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First Tall Case - John Davies, Chester

TJ Cornish

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I picked this clock up locally - it's my first tall case. Googling generally and searching the forum specifically returns no hits. The person I purchased the clock from believes it's ~1850 or so. It stands around 90" tall and 22" wide.

I have a bit of a project remounting the movement in the case (will post a thread in Repair with a couple questions), but I'm told it runs.

Anyone ever heard of John Davies?

Thanks!

IMG_3485.JPG IMG_3500.jpg IMG_3507.JPG
 

novicetimekeeper

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I found one in 1777 in Chester with a signature on a watch. That seems a very long career because I agree the case looks mid 19th Century, the dial would be right for after 1830. Perhaps a son carried on the business, by 1850 it would have been more likely retail. The signature applied to order, Mr Davies may have assembled the major parts or had the whole thing shipped in.
 

Les harland

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Loomes Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World lists:-
Davies J Chester 1865, see John Davies?)
Davies John, Chester workman for Robert Fletcher of Chester 1836 working independently 1846-1860 (65?)
 
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novicetimekeeper

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that sounds more likely, may be a relative of the other though it is a common name.
 

TJ Cornish

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Thanks - I appreciate the info. It's fascinating to own a hand-made clock. I know it's hard to translate cost from 170 years ago to today, but how much of an investment would a clock such as this have been for a family back in the day? I assume there were various grades of clocks. If this is a 30 hour (maybe likely from my repair thread?), would that indicate that this was a lower-quality/cost clock?
 

zedric

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Buying a clock in the early days can be thought of much like buying a car these days - it would likely have been the most expensive item in the house. But by the 1860s the industrial revolution was kicking in, and wages were starting to lift for the middle classes, so it would have been a costly item still, but becoming more affordable.
 

novicetimekeeper

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This is an 8 day clock, by 1850 30 hours were very much out of fashion. As Zedric says, cost had come down, more clocks were probably made in the first half of the 19th century than had been made in the century and a half before when they were originally made in small workshops across the country.

There are some prices known for clocks in the early 18th and late 17th centuries, then a clock would have cost perhaps as much as a Ferrari would now.
 

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