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British Longcase Clock Oldmeadow Circ. 1785 Unusual Aspects...

Retrospective

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Hi, Here is a Longcase clock by Thomas Oldmeadow Kings Lynn Norfolk England. Circa 1785
Here are some very unusual features, unusual to me anyway.
The pendulum does not suspended from the movement but from a a bracket on the backboard.
The backboard has an extra piece of wood for extra strength and rigidity riveted to it.
The rod of the pendulum is made of wood. with guide fittings in it.
The weight of the bob is a huge 14lbs.
The weights are a massive 23lbs going train 10lbs striking chain. A steel line is used.
The fittings of the face to the movement are correct and not a marriage.
The movement and the case are correct and show all the signs of not being a marriage.
What do people think of this ? Have people seen this before, i know i have not but then I'm not that knowledgeable of longcase clocks.
What do you know about such heavy weights, bob, and rear board pendulum style?
Cheers
 
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jmclaugh

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The going train weight is too heavy, a typical arrangement is between 10lb and 16lb, a 14lb bob also sounds rather heavy. I don't recall seeing that VR style of pendulum mounting on a longcase before. The hands are unusual, it's a nice all silvered brass dial in a pagoda case.
 

Retrospective

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Yes that's why i posted it on here as it is so unusual that everything is so heavy. I wanted to know if anyone had seen this configuration on a longcase clock before. The case with its pagoda hood and silvered face is very much of a London style so unusual for a provincial clock from kings Lynn Norfolk
 

jmclaugh

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The all over silvered brass dial is the last style that was produced and mimicked the newer painted dials, afaik they aren't unusual for provincial makers. Pagoda cases were made over a long period of time.
 

novicetimekeeper

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I think it is a deadbeat isn't it? in which case that combined with the wooden pendulum rod suggests it is built, at least in part, as a regulator. That also fits with the very heavy bob.
 

Retrospective

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I was thinking the same thing, it is a bit like a combination of regulator and a regular movement with striking. I am having to have the pendulum remade exactly .Unfortunately after 240 years of people miss handling it by picking it up by the rod it has caused fracture lines on it ( a fulcrum point of the very heavy bob and rod)
 

Chris Radano

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Probably more like an early domestic regulator. As said a dead beat. The suspension on the backboard probably makes it less likely to damage the escape wheel teeth taking the movement out an installing in the case. Also the heavy bob is supposed to be more accurate and would put stress on a back cock had the pendulum been suspended from there.
Also looks like you have maintaining power on the time side winding barrel.

Just out of interest, I have a bracket clock with dead beat and a heavy bob.
No maintaining power on the bracket clock!
I have a Scottish bracket clock that has a dead beat with no maintaining power, as well.
 

Jim DuBois

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Certainly a well-executed clock. A cut above many of the clocks found of the period in which it was made. The deadbeat escapement, maintaining power, the backboard suspended pendulum, the wood pendulum rod with some nice crutch to rod enhancements, the heavy bob, all speak to someone building to a higher standard. And the long weight is entirely wrong. It should be no heavier than 12 pounds or so. The casework of the clock also appears to be a cut above also. Thicker wood used, looks like mahogany for the seatboard as well as the cheeks for mounting the seatboard as well as retaining the hood etc. Even the backboard of the case appears to be of mahogany, and thicker than many clocks of the period. The dial and hands also speak to an apparent higher standard than many more conventional clocks. Nice clock! Enjoy.
 

novicetimekeeper

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The backboard is quarter sawn oak, which you would usually associate with a London clock, so everything about this clock screams quality.
 

Retrospective

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Many thanks for all the replies and information. It has been very interesting. I am still mystified by why the large weight was put on the running train. Not just a little weight but nearly double the norm. Could the extremely heavy bob be a reason? As soon as the pendulum rod is returned I will set it running with the 12lb weight from the striking train and see how it runs. Everything about this clock shows craftmanship and quality from the movement to the case. I'm very glad I own it. Looking on the net i have seen 3 other clocks by Oldmeadow but they don't seem to come up that often. This is the nicest one I managed to find.
 

novicetimekeeper

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I would have thought with such a large bob it would need a larger weight, though that is not usually achieved only by making it longer, but mainly by increasing the diameter.
 

Retrospective

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if you look at the long weight it has been extended longer. This is very odd. Like it was made but found not to be heavy enough so added to.
 

novicetimekeeper

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if you look at the long weight it has been extended longer. This is very odd. Like it was made but found not to be heavy enough so added to.
Yes, I thought it looked like it had been extended. It isn't original to be that long, I have month going weights here of 15/17/20 pounds and they are all about the same lengths, no more than an inch difference.
 

zedric

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Yes, I thought it looked like it had been extended. It isn't original to be that long, I have month going weights here of 15/17/20 pounds and they are all about the same lengths, no more than an inch difference.
It’s quite possible that an owner in the past found that the clock was stopping, and instead of getting it serviced just added weight until it ran again..
 
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Retrospective

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Once the movement has been cleaned and serviced i will experiment with a 12lb weight and see how it gets on. 23lb weight is so odd. and to go to the trouble of extending it fairly professionally rather than servicing the clock would seem unusual.

What is the heaviest weight people have had in a longcase clock?
 

novicetimekeeper

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Year going clocks have massive weights. 8 days are usually in the 10-14 pound range.
 

Ralph

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Yes, it looks like a domestic regulator. Deadbeat escapement, pendulum hanger mounted on the backboard, heavy bob, wooden pendulum rod, … I have not been able to see evidence of maintaining power?.

The superior plate finish and cut steel pinion on the motion work also support the obvious quality.

it would be interesting to see the under dial front plate. It would also be interesting to see what the purpose of the spring operating on the escape wheel pivot is for, unless it is not a spring, but a form of end stop. I would expect an associated one on the front plate, if it is an end stop

Ralph
 

Chris Radano

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oops. Looking again I mistook the ratchet teeth as maintaining power. I thought I saw the teeth on the left time side barrel and not the right, but the teeth are on the right side too.
I have a few fusees with maintaining power, that's similarly where it's located on the fusee cone (near the wheel teeth), but they're all later Victorian.
So Ralph, what time period do you see maintaining power on English weight movements? I mentioned 2 dead beat spring clocks I have that don't have maintaining power.
The escape wheel has 6 spokes instead of the more standard 4.
 

Ralph

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Chris,

Harrison invented the maintaining power you commonly see on regulators. That was in the 1720’s, according to Google. Derek Roberts states in his Regulator Trilogy, that most regulators incorprated Harrison’s maintaining power by 1790. There’s a form of maintaining power that uses epicyclic gearing. I don’t think this regulator uses it.

Ralph
 

novicetimekeeper

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Maintaining power is seen on 17th century longcase, with bolt and shutter.
 

Chris Radano

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I don't notice Harrison's maintaining power for domestic clocks until after the mid 19th c.
My James Muirhead Glasgow bracket clock is 1850's and doesn't have maintaining power. I have another c. 1880 fusee that does have Harrison type maintaining power:
Here you can see Harrison's maintaining power on a recently sold Regulator by Robert Bryson of Edinburgh, 2nd q. 19th c.

These are different than the clock in the thread, but it is interesting that Harrison's maintaining power was known for many years but was not always used in dead beat domestic clocks until much later.
American and Vienna regulators (later 19th c. on) maintaining power with dead beat seems standard.
 
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Retrospective

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Here's a few more pictures after i removed the desiccated spiders and webs. A nice touch is all the people who have serviced the clock since its construction have etched their name and date on the front plate. IMG_1218.JPG IMG_1218.JPG IMG_1219.JPG IMG_1220.JPG
 

Ralph

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It would also be interesting to see what the purpose of the spring operating on the escape wheel pivot is for, unless it is not a spring, but a form of end stop. I would expect an associated one on the front plate, if it is an end stop
Yikes. that was the foot of the bell standard.... Tsk, tsk.

Ralph
 

Ralph

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Maintaining power is seen on 17th century longcase, with bolt and shutter.
Huygens started it, with his loop. Twin barrels are another form of maintaining power
.
“American and Vienna regulators (later 19th c. on) maintaining power with dead beat seems standard.”

Chris, a quick check and it seems the Viennese were Using Harrison style maintaining power early 19th century. I found 3 fairly quick. 1810, 1811 and 1820. Two of them are in Rick Ortenburgers book, the other is in a book printed for a NAWCC Symposium a few years ago. It documented part of Victor Kochaver collection. He was a major collector.

American clocks, it does seem that MP wasn’t regularly implemented until later and that was in production regulators. I’m pretty sure there were some unique regulators made earlier, but havent found them yet.

I have a few dead beat clocks without MP.

Regards, Ralph
 

novicetimekeeper

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Huygens started it, with his loop. Twin barrels are another form of maintaining power
.
“American and Vienna regulators (later 19th c. on) maintaining power with dead beat seems standard.”

Chris, a quick check and it seems the Viennese were Using Harrison style maintaining power early 19th century. I found 3 fairly quick. 1810, 1811 and 1820. Two of them are in Rick Ortenburgers book, the other is in a book printed for a NAWCC Symposium a few years ago. It documented part of Victor Kochaver collection. He was a major collector.

American clocks, it does seem that MP wasn’t regularly implemented until later and that was in production regulators. I’m pretty sure there were some unique regulators made earlier, but havent found them yet.

I have a few dead beat clocks without MP.

Regards, Ralph
You get deadbeat on centre seconds longcase without maintaining power but you have to stop those to wind them so the escapement is not at risk.
 

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