Barnes, Bartholomew and Co. Triple Decker

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by George Nelson, Mar 17, 2017.

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  1. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User

    Jun 14, 2008
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    #21 Jim DuBois, Mar 20, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
    It is my recollection that the 2 headed bird can be found on a couple of Mungers. I think it was referred to as a 2 headed Phoenix. I owned one, nearly 50 years ago, seem to have no photos of it at all, but at the time we thought it RARE.

    Regards the right vs left facing eagles and Sheldon Hotch commenting he never saw a carved eagle on a brass movement triple decker? He didn't need look far. The John Birge brass movement clock I sent home last week after veneer repair not only has a carved eagle, but it is right facing. I also have a C. and L.C. Ives awaiting some glass in my upstairs bedroom right now, also very much a brass movement, with eagle splat, facing right. So, I would call them less common, but not rare, and frequently on triple deckers with brass movements. While things like splats can be replaced over time, there are usually traces of things being moved about, or parts not quite fitting, or finishes not correct etc. When they show none of the aforementioned, one tends to think them original. Not to pick on Sheldon, he did some really nice carving work and I know of no one doing such today work, at least at affordable rates.

    The John Birge came out of a recent auction, that is where the photo originated, no copyright infringement involved. As you can see the escutcheons and the wood around them was messed up, as were several small patches of veneer also missing. So, it was repaired. Birge clocks are not uncommon, but they are most often Birge and Case, or Birge and Fuller, or Birge and Mallory, etc. Being a "John Birge" makes it a pretty rare bird. so to speak, no pun intended. The case style and the movement are normal fare. Just the name on the label sets it apart. These cases, both the Birge and the C & LC Ives, are thought to be the product of Elias Ingraham, he made them pretty much exclusively. Or better put his case factory made them. It is said his production of cases was about 700 per month, just FYI.

    And George, your case would also be the product of the same factory as the records exist showing Barnes was a frequent buyer of Ingraham cases
     

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  2. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User

    Jun 14, 2008
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    Ah, here I go replying to my own postings too....here is a bad photo of my 2 headed bird Munger. Sorry about the quality but it is apparently the only one I have...it is from back in the day when every photo cost a buck +/- so a lot less photos were taken back then.
     

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  3. Jim Burghart

    Jim Burghart Registered User

    Jan 27, 2004
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    Great find George! Beautiful clock. The tablets are fantastic!
     
  4. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User

    Oct 5, 2007
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    Hi, Jim and All,

    Jim, thanks again for the info. I was quite unsure about the rarity of brass movements in triple deckers comment, so I thought I would post it for comments and discussion.

    As to your Munger, how did you ever part with it? What a wonderful clock. I really like both the splat as well as the seemingly undersized face. And, to have a seconds bit, well, that is just icing on the cake!

    Best to all,

    George
     
  5. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User

    Jun 14, 2008
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    Yeah, like a lot of other clocks I should have kept, this one falls into that category. Not only does it have the double bird splat but it also has the movement and dial that is most commonly found in the so called Ironing board Mungers. So, this is basically a transition clock I would guess. The old style was the traditional Munger ironing board top and here we have used that movement and dial in the new case style that is more common and a bit later. There are a few of this configuration of earlier movement and dial in the later case, but with the splat it made a keeper and I didn't.....
     

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  6. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User

    Oct 5, 2007
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    Jim and Everyone,

    Munger clocks have always thrilled me-I have yet to be able to acquire one. One of these days...

    His pieces are so special and out of the ordinary. I'll bet he was quite an independent person. Jim, I can't imagine parting with it, but I have been guilty of the same thing-selling a clock that I would come to regret losing deeply. :mysad:

    Thanks for posting the pictures. At lease I can spend a few quiet minutes alone, lusting after them. I particularly like the wallpaper in his clocks.

    George
     
  7. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User

    Jun 14, 2008
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    I picked up a Munger (actually a Hotchkiss and Benedict) a couple of years ago. A bit of a rat....weak label, pretty plain case, but it was saying buy me, so I did. One Munger I owned had perhaps 6 or 7 layers of wallpaper in it. Every time the parlor got wallpaper so did the inside of the clock. And it all stripped out to the original wallpaper, and the label was intact and close to perfect. It had been protected for 180 years....
     

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  8. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User

    Nov 26, 2009
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    Jim,

    I don't recall seeing a dial like that before. It's fabulous.

    The lower spandrels are an angelic little child clutching a bird with roses for the upper.

    Can you provide more pix of the dial and details??

    RM
     
  9. Jasons34

    Jasons34 Registered User

    Jan 1, 2016
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    Outstanding find and gorgeous clock. She said it was ugly?!?!?!?!?! People just don't understand the history of these clocks. But I like people lol key you George. I dothe same thing you do. I'm honest with people when it comes to a sale. Mostly all people I deal with when buying have no clue what they even have and simply just throw out a price. I also inform them that it's worth a lot more than what they want and even offer them more. But after that whatever happens happens. I've already gotten clocks free because they assumed it was broken but I informed them nothing was broken. But once again very nice clock. I'd love to own one of these someday
     
  10. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User

    Oct 5, 2007
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    Hi, Jasons34,

    Thanks for the compliment. I know it always costs me more money, but I just couldn't live with myself if I acquired a clock for my collection by knowingly taking advantage of someone. Sometimes, it pays off, like it did in this situation, and, sometimes, the seller gets dollar signs in their eyes and begins to ask double or even more than what I tell them it's worth. In those cases, I politely walk away.

    In one case, I informed a local seller of the value of their clock, they raised the price to way beyond what was reasonable. When I declined, they listed it on eBay- THREE times in succession! They never got their ridiculous asking price, and finally offered it to me for what I originally told them it was worth. By that time, I had such a bad taste in my mouth about it that I just passed. Luckily, about two weeks later, I stumbled upon a better example of an almost identical clock, and bought that one.

    Sometimes, just like you, a "broken" clock comes along at a great price, and again, just like you, I tell the owner that is is simply out of beat, or needs a new suspension rod. In almost all cases like this, they sell me the clock anyway, either unable to grasp the beat problem, or they are unwilling to locate a simple suspension rod. In those cases, I'm always more than happy to accept their low asking price, and can add it to my collection with a completely clear conscience.

    I do hope you are soon able to add a triple decker to your collection, Jasons34. I do indeed like mine!

    Warmest regards to everyone,

    George Nelson
     
  11. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User

    Jun 14, 2008
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    A long time ago I had a friend who bought a rare New Hampshire clock (Noah Ranlet sweep second dwarf clock) from a Lawrence Mass junk shop for $300. My "friend" had no idea what he had value wise, I ultimately offered him $10,000 for it. He countered at $25,000, it was not worth nearly that. He consigned it to a Richard Bourne auction where it brought $7800. My "friend" got all bent out of shape because I didn't go to the auction and at least make a $10k bid on it. Needless to say I found new friends. But, legitimate offers are often refused thinking there must be more $$$$ in it than is offered. I have some other experiences where legitimate and very fair offers have been refused. i finally stopped making offers until the potential seller states a price he, or she, is willing to take. If they won't state a price I have learned I am usually there to do a free appraisal rather than buy a clock. So I just walk under those conditions. There are some fine folks out and about, but there seems to be an ever increasing group that trusts no one and is out to get everything they can......
     
  12. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User

    Nov 26, 2009
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    I guess I'll add my story to the pile.

    This was quite a few years ago now. Just before the internet became routine for many. Still in the days when one more typically sent out lists of things by snail mail.

    Older retired collector in CT. He and his wife were looking to ultimately relocate to FLA. Were in de-accession mode.

    He had been shopping around his rather substantial collection. Sent out a list with sort of pie in the sky price for everything even for those days. Really wanted to sell everything, no "cherry picking".

    I believe that most of the lists he sent out were placed in the round file. No takers.

    Well a dealer friend of mine received one of his lists. Over the years he had bought some nice things from him and they knew each other fairly well. He wasn't interested, but passed the info on to me. My friend was also kind enough to contact this person a few times, tell him about me, vouch for me, about my integrity, etc., etc.

    I schlepped down to his home in central rural CT (I drove by tobacco drying barns!). First trip I carefully examined everything. A true price buyer. Total crap except a few good clocks (a Boardman 8 day fusee' in an onion top case, a double fusee' Atkins wall short drop timepiece with ripple molding, a Terry & Andrews steeple on steeple with a triangular swiss cheese alarm and very pretty glasses).

    I was very honest but polite with him. I thanked him for permitting me to spend most of the day with him examining his collection. Told him I was not interested in the entire collection but I was interested in the above clocks. I stepped up with a rather generous offer based upon THEN relatively recent results over the previous few years from Bourne's (gives you an idea when this all was). Acknowledged that he was primarily interested in selling the entire collection. He declined my offer.

    Well...I guess he remembered the "bird in the hand" thing. He called me saying come on down, he would sell me the clocks I was interested in. Had to be that day as he was leaving for FLA for the winter in a day or 2 and if I remember correctly, Christmas eve was just days away. This was a Sunday. This was going to be my 3rd round trip down there (I seem to recall each round trip was > 200 miles). He said nothing about method of payment. My mistake for not asking. I assumed because I had been well vouched for (apparently he had also asked others about me, as well) I could pay with a personal check.

    I get there. All pleasantries. I get out my check book. He became upset saying he couldn't possibly accept my check. Didn't know me from Adam. I explained that I had been well vouched for and I had been to his home 3 times. Furthermore, if he wanted cash, I would have been happy to accommodate him if I had known. No. I would need to return tomorrow, with cash. I explained that I had to work that day and could not return before he left for FLA and before the holidays. I thanked him and left.

    Needless to say, I never went back. Over the next couple of years, I got intermittent messages from him on my answering machine about coming down to CT to buy the clocks. Never returned the calls.

    Well, a few years later, those clocks showed up on eBay. I know they were the same clocks. By that time, I was through with them. I didn't bid. They sold for < than what I had offered him. I believe he paid someone to list them which meant they had to have taken a cut.

    Some people are too smart for their own good.

    RM
     
  13. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User

    Oct 5, 2007
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    Hi, All

    Jim and RM: Both sad stories to be sure! Jim, your remark, "There are some fine folks out and about, but there seems to be an ever increasing group that trusts no one and is out to get everything they can......" is sadly so very true today. I know of a person who is a member of the NAWCC who uses his membership as a marketing tool to gain trust. He is currently trying to sell some clocks at a local antique shop. His prices are often more than three times what the pieces are worth. Sad indeed...

    Best to all,

    George
     
  14. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User

    Jun 14, 2008
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    RM, collections to buy? One of my all time favorite collection opportunities was many years ago, back in the days of snail mail. I and a friend often bought clocks together. A letter came in that offered a very substantial collection for sale. The collection was out west in one of the smaller less urban states. There were photos of about 20 clocks included with the letter, one of them was a truly outrageous and quite valuable E Howard floor regulator, there were several decent double dials, a couple of long running Vienna's and some other likewise decent clocks. But the collection was said to be nearly 1000 clocks. Obviously we needed to know what the other 980+/- clocks were. The fellow who owned the collection wanted to talk financial terms rather than talk about the other clocks. Bad omen right there. He wanted payment in the form of an annuity in his name that would generate cash flow of $50,000 per year. Now that sized annuity flow would require an investment that was not pocket change then, or is it now.....back to the collection. When we finally got a more or less complete inventory? The other 980 clocks were.......all black mantel clocks. He was so proud that they were all in good condition, repaired, and run-able. His collection goal was to have an example of every model of every back mantel made by every company....I don't know if he accomplished that goal but he came a lot closer than I would. Needless to say, we didn't waste any more money on postage stamps, or phone calls.

    The E Howard regulator later surfaced in an auction where it brought a nice amount. I have no idea what ever happened to all the black mantel clocks.

    Us collectors can be strange birds.

    And RM, I think you know the fellow who bought the dwarf clock for $300, he was a friend of our mutual friend Lennie....
     
  15. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User

    Nov 26, 2009
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    I can only surmise....

    RM
     
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