English long case marriage

digitalpan

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Oct 29, 2012
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Hi
Just this week I was tempted by an English long case clock at an auction. I was mostly interested in the case, a short, simple oak case with mahogany banding. The painted dial suggested mid 19th century (no name or place visible on the dial) but the case looked earlier. I wasn't able to see the condition of the 30hr movement before bidding, but as I got it for a very reasonable price I wasn't too concerned.
The movement is in poor condition, but has also been modified (butchered?) somewhat.
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The clock has the thinnest front plate I have ever seen!
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It also appears to be of a completely different brass (if it even is brass) from the rear plate. There seems to be a corrosion on the surface, almost like occurs on copper. But hammer marks are visible on the plate surface, suggesting it has been worked to flatten it. I've not seen plate pillars of that shape either.
Some sort of catastrophic failure may have happened. Teeth have been replaced in the motion work:
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The escape wheel must have been replaced with one of larger diameter because the pallet arbor has been relocated higher (meaning the pendulum pivot is in the wrong place):
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The right hand photo above also shows where a hole for a dial pillar has been filled and relocated, meaning the dial doesn't match the movement.
Every pivot hole has been punched to try to take up wear - many have also been bushed!
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I wonder whether the clock has been made up from spare parts? It has very long teeth which generally denotes age. I'd be very interested in any observations anyone might have, even if they are of the "take it outside and throw it as far as you can" variety!
By angling the dial in soft daylight I was just able to make out the faint remains of the words "Edward Jones Tiverton" on the painted dial. I have a copy of "Clocks and Clockmakers of Tiverton" by Ponsford and others, but there is no mention of an Edward Jones. Then I found that there is another Tiverton near Chester - the book covers Tiverton in Devon - but I can't find an Edward Jones there.
I will post pictures of the dial and case tomorrow. The dial is square and small - 11ins across - and fits the hood cutout perfectly. It has W&S stamped on the rear - could this be Whittaker & Shreeve?

Ian 315531.jpg 315535.jpg
 

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jmclaugh

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Jun 1, 2006
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It very much looks like the frontplate is a replacement. That style of pillar is said to be from 1800 onwards in one source though why it has a hole through it is odd as you would expect to see that on a pillar that fixes the movement to the seatboard.

I can't find an Edward Jones of Tiverton in my sources either, W&S may well be Whittaker and Shreeve .

Does the movement have a falseplate? Just a thought but perhaps the unused hole on the frontplate may relate to that.
 

shimmystep

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Mar 5, 2012
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Unusual anchor arbour set up.

The front plate being thinner and beaten, whilst the back plate is not, is something I've seen in a number of movements. Though I'm not sure why tbh.

The repaired teeth are likely due to someone forcing the minute hand backwards, where the lifting lever was stuck against the lifting pin.
The pivot holes really have taken a beating.
 

digitalpan

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Oct 29, 2012
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Hi
Thanks for your observations. Here are some photos of the dial and case of the clock:

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The hood pillar caps are painted wood, not brass.

The case bears a distinct resemblance to one on page 147 of Brian Loomes "The White Dial Clock", attributed to an unknown Dawlish (Devon, England) maker and dated c1835.

Ian
 

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jmclaugh

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It is a very attractive dial and the lack of any minute numbering indicates after 1800 and the oak case is nicely proportioned common cottage clock style seen over quite period of time.
 

Sooth

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Feb 19, 2005
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I think it's a rather nice piece, even if the movement is a little sad looking. A lot of the repairs (like the punch marks and very visible bushings) are typical older repairs when clockmakers had either little skills or tools to do better work. The raised anchor is a bit strange, but the repair looks very old. The case and dial are quite nice.

I would just clean it up really nicely (buff and brightly polish everything) and enjoy it for what it is.

Also, as a side note: that's not gold paint. The crackling is typical of gilding over gesso, which is far nicer than gold paint. This is very typical to see on rural/country pieces, since the brass fittings were more expensive.
 

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