Chelsea Clock Company

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by inbeat, May 25, 2016.

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  1. inbeat

    inbeat Registered User
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    Starting this off with a couple and will add to it a few at a time.
    Chelsea "Commander/Base and Ball" with 8 1/2" Special dial and hands. Louis Weule Company. Strikes ships bells. Circa 1915 IMG_7209.jpg

    Chelsea Base and Ball 4" dial. Engraved "J.E. Caldwell, Philadelphia" Circa 1906.
    IMG_7712.jpg
     
  2. inbeat

    inbeat Registered User
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    Chelsea Clock Co., Tambour #2, 2 3/4" dial. Ca:1910
    IMG_2153.jpg
     
  3. klokwiz

    klokwiz Registered User
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    clock front.JPG movmt numbers closeup.JPG case back.JPG chelsea book serial number list.JPG
    hi, my 1902 or so estate rescued ships bell. had broken half hour limit spring which I made from brass stock as a replacement was unavailable.
     
  4. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    #4 claussclocks, Jan 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
    I have this 6" Chelsea with the screw front bezel. I found it at an estate sale. They priced it rather low because they couldn't get it to strike the hours 1 - 12 like a clock should.

    Based on the serial Number this clock was made between 1965 and 1969.

    It does strike at about 3 minutes past the hour but I have been unable to budge the minute hand bushing. Anyone have a suggestion. I do not want to damage the hand

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  5. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
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    If anyone has a spare brass Chelsea case for a 10" dial engine room clock and will part with it, send me a PM. I also need a Watham movement for an engine room clock. Thanks.

    Ralph
     
  6. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    #6 rmarkowitz1_cee4a1, Feb 17, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
    I must admit, seeing the wonderful clocks posted here I do feel a bit humbled as I post my latest find.

    Over the past few years, I have actually found and yes, sold, some rather nice Chelsea clocks and clock and barometer sets. I may be dating myself, but Garett Morris on SNL used to do a recurring character, Chico Esquela, a fictional shortstop for the NY Mets. To borrow and modify his tag line, "Chelsea has been berry berry good to me".

    I've kept some 2/3 sized Chelsea banjo's from the 1920's. They have some wonderful hand painted glasses including one of the Bulfinch designed state house in Boston.

    Tonight, I thought I would share a recent Chelsea find.

    It's called a yacht wheel model:

    chelsea 1a.JPG

    I've done some research on line including this wonderful website: Chelsea Clock Museum . Much good info. Furthermore, I've been encountering enough Chelsea's that I ordered the book by Demeter. Need to expand my knowledge base.

    The "bronze" finish was most definitely an available option for this this clock. That's what this one has. Untouched and it shall remain so. The mahogany base is in a wonderful crusty finish. Untouched and it shall remain so. Here's some additional views:

    chelsea 2a.JPG chelsea 3a.JPG

    The bezel is hinged and has a push button rather than screwing off. Much more convenient.

    The silvered dial is 6 inches. I learned that the use of raised applied numerals and the "fancy" hands was an extra cost option.

    Based upon the serial number (sorry, forgot to record), I recall that it dates the clock to the 1920"s.

    It's a big impressive clock. Here it is with a more typical, IMCO, Chelsea ship's bell:

    chelsea 4a.JPG

    I found this clock on Charles Street on Beacon Hill in Boston. I had an appointment @ the nearby MEEI and arrived early. I hadn't picked nearby Charles Street in nearly a decade, so I thought, WTF. A very shee-shee area and generally everything is ridiculously overpriced there. But, it is still worthwhile taking a look Never know when you might luck out. The clock wasn't cheap but not crazy and worth a shot.

    I thought I would throw in a bit of the superfluous. Sorry, not my personal thread.

    Recently, I've been coming across some interesting antique tools which has been a new learning experience for me. Amongst the recent finds is this relatively small portable table top lathe:

    lathe 1.JPG

    IMCO, a wonderfully made object. Solid oak with great giant dovetails:

    lathe 5.JPG lathe 4.JPG

    Note the cast iron handles so it could be picked up and moved. What really piqued my curiosity when I first saw it was the use of whale bone on the tail and head stocks:

    lathe 3.JPG

    The whale bond on top of the head stock is darker. There are oiling ports in the whale bone on the head stock to lubricate the spindle which darkened it. SO, as it should be.

    The history from the seller was that it came from New Bedford, MA, a city very involved with whaling.

    After consultation with Jim and a few others, I concluded it was a small lathe used to turn whale bone into a variety of small objects, e.g., the tops of canes, finials, etc., etc.

    I brought it to an antique show. Caused a bit of a sensation and it sold during set up to an important dealer in maritime antiques. In his hands, I'm sure a zero or 2 will be added to the price. That's fine. I made $$ on a quick flip. I'm also happy with my position low position on the antiques food chain. I've launched quite a few things which, to my great satisfaction, have climbed up.

    RM
     
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  7. Douglas Romero

    Douglas Romero Registered User
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    #7 Douglas Romero, Feb 18, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
    Here are a couple of my favorite Chelsea’s.

    1st is a rare 1905 Mahogany and Metal or Commander with the wide fluted bezel. It is a 10” orig Special model dial. Case likely redone some years ago. Has a long original key to lock it. This model not often seen.

    2nd is an early 8 1/2 inch Special dial art carved number 3. Also not seen too much.

    Doug

    56783755-F210-4D2C-BC46-95FE5AE9F4CF.jpeg

    A7A82292-2AA2-4621-BF60-A49781650D71.jpeg View attachment 463260
     
  8. Robert J.

    Robert J. Registered User
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    The 10" Mahogany and Metal is also a favorite with me. Mine is Time Only, S/N 22475,
    dating the clock to around 1906. Great original dial; case re-polished.

    10" TO M&M.png
     
  9. River rat

    River rat Registered User
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    Here is one out of my collection from 1918 my oldest Chelsea in the collection.

    DSC_0058.JPG
     
  10. ClockMogul

    ClockMogul Registered User

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    Here is my humble addition and only Chelsea I own. This is a 12 Inch Special Grand Tiffany Dial with Brass Ball Feet with matching serial numbers on mechanism and bottom of base to 1909 I think. This was out of the Fisher Body Estate Auction in Detroit, Michigan a few years ago..

    IMG_1131.JPG IMG_1132.JPG IMG_1133.JPG IMG_1134.JPG
     
  11. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Is that 1 of the clocks that’s in storage you’re considering putting on Craig’s List because you were bored with clocks & wanted to cycle across S.E. Asia instead ??

    RM
     
  12. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User
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    man....the examples in this thread make my 6" clock seem like a mouse in a room full of elephants. I guess I only paid 50 bucks for it tho.....

    over the course of years I plan to have a decent collection of ships clocks particularly the larger ones.


    that 12".....just fantastic!
     
  13. ClockMogul

    ClockMogul Registered User

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    There is but a handful of 12inch Dials that are SHIPS BELL and SPECIAL GRAND....Extremely scarce to say the least...!
     
  14. Cliff Smith

    Cliff Smith Registered User
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    Hi all,
    Trying to learn what the numbers mean on my 24 hour, bakelite Chelsea.
    The ones etched on the back, one of them being DT-0407-1092e4 and the other being in not so great printing 220260. Would'nt mind learning all I can about the number on the face, 364E
    Thanks for any help anyone can give.
    Cliff

    clock.jpg clock1.jpg
     
  15. Douglas Romero

    Douglas Romero Registered User
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    Cliff, my quick searching does not yield any info as to serial number on the case as 364E. As Chelsea Clock Co. reps have said in the past these serial numbers on the dials were assigned by the US Navy and not tracked by Chelsea. My guess this would be a fairly early one that the US Navy ordered from Chelsea prior to WWII. Since 220260 is printed on the back that is very likely the movement serial number which would make production date between 1935-1939. Easy to remove the movement out to verify that number.

    As to the DT-0407-1092e4 maybe an service number marked on the case.
    I thought the DT and Navy serial number might lead on the Net to perhaps a decommissioned US Navy vessel. I can’t locate anything yet and the 364 would not be the Hull Number that I can find with a DT destroyer classification. There were DE classifications for Destroyer Escorts. Maybe the DT is for Destroyer Transport?

    Maybe some old Navy men can provide better info. Good luck in your search.

    Doug
     
  16. Happychi

    Happychi Registered User

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    #16 Happychi, Nov 21, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2018
    Taken from a reply from the Chelsea Company...."We have checked serial number 186803 and the information is consistent with the clock you have showing it was sold to Norris Al. Ball Bridges Company on November 24, 1928 and it is listed as a # 4 wall clock so this information is consistent with the clock in your photos. Please note this is the exact same information a certificate would contain and the certificate is not intended to be a legally binding document of ownership or valuation but more of a showpiece for all that may see the clock and wonder where it came from."

    Also, further research shows the Norris Alister Ball Bridges Company, wholesale jewelers located 58 E Washington St..
    In the NAWCC Bulletin, Voluma 39, Page 793 we see: The Norris Alister Ball Bridges Company was absorbed by Webb Ball; the name
    Norris Alister Ball Bridges Company, shortened to Ball Company.

    Could this possibly be the office clock for the Webb Ball Co.?

    P1010093.JPG P1010216.JPG P1010217.JPG P1010218.JPG P1010219.JPG
     
  17. Bill Magee

    Bill Magee New Member

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    Hi, I was able to acquire a large 1903 Chelsea ship bell clock. It has a serial number in the low 5000's. Is there much value in the clock. It is in good condition, could use a cleaning. Just trying to figure out the value.
    thanks
     
  18. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    bill... welcome! always best to start a new thread for each clock/watch being discussed... but you're going to want to post this... with large/clear photos of all perspectives... in the 'what's it worth?' forum. discussions of value can only happen there, and informed responses only if people can see model, condition, etc. looking forward to seeing it...
     
  19. oldcat61

    oldcat61 Registered User
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    Good to see this thread revived. Here's a radio room clock from 1943. Chelsea records only show it was sold to US, so no idea if on a ship or a radio room shore.

    20200211_103511[1].jpg
     
  20. Jim M.

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    #20 Jim M., May 14, 2020
    Last edited: May 14, 2020
    Greetings,
    I enjoy coastal sailing and have often seen Chelsea Ship Bells and Barometers fitted on sailboat bulkheads. This 1912 era 6” Chelsea Commander Ships Bell was purchased from an estate ~ 15 years ago. Our family particularly likes this antique clock and the way it is displayed. It keeps good time and the ship’s bell chime is pleasantly tonal and crisp. The photo displayed next to the clock is my wife’s father, born in 1912 too. We have always intended to maintain ownership of this clock so --- I wrote up an accompanying description for the clock and the story about its’ attributed provenance from Harvard Law School.
    Best regards,
    Jim M
    ***************************
    Chelsea 1912 Commander Ships Bell Clock, Theodore B. Starr Inc.
    H.L.S Engraved Harvard Law School Clock
    Chelsea Ship’s Bell Clock

    The 6” silver dial Ship’s Bell Mahogany and Metal Base AKA ‘Commander’ clock is in original 1912 condition with same matching factory serial number 86,264 stamped on the bell housing, movement, and mahogany base. The ‘Commander’ clock is a desirable collectable Chelsea since it combines attractive elements of the bronze Ships Bell with bronze and mahogany base elements. The Ships Bell clock can also be removed from its mahogany base for bulkhead mounting on ones yacht during summer and returned to its base for winter mantle shelf use.
    The ‘Commander’ first appeared in the1906 Chelsea catalog and was offered in relatively limited numbers over time, especially in 8 ½”, 10”, and 12” dial sizes. Cost of the 6” dial ‘Commander’ clock was relatively high at $62 (1911 catalog pricing), when compared to a typical expected mean annual salary of $700 for that era. Factory production of the ‘Commander’ clock was discontinued due to economic conditions precipitated by the Great Depression (8 ½, 10, 12 inch sizes in 1931 and all other sizes by 1938).
    The H.L.S engraved 1912 ‘Commander’ clock is a desirable 118 year-old antique with vintage patina presence. Consensus of purist antique collectors is this clock should not be re-polished or re-finished. Antique preservation experts have recommended light coating treatment with Renaissance museum wax to preserve bronze and mahogany patina appearance. Resellers tend to polish and refinish old Chelsea brass clocks; thus, clocks having untouched patina finish are rarely found.

    Theodore B. Starr (inc.) New York
    Theodore B. Starr and Sons operated a Fifth Avenue Manhattan NY shop that competed with Tiffany & Company and sold fine items to wealthy families and patrons. Among the retail items offered were diamonds, jewelry, silverware, china, watches, fine accessories and clocks including Chelsea clocks.
    Certificate of Origin records are maintained at Chelsea Clock Company date back to 1897 and factory records indicate 6” Commander Clock serial number 86264 was assembled in 1912 and shipped from the Chelsea factory on February 28, 1913 to original retailer, Theodore B. Starr Inc. The original retailer is often a prestigious firm, so a retailers name is typically engraved on the silvered dial of Chelsea clocks during production at the factory.
    Theodore B. Starr and Sons Inc. continued as a family operated business from 1862 until acquisition in 1917 by Reed & Barton Silversmiths Inc. (Massachusetts). Mr. William Bradford Homer Dowse, then president of Reed & Barton (Mr.Dowse was also son-in-law to founder, Henry Reed) served as a key player in the acquisition, and became the new president of Theodore B. Starr Inc.

    Harvard Law School Provenance and William Bradford Homer Dowse
    H.L.S is a commonly used initialism (acronym) for Harvard Law School. When this Commander clock was acquired at an estate sale in Asheville, North Carolina, family relatives indicated the clock was originally from (attributed to) Harvard Law School.
    Interestingly, Mr. William Bradford Homer Dowse, president of Theodore B. Starr Inc.was a ‘double’ graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Dowse became a successful patent lawyer after graduation, licensed in Boston and New York. He moved into industrial manufacturing ventures as founder and president of Boston Fastener Company. Dowse also served on the Board of Directors at Waltham Watch Co. (Massachusetts). Waltham Watch supplied elegant time-side escapement movements in Chelsea Ship’s Bell clocks for the first 60+ years of Chelsea Clock Co. operation.
    Dowse’s thread of connections at Harvard and among the companies: Theodore B. Starr Inc., Waltham Watch Co., and Chelsea Clock Co. are strong. Dowse was a loyal alumni and contributing benefactor to Harvard Law School over the years.

    ******************************

    IMG_0173.jpg $_57-3.jpg IMG_0181.JPG
     
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  21. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    This clock at present is the only Chelsea that I own but maybe it can "squeak" in here as it strikes the ships watch. It has the bronze finish, porcelain dial and raised numerals.
    Bruce

    22547_01.jpg
     
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  22. Snapper

    Snapper Registered User

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    This my only Chelsea clock acquired many years ago and one of the first to form my modest collection of clocks. It ran perfectly for many years until it called out for assistance by running somewhat erratically. I stripped, cleaned, reassembled and oiled it then promptly crushed the bare platform base plate beneath another object thus breaking the banking pins. A subsequent call to a fine watchmaker resulted in the platform being despatched for a full service and the manufacture and fitting of new pins. It has now been running for over twelve months and keeping time to with one minute per week and is indeed my relied upon mantle clock for everyday consultation.

    The serial number dates it to 1911 and it was reputedly awarded as a prize to the winner of a yacht race. It was retailed by a the renowned instrument suppliers Robert Stewart of Glasgow. This is one timepiece with which I would never part.

    Chelsea Clock (1 of 1).jpg
     
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  23. Ned L

    Ned L Registered User

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    I have this cir. WWII Chelsea in the war time phenolic case. Keeps real nice time (a couple of min / wk usually). It spends summers on the boat and winters on a dresser.

    IMG_2645.JPG
     
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  24. Shipsbell

    Shipsbell Registered User
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    Did anyone answer your question?
    Patrick
     
  25. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    Never heard back on that adjustment and haven't had time to experiment. If you have some helpful input I would appreciate it
     
  26. ClockMogul

    ClockMogul Registered User

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    Yes this is long gone to someone whom will care fir it a lot better then I was able to for sure. Yes the clock thing is history to me as I actually am in "SE ASIA" as Type this message now. Come to find out that was one scarce puppy for sure..:)
     
  27. mlschlot

    mlschlot Registered User
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    #27 mlschlot, May 25, 2020
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
    If I understand correctly, you have a "house strike" Chelsea that is striking about 3 minutes after the hour and half hour? The adjustment is best made on the center shaft of the movement.

    The center shaft assembly contains the 64 tooth center gear with a 10 leaf pinion directly behind, followed by a thrust washer, and collar. The collar contains two polished pins which lift the strike warning lever at the hour and half hour. Two set screws secure the collar to the center shaft. You can loosen those screws and nudge the collar in either direction to the point where the warning lever drops off the pin when the minute hand is positioned at the top of the hour.

    Take care to ensure the collar doesn't back away from the thrust washer. The collar and washer combine to push against the center gear and pinion, which in turn puts a controlled amount of pressure to the center shaft, This allows the minute hand to be manually turned to set the time, but maintains sufficient pressure so the cannon pinion can drive the motion works. If the washer is too loose, the clock will run, but the hands will never move. I hope this helps.

    Regards . . .
     
  28. mlschlot

    mlschlot Registered User
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    Here's a photo of my 1934 Louis XVI Ship strike tambour. I always wanted to find one of these because of the sea dragons flanking the dial.

    LouisXVI.JPG
     
  29. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Very nice Chelsea clocks, i have three and enjoy them very much.
     

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