Crystal Regulators & Brass Carriage Clocks

Greg Schiek

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Apr 23, 2011
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I am a newbie to this board and please forgive me if I ask some questions that might seem obvious to some of you clock gurus!! :)

I was wondering if someone could help me gain a better understanding of what to look for in Crystal Regulator Clocks and Brass Carriage Clocks. These are some of my favorite looking clocks and just curious to understand what is "top of the line" or "highly desirable" in these types.

Also, if you have any recommendations on "best" book(s) to purchase in order to gain a better understanding on these.

Thanks again for your understanding and patience for this newbie.

Greg
 

Ralph

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Jan 22, 2002
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My recommendations on books , for starters would be:

Allix & Bonnerts, The History of Carriage Clocks.

and if you plan to work on them ,

Laurie Penman, The Carriage Clock, A Repair and Restoration Manual

For eye candy,

Fanelli & Terwilliger, Carriage Clocks
Derek Roberts, Carriage Clocks

Christie's catalog, the Dr. Eugene and Rose Antelis Collection of
Important French Carriage Clocks.

Ralph
 

Jeremy Woodoff

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Jun 30, 2002
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Greg,

As for crystal regulators, most American companies made them, from simple brass and glass cases to elaborate cases with cast and gilt ornaments. Ansonia had a line of cases with Royal Bonn porcelain tops and bases that are in great demand. Onyx tops and bases are also found. Gilbert had a line of colored crystal cases with metal overlays. These are rarely seen and highly expensive. Generally, the more elaborate the case, the more expensive the clock, even though the simple cases could easily be considered more tasteful. Condition is very important with these clocks, including the condition of the beveled glass, dials, and original finish (generally gilt) on the case ornaments. In general, equivalent French examples seem to be more valuable than American ones. I collected clocks for many years before I had one; now I have three and really like them.
 

svenedin

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Jan 28, 2010
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I'm also not aware of a specific book on Four Glass clocks but if you want to work on them or know more about the makers and movements then try "The French Marble Clock" by Nicolas Thorpe. The pendule de Paris movements in most Four Glass clocks is the same movement as in a lot of marble clocks. I have the book and it is an excellent read. I also like Four Glass clocks and have one by Samuel Marti. Also look out for clocks by Japy etc. I have no idea about American clocks as they really don't appear in the UK. Be aware that most of the better carriage clocks and Four Glass clocks were gilded on top of the brass. Sometimes the gilding has been worn off or worse still polished off with metal polish and then the case has to be lacquered. I always look for original gilding (which was often "fire gilding" i.e. mercuric gilding with earlier clocks before electroplating was used). Desirable features in carriage clocks include Grande Sonnerie and famous makers. English makers carry a very substantial premium but beware because many are signed by English makers or retailers but actually have French movements. I have over a dozen carriage clocks and my best is by LeRoy with his ingenious winding system but I also have clocks by McCabe and other English makers. Carriage clocks were so cheap 40 years ago that my father acquired a box of them (10) for a pittance. Valuable carriage clocks are very much devalued by replacement platform escapements so look out for that. Also keep an eye out for badly done repairs. Clocks that were originally cheap tat are still cheap tat (in my opinion).
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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Crystal Regulator Clocks and Brass Carriage Clocks.
Greg,

The "crystal regulator" term is a catch all term used for any small brass & glass clock with a front and back door.

"Carriage clock" is much more defined. It has a platform escapement on top, across the plates, with a beveled oval glass to view the balance wheel, heavy and well made. They were some of the earliest portable time-pieces that were actually used when people made road trips by coach or carriage and needed to keep to a schedule.

Willie X
 

Greg Schiek

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Apr 23, 2011
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Guys,
Thank you so much for all the detail and valuable information. Thanks for the link, some very cool clocks.

This will help "arm" me so when I am on the hunt for clocks I can be even better aware.

Thank you very much once again. Your knowledge is a great education for me.

Greg
 

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