished movement, including the plates and wheel trains, but without all of the item such as escapement, springs, bell/gong, hammers, hands, dial etc

Most carriage clock “makers” were the last link in a very long manufacturing chain. Very few made the whole item (Japy did, and Drocourt and some others had facilities to make movements). Charles Hour, in this context, was definitely a maker, but not one of the makers who made all parts.

if memory serves, there was an article on Charles Hour in the Chapter 195 (carriage clock) newsletter which you can access if you are a NAWCC member. Hour made clocks for Tiffany, so covered the higher end and the middle end of the market.
 

jmclaugh

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So he brought in roulants and escapements and fitted them to the movements he made under his name?
As zedric says a roulant is an unfinished movement. A&B describe a roulant as "The frame of an unfinished clock consisting of the two plates, separated by the pillars, with the barrels and their arbors in place, and with the train or trains pivoted and planted with their correct depth. Such a piece required many hours of skilled work to see its completion, a series of processes known as finishing".

Hour is said to have sourced his roulants from Montbeliard and Saint-Nicolas-d'Aliermont, the two main areas in northern France where such roulants were produced by the likes of Japy and Couaillet and his escapements from L'Epee.
 

Isaac

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Not quite. Roulant means the unfinished movement, including the plates and wheel trains, but without all of the item such as escapement, springs, bell/gong, hammers, hands, dial etc

Most carriage clock “makers” were the last link in a very long manufacturing chain. Very few made the whole item (Japy did, and Drocourt and some others had facilities to make movements). Charles Hour, in this context, was definitely a maker, but not one of the makers who made all parts.

if memory serves, there was an article on Charles Hour in the Chapter 195 (carriage clock) newsletter which you can access if you are a NAWCC member. Hour made clocks for Tiffany, so covered the higher end and the middle end of the market.
As zedric says a roulant is an unfinished movement. A&B describe a roulant as "The frame of an unfinished clock consisting of the two plates, separated by the pillars, with the barrels and their arbors in place, and with the train or trains pivoted and planted with their correct depth. Such a piece required many hours of skilled work to see its completion, a series of processes known as finishing".

Hour is said to have sourced his roulants from Montbeliard and Saint-Nicolas-d'Aliermont, the two main areas in northern France where such roulants were produced by the likes of Japy and Couaillet and his escapements from L'Epee.
Thank you both for the information - I know very little about the French carriage clock industry, so it's very much appreciated. If I'm correct, the platform escapement is a high-grade temperature compensated lever escapement, correct?

Would you say I paid a decent price for the clock?
 
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zedric

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The escapement seems to be split, which should allow the bimetallic rim to expand and contract for temperature compensation (many of these are only cut, so are more for display than temperature compensating.). One thing I can't see in the escapement picture is the lever itself.. Do you have the clock yet?
 

Isaac

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The escapement seems to be split, which should allow the bimetallic rim to expand and contract for temperature compensation (many of these are only cut, so are more for display than temperature compensating.). One thing I can't see in the escapement picture is the lever itself.. Do you have the clock yet?
I do not have the clock yet - it's slated to arrive Saturday. I think the lever's hidden underneath the balance wheel. Will take more pictures of the clock when it gets here for sure.
 

Christopher Lloyd Owen

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After mentioning Charles Hour, I haven't contributed to this - a busy few days, sorry.

Zedric has mentioned the absence of the lever tail, which I hadn't noticed. I have a modern (1970s) clock on the bench at the moment with the same arrangement, (and a tail-less lever), with the lever pivot on the centre line. I don't think I've seen one before which is seemingly from 1900 to 1910 though. It also looks as though the balance spring coils are not quite concentric on the left (avant) side, but that may be shadows.

And I don't think I have ever seen a gong this shape on a carriage clock! That may have something to do with this being quite a square clock, the contrate wheel holder screw being positioned vertically below the pivot and the fact that the gong has to get round the strike winder, but this is surmise.
 
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Isaac

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I don't think I've seen one before which is seemingly from 1900 to 1910 though. It also looks as though the balance spring coils are not quite concentric on the left (avant) side, but that may be shadows.
Did a bit of searching, and came across a picture of this platform escapement which pretty much exactly matches the design of mine - the description says it's from a French Carriage clock made in the 1880's. It's not split like mine, so no temperature compensation for this escapement.


Interesting stuff.
 

Isaac

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The clock arrived! It has a very nice sounding strike. The clock's a good runner and the movement is high quality (the clock weighs a bit more than I imagined!). Here's some pictures and a video of it striking out the hours. Forgive the rear door being partially opened (it's a 2 handed job to open it since it's a nice & snug fit when it's closed).

Enjoy.


IMG_3015.jpg IMG_3019.jpg IMG_3020.jpg IMG_3018.jpg IMG_3017.jpg IMG_3016.jpg
 

chimeclockfan

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That's a nice little clock. Never seen an oval coil before but it sounds just as good as a round coil on these clocks.
 

Isaac

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A final two question - is this an Obis case style or Corniche?

And lastly, the clock measures 4.75 inches high with the handle lowered (almost 6 inches with the handle raised). Would this be classified as a miniature striking carriage clock?
 
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zedric

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This one has pillars between the movement plate and dial, and the motionwork is between the movement front plate and dial, so it is corniche

In my book, the clock is a medium-size, not miniature - a miniature would have a handle that came up roughly as high as the top plate on this one.
 
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