Fake Railroad Clock

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by NJS, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. mauleg

    mauleg Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 26, 2012
    848
    138
    43
    Country Flag:
    It seems to me that these clocks constitute "Folk Art", in that they are comprised of embellishments added to whatever existing clocks were readily available. Like the afore-mentioned Civil War Memorial secretary, the challenge will be determining when the embellishments were made.
     
  2. Greg Arey

    Greg Arey Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 8, 2016
    8
    0
    1
    Hi Bob (RAK),

    I'll try to answer some of your questions.....
    Most of these clocks ARE big....the store regulator models vary, but are around 6 feet high by 3 to 4 feet wide. But, I have many different sizes, ranging from hanging Kitchen clock-size, to the store regulator-size, to Jeweler's Regulators .Most commercial storefronts at that time had very tall ceilings, so I don't think the size was an issue. Actually, it was an asset to the cigar manufactures and wholesalers, because these clocks could be so prominent in the cigar stores .
    As I mentioned previously, it appears that they were custom made for a particular cigar shop/customer. They were not made for homes. Each clock is truly unique, with none of them being alike. They were made to promote the sale of the cigars that W.E. Haines and Sons Tobacco Manufacturers made. These clocks were made between approximately 1920's through the 1930's.
    Of course, the target market was anyone who stepped into the cigar shop. The cigar market was huge, and extremely competitive, in the late 1800's to around the 1930's, until cigarettes started being in vogue.
     
  3. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    41,218
    810
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Greg - I rotated some of your pics that were sideways ;)
     
  4. Greg Arey

    Greg Arey Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 8, 2016
    8
    0
    1
    Mauleg, one has to believe they were made during the 1920's through the 1930's. If you study the history of the particular cigar labels that are on the clocks, you can date them that way. Also, I know that W.E. Haines and Sons was in business during that time. Plus, there are other clues on the clocks. On some of advertising "wings" have newspaper articles on the back side, with dates on the articles. There are service dates in pencil, just like there are on many old clocks.

    I can trace one of the larger clocks to the Hershberger & Rosenthal Company (Tobacco Jobbers/Wolesaler), 915 Broadway, in Kansas City. This was the historical Wholesale/Garment District during the early 1900's, where many 'Jobbers' (Wholesalers) were located.

    Here's some information that was in a Tobacco Publication called The Tobacco Leaf, in 1908, in the link below. It mentions Hershberger & Rosenthal. This particular clock, that hung in that building, is a larger one.....a Welch #12 Regulator. It has Hershberger & Rosenthal's label on the front of it, along with many other cigar labels (that, evidently they sold) at their shop.

    Tobacco Leaf

    So, I can date them from these findings.....when W.E. Haines & Sons was in business, when the particular cigar labels date from, and other clues that are on the clocks (dated articles that the shop owner must have .
     
  5. Greg Arey

    Greg Arey Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 8, 2016
    8
    0
    1
    Thanks Shutterbug! I can use all the help I can get with attaching my photos to this thread.
     
  6. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,749
    613
    113
    Country Flag:
    #56 rmarkowitz1_cee4a1, Mar 1, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
    Some observations.

    Your replies tend to be copious recitations of facts of which I fully accept the veracity. However, IMCO, they don't quite connect nor clinch anything. They're more in the vein of circumstantial evidence.

    Thank you for posting some pix. I've done my best to very carefully review the posted photographs provided and enlarged all of them. I close them and then go back again and look again. I even do this thing where I look at them upside down, sideways, etc.
    Honestly, the pictures really do not dispel any of the doubts I have and have already put forth in the course of this thread.

    Some points about the shipping labels. I don't know which clocks they go with. Are they for the PA small short lived company's products (again, how did such a small concern produce all of these large complex clocks if that is the suggestion) or other brands which doesn't make sense. Again, doesn't make sense that the shipping labels would be on the back of the clocks rather than on the shipping crate. Finally, and it's rather hard to tell definitively from your pictures, but as labels peel and there are partial or total losses, often the wood behind it has a different oxidation history than the rest of the backboard. When most or part of the label is gone, that can be seen around the edges of the remaining portion. In fact, once a label is completely gone, that may be only indication that there was one. I don't see that.

    I conclude that these were fantasy, fun or hobby pieces put together using old advertising, cigar boxes,old junker clocks of varying ages and other things available to or made for additional embellishment. Did they belong to the guy who had that collection of other advertising collectibles, stained glass, etc that you mentioned or was the mine being salted? As a contractor, he would have had access to that stuff and the basic wood working skills as well. They probably do have some age, maybe as much as a 1/2 century. May there have been an intention to deceive? Possibly. And yes, could they have been made exclusively for local merchants? Maybe.

    I really like and would instead vigorously promote mauleg's suggestion. That they are more in the realm of folk art or outsider art (much of which has been made in the past 50 years and sometimes achieves great value) and should be much appreciated as such. Certainly they show great imagination and wonderful creativity and have some age. They are a lot of fun. Love them for what I believe they are.

    Good luck.

    RM
     
  7. RAK

    RAK Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    291
    30
    28
    Male
    The Beautiful State of Virginia
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Greg,

    I would also like to thank you for posting the photos. It allows us other clock nuts to share in the hunt for answers and the joy that comes with that. Whatever else can be said, the collection you have compiled is amazing. I have enjoyed looking at them and will come back to this thread many more times to consider and reconsider the photos and information you have shared.

    In the brief moments before work that I have, I have looked up a couple of the cigars advertised on one or two of the clocks and still content that they mix brands. I think it was Traveler cigars with Mark Twain for example were made by two different companies. Disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer... this opinion was from a quick search on Google. Companies did get bought and sold and cigar names did change hands that way, so again, anything is possible.

    So, without beating a dead horse, I too think this was either some sort of hobby (less likely), or someone who did these clocks as decorative items for cigar stores (made to look old and interesting) as a side job. I think the later is most likely. In mulling your collection over I recall a cigar store in downtown Milwaukee, WI, that had an electric guitar (a Gibson ES-335 knock-off if a foggy memory serves) in it's window covered in cigar labels or cigar bands. An eye-catching, cigar themed item. Well that is what marketing is all about. Your clocks would have been the same, decorative items, plus functional clocks if they chose to run them. So the big question for me is when... 30's folk art? 60's sudo-antiques? You have a real puzzle on your hands.
     
  8. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,749
    613
    113
    Country Flag:
    #58 rmarkowitz1_cee4a1, Mar 2, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
    Victorians and those who came later seemed to have wasted nothing. Much of the later folk art and outsider art was also created using many objects that were saved or found but otherwise destined for the trash. Of note, even Picasso used found objects for his art!! For example:

    On-Slaughter-Praying.png

    In the modern sense, it was amazingly "green". Especially in a predisposable society, repurposing things into utilitarian objects that were at the same time often beautiful was typical and now considered folk art.

    For example, old clothing beyond repair might be cut into strips and hooked into a wonderful rug using an empty burlap sack from feed or flour. Same for patchwork quilts which used scraps of valued textiles. And sometimes the objects were purely decorative or whimsical.

    Well it seems appropriate and relevant to hijack this thread again (well maybe just a bit) and talk about how tobacco related stuff, destined for the trash, was saved and turned into wonderful (IMCO) decorative objects. Many tobacco related things were bright, colorful and eye catching. Too good to toss.

    Cigar and cigarette bands and labels were saved and then used to decorate any number of objects, including glass. Often what are seen are small clear glass dishes or trays to which cigar bands have been applied for decoration. They can be quite nice. For example here's one from the public domain that I found on line:

    cigarband_bowl.preview.jpg

    A fixture of Victorian drug stores and general stores was the "show globe". Here's one I found that was painstakingly decorated using discarded cigar and cigarette bands:

    show globe 1.JPG show globe 2.JPG show globe 3.JPG

    The chromolithographed labels are not randomly arranged. Of note, the opening of the jar is small enough that only a child's hand could fit! I surmise that's who did this.

    Many other tobacco related "disposables" were also used. And why not? Again, they were colorful and pretty.

    Tobacco silks and the silk bands used to tie together bundles of cigars were popular choices for "repurposing". Today, the objects made from them are very much considered "folk art". And art they are! Here's some eye popping examples that can be found in the public domain:
    cigar band smoking jacket.jpg cigar band quilt.jpg cigar band quilt 2.jpg

    No, none of this produced as advertising by any company. No point in trying to prove that they were.

    Many other examples are to be found.

    RM
     
  9. new2clocks

    new2clocks Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Apr 25, 2005
    1,904
    181
    63
    Pennsylvania
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Greg,

    Have you identified the maker(s) of the basic clock(s) - manufacturer and model name?

    I ask for a few reasons.

    First, if the base clock can be identified as being in production "no later than" or "not before" a certain date, then this would help corroborate or refute your assumption that the clocks were commissioned in the 1920's or 1930's. To the eye, the base clocks look American and could be very well from the twenties or thirties, but it would be best to confirm the maker and model name. If you are unaware of the model name, there are enough contributors to this board with the Tran books who could identify the model name. Pictures of the movement would also be very helpful.

    Second, if the base clocks were manufactured by various companies, this would make it less plausible that the cigar manufacturer "commissioned" to have the clocks made as shown. It seems to me that if this small business cigar manufacturer would spend much less money to commission with one clock manufacturer than many manufacturers.


    Regards.
     
  10. JDToumanian

    JDToumanian Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 28, 2008
    199
    0
    16
    Male
    Locomotive Engineer
    Phelan, CA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    This is a great thread... A fascinating puzzle.

    I also enjoyed the link to the faked Civil War Secretary, amazing story. I can't believe it fooled all these experts!
     
  11. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,749
    613
    113
    Country Flag:
    A bit far afield, but see this: Dutch museum admits one of its ‘masterpieces’ in fact is a 20th century fake | Bruno Claessens

    Mostly old "authentic" materials. Even passed muster with carbon dating...but 20th century adhesive.

    There was a show on TV called "Hill Street Blues". My recollection was that each episode opened with the daily precinct briefing. The briefing concluded with the wise old sergeant advising, "Be careful out there".

    RM
     
  12. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    6,036
    367
    83
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    RM,
    "An investigation into possible skull-duggery was launched after the museum’s conservator..."
    Wonderful!
    Loved the story, and as they have concluded, the museum still has a very interesting story to tell.
    I wondered where the teeth came from until they revealed that the suspected culprit was a double-dealing dentist who was looking to extract much more than just a few teeth from his victims. When you think about it, there was really no need for the teeth at all. Perhaps it was his(?) signature.:chuckling:
     
  13. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,749
    613
    113
    Country Flag:
    ...or someone with access to a lot of old advertising as through their work?

    RM
     
  14. Larry G.

    Larry G. Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 31, 2019
    2
    0
    1
    Male
    Country Flag:
    I am wanting to buy railroad wall clocks and with all the talk about fake and reproduction clocks, I find I am suffering from he said; she said comments which leads to Paralysis from Analysis. I have been reading different forums and haven't seen any links (at least ones I could open) that take me to some documentation that support the poster's comments. Can anyone suggest certain books, articles, etc. that are either from the company that produced the clock, an old railroader that remembers what the real clocks looked like, or a collector that has such documentation that supports their thoughts. Having grown up in Army aviation dealing with regulations, standards, and training policies, it was very common when someone disagreed with what you stated to be asked, "What's your reference?" I guess that is what I am hoping to find here. In particular I am trying to find:

    Did Pennsylvania Railroad always mark their equipment/clocks with P.R.R. vs P R R? How did there numbering system go on clocks; 3 or 4 digits or were there and single digit clocks? (Rumors were the clock repair shops used single or low digit clock as loaners; which I do not believe) P.R.R. was a railroad but I found a 1920ish employee time punch-card clock with number P.R.R. 4457 on the dial, Brass #88 movement, punch card mechanism made by International Time Recorder Company, but on the door it is stenciled "Railway" Standard Time. Real or fake?

    How did each road mark their clocks? I have seen some "Santa Fe" clocks with Railway Time on the glass door (they were a railway vs railroad), Railroad time, and Santa Fe Railway system. All from reputable antique dealers. It is hard for me to believe that Santa Fe was so haphazard about how they labeled their clocks? Real or Fake?

    I believe the railroad promoted "Standard" time, but did all use that term? For advertising purposes, did some roads actually put certified time or railway certified time on their clocks at some point?

    Did Seth Thomas use paper dials on newer Regulator 2-3 clocks, or at least ones sent to railroads?

    I found one 1890 year Seth Reg 2 with 0981F on the backboard (was told Seth numbered the date in reverse). It had the early 3 piece bottom with old wavy glass in both doors. Erie paper instruction label on interior lower bottom door (with correct logo of a diamond with the word Erie inside) but on the zinc metal dial it had the diamond E logo. I was suspicious that either it was a fake or other parts had been used to make the clock because the diamond E logo was the Erie Lackawanna Railway symbol that wasn't established until 1960. After looking at the clock I rationalized that when Erie became the Erie Lackawanna Railway they wouldn't have changed the whole clock, they would have just replaced the dial because other identifying marks could not be seen without opening the clock. Real or Fake?

    As I said, right now I'm at the knowledge level where every conflicting comment can make sense. So I am hoping to tap your factual knowledge!

    Thanks, Larry G.
     
  15. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,749
    613
    113
    Country Flag:
    Some recent additional info.

    Based upon private email correspondence (not PM on MB) I have learned that these cigar advertising clocks may be rearing their ugly heads again at NAWCC meetings.

    In fact, they may be the subject of an upcoming Bulletin article:???: I may be incorrect on this point, but if so, for shame. Here we are on another thread earnestly discussing that the greatest asset of the NAWCC is its intellectual property and if this is correct, we're devaluating it with this crap while giving it legitimacy.

    I also learned that others are familiar with them and they were made by a local character called "Mattress Jon".

    Okay boys and girls, let's jump down the rabbit hole while we drink the electric Kool-Aid.

    RM
     
  16. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    2,585
    437
    83
    Male
    Magnolia, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Well, it is indeed off to see the Queen time via the rabbit hole. How the subject clocks were represented by some parties(owner?) in the fairly recent past was in my opinion, WRONG. Well-learned researchers, as well as lay people, have articulated a large number of idiosyncrasies pertaining to those clocks that support their not being legitimate efforts to advertise a cigar product line via many cigar stores circa 1890-1920+/-.

    Legitimate evaluation of all we know about them suggests they either fall into a slot we might call "tramp art" or "folk art", or even "fantasy pieces" but not true advertising clocks. Today, they might even approach some elements of "steampunk." They seem most likely to be mid 20th century or a bit later in their evolution from conventional clocks to what we see today.

    In any event, as tramp art, folk art, or fantasy pieces, and represented as such, they do have a place in the clock world. But as legitimate advertising clocks, not so much. Therein lies the rub.....certain parties continue to represent these as correct and period (what period is a good question) and valuable advertising clocks in their own right. Other parties with no vested interests have provided us with ample information to draw contrary conclusions.

    It would be interesting to do some wood analysis as well as paint and glue analysis to see what stories would be told therein. Also, a review of several hundred online vintage photos of cigar shop interiors does not show a single image of one of the subject clocks. We do note that not many photos featured clocks at all, not a complete surprise. They were selling cigars, not clocks.

    We do not need a Bulletin article based on little or no real facts, but based all on the opinion of parties who have vested interests in things that are not demonstrated to be correct. The Bulletin has avoided falling into that trap for a long time. Let us hope the editor continues to do so.
     
    G J M and Old Rivers like this.
  17. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,749
    613
    113
    Country Flag:
    Very well stated!

    I and others have, as you do above, point out the real value of these clocks is as something besides legitimate advertising pieces. To represent and publish them as such would be a grievous error, IMCO.

    RM
     
  18. G J M

    G J M Registered User

    Mar 2, 2018
    164
    17
    18
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Greetings,

    As of late I seldom have time to do anything on the MB but read and I have to say that this is one of the most interesting threads yet.

    Larry G. I have become cross eyed several times while trying to learn all I can about clocks and the other interest of mine. My clock hobby isn't as old as my love for the steam engine era of the railroads. Let me see if I can help.

    Of course you can believe everything you read on the internet. ;) Google and such is a great place to read about the early railroads. "Railway Time" was actually started in Great Britain and it took a while for us hard heads on this side of the pond to adopt it. So it is possible for a railroad company to refer to railway time.

    As was stated earlier if a railroad company purchased clocks for their stations they would have been in "bulk" and not for a certain station so it would be marked with the company's name only. They also would have been given some type company markings and asset number for traceability. I wish I had an answer as to why Pennsylvania Railroad Company clocks are seen marked PRR or P.R.R. or even P.R.R.C. It is seen elsewhere and has been attributed to when and where it was done but I have no actual proof of that. A clock that had hung in a railroad station or office that was originally marked with the companies name etc. would more than likely be from a railroad company in Great Britain or the east coast of the US and be a good quality clock. When the railroads moved west and the number of stations were fewer and the distance between them grew further the clocks were not normally marked. As much as I would love to have one I would have to go over a clock marked Santa Fe with a fine toothed comb. I believe it was also stated earlier that the engineer and station manager would use their more accurate pocket watches for actual train arrivals/departures. The clocks hung in the station for passenger reference and from what I have read were set daily so accuracy wasn't a large concern.

    I have several books on the history of the railroads at home but unfortunately that is some distance away and I can't remember the exact titles.

    Hope I have helped.
    G J M
     
  19. RAK

    RAK Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    291
    30
    28
    Male
    The Beautiful State of Virginia
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I also find this thread (or threads) fascinating.

    Re: Railroad clocks. I have seen some with the various east coast railroad initials stamped in the cases but would say if the case has been refinished, take it with a grain of salt. Money talks and having "original" railroad clocks for sale I think brings out the worst in some people since an evening or two of gussying up a clock could put an extra half a grand in their pockets.

    The Seth Thomas #19 clocks with Santa Fe on the main tablet and the Santa Fe style dial is one that with a little research you can prove is original. I believe the NAWCC museum has one of these on display in their collection. Unfortunately, even in this down market they command an extraordinary price if you can find one.

    There is one railroad clock that even I would consider buying if the right one came to market because it's a nice clock. It is the Kroeber #31. It's a little more "Victorian" that we usually think of for a "railroad clock" but it is what it is. As I understand it these were marketed to the railroads to hang, who knows where, but the beauty of them is that the initials of the railroad were carved into the boot of the clock. So... if the clock has an original finish you pretty much know for sure that this was a REAL clock owned by the railroad and not just some smucks attempt at emptying your wallet. Look them up on-line. I was able to find one (already sold) that had the Pennsy railroad PRR as the initials. I have seen others in the past with other railroad initials so it's not just a Pennsylvania R.R. thing.

    Bob
     
  20. RAK

    RAK Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    291
    30
    28
    Male
    The Beautiful State of Virginia
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    As far as the famous "CIGAR STORE" clocks, I'm going to go in the opposite direction. I wish the Bulletin would print a big article with lots of pictures and all the background and exhaustive research that has been done to date. Lets get it all out there. It is my contention that only a small subset of our organization is on the Message Board with any frequency and it would be great to have all members weigh in on this topic.

    I think the result of an article of this type would be that the NAWCC's home office mail box would be bursting with useful information and comments and this thing would be put to bed once and for all. A follow-up issue of the Bulletin should then have the resultant analysis from the combined membership. For one, I would be especially interested to hear if any members are aware of any additional clocks of this type that were ever found outside of the infamous barn. There have been one or two of these on ebay, but I believe (but don't have proof here at my fingertips) they were from the same source.

    Because this topic popped up again,I took another peek at the photos. I have to say they all remind me of a craft that was all the rage for a year or two (I think in the 70's) called decoupage. My mother jumped on board with it, took a class, and soon we had tissue boxes, trays, and everything else you can imagine covered with the stuff. The reason I draw the connection is that her work also had that "yellowed" appearance from the several layers of varnish that are used to smooth out the edges of the paper images that are glued to the box, or tray, or... (sound familiar?)

    As a last word; I have to stand with my fellow Message Board members, these do not make a lot of sense in terms of being built for a going concern. Advertising clocks are almost universally about keeping expenses down, not hand building one of a kind customized shrines to a cigar brand. Bob
     
    Old Rivers and Steven Thornberry like this.
  21. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,749
    613
    113
    Country Flag:
    #71 rmarkowitz1_cee4a1, Feb 12, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
    I understand and to an extent I really do agree with your argument.

    My concern is that I believe that we should not be overly generous in the assessment of the ability for critical thinking by the Bulletin staff and readership. People tend to accept things at face value and most people tend to skim when reading. So again, I raise the specter that their publication in the main American horological publication of record may just serve to legitimize these clocks? That's especially so if the person who has a vested interest in the validation of these clocks and at this point, himself, is the one writing the article. Not exactly impartial or objective in a scholarly way. Misinformation, misconception, etc. really does seem to have a life of its own.

    Furthermore, my experience with the Bulletin is that "culturally" it has NOT been a forum for debate, discussion or even welcoming any contrary opinions as I have found, for example, when I have tried to present why I felt what was stated by one of their pezzonovante in one of the recurring features was not accurate. Not even an acknowledgement by the editorial staff that they were contacted.

    Reports of finding others not in the magical mystery barn? So what. Stuff like this has a way of spreading out. Look how many "Willard" banjos there are out there? He's sort of like Elvis. More hits after he died than when he was alive.

    Finally, I personally don't need any more information about these clocks. This is an instance where for me, the pix speak a 1000 words.

    RM
     
  22. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    2,585
    437
    83
    Male
    Magnolia, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    There are two homilies that we might want to consider;
    #1) If it walks like a duck and it quacks, it may well be a duck and #2) "even if it is right it is wrong". I suspect you know the origin of #2. But, both seem applicable in this case. And I am 100% in agreement that more information is not needed for many of us. Even more so if it originates from invested parties.
     
    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 likes this.
  23. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

    Apr 10, 2008
    1,410
    120
    63
    Male
    Hertfordshire England
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    G J M likes this.
  24. Levi Hutchins

    Levi Hutchins Registered User

    Oct 21, 2012
    80
    12
    8
    As a plethora of "one-offs" calculated to draw public attention, it is exceedingly curious that none appears to have ever merited even honorable mention anywhere in situ.

    Such stealth advertising is quite remarkable.
     
    Jim DuBois likes this.
  25. G J M

    G J M Registered User

    Mar 2, 2018
    164
    17
    18
    Male
    Country Flag:
  26. Larry G.

    Larry G. Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 31, 2019
    2
    0
    1
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Thank You GJM and Bob for your input. Larry G.
     
  27. RAK

    RAK Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    291
    30
    28
    Male
    The Beautiful State of Virginia
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi Larry,

    I actually started collecting clocks because of an "original" (lol) Milwaukee Road clock. Little did I know at the time one could buy a replacement tablet with the Milwaukee Road herald on it, install it into your favorite box regulator and be done with it. I have been burned on many clocks since, but learned very early on that no matter how official a railroad clock looks not to trust it. I really don't think most railroads gussied up the tablets or dials on their clocks. And even if they did, they are relatively easy for people with some talent and no scruples to replicate. So, although I like looking at and evaluating railroad clocks, I'm rarely to never interested in acquiring one. The two exceptions; certain Santa Fe clocks and the Kroeber #31 with railroad initials being mentioned in my previous post. With limited skill one could probably determine if you are looking at the real thing.

    Just throwing this out here in case you haven't taken advantage of it yet, there have been several really informative posts on Santa Fe Railway clocks in the past and if you search on Santa Fe they will be easy to find (along with a number of posts on the Ansonia "Santa Fe" model.

    Enjoy! Would love to have one of those Santa Fe Route Seth Thomas #19's but I would have to sell my whole collection and throw in my car to afford one :rolleyes: so I'll stick to advertising clocks for now.

    Bob

    PS to the original posters question and point, I don't think anyone has put out a reference as to what to look for to identify as original "done-back-in-the-day" examples of dial enhancements like store name, department name, etc. or a reference of what were original tablets used on box regulators. I wish someone would have given this a try. On the flip side I just came across another website for an online store that is chuck full of what appear to me to be nonsensical advertising clocks of the most outlandish type. Much like the now famous cigar clocks many of them are just too elaborate to be real. Great for decorating the basement bar, but priced like rare treasures. Hmmmm....
     
  28. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,749
    613
    113
    Country Flag:
    I was looking through the latest MART which just arrived.

    Well, well, well.

    On page 70 there is an advertisement for the upcoming auction of these cigar clocks.

    I have the sickening feeling they will sell for a lot of $$.

    2 old adages come to mind. There's a sucker born every minute (attributed to P.T. Barnum who also was involved in the clock industry) and that a fool and his money are soon parted.

    RM
     
    Raymond Rice likes this.
  29. mauleg

    mauleg Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 26, 2012
    848
    138
    43
    Country Flag:
    #79 mauleg, Mar 3, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
    We need only add the timeline details:
    1. ...decided [in 2016*] to commission a furniture company...
    2. ...He then had them shipped to his cigar store and saloon retail customers [in 2017*]
    Truth in advertising, that. Note that the words, "antique", "genuine", or "authentic" do not appear in the ad. I'll state once again that these constitute "folk art" and should be viewed and valued as such.

    *Note: The above dates are rhetorical flourishes, not intended to convey actual dates, living or dead, nor warranties expressed or implied, consult your doctor before use, your mileage may vary.
     
    RAK, Raymond Rice and Jim DuBois like this.
  30. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    2,585
    437
    83
    Male
    Magnolia, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    also *use of this product may cause constipation and diarrhea.
     
    brian fisher likes this.
  31. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,749
    613
    113
    Country Flag:
    Just to clarify, the above are lines from the MART ad.

    And as far as I am aware, new claims.

    I do wonder how they are substantiated?

    Furthermore, one problem which I feel is apparent from postings on this thread is how his arguments are tangential. Many “facts” are presented as proof but never truly connected to the objects.

    I do agree. These clocks are relatively modern decorative fun creations. Call them folk art, outsider art, whatever. Therein lies whatever true value they might have. Don’t try to tell me otherwise.

    Unfortunately, they’re being passed through an auction house which might lend them legitimacy. By the way, that’s a well known faker tactic. I’m impressed by how few people know how to assess an antique.

    Oh yes, shake well before using.

    RM
     
    Raymond Rice likes this.
  32. RAK

    RAK Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    291
    30
    28
    Male
    The Beautiful State of Virginia
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    If memory serves, the one that sold on Ebay years back sold in the neighborhood of $4,500. The guy who bought it never un-crated it and tried to sell it again on Ebay but I don't recall any takers. When a second one hit the market there weren't any takers for that one either. At least at the multi-thousand dollar price it was listed at. So that was then. Showtime Auctions doesn't have the catalog for this auction online yet, but I am going to be very interested as to what the estimates are. This might be one of those auctions where you can hear a pin drop.

    It is interesting that the ad in the MART states that only 63 of these clocks have survived. Not to nit-pick but how do they know this? Another example of saying something that has no particular foundation and doesn't speak to originality or in this case what class of "antique" these are (trap art, folk art, etc.) or when they most likely are from.

    Whatever, I hope when the auction is over, they list the prices realized... I can't help but being a bit curious.

    Bob
     
  33. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    21,256
    751
    113
    Male
    Ne’er do well
    Here and there
    Country Flag:
    I would like to caution against further discussion of these clocks, as interesting as the discussion is. Since the items are coming up for auction, they may essentially be considered as currently for sale. Our rules, of course, like them or not, do not allow such discussions.
     
  34. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,749
    613
    113
    Country Flag:
    Mattress Jon would be proud!

    Let's hold further discussion on the MB until after the sale, I guess.

    However, we can feel free to PM each other about it.

    RM
     
  35. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

    Jan 20, 2017
    1,334
    284
    83
    houston, tx
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I stopped reading this thread about a year ago because frankly, i had lost interest in it. after a couple of weeks, i learned that many railroad clocks were fakes and that if i ran across one it would be extremely prudent to be careful with the purchase.

    I noticed a good deal of activity this week so i figured perhaps i might click on it this morning. holy cow! i don't know how the subject changed, but I just don't think it would be possible to pay for the expertise contained in the discussion above. very impressive, dynamic, and diplomatic(as possible) all at the same time. I cannot possibly help but agree with all points made by Bob, Jim, and Master Markowitz. Originally, I opined that it was nothing more than an interesting discussion until there were fairly close up photos posted by the owner. like the 3 of you, i spent a lot of time looking at the pictures this morning. i'm going to watch this upcoming auction with a lot of interest.


    somehow, this thread feels like a 3rd party bystander watching a car accident from about a block away we can do nothing about.
     
  36. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    21,256
    751
    113
    Male
    Ne’er do well
    Here and there
    Country Flag:
    As I asked, please let's stop any further discussion in the open forum. RM's suggestion about continuing via PM is a good one for those who are interested.
     
  37. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,749
    613
    113
    Country Flag:
    After the auction, we can return to the MB and do the "post mortem"?

    RM
     
  38. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    21,256
    751
    113
    Male
    Ne’er do well
    Here and there
    Country Flag:
    Sure, why not? Maybe someone from the MB will attend the auction and be able to examine the clocks in the flesh, as it were. If they don't sell, however, that might be problematic, but let's cross that bridge after the auction.
     
  39. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,749
    613
    113
    Country Flag:
    Well, those clocks have sold @ auction for a lot of money.

    Sadly, that validates those clocks.

    Changes nothing for me.

    Mattress Jon, where ever you are, hope you're LYFAO.

    RM
     
  40. zedric

    zedric Registered User

    Aug 8, 2012
    979
    116
    43
    #90 zedric, May 11, 2019
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
    If folk art attracts good money, I’m sure more folk art will be created to meet the market. Anyone got an old clock and a talent for decoupage?

    Seriously though, I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but those things were ugly!
     
  41. clocks4u

    clocks4u Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 2, 2000
    665
    21
    18
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The owner of these was posting links to the auction on a couple of clock related Facebook groups. The comments left were similar to ones here. No matter what anyone said, he had a response/excuse to every question. The question I asked and he danced around was, if these clock were made for different cigar stores, how did only one guy end up with them all. It's pretty obvious to me. That one guy cobbled together all these fantasy clocks in his barn. None of them ever saw the inside of a cigar store.
     
    Jim DuBois likes this.
  42. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,749
    613
    113
    Country Flag:
    Well, people bought the BS...and the clocks.

    RM
     
  43. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    2,585
    437
    83
    Male
    Magnolia, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I would guess a fair number of those clocks sold to advertising collectors or decorator types looking for fantasy pieces or folk art. And most of these clocks sold for a lot less than many advertising pieces. But, it really is a sad state of the market and collectors when this level of questionable representation and little or no provenance and even less practicality is sold to parties who may believe the seller and the auction house.
     
  44. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    21,256
    751
    113
    Male
    Ne’er do well
    Here and there
    Country Flag:
    I guess it just shows to go you that what this country really needs is a good 5-cent cigar clock.
     
    Levi Hutchins likes this.
  45. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

    Feb 18, 2004
    3,516
    167
    63
    Male
    Pennsylvania
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Of course the "cigar" subject matter is "cool".
    I feel the "Goulding's Manures" subject matter would have been more appropriate.Gouldings Manures Advertising Clock
     
    RAK, Jim DuBois and Steven Thornberry like this.
  46. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    2,585
    437
    83
    Male
    Magnolia, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    My uncle smoked King Edward cigars whose logo was "2 for 5 cents." My father, a bit of a dry wit, and a non smoker, often commented "and worth every cent."

    I owned a Gouldings Manure clock that I hung in my office. My boss took exception. I wonder how he would feel about one of these cigar clocks? Not that I would ever hang one in a public place or even my outhouse.
     
    Raymond Rice likes this.
  47. Levi Hutchins

    Levi Hutchins Registered User

    Oct 21, 2012
    80
    12
    8
    Of all these prepossessing timepieces, did even one boast a credible provenance that traced it to any cigar store anywhere?

    Roswell, NM, perchance?
     
  48. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

    Jan 20, 2017
    1,334
    284
    83
    houston, tx
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    ^no. none even had the slightest inkling of proven provenance. in my opinion, the prices they sold for were completely stupid. i guess that guy who has been trying to sell one forever on ebay is going to mark it way up. i also guess the guy that sold this crap is gonna take a really nice long vacation somewhere with all those proceeds. as much money as those brought, i would feel guilty.
     
  49. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    2,585
    437
    83
    Male
    Magnolia, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I am not aware of a single photo of any of these ever hanging in a cigar store at any time or anyplace. The owner (now previous owner?) always defaulted to the so-called shipping labels found on the clock backs and self his generated provenance. I and others think these all likely a late 20th-century exercise in Mod Podge by an enthusiast with access to a lot of cigar store materials.

    Proper research should be conducted on these including;
    1. Analysis of the finishes over all the paper and support pieces
    2. Varnish, shellac, polyethylene, or Mod Podge?
    3. Analysis of the glues and hardware holding these together
    4. Is the glue resin based or hide or even more modern adhesives?
    5. Are the nails and screws period and if so to what period? Round wire nails? Phillips head screws or slotted?
    6. Details of the wood additions. From the photos they look quite crude and not of "commercial quality"
    7. what is the age of the paper / printed parts? How are they printed? What process? Why are so many "all the same?"
    8. are the prints period to early 20th century or much later?
     
    Levi Hutchins likes this.
  50. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,749
    613
    113
    Country Flag:
    As previously discussed, a major issue for me was when asked, the former owner responded with a plethora of information which was verifiable but was never actually connected with the clocks.

    At best, a common mistake. At worst, a disingenuous tactic to create the illusion of legitimacy. See my earlier post on this point where I tell the story about the supposed Civil War hooked rug ..made in the ‘50’s.

    RM
     

Share This Page