Decrepit Becker

Discussion in '400-Day & Atmos' started by whatgoesaround, Aug 21, 2017.

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  1. whatgoesaround

    whatgoesaround Registered User

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    #1 whatgoesaround, Aug 21, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
    Got this Becker a few months ago for probably the opposite reason most would want one for: I wanted the four ball pendulum version. It obviously is going to take a lot of elbow grease when I get to it! In addition to the usual request for its date, I have a few questions about some oddities about it. The base has a black paint to the center that looks like it should be original since it is evenly done and is present on the back and front, as pictured. Does anyone know anything about this? The other question is about the bracket. It is #18 in the book, listed as "unknown" for the maker. I hope this is original. Since it is missing the finials, I pictured a spare crown I had and will use the finials to keep place until I can do better. Opinions on the match? I notice the Beckers look a tiny bit thinner and more elegant. I also see the holes for the medallion, is there supposed to be one or were the holes always present, but only some had the medallions fixed on? Thanks for your help.
     
  2. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    I'm not near my records today, but I recall seeing some Kienzle clocks that used unmarked Becker movements such as yours. Your bracket is the Huber "C" suspension as used by Kienzle. You still have the two small screws for the tubular suspension guard. They would have used a Kienzle style disc pendulum as well. The medallion holes were there even if it was not installed, and if sold by Kienzle it probably would not have been.

    I too purchased a Becker just for the ball pendulum, not so strange.

    Eric
     
  3. whatgoesaround

    whatgoesaround Registered User

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    I was not aware of the Becker/Kienzle connection. I was worried about the C suspension making it unoriginal, but you have clarified that. So, is the "unidentified" now known to be either Becker or Kienzle? It seems from your information that this was a Becker made for Kienzle. Thanks for answering some of the questions I had, Eric.
     
  4. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    I'm thinking Kienzle used Becker movements rather than Becker made clocks for Kienzle.

    The design for bracket 18 is by Huber. It was used by Kienzle and JUF with one major difference. The main part of the JUF bracket was cast as one piece, where the Kienzle bracket has the horizontal portion attached from the top by two small screws.

    Eric
     
  5. daveR

    daveR Registered User
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    Is it a becker at all? I have one of each beside each other ! certainly the becker has a black painted base like yours, but in my case it has been a little crudely done, ie painted over without good surface preparation. As Eric notes the bracket is a kienzle, I t think Becker mainly used his beat adjusting mechanism or a simple hanging bracket (as is mine)) I cant see the anchor stamp on the back. I think most beckers' base drops straight down at the edge rather than as with this one curving out to an overall wider base..
    Just my thoughts. I will be interested to see what everyone thinks.
    David
     
  6. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    I agree with David. All of my Beckers have a "vertical" edge to them as where they rest on the shelf. My Kienzles have a more rounded lower portion of the base.

    Kurt
     
  7. whatgoesaround

    whatgoesaround Registered User

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    Thanks Dave and Kurt. I have three Beckers to compare to and each has slight variations in the base, but, as you pointed out, none like this one. I have only one Kienzle, but the bases do match. The movement matches plate 1634, except there is the number on mine. So, it still could be a Becker movement used by Kienzle. It is interesting that you have the black painted base, too, but on a Becker base. The bottom of the pillars (not pictured), the circular support part, fits exactly to the shiny portion on the base with no black on the sides of this part. However, there is some stuck on the very bottom of the support, so it seems to indicate that the base was black and then the supports went on. So, perhaps erroneously, I am beginning to feel the black is original and I should not remove it when I get to cleaning it.
     
  8. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    #8 John Hubby, Aug 21, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
    Whatgoesaround, thanks for posting. Based on the serial number, your clock was made about April 1923. Eric pointed in the right direction by naming Kienzle as the assembler/seller of this particular clock. In the early 1920s GB sold about 2,300 movements (including a number of complete GB clocks with GB bases, pendulums, etc.) to third parties, for which a serial number is present but the GB logo and Medaille d'Or were not stamped.

    My data show there were five batches made. Here are approximate dates, serial numbers, and number made for each batch:

    Batch 1 (Feb-Mar 1920): SN 2373900 > 2374300 = 400
    Batch 2 (Jan-Feb 1922): SN 2421500 > 2421900 = 400
    Batch 3 (Nov-Dec 1922): SN 2441400 > 2441900 = 500
    Batch 4 (Apr-May 1923): SN 2452100 > 2452300 = 200
    Batch 5 (nov-Dec 1923): SN 2467000 > 2467800 = 800

    TOTAL = 2,300

    The last change in these numbers was about three years ago when several examples showed up over a short period of time. That resulted in the addition of batches 4 and 5 and expansion of batch 3. Because of the relatively small sample, these are always subject to new data.

    This info is based on 20 actual examples documented to date. The characteristics of the actual clocks indicate that the two major buyers were Kienzle and Huber, with Huber being by far the largest customer. Some other info:

    > The upper bracket for all but the ones with Huber logo and a couple more that were evidently made for Huber was the GB No. 8 adjustable suspension. The Hubers had their "C" gimbal that was made for Kienzle, that uses the No. 18 support bracket with the addition of the "C" gimbal. This version was used by Kienzle from 1911 to 1929, together with a tubular suspension guard.

    > The GB 4-Ball pendulum first version (4B1) was used on four of the Huber clocks, this clock is the only one so far with this pendulum that appears to be for a Kienzle. No good explanation right now.

    > The "partial" No. 10 pendulum has been found on six of the 20 documented clocks. This pendulum consists of the four posts, disc, and adjusting weights used for the No. 10, basically it is just missing the two bimetallic loops and mounting shafts. My judgement is that the clocks with this pendulum were all made for/by Huber, as they would have had the parts at their factory.

    > The dials for the most part appear to be GB dials, including a couple that have "K.C.Cº. Germany" imprinted under the 6:00. There are two clocks made by Huber that have the large metal dials and a large arch support with ball decoration and an oversize dome. These are very similar if not identical to clocks made by Kundo not long after they started production in 1923.

    We still need more examples that can be accurately dated by something other than the GB serial number, and also a closer look at the bases and pendulums used. In the data right now are clocks with Hauck pendulums, obviously marriages since those pendulums were made no later than 1914. There are also other pendulums that likely are marriages, but here again with only one example of a given pendulum it isn't possible to say what is "real" and what isn't.
     
  9. whatgoesaround

    whatgoesaround Registered User

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    Thanks, John, for such detailed information. I guess presently there just are not enough examples to definitely say if it is all original or not. Of course I want to believe it is. Any comments on the black base?
     
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