Chauncey Ives Variation "Bronze Looking Glass Clock"

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

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  1. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    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
     
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  2. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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.
     
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  6. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    that third one looks really good, well done
     
  12. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    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
     
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  13. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    reminds me of the mirrors you used to get at the funfair, great job though.
     
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  14. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Here's more of Jim's work:D

    fun house.PNG

    RM
     
  15. novicetimekeeper

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  16. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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  17. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    i'm piggy-backing on this thread because a neighbor just gave me what appears to be a twin of the OP's clock... the earlier version, with movement screwed to the back and no internal side rails.

    it's all very clean... except for the three adjacent broken teeth on the second strike wheel that will need to be dealt with.

    in the meantime, here are some initial photos.

    ives.jpg ives2.jpg
     
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  18. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    I should have commented on your clock; IMO the movement screwed to the backboard is an important and fairly rare version of the bronze looking glass clock series. I am curious as to the name on your clock label? Ives? Jerome? Someone else? If Ives it falls someplace into the discussion and I would expect it to be slightly earlier than my example. If Jerome it would fall right after his "thin" movement clock I think.
     
  19. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    this is the best shot of the label i could get... i think someone painted it black at some point. all i can make out is 'improved' and 'clocks'... but there is that comma after 'clocks', and the overall design of the label... any clues there?

    also noticed that the door is hinged on the left, which seems atypical ... but maybe not for this style?

    asdfs.jpg
     
  20. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    just tried some color variations in photoshop and am pretty sure it says chauncey ives where noted... and indeed it seems to match the one you started this thread with....

    56wj5w6j.jpg
     
  21. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Mine is also hinged on the left. Good catch! I would guess someone shellacked your label in an effort to preserve it.
     
  22. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    the person who gave it to me said someone in the family painted it black... sigh
     
  23. PatH

    PatH Registered User
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    Roberts' Figure 18 image in post #1 also shows hinged on the left.
     
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  24. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    #24 rmarkowitz1_cee4a1, Apr 8, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2020
    Interesting discussion. Couple of comments and observations.

    The state of the label in your clock is probably the result of the degradation of paper applied directly to wood and then being stored in permissive/adverse conditions of heat, humidity, etc. Additionally, could also be due to getting shellacked, literally and figuratively. Alas, besides clock labels, have seen watercolors, lithos, etc. in a similar state. They were either applied to or backed with a pine board. As mentioned most certainly may also represent a misguided attempt to "preserve" it by shellacking. Applying shellac was a popular thing to do to clock cases, clock dials, furniture and about everything else about 100 years ago. That someone painted it black I believe is a family "bubbe meise".

    I have done side by side comparisons of the pix of the label from Bruce's and Jim's clocks as well as the one shown in Roberts. I have also examined enlargements of the label in Bruce's clock and "snipping" relevant portions and then enlarging them and doing other manipulations. No doubt it bears the name of Chauncey Ives, IMCO.

    Assuming you mean that the door is hinged on the viewer's left. In my experience, not that unusual. A quick go round revealed at least 8 or nine with that configuration. Most were 1/2 column and splat clocks, 2 were pilaster and scroll, one was actually a somewhat later one that had as best I can describe beveled pilasters. One was a transition clock, another miniature time piece. All wooden works. One was 8 day, the rest 30 hour ww. 3 were "groaners", 1 a Jerome "thin" movement, one miniature time only movement. Some with rails, some without with the movement screwed to the back board. A variety of makers represented, the majority being Jerome, et. al.

    The unifying theme was that the door was the front of the clock with pilasters/columns applied to it. Generally considered a characteristic of earlier cases?

    RM
     
  25. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    #25 Jim DuBois, Apr 9, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
    RM, once again I think we are in violent agreement on the series of points you make; almost frightening!

    I have duplicated the black label one time in my life, be that a very long time ago. It was the result of a misguided attempt by me to save a smaller and inconsequential label that was loose and fragmented. A mistake I never made again. And it turned very much like Bruces immediately.

    The relationship between the Ives family and the Jeromes is another of those stories that we only see the fringes of today. I have a piece in the next COG Counters journal, planned for Aug pub. but who knows when now? The net of the very little I know about the Jeromes and Ives family starts with Nobel Jerome working for Joseph Ives in about 1816. Ives had submitted a patent paper for a clock that sounds very much like a "looking glass clock" granted in 1822. What Nobel was doing early on for Ives is not entirely clear. Chauncey Jerome had not yet moved to Bristol, he got there about 1820. He was working as a case maker/joiner, well before he commenced clockmaking, and that is what we think he did on his first arrival at Bristol. From Ken Robert's research and Jerome's own autobiography, we know he rented water power at a mill where he had to conduct his woodwork at night as the mill used all its power during the day processing grain. It appears one of his early customers for his casework was the Ives family.

    Chauncy Ives was working for or with his brother Joseph most likely making movements. So, I suspect the cases we are speaking about in this thread were made by Chauncy Jerome working with or for Chauncy Ives, since the labels bear the Ives name, not Jeromes. Soon thereafter (1825) Chauncy Jerome patented his "bronze looking glass clock" and went into production on his own, and the rest is history? Looking glass clocks had been built by Ives (N. Jerome working for Ives as a casemaker?) since 1816 so the real contribution was the more consolidated form factor as we see in the clocks of this thread and the addition of the stenciled bronze decorations.

    There are other details of the Chauncy Ives and Jerome family case work linkages in the upcoming COG paper which is too long to place out here.
     
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  26. Jerome collector

    Jerome collector Registered User
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    Jim,

    I've been fascinated to read some of your observations about the connections between Jerome and Ives here and elsewhere. It's a connection worth exploring further, and I can't wait for your COG article. However, unless you've uncovered something I've never seen before, Jerome didn't patent the "bronze looking glass clock", though he did claim he invented it.

    Mike
     
  27. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Ahhh, thanks Mike, I keep getting that wrong. I think you have tried to set me straight before. Slow learner I guess. Maybe I will get it right in the future;

    Per Jerome in his autobiography, "I invented the Bronze Looking Glass Clock (1825)" From Roberts "There seems to be little doubt that he (Jerome) introduced the design of the stenciled columns, but the 1822 Ives Patent, previously discussed, clearly covered the feature of using a looking glass."
     

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