Clock ID

Ontime

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Nov 6, 2012
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What would the country of origin be on this large (23" tall) clock case. Nickle plated iron work over walnut. Very solid and heavy at 18 lbs. Quality construction - all applied knob decoration has tapped threads. The many applied fleur de lis make me think this is French circa 1880-1900 ?

See attached photo
 

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JTD

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MY first impression is that it is not very old - the decoration looks very heavy and not at all refined. If I had to guess I would say a metal work enthusiast made it at home. The whole thing just looks 'wrong' to me.

I don't think the fleur-de-lis decoration need be indicative of France - it was a popular style of decoration in many places in Europe, including England. But it could have been made almost anywhere.

These are just my impressions - others may have a better idea and I'll be happy to be proved wrong.

JTD
 

eskmill

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The image of the clock reveals an example of the epidimy of Bizarre. In fact, it has no style. Simply bizarre.
 
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John Hubby

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Ontime, thanks for posting. Let us see some photos of the movement, which will go a long way toward determining the age of the clock. I've seen some unusual cases of this nature made from late 1800's right up to the 1960's so it's very difficult to speculate without seeing the movement.
 

Ontime

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No movement, just the case. It's definitely old. By enlarging the attachment (click on image), more details can be seen. I added two modern screws at top of the spire. The brass bell is dropped down due to a missing nut - a very nice bell, seems 19 century. This does not seem like any kind of put together case....seems factory, all very well fitted together. The 30 applied slightly pointed knobs are cast. The fleur de lis pieces are stamped and 1/8" thick. All metal surfaces have the same patina. It has a back door. - The case had many decades of grim which took like 4 hours to carefully remove. The nickle plating is worn & peeling in spots. Below is a image of another similar looking clock off the net, be it more reserved. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/56/eb/2a/56eb2a00000c9f3d63ead0ff910641bb.jpg
 
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eskmill

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Thank you Ontime for the reference photo of the similar clock. It is interesting as is your example.

If there is an attempt by the artist who designed your example and that of the reference example, to emulate an established style, I believe the maker saw the "lantern clock" as an artistic pattern to imitate.

If the form of the ancient "lantern clock" could be considered as a style, then the examples shown are an imitation of that style in a Bizarre manner. I know no other word to describe the apparent way the maker has attempted to emulate the Renaissance styling that the classic "lantern clock" evolved from.

A study of some of the design stamped into some of the longer elements of both yours and the reference clock reveal what may be a pattern seen in ancient Greek decoration. Beyond a pittance of Greek influence, I see no grace in your example or that in the reference photo. Neither resemble the Renaissance of the lantern clock.

I mean no harm in my critique. I am no artist and have no credential. Instead I am a Bohemian both in manner and heritage.
 
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SteveGus

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Assuming those Phillips screws are the ones you added, I'd say around 1890 is probably right. I suspect it's some kind of attempt to make a medievalistic Pre-Raphaelite clock, by an artist who knew his way around a metal shop but had only a limited number of examples of the sort of thing he was aiming for. That other picture you linked seems to have the same dial.

The style of the numbers says Art Nouveau and 1890+. I suspect it's British or American, and that it was built to house a rather ordinary mass produced movement.

Is the bell on top meant to be rung? The other one doesn't seem to have an obvious clapper.
 

the 3rd dwarve

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Whoever made that case paid excruciating attention to the details. The flat stock is precisely rolled, bent, and hammer thinned on the ends. Sections of the flat stock and the square stock used to frame the case have had the edge accurately radiused. The turned posts decorating the top are well done although the one on the front right looks different than the other three. The feet might have been cut from a solid block. You can't get that sharp edge in a leaf brake, maybe in a press brake but you would need special dies. I like the flowers/leave decorations at the top. They would have been die struck, trimmed, then bent up to form the flower. The incised decoration could have been done on a linear rose engine.

I think that you would need three dies and trim tools, one for each size fleur de lis and the third for the flowers, as a result I would think that the only way this case is a one off is if the dies were existing for another application and the maker used them here.

I have been trying to calculate the time it would take me to make this case using modern hydraulic equipment and it comes out to around 100 hours. While I am not overwhelmed by the aesthetics I do appreciate the craftsmanship that went into it.
Regards,
D
 

Ontime

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The bell is indeed only decorative - it had a base mounted gong inside originally. Thanks all for the informative input. For some reason, I really like odd, well made clocks like this. So when I spotted this at a flea market, it made my day.
 

harold bain

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In order to find a suitable movement for this clock, you would first need to measure the distance between the wind arbors, and from wind arbor to center arbor. A look at the back of the case should give you an idea about how it mounts. Are there any screw holes suggesting a movement with mounting feet? Perhaps a seat board mount?
 

Ontime

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Since posting this thread last year I've seen several clocks, though clearly different, have many design & construction details which are so similar to mine. This one has an almost identical design on edge corner straps & foot construction. This clock below is French as are the others which are so much like mine in presentation. After last years discussion, the conclusion was that my clock was bench made, which made sense, and I agreed with. Now I'm back to having second thoughts ?

s-l1600.jpg j
 
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novicetimekeeper

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I would still go with arts and crafts type age which means beginning of the last century. I think the round head screws are mass produced, and by style I think it has to be about then but as was said earlier the style is then but it could still be much more recent.

The original clock has the dial finish peeling, any idea what that finish is?
 

Ontime

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No movement. All metal, including the peeling dial is a nickle plate.... the case is heavy at 20 lbs. As someone observed earlier, the design on the corner strapping is a Greek pattern which is seen on the other somewhat odd French made clocks I've seen in the past year. To me, it's definitely 1890s to 1915 era. Just love to know who may have made such craft type cases - be it a small shop in Europe... or some guy with his vision of a clock. It just has me continuing to search, having seen other cases with the same feel in their metal work. attachment.jpg