Curious about my early English tall case. Can anyone help?

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG, Feb 8, 2016.

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  1. ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG

    ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG Registered User

    Dec 28, 2011
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    I got this lovely tall case in a trade years ago, I never looked much into it. Can anyone help shed some light on it?
    I liked it because I thought it was pretty early, and the case style I thought was a nice one.
    Interested to know more. Many thanks.




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  2. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
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    I am by no means an expert on long case clocks but can tell you that Weller & Magson were prolific watch and clock makers in the first half of the 18th century. From what I can tell, the movement would seem to fit the date.

    As for the case, I am not so sure. I wonder if this is one of those cases which the Victorians couldn't leave alone and had to cover with carving - I may be well be wrong and someone with more knowledge than I will be along to tell us. But the Victorians had a habit of taking 18th century plain wooden items and covering 'improving' them with carving. I have what would be a very nice 18thC bureau which has been 'improved' in this way...............

    Hope this helps a little.
     
  3. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    A nice longcase with a number of features that indicate it is very early 1700s such as ringed winding holes and half quarter markers outside the minute band. I agree with JTD's comments re the carvings.

    Weller & Magson are listed by Loomes in Essex Street, London 1710. Britten also lists them, he mentions a longcase clock by them c 1705. He also has a separate entry for John Magson that mentions a longcase clock with just his name and Essex St. London on the dial dated to about 1720, that might suggest by that time Magson was no longer working with Weller.
     
  4. Jeremy Woodoff

    Jeremy Woodoff Registered User
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    I think the carvings are nicely done on this, though it would no doubt be better if the case had been left alone. The hour and minute hands are replacements. They are too long and from a later date.
     
  5. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Early dial and movement, lovely and as you say wrong hands. However though the Victorians were no doubt responsible for the carving I don't think they were carving the original case. It is still a lovely clock though.

    The dialplate appears to have fixing holes in the edges, do these line up with something in the current case?
     
  6. Jeremy Woodoff

    Jeremy Woodoff Registered User
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    Do you think it's a period case, if not the original? The proportions, (original) pierced carving above the dial, trim around the doors, all look like they could be from an 18th century case.
     
  7. ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG

    ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG Registered User

    Dec 28, 2011
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    WOW! thanks guys!! :) As a mostly Black forest collector it caught my eye because of the carving. I knew it was an early bird, and for the carving, I like to think I know a thing or two about carving. I have made it a pretty serious study. I can tell its an early carving. Could well be as early as the clock itself, but obviously no way to be sure. There is always the instance of a later carving being done by an "old world" carver using the old ways.

    So most seem to agree there is NO chance this carving is original to this case? I can tell you the hardware and makings of the case seem to match very well the time period.
     
  8. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    What wood is it?

    Were it as old as the dialplate I would expect it to have a convex moulding under the hood but being a London clock it would have been right up there with the fashion of the day whatever that day was. That, as I understand it, means it would have been a lacquered or veneered case. Obviously that could all have been taken off to carve it. I'm certainly no expert but I do read a lot of books and look at a lot of clocks, I don't recall seeing such an early clock with that style of hood.

    I think the holes in the dialplate suggest a life before this case, unless there are corresponding holes in the case somewhere but it isn't the way the clock would originally have been made. My guess is a later 18th century case that would have been old when it was carved but somebody may recognise the style of case.
     
  9. ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG

    ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG Registered User

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  10. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    #10 novicetimekeeper, Feb 8, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
    I just hunted through some books looking for a similar style and could not find one. However I did reread Brian Loomes view on carved cases. He believes that around 1750-1780 there were cases being carved as original cases, and suggests that some Halifax clocks were originally carved.

    If you go too late in the 18th century you end up with arched dials and unattached hood columns so it doesn't seem unreasonable to suggest this sort of date. I look at your case and think that something further north than London seems likely too.

    So you might not have a bored Victorian doing the carving and given your knowledge of carving that seems to go that way too. Not sure we will ever really know, but I think we do know it isn't the case of an early London clock. Can you see anything to explain those holes?


    Edit : Just looking at the movement. You seem to have too much cord on the strike train and it has fallen off the drum. Not sure what the cord is anyway, it would have been gut originally. Is the hammer tied up to prevent it striking? As it is a countwheel not a rack you can just leave that side unwound to silence the strike.
     
  11. P.Hageman

    P.Hageman Registered User

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    #11 P.Hageman, Feb 9, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
    Jeff,
    You seem to have much more knowlegde on carvings, so I wonder what you make out of this carvings? Its on one of my clock I bought from a collector here in the Netherlands. I would love to know what youre opinion is. (Last pic is upside down) Does this carving has some sort of meaning (symbol), tree of live perhaps:???:?
     

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  12. ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG

    ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG Registered User

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    Very interesting Novice. Ill have a closer look.

    P: this is a nice carving. I think this one is an early one too. Mid 1700's possibly. Hard to say if there is a larger meaning than just decoration, I seem to find hints of that everywhere. Very interesting how the design goes from wholly organic to somewhat architectural at the bottom. Almost reminds me of a windmill base at the bottom. Very possibly the tree of life, remembering that The Netherlands were a very diverse region due to geography there could be influence from almost any culture of the day. the tree of life is a notion that spans thousands of years, and dozens of cultures.
     

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