Chauncey Ives Variation "Bronze Looking Glass Clock"

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by Jim DuBois, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    2,475
    380
    83
    Male
    Magnolia, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    So, at the regional in Texas today, I came across something that was entirely unexpected. Namely, it was a fairly nondescript 30 hr woodworks. It has decent stenciling on the columns and splat, the mirror has failed, and all the flakes are in the bottom of the door, behind what seems to be an original backboard behind the former mirror that has never been removed or so it seems. But, a survivor woodworks down here is not a common happening. And this one is a bit special. It is a Chauncey Ives, made for a very short time, and it was made with a special movement, namely a movement by Chauncey to Terry specifications. It is also a 42 tooth escape wheel movement, which is what was used in Terry’s P&S clocks. The date of manufacture of this particular clock is thought to be 1824-1828.

    Per Ken Roberts in his book on Ives, paraphrased a bit:

    “A variation of the split pillar "Bronze Looking Glass" clock made by Chauncey Ives is shown. The movement is the same style as the pillar and scroll clock illustrated below. Note that this movement has the conventional 42 teeth escape wheel for the approximate half-second pendulum of the Terry patent, rather than the longer pendulum resulting from 32 teeth in the usual long looking-glass case. This again suggests that Chauncey Ives had made an arrangement with Eli Terry to use his patented arrangement. However, these movements were undoubtedly made by Chauncey Ives. It is believed he was the first to use the Terry (style) movement in the Bronze Looking Glass case.”

    This clock is quite original and would seemingly made within a very short period as the one featured in Roberts book. ( This new find by me has rails to support the movement, the very earliest only screwed to the backboard.) This case is slightly thinner but otherwise nearly identical to the one pictured by Roberts. It has a pair of interesting and unusual tall thin rectangular weights; I have not seen this style weight previously. Sadly, it has no hands or pendulum bob, but everything else seems to belong together and is quite original in all ways I think (so far). Having the original mirror glass will allow a "restoration" in the case I think. More on that later.

    So, even down here in the South, some woodworks of interest do pop up! And this one is not only in decent original surface and overall condition, but it is not a common clock. It may be a common form but worth more investigation and study.

    20190823_163603 (2).jpg 20190823_163739.jpg 20190823_163635 (2).jpg 20190823_163702.jpg chauncey ives 1.jpg 20190823_170841 (2).jpg 20190823_163643.jpg
     
    PatH likes this.
  2. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,627
    538
    113
    Country Flag:
    Great find!!

    Love the condition. A real survivor. Have not seen weights like that.

    Interesting (to me at least) that Seth Thomas, another Terry compatriot, did do something similar. Here's a clock I posted a while ago:

    seth thomas ww 1.jpg

    Based upon case design with the columns flanking the door rather than on them (note they're 1/4 columns), probably later than your Ives.

    seth thomas ww 2.jpg seth thomas ww 3.jpg

    A bit of a surprise the first time I opened the door. A short drop movement with a pillar and scroll (?) label?

    RM
     
  3. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    2,475
    380
    83
    Male
    Magnolia, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    RM, to cross thread this discussion I think this clock very likely has the correct movement for the funky pillar and scroll case we were discussing very recently. We know that case had a clear association with the labeled Ives and Lewis P&S, and the Ives in that clock partnership was Chauncey Ives. Fast forward a couple of years and Chauncey builds his copy of the Eli Terry patent type 5 movement, with evidently Terry's blessing. And he puts it into a case he happens to have available. We have not been able to find any photos of that clock movement before it parted company with the case, we do have a photo of it with the undersized dial. So, this movement fits that case nicely, and I suspect it is the correct style and maker movement for that case. This movement does fit that case, but the dial is too large. Finding this clock/movement down here and it being a correct movement for the P&S is akin to winning a small lottery with no ticket, but stranger things have happened. So now I have a decent survivor with a movement that fits the remaining P&S case and a quandary. Do I put the P&S style movement from the mirror clock into the loose P&S case? Or do I continue to search for a loose Chauncey Ives movement and keep the original mirror clock original? I tend toward the latter.

    I am attempting to find the original eBay seller who parted out the clock a couple of years ago. He is an NAWCC member and he parted out the movement and dial, evidently thinking it was a marriage, and he may well have been correct. Or maybe not, the dial is the single largest clue it may have been correct. It's slightly undersized (3/4" smaller) fit to the case /dial opening suggests it may have been at least a correct dial.

    But, back to the stenciled mirror front and your example. It seems unusual that Terry, Chauncey Ives, and Thomas clocks all have pretty much very similar P&S movements in the longer cases. I guess it might well reflect the quickly changing clock market back then? New style case is widely popular and the demand is high. The maker has a bunch of P&S movements in stock and they will work fine in the longer case so the decision is easy?

    More food for thought and thanks for sharing the ST version. Nice clock!

    20190818_151955.jpg Unusual-Antique-Long-Drop-Pillar-Scroll-Woodxx.jpg
     
  4. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,885
    411
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Will you have the mirror resilvered? Is this a successful process keeping the soft look of antique mirrors?
     
  5. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,627
    538
    113
    Country Flag:
    Yes, it would make sense that the movement in the Ives pillar and splat clock would fit in the odd ball pillar and scroll case. Agree that it was probably what was once there!

    This also brings up something I've been thinking about a bit for a time now. Movements are often scrutinized for features suggesting the evolution of CT clock making. And this is a most valid approach of great merit. However, I think we often somewhat overlook the case styles and their chronology that contain those movements as additional evidence of that evolution. I understand that there are challenges to such study, especially that movements can be swapped, etc. But I do think it might be rewarding.

    I plan to pontificate about this point a bit more later.

    RM.
     
    musicguy likes this.
  6. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    2,475
    380
    83
    Male
    Magnolia, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I agree there are stories that be told by cases. The P&S in this discussion is pretty clearly a bit later than the Ives and Lewis also pictured. But certainly by the same casemaker. The movements suggest the clock may be 2-4 years later than the I&L clock. I have not found any documentation as to who may have made these cases, but they had to be connected to the Ives family in some form or fashion. It is possible it was the casework of Chauncey Jerome, or :???:
     
  7. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,627
    538
    113
    Country Flag:
    Though Chauncey J. seemed to make few pillar and scrolls with his own label. He instead put his efforts in the bronze(d) looking glass case!

    As with much furniture of the period, clock cases are rarely signed by their makers though they often do bear a maker's label. But that's the guy who made or placed the movement in there. Sometimes you get lucky and find that piece with an inscription or label that is sort of a Rosetta (Rashid) Stone (no, not the language software) comparison to which permits attribution. But that rarely happens.

    RM
     
  8. Kenneth Brockman

    Kenneth Brockman Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Aug 5, 2013
    6
    0
    1
    If those are the weights that you were given for that clock, I believe they may be Incorrect. Too big and heavy, Check with other people that run and restore these clocks. The clock label does not say that this is an 8 day runner. My 30 hr runners use a round tapered weight, that weighs around 3 1/2 to 4 lbs. Those weights look to be in the 6 - 7 lb range. Throw them on the bathroom scale, if it's in calibration and check. The correct weights are easy to find, especially on the Net.
     
  9. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    2,475
    380
    83
    Male
    Magnolia, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Well, the long rectangular weights pictured are most likely correct for the clock. They are not the larger weights you mention. Here are a comparison with the large 8 days weights, the weights received with this clock, and shorter squatter 30 hr woodworks weights. I have many weights for a range of early American clocks, ranging from soapstone to tin cans, and through all sorts of cast iron and lead weights. I bought some loose weights yesterday. The pair of weights on the lower right hand of the photo are more traditional 30 hr ww weights, ranging generally from 2 3/4 pounds to 3 1/2 pounds. 8 day weights tend to run from 7 to 9 pounds depending on the maker and condition of the clock.

    20190824_153437.jpg 20190823_085752 (2).jpg
     
  10. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    2,475
    380
    83
    Male
    Magnolia, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Novice, I suspect I will use one of the commercial mirroring products. I have had success (IMO) with them re-creating mirrors that as mirrors stink, but they look like old mirrors often do. Given the financial ramifications of the clock market hereabouts creating a more "correct" mirror makes little to no sense. And the method I use is 100% reversible if a later owner so desires. In this clock having the original glass in the door is a big plus. A bit wrinkled, a few bubbles, some waves, all look proper when redone I think. The clock on the left has one of the recreated mirrors, the center mirror in the clock on the right is original. The second photo is what the glass looked like before the faux resilvering job. The 3rd photo is another of my recreated mirrors.

    20180901_172757.jpg 20180808_184818.jpg 20171017_121613.jpg
     
  11. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,885
    411
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    that third one looks really good, well done
     
  12. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    2,475
    380
    83
    Male
    Magnolia, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    So, I applied the mirror to the glass that remained in this clock. As can be seen, the glass is quite wavy, almost to a fault. It is hard to believe the clock tablet was originally mirrored with such a glass, but it apparently was just that. These clocks were sold as "looking glass clocks" so a painted tablet seems unlikely.

    20190827_193341 (2).jpg 20190827_193342 1 (2).jpg
     
    PatH likes this.
  13. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,885
    411
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    reminds me of the mirrors you used to get at the funfair, great job though.
     
    Jim DuBois likes this.
  14. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,627
    538
    113
    Country Flag:
    Here's more of Jim's work:D

    fun house.PNG

    RM
     
  15. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,885
    411
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
  16. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,627
    538
    113
    Country Flag:

Share This Page