Can you help identify/date my carriage clock?

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by rstl99, Jan 25, 2016.

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  1. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    I just purchased this attractive basic carriage clock.
    In closer inspection (post-purchase sadly) the top glass is not original (leaves a gap on one side).
    "France" is stamped on a bracket in the back around the winding arbor.
    There are two cursive characters at top right and left on the back.
    No markings on the dial, which may or may not be original.
    The clock runs well and was serviced a few years ago.
    Any help to identify or date it would be appreciated. Thank you.

    IMG_6836.jpg IMG_6838.JPG IMG_6841.jpg IMG_6852.JPG IMG_6856.JPG


    IMG_6833.jpg IMG_6845.jpg IMG_6849.jpg IMG_6851.JPG IMG_6861.JPG
     
  2. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    Silly me: those two cursive letters at top left and right of the back are obviously S(low) and F(ast), to guide moving the speed adjustment rod between them.
    Anyway, the lack of markings on it seem to indicate some kind of generic and probable lower-grade clock. I'd still like an indication of date based on the visual clues, if possible. Thank you.
     
  3. TTodd

    TTodd Registered User

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    I hope someone specializes in these. I have one nearly identical to yours that I was going to ask about. Mine has France printed lower on the dial face.
     
  4. shimmystep

    shimmystep Registered User

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    I would say about 1900. Appears your has original gilt left on the case, but hard to tell. Most of them have been polished back to the brass.
    When you explode your first picture it is evident that oil runs on the main wheel teeth and intermediate wheel pinion. And maybe due to inappropriate oiling, or the spring having been over oiled, then seeping out of the barrel cap and running to the wheel teeth. Wheels and pinions should be dry, because as wet, they will collect dust and grime and over time will cause wear. There does seem to a lot of dust and material threads inside the movement.
    Sometimes there are dates of early services scribed into the plate underneath these, there will be a screw holding it on. Have a look.
     
  5. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    Thank you "shimmy". I am new to these clocks though have always wanted one. About your comment re: gilt on the case - what is recommended that I do with it? My instinct was to use some polisher to shine it up, but would it detract from its collectible value to do so? Should I just leave the case alone?
    The seller told me had brought it in to a shop a few years ago for "cleaning and oiling" and maybe as you say it has been over-oiled by an over-zealous clock repair person.
    There _is_ a fair amount of dust seen inside, in part due to the fact that the top glass is not the right one for the clock (I realized after I got it home) which leaves gaps for dust to work its way inside. I saw a company in Canada (Perrin's) that will make up a proper glass for it for a reasonable amount ($20 or so) but you have to send them the top part of the case so they can fit it. I'll look at local solutions.
    I would be glad if the clock does date from around 1900, if you are correct.
    I will have a closer look when I have educated myself on how to take the case apart safely on one of these.
    Best regards.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Maybe if you are able, it would be nice of you to upload a few pictures of yours so we can compare them :)
     
  6. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    p.s. Am I right in thinking this clock has the "cylinder escapement" I have read about? I've looked at it carefully and can't see the cylinder but I'm not very familiar with these. I have read some say that the later lever escapement is more reliable and preferable than the older cylinder type, but this one seems to run very well and keeps very good time.
     
  7. TTodd

    TTodd Registered User

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    #7 TTodd, Jan 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
    Here's mine. It doesn't run but I haven't had time to look much into it. Clocks 9-2-15 037.jpg Clocks 9-2-15 040.jpg Clocks 9-2-15 041.jpg
     
  8. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    thanks. Yes I can see a few similarities. Could you take a picture of the rear of the clock with the glass door open?
     
  9. daveR

    daveR Registered User
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    Yes RST, it does have a cylinder escapement, but the "cylinder" is pretty small and in the centre underneath the balance wheel. Better look at Google images to get an idea of what to look for! They are not as rugged as the lever and are more prone to wear, other than that they work quite well. It would be nearly impossible to put a maker to the clock as these were produced in their thousands, often having a retailers name on the dial (Often english!) I will also second what shimmy has said as well.
    David
     
  10. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    Thanks David for confirming the escapement. Well, if you and Shimmy are right and this clock dates from around 1900, that little cylinder has stood the test of time! The clock runs very well and keeps perfect time. I doubt I'll have it running steady, more of a "wind once a month" to keep things limber.
    I'll take the case off to clean some of the dust, may get the works cleaned and properly oiled, and try to get a glass fitted for the top.
    And I'll mull over what to do with the finish (leave the patina, or buff it to a shiny state).
    Best regards.
     
  11. shimmystep

    shimmystep Registered User

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    If the original gilt is intact, personally, I would leave it except for something non abrasive to get the dirt off. Metal polishes work on the premise that they remove the tarnish layer by abrasion, so best to avoid.
     
  12. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    Thanks Shimmy, I'll leave it alone for now and resist the impulse to get it REALLY shiny by rubbing it with a metal polish. I will try to take the case off to assess the top glass situation and have a peek inside, do a bit of dusting.
    CHeers.
     
  13. shimmystep

    shimmystep Registered User

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    the case is easy to take apart. remove the screw that holds a plate at the bottom, then four screws that hold the case pillars to the base. Take care that the glass doesn't slide out and break!
     
  14. TTodd

    TTodd Registered User

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    Just the thought of taking this one apart scares me a bit. I would like to get mine running. It is one of the ones I'd like to keep. Do you know of any videos of someone taking one apart?

    My clock is currently in behind a bunch of other stuff. I'll take more pics when I get it out.
     
  15. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    I read a good tip somewhere about wrapping a couple of elastics around the case to prevent the glass from falling out when lifting it away from the movement. However on mine, I think the risk would be more of the glass falling IN. Here is a pretty good website with photos showing how to disassemble a carriage clock. This is what I'll use when I do mine.

    http://www.braintreeclockrepairs.co.uk/2016/01/16/how-to-service-a-carriage-clock-yourself/

    Mine has 4 screws holding the 4 vertical pillars to the base.

    And 2 screws holding the movement to the base (through the two bottom movement pillars).

    IMG_6872.JPG IMG_6873.JPG IMG_6874.JPG
     
  16. JTD

    JTD Registered User

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    Yes, using elastic bands is a very good idea, otherwise the whole case falls apart. In my experience it is also useful to make a note of which pillar goes in which corner and which end upwards. Many of these clocks were hand assembled and the pillars are not always interchangeable. The last one I did had little punch marks on the pillars and corresponding marks on the corner of the base plate - you just had to match up the marks. However, not all clock makers were so helpful and yours may not have such marks, so it is useful to keep note for later as to which pillar goes where.

    JTD
     
  17. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Hi Robert, i live close by and if you want to take the cover off sometime i would be more than glad to help you on it. It could use some cleaning the movement, and i also could see about putting the oval glass back in, maybe it just needs to be put in place, screws tightened.
     
  18. shimmystep

    shimmystep Registered User

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    yes, sorry, those two screws will release the movement, I was referring to the case. I said that as usually I will remove the case and leave the movement on the base for an initial inspection of it running, or looking at why it isn't. Easier to handle it that way! There after it's pulled apart.
     
  19. TTodd

    TTodd Registered User

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    OK I French carriage clock 001.jpg French carriage clock 002.jpg French carriage clock 003.jpg took some closer pics of mine. I hadn't even noticed until I blew the pics up on here that my Grandparents name of Comer is engraved on the bottom.
     
  20. TTodd

    TTodd Registered User

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    Mine seems to be very similar to yours.


    French carriage 002.jpg French carriage 003.jpg French carriage 005.jpg French carriage 006.jpg
     
  21. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    I hadn't realized yours is a family heirloom clock, worth preserving!
    And yes, most of the carriage clocks of this style and vintage seem to look very similar (case, movement, glass, etc.). There were no doubt dozen of companies or clockmakers pumping them out in that era.
    I like the case pillars on mine which have a nice shape to them - I haven't seen a photo of another one online with similar pillars, or handle design for that matter.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Sure Kevin, that would be a good idea to have a go at it together, and you can give me some pointers on cleaning some of the dust inside. I do think the glass is not the original and not the right one, silly of me not to notice that when I inspected it at the seller's place. But we can have a look at that too. We can also compare it with yours at the same time.
    Thanks.
     
  22. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    Through the magic of the internet, I may have found out who the maker of my clock is. At first the arrow etching for the hand arbor suggested Couaillet Frères (who made many many of these clocks around turn of the century 1900 - 100 workers, 4000 carriage clocks each month!), but then an online antique appraiser more correctly identified it as such, based on the two cursive letters at the top of the back (which I had mistakenly believed were a S for slow and F for fast):

    Your clock was made by L&F Moreau were two brothers who were part of the Moreau dynasty of sculptors from Dijon France in the 19th century. Their specialty was bronze figural clocks but they also made carriage and other. I believe that is who your clock maker is. The L stands for Louis Auguste (1855-1919) The F stands for Hippolyte Francois (1857-1930). I could not locate their arrow mark but with the doors being marked in the same place mine is marked on the top in the back L & F.


    Here is the back of the clock referenced in the text above, followed by mine, which has the same "L" and "F" letters at the top.

    moreau_back.jpg Carriage Clock - 24.jpg
     
  23. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    If I was to have a bet I'd say those are rather stylised S and F letters for slow and fast and not what the online antique appraiser says.
     
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  24. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    I agree with Jonathan. I have essentially the same marks on a "lantern" clock. Their position on either side of the speed adjustment lever suggests they are to indicate "Slow" and "Fast."

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  25. shimmystep

    shimmystep Registered User

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    I agree
     
  26. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    just to add further weight to that my carriage clock has slow and fast written on it with the identical script for the capital letters of S and F.
     
  27. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    Aw shucks, it was nice to think that I may have stumbled upon the maker of my clock :-(

    Yes, it would make very reasonable and rational sense that those two stylized letters be S and F, given their position on either side of the speed adjustment lever. That is, assuming that the vast majority of these french clocks were destined for export and that English was the accepted standard for labelling of this sort? On the balance cock the labelling is in both languages (S/R, F/A).

    If you note on the photos of my clock and the other one above, the stylized arrow around the minute hand square arbor is the same on both clocks. Which might suggest that both came from the same maker.

    Steven, is your lantern clock also french-made? The arrow on yours is mostly rubbed out but it looks of a different style.

    I'm sure that book by Allix goes over all this stuff in excruciating detail... Maybe one day I'll get my hands on a copy.

    Cheers.
     
  28. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    TTodd:
    Based on recent internet reading I've done, yours may be from Couaillet Frères, based on the shape of the arrow around the minute square arbor (4 dots on one side of the curve of the arrow was their mark). The arrow on mine isn't like that, so points to a different maker, whoever that is...
     
  29. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    #29 jmclaugh, Jan 30, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
    England was the largest export market for French carriage clocks, more were sold there than in France hence they were very often marked S and F on the backplate.

    One of the "excruciating" details in Allix's book is the style of arrow can indicate the maker or it is believed a worker as many of the clocks produced in Saint Nicolas d'Aliermont were not wholly produced in a single factory but what are called outworkers were employed and one of the activities they performed was the punching of such arrows on the backplate using their own tools.
     
  30. TTodd

    TTodd Registered User

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    Thanks I'll look into them. They all look so similar I was clueless.
     
  31. Botlared

    Botlared Registered User

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    Can anyone tell me where this clock movement from. I am after a replacement platform escapement..cylinder. I have been a bit clumsy. Pulled apart ...damaged the end of boot. Bent and unbent cylinder. Distorted hair spring.

    Help. Please,

    Botlared.

    20191104_160242.jpg
     
  32. zedric

    zedric Registered User

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    Its a Duverdrey and Bloquel movement, from the 1900s. You may be able to buy a replacement escapement from ebay if you are lucky, but you only need the escapement dimensions, not who made the clock.
     
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  33. Botlared

    Botlared Registered User

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    Thank you. Was it the image of the lion that identified it?
     
  34. Botlared

    Botlared Registered User

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    One more question if that is ok. What measurements am I gathering from the platform? Eg, spring width, platform sizes, height of cylinder and so on.
     
  35. zedric

    zedric Registered User

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    Yes - that's the trademark for D&B. You want the platform to fit the plates without significant overlap, and visually you'd want to use the same holes as in the replacement platform, so you want those to line up with the centre of plates while the escapement meshes. Take a look at some of the clock parts suppliers for replacement platforms, and you'll see the range of sizes and measurements given, then use these as a guide to measure yours.
     
  36. Botlared

    Botlared Registered User

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    Thanks Zedric. Very helpful.
    Regards, John Baker.
     
  37. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    It's quite fun seeing people's early posts on here, rstl99 has gone from a carriage clock to an Edward East. When I occasionally come across my comments about what I would never own and see what is in my collection now, amazing.
     

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