Father Time

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by rmarkowitz1_cee4a1, Jan 1, 2020.

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  1. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    #1 rmarkowitz1_cee4a1, Jan 1, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
    The inexorable one way passage of time is often personified as "Father Time". Often he is represented as an elderly man with a beard, naked except for a loin cloth, clutching a scythe and sometimes with an hour glass. All of these attributes are well represented in the exquisite Father Time clock in the rotunda of the Library of Congress:

    father time library congress.jpg

    He has made appearances on much more modest American clocks. Here he is on a tablet for a Jerome fusee steeple with the pendulum mounted from the peak of the case (see my fusee thread for more about this clock):

    father time glass 2.JPG

    There are quite a few figural European, often French, bronze and ormolu clocks with Father Time as well.

    A familiar standard representation of the New Year is Father Time representing the ending year with Baby Time the new:

    father time new year.jpg

    So, how appropriate, I thought, that I share my first find of the year, made on New Year's Day, of a folk art Father Time figural clock:

    father time 1.JPG father time clock 1a.JPG

    I included the second picture as I like the scythe pointing towards him better. Furthermore, the colors in the second are more accurate. Somehow the first is too yellow. Also, without planning it, another folk art clock (previously posted on the MB) got into the picture.

    I have previously posted other "folk art" clocks on the MB.

    The case is entirely hand carved of wood and painted. Note how the case feet can be adjusted to get the clock in beat. There are pencil marks on the case, but no signature which is quite typical. Based upon the type of nails used, I believe that the case is late 19th - early 20th Century.

    Father time is especially wonderfully carved.

    Here's a side view:

    father time 2.JPG

    Here's a close-up of FT:

    father time 3.JPG

    As with most clocks like this, an available movement and dial were used. In this instance, it's a Gustav Becker time and strike pendulum movement. Here's the innards:

    father time 4.JPG

    Here's the serial #:

    father time 7.JPG

    Using this source http://www.anniversaryclockidentification.com/pdfs/gustav-becker.pdf I date the movement to between 1892-1900?

    Country of origin? Definitely European. I'm going to say German, but the figure could be Italian??

    I'll end with something related but superfluous none the less. Father Time had negative associations, too. He is often associated with death. He used that scythe for something.

    In Victorian times, cemeteries went from jumbled church yards to almost inviting park-like places. Mount Auburn in Cambridge, MA is credited with starting this trend. Garden like with sculptures, benches. Grave yard art became important and quite elaborate in Victorian times as well.

    However, it could be expensive. Well, enter the Monumental Bronze Company, a Bridgeport, CT concern (and you thought that they just made clocks in CT) that made some rather large and elaborate monuments out of "white bronze" which was zinc. Not cheap, but much more accessible than granite, marble or real bronze. Their monuments can be found in cemeteries and town squares all over the U.S.

    The company sold them through catalogs and a part time sales force. Well, in my quest for the weird, I acquired a salesman's sample:

    monumental bronze 1.JPG

    It comes in it's own wooden carrying case. As with most salesman's samples of this period, it is a detailed scale representation of what the customer would get.

    I found this very monument in the company's 1882 catalog:

    monumental bronze co. catalog.PNG

    Here's the same one, shall we say, in use:

    monumental bronze co cataloge 3.PNG

    RM
     
  2. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Great post RM

    Rob
     
  3. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Thanks for your kind comment.

    RM
     
  4. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    An appropriate find at this time of year, and an interesting and informative post. I wish I could add more content-wise. Thanks RM, an enjoyable read as usual.

    Tom
     
  5. wow

    wow Registered User
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    RM, it is such a joy to read your informative posts. Thank you for sharing this information. I want one!
     
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  6. Raymond Rice

    Raymond Rice Registered User
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    A great post, RM, and a fine way to start the New Year.
    Ray Rice
     
  7. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Thank you all for your very kind words.

    I strive to make them entertaining as well as informative.

    I forgot to mention that he may or may not have wings.

    RM
     
  8. PatH

    PatH Registered User
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    Father Time, in general, may be depicted with or without wings?

    Great clock and superfluous post!
     
  9. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Thanks!

    Yes. Sometimes without wings. For example, see the Saturday Evening Post cover I included.

    RM
     

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