First Pillar and Scroll Seth Thomas

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by steamer471, Nov 8, 2019.

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  1. steamer471

    steamer471 Registered User
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    I picked this up today at an estate sale. After Ii bought the people running the sale told me I would have to take it down myself because they couldn't even open the door! After opening it I found everything inside including a ownership note inside I'm currently trying to decipher. Anyways the glass is broken, door unhinged and the minute hand isn't correct. Can anyone tell me when it was made? Does the eagle emblem represent anything?

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  2. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Wow, congratulations!! :clap:
    You own a magnificent early Seth Thomas P&S with a model 2C movement. 1818-1821 in date after Roberts and Taylor. Nearly complete (The finials look weird, not the usual Thomas ones) The tablet is original and I would keep it even in its badly cracked condition. At least one of the scrolls is repaired. The hour hand couold be a cast original one, but the minute hand is a bad replacement. The eagle, I assume, is the federal one.
    Could you, please, post detil pics of the back and upper part?

    Aitor
     
  3. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    OMG!!

    Do you realize what you have there? A ST "off center" (referring to the pendulum position; note the oculus in the glass is not in the center) with a wooden strap movement. Note that the weights are compounded.

    As mentioned above, see Roberts & Taylor, page 87 and the clock and movement shown on page 95.

    Also see Brown and Oechsle, "Good for a Time", page 62. Of note, that example has an appropriate repop tablet. Yours, though damaged, appears to be original?

    Much info in the Bulletin, too. So do a search.

    As best I can tell, some subtle differences between your label vs. the above cited examples.

    Some condition issues as noted above but in this instance, who cares. The finials are later repops, the scroll tips appear to be repaired or replaced and some veneer repairs. You don't provide any decent pix of the skirt and feet. Love to see those too.

    ST embellished some of the cases with bird's eye maple trim.

    Also as pointed out, it's the Federal eagle on the dial.

    I would tend to restore nothing. That what appears to be the original glass even survives is great. My recollection is that just the top and side edges had the gilt boarders, the bottom did not.

    Not bad for your first pillar and scroll! It's a very nice find and demonstrates that there are still good genuine antiques out there for those who have their eyes open, are patient and persistent. Forget the modern junk.

    RM
     
  4. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    A very desirable clock! I have owned a number of P&S clocks but never one of these. They have always been more $$$ than I wanted to pay when I found one, and there are not a lot of them out and about. Congratulations!
     
  5. Raymond Rice

    Raymond Rice Registered User
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    Don't you just LOVE estate sales? There is always the chance of finding something that hasn't (yet) gone through the hands of pickers and dealers.
    Ray Rice, ever hopeful, in Rifton
     
  6. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    #6 rmarkowitz1_cee4a1, Nov 10, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
    Yep!

    There are interesting clocks and antiques still to be found.

    Just look at some of the wonderful clocks shared by folks from the both sides of "The Pond".

    This thread especially reminds me of the story of another rather amazing American find, also made by the OP, that appeared on the MB:

    Pittsburgh Mayor's Clock

    This guy has some incredible good fortune!!

    And yep, may not come home with something every weekend.

    It's all interesting to see and learn about. For me personally, it is what makes the MB worth it.

    RM
     
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  7. steamer471

    steamer471 Registered User
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    Thanks everyone for your replies. Yes I do love estate sales.
    As requested here are some more pictures. The scrolls have been repaired. I believe the upper glass is an old replacement but the lower looks original. The lower front foot is broken loose but easily repaired.
    Thank you very much I will check these out. You help is always appreciated.

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  8. steamer471

    steamer471 Registered User
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    Yes I have been fortunate. I believe my "luck" however is unfortunately related to the depressed market for all antiques in general. But that's ok I seem to enjoy the hunt almost more than owning them. The Pittsburgh clock was actually a Craigslist find and I currently have it in climate controlled storage until my skills are better honed to tackle it. Local help here is scarce and unfortunately my local chapter is an hours drive from me and only meets on Sundays, My day of rest and family time. The MB is a great source for helping learn and protect these pieces for the future the best I can. Thanks again to everyone here for their help.
     
  9. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Many thanks, steamer!
    The house on the tablet was crudely repainted at some time. The backboards are fine, except for the screws. (Well, in fact I don't know if these movements with backboard doubling as backplate too, were permanently nailed to the case or used screws). Have you already deciphered the ownership note? If not, you could post a pic of it here. Probably it could be of some help.

    Aitor
     
  10. steamer471

    steamer471 Registered User
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    Written in pencil and cursive on nothing but an old envelope it's a hard read. I'll type what I can read and any help will be appreciated. I'll post a pic also.

    Birdie Neal Goldsborough born 1866
    this clock was
    Byrd L. Farrel's
    Who was Mothers
    great grand father
    his youngest
    daughter ?whertie?
    the home place
    "cherryhill" and
    the clock was in
    the home
    after her death
    without heir ? -
    at break up of the
    house?mother went
    with her mother
    she was about 9yrs
    and ?ahed? -(circa1875)
    Phill oulds -was
    aunt franklin? hurdy?
    for the clock and
    he gave it to her
    and she brought
    it her day?
    written by
    J. Carter Goldsborough

    The address on the envelope still is here and not to far from where I purchased the clock. Out of respect I blocked the house number-Note no zip code. Do not know what the seven after Charlotte means (before my time) Lived here all my life and do not know of a cherry hill (after a second look may not be "cherry"). Any help is appreciated, more eyes the better.

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  11. steamer471

    steamer471 Registered User
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    Well just a little research today on google and I Believe have found the original owners of the clock.

    Peter William Ferrell born at Cherry hill Halifax County Virginia to Byrd Lasier Farrell and Anna Dennis (Reeves) Farrell . Byrd Ferrell was known for his fine judgement and during the civil war was able to lead his countryman gold, as well as county, Halifax, the same assisting the the county in it's finances, even to caring for the poor.
    :from the history of Virginia volume 86 page 385-386
    Interesting reading found in google books on the family. This clock has a family tree that can be traced.
     
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  12. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Good detective job, steamer!
    I would dare to read 'his youngest daughter inherits the home place', were not for the lack of dots over the supposed 'i' (Mr Goldsborough seemed to be very careful about that)

    Aitor
     
  13. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    #13 rmarkowitz1_cee4a1, Nov 10, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
    I applaud your research. Another good example of how these objects can open the door to a fascinating story. It's not just "date and ID".

    No surprises in you pix. I do wonder about the feet/skirt. Feet look a bit heavy and the wood doesn't look the same. Looking at the underside of the base and glue blocks may provide clues. However, I reiterate, that with a scarce example like this....

    The back plate of the movement also forms part of the back board. This would be mounted with screws to permit the movement's removal for servicing.

    The very upper section of the back board is also secured with screws. Should be square nails. I think I see residual now empty holes where they were originally. Kinda doesn't bother me then.

    Stop nit picking the condition and enjoy.

    RE: the note and your transcription. I love finding those things.

    With all due respect, the person who wrote it seems barely literate.

    The word you transcribe as "whertie" is inherited.

    RM
     
  14. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    Some possibilities -
    ahed = asked
    hurdy = husband
    day = lap
     
  15. steamer471

    steamer471 Registered User
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    I would dare say you are quite correct and thank you! I knew my mind was blocking what was there.

    I believe you got something there I think it reads,
    "and asked phil oulds was aunt franklin's husband for the clock and he gave it to her and she brought it in her lap"
    thanks pretty close I think.

    I appreciate your insight you have the eye for these things.
    here's a picture of the underside


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  16. Tommy Thomas

    Tommy Thomas Registered User
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    It is amazing and so interesting having the information about where this clock has been. We never really own these clocks, we are their caretakers. :)
     
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  17. Frederick Ringer

    Frederick Ringer Registered User
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    Those finials are right if they are 2 piece construction. They are seen on these early models upto the first model 5 standard pillar and scroll. Not a lot of these finials out there ..
     
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  18. Tommy Thomas

    Tommy Thomas Registered User
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    I looked closer at the finals. They appear to be two piece construction and are the proper design. I wonder if they are exact reproductions of the originals. At first I wanted to try and find proper old finals. But these are growing on me. :)

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  19. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Sorry, Tommy: 'Two piece construction' means 'cast in two halves' and soldered together (i.e. having a vertical seam). Your finials are of the correct Seth Thomas design, but they are modern reproductions, made of two or three parts turned on the lathe and then screwed on a threaded iron shank. Original finials have a hollow base where a wooden peg is inserted.
    I gave up long ago trying to get original finials for my Terry P&S:(. It's nearly impossible to get an original set and detached finials are really pricey!

    Aitor
     
  20. Tommy Thomas

    Tommy Thomas Registered User
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    Ah, thanks Aitor. That makes sense. I was think in the terms of top and bottom. Yes the ones that I have look relatively new. I know you are not in the US but I will wish you a happy Thanksgiving.

    Tommy
     
  21. ballistarius

    ballistarius Registered User

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    Many thanks, Tommy. I wish you a happy Thanksgiving day, too!:)

    Aitor
     
  22. Frederick Ringer

    Frederick Ringer Registered User
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    The first pictures are the parts and assembly for a ST Pillar & Scroll. These are the type you usually see, The second ones are like the ones you see on the early model 5 's and sometimes on the clocks like you have, They are rare in my opinion. The are made of 2 half castings fused together and turned/shaped on a lathe. the weights on the off-centers are lead compounded ........... Everyone have a Great Thanksgiving !

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  23. Tommy Thomas

    Tommy Thomas Registered User
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    Thanks Fredrick. Did ST use the design in the second picture on all their clocks or only the early ones?

    Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one.

    Tommy
     
  24. steamer471

    steamer471 Registered User
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    I took some pictures of the finials. I believe they are two piece construction. Look old to me.

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  25. Frederick Ringer

    Frederick Ringer Registered User
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    I have seen these "fancy" finials on early model 5's and and a few early ST off-centers as well as some of the pre production models. They are rare and probably came from the same brass foundry source. I have not found the source as yet . Though we have found a source that provided some "urns" or brass finials. Most ST strolls had the ones that were cast and metal spun. All this information is my opinions ........ Fred
     
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  26. Frederick Ringer

    Frederick Ringer Registered User
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  27. steamer471

    steamer471 Registered User
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    Thank you for your help.
     

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