Can Anyone Interpret this Signature/Clockmaker?

expeditionhiker

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I believe this to be a Scottish Drumhead clock from 1785. Even after seeing the initials or signature, I can't figure out what it says. I edited a picture to show more detail of the letters. Any guesses to the letters or name or clockmaker? thankyou

scottishdrumhead.jpg Inkedscottishdrumhead_LI.jpg drumheadmovement.jpg drum.jpg 20200517_201030[13308].jpg 20200517_095017[13309].jpg
 

zedric

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Aug 8, 2012
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What you are looking at there will almost certainly be a mark made by a repair person, rather than the initials of a maker. In fact, it is unusual for there to be only one such mark on a clock this old. Often they will have dates etc associated with these kind marks.
 

JTD

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I think the letters may be THG, but, as zedric says, this is not helpful as it is nothing to do with the maker.

JTD
 

novicetimekeeper

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I think your clock is more 19th century than 18th century but I agree the signature is not likely to be the maker.
 

Ticktocktime100

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Hi,

A very fine clock. I agree with zedric that the letters in question are likely a repair mark. What leads you to believe the clock is circa 1785? I'm not an expert on these, but I would have put it slightly later, around 1820 or so. I may be wrong, and if so I'm curious as to what I may be missing - perhaps others will have some thoughts on this point.

Regards.
 

expeditionhiker

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When researching we found this cabinet style might be early 1800's, but we also found 3 other signs hinting earlier:
1. found an article "How to Date Your Grandfather Clock" . Concerning pendulums it says "From 1740 to 1800 the wire rod stayed, but the bob became flattened into a saucer shape, around four inches in diameter, often with a brass case. The late ones 1800 to 1880 have a wide flat strip of iron instead of the wire rod, and the same four inch brass-faced bob."
2. article talks about pillars, this clocks matches 1740-1800.
3. found a clock movement by Ephraim Willard circa 1795 that looked very similar, and I originally saw the date on the movement 8/85/, so I thought maybe it might be 1785, not 1885(unless that is a repair date of 1885).

Here are some pics of Ephraim's clock and a few others including the drumhead clock movement side view showing pillars. My son and I are researching/learning about clocks for fun and education while stuck at home, so we are learning a lot, thanks for all your help.
ephraim willard 1.jpg ephraim willard 2.jpg drumheadpillars.jpg Screenshot (66).png
 

novicetimekeeper

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The pillar pattern continued beyond 1830.

Pendulums are not much use for dating a clock as they are often replaced when lost or muddled up by auction houses. Same with weights.

Although your clock has a coiled gong we don't use that in dating because it is an alteration.

Scottish clocks are a bit harder to date as they diverged from the English fashion, but yours has a first quarter onward 19th century feel to it.
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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...found a clock movement by Ephraim Willard circa 1795 that looked very similar, and I originally saw the date on the movement 8/85/, so I thought maybe it might be 1785, not 1885(unless that is a repair date of 1885).
IMCO, there's a major fault in your analysis.

Ephraim Willard was an American clock maker. He was a member of the illustrious Willard Family of MA clock makers.

I agree with the comments made here thus far.

Over the years, I've seen quite a few of the Scottish "drum head" clocks of the same vintage. Must have been made in larger numbers. I suspect dealers imported lots of them over the years.

Late UK cases were sort of squat, had short trunk doors, had heavy proportions (e.g., note the heaviness of the columns) and so on. I'm very much inclined to agree with Joeydeluxed with dating the clock to the middle 1/3 of the 19th century. Sometimes they acquired a rather Victorian fussiness. Other evidence, e.g., later types of saw or tool marks, may support that as well.

This was kind of the last gasp of tall case clocks. No one could withstand the onslaught of the American factories.

That said, it is an attractive clock of a good height so it will fit in most homes. The cases were well made and used some excellent veneers. They are an attractive affordable package that should provide years of service.

Enjoy.

RM
 

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