French Mantle Clock - gaudy Goddess identification / information

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by THTanner, Apr 27, 2019.

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  1. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    This is a customer's clock from their grand parent's attic - pretty bad shape. They would like to know about how old and where it was made. It is a French movement with no markings on the dial or the plates other than a serial of 1043. The case is in pretty bad shape with pieces missing, but they like it.

    I don't know the Greek or Roman goddesses well - perhaps it is just a generic Muse with wine and serving tray?

    They don't have the pendulum, but the suspension spring is still in place. 5 - 8 French measurement translates to 6.04 inches, but I am not sure what it looked like and will need to find a suitable replacement. The pin is missing in the bottom of the suspension spring so I suspect the top of the pendulum rod is not a hook, but has a block that slips over the bottom block of the suspension spring with a pin through both?

    The minute hand is missing, but the hour hand seems similar to other pictures of such clocks:???:?

    thanks for any help
    tom

    IMG_3765.JPG IMG_3766.JPG IMG_3767.JPG IMG_3768.JPG IMG_3769.JPG IMG_4276.JPG IMG_4277.JPG IMG_4278.JPG IMG_4280.JPG IMG_4281.JPG IMG_4282.JPG IMG_4283.JPG
     
  2. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    I think it's a "Turkish" motif...just something exotic to make the clock interesting for viewing. I'm not sure the date but 1860-70 would be my guess.

    The pendulum would probably be a typical French design with the rating nut under the bob. The minute hand would be a similar "moon" hand as the hour hand. Replacements for both should be relatively easy to find.
     
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  3. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    #3 THTanner, Apr 27, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
    With the movement in hand, not just pics from the customer, it is a marked Japy Freres - although the suspension spring block does not look like most I have seen.

    the bezel and glass are also missing - although some similar on eBay do not seem to have glass?
     
  4. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Tom,

    The top of the pendulum rod should have a brass double hook, (threaded onto to the steel rod), to attach to the pin in the spring's lower block. The pendulum may have had a rating nut in the centre of its disc, many did.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  5. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    Graham, you are correct about the rating nut being in the middle of the bob being a common design. However, for a figural clock like this the original pendulum most likely had the rating nut at the bottom of the bob. The latter is a slightly older design I believe. You'll find the type of pendulum with the rating nut in the middle of the bob from the 3rd quarter 19th onward, i.e. In the slate clocks. Perhaps Jonathan knows more and can clarify. Either pendulum design would work and the vast majority of people wouldn't know the difference.
     
  6. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    thanks. that is what I have seen as most common and have a suitable one in the bone pile. I suppose the pin has been removed from the lower block in error or perhaps was not fit properly.
    Once I get the rusted screw loosened up in the block I will check the condition of the spring.
    Is serial number 1043 a really early Japy? I am not familiar with these.
    hanksh
     
  7. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Tom,

    The clock may originally have been in a glass dome on a wooden base, so it may never have needed a bezel and glass on the dial.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  8. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Chris,

    I shall have to go back and read Nick Thorpe's book again, it's been a long time since I did any French clocks!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  9. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    IF the figure is from Greek mythology, it might be Hebe, who was cupbearer for the gods, serving nectar and ambrosia (or Kool-Aid and cookies for the younger set).
     
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  10. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    I'm splitting hairs. That's just my reason for not mentioning the nut in the middle of the bob.

    I just searched for clocks from this era and type. I found one with matching numbers with the nut under the bob. Some others with the nut in the middle of the bob, undetermined if matching numbers. A couple others (again matching numbers) with a fixed bob, adjustable on the rod only with a set screw. If it were me and I needed a replacement, I would look for some type of rating nut for ease of regulating. Although it's usually not easy to regulate the movement by adjusting the rating nut for this type of clock.

    Does the Japy stamp say 1855?
     
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  11. wow

    wow Registered User
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    Here’s one I picked up in New Orleans about a year ago and just finished restoring. It was all apart with a piece of nylon string for a suspension spring. Marble was broken in one place. Very similar to yours,TH.
    I also worked on one recently for a customer which was also very similar. He still has the original dome (oval) glass cover for his. It does not have a glass cover or bezel.
    The second one in the photos was brought to me without a movement. I had the movement that is in it now in my bone pile. I believe it is like or similar to the original movement. It, too, does not have a bezel or glass. Probably was in a dome also. Yes, a little gaudy in style but some people love them.

    B6BF9CB6-DAB6-444B-AE4C-36DAFBAC49B7.jpeg 9E42664A-C85A-42BB-8AB8-E1EE0025369D.jpeg 2D88E2A0-4584-49A5-BAF7-4D7223CD2863.jpeg
     
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  12. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Thanks Steven - Hebe does match well - "cup bearer of the Gods"
     
  13. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    I am not sure there is any date mark on the stamp - the movement is in pretty bad shape with all the arbors quite rusty - this is a close up of the emblem

    IMG_3775.JPG
     
  14. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    The clock on the left in your post has the type of suspension spring post and adjuster I am familiar with. This one is a closed block with the spring sandwiched tightly between the halves. I have found a couple of pictures that are similar to this one. Right now a tiny rusted screw holds the two halves together. I suppose the threads on that screw are odd size? I may have to replace that part if it won't come loose.

    Those glass domes must be quite large - and expensive - I will let the owner know
     
  15. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    I shall have to find a copy and read it for the first time :)
     
  16. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    accurate set of "original" hands on their way from France - 34 cm - thanks
     
  17. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Many of these clocks run today nicely without the glass dome. The owner may need to dust the case from time to time with a soft brush but other than that the clock should be fine without dome.

    Uhralt
     
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  18. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    The style on the lettering on the stamp looks a little later than the typical 1855 stamp. It looks like it could be the 1867 stamp. Japy won their next award in 1873. So perhaps the movement is somewhere btn. those 2 dates. The style of the clock would fit in. You can check here:
    Japy Freres Medal and Prize Dates

    You don't NEED a dome to run the clock...many of the original domes were lost over the years for obvious reasons.
     
  19. new2clocks

    new2clocks Registered User
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    On this thread, there seems to be a disagreement as to when Japy used the mark - either before 1888 or after 1888.:)

    Japy trademark

    Regards.
     
  20. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    You're welcome. However, that, of course, is just a possibility based on an “IF.” It might also be Petite Marie, serveuse and part-time danseuse exotique at the Brasserie Dégradation in the Rue Nulle Part.
     
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  21. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    The closed block is a Vallet suspension as opposed to the more open Brocot type which it post dates and uses a different suspension spring which is not interchangeable with a Brocot, the pendulum is attached to both in the same way via a hook. Thorpe's book is excellent and quite affordable second hand. It covers pendulum types for the pendule de Paris movement, of the non-compensating types it shows 4; plain bob with a rating nut at the bottom, Brocot with rating nut in the middle of the bob, Thieble like a Bocot but with no shoulder above the bob and plain bob with just a set screw. Of these I've found the first is the easiest in terms of regulating but as removing the pendulum from very many French cases is awkward especially if a bell or gong is present it is no wonder the French came up with through the dial regulation and many winding keys have a key to adjust it at one end. If you don't have a key to adjust the suspension it is well worth getting one. Thorpe dates the stamp on the back of this clock movement to around 1888, afaik Japy serial numbers are of no help in dating. These movements are very well made and built to last so it should not be beyond being restored to working order.
     
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  22. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    I wouldn't doubt the stamp could date to 1888 based on the more "modern" lettering. But the stamp is on the movement. I still think the case dates earlier based on the style. Was the case new old stock around 1888? I frequently see French clocks where the movement looks newer than the case by a few years. It's only my opinion. I could be mistaken but that's what I believe, and probably it's impossible to prove one way or another.
     
  23. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    I am also wondering about the almost pristine porcelain dial with the rest of the clock is such bad shape. Are replacement dials like this available, or did the owner luck out with no visible cracks or scrapes on the dial?
     
  24. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    #24 Chris Radano, Apr 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
    If the dial wasn't touched it would stand up to the elements. It's when they are handled that porcelain dials suffer damage.
    As far as the date of the case - that style with no bezel glass or back door, possibly under a glass dome - wouldn't that be outdated by the late 1880s? By this time clocks were moving on from this style. Anything is possible, but Pendule de Paris clocks were standard sized movements that were put in cases of many various types. I think we're not looking closely enough if we're accepting the movement and case were put together at the same time for this particular clock.
     
  25. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    this could easily be a mixed up clock and case. The owner has no history other than finding it in a box in the attic. The back ring has matching serial number - if in fact it is a serial rather than a builder's number - but there it nothing on the rest of it to match up to anything.
     
  26. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    The owner is 1/2 Italian and 1/2 Greek so she is delighted with either option.

    Any easy way to tell the difference between a bronze spelter and gilt ormolu? I have seen both terms used regarding some of these and have no idea how to tell the difference. The basic metal is definitely some sort of copper mix pot metal, and in a couple of places a thin sheet of a different metal is pealing away.
     
  27. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    I think it is unlikely (but of course not impossible) that the movement has been replaced. If it was, it must have been quite early in the history of the clock, maybe after 20 years or so. These movements, if no accident happens, will easily run for more than 100 years, so a 20 year old movement would clearly not be worn out. I have seen multiple similar cases with similar movements, so it seems they have been made well after 1880.

    Uhralt
     
  28. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    I think possibly the case was new old stock. I also think unlikely the movement was replaced. Perhaps, since the clock was going to the USA, and Americans were not up on the latest Paris clock styles, they thought, "why not use this old case that's doing nothing?" . When I was a beginner, I thought all French clocks and movements were the same. But over time I began to see the differences in styles. I think that case is about 15-20 years older than 1888. But I can't prove it.
     
  29. new2clocks

    new2clocks Registered User
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    If the mark was used by Japy only after 1888, then the movement in question had only a three year period to have been manufactured for export to the U.S., as the U.S. required all movements to be marked with the country of origin after 1891. I do not believe the OP has indicated a country of origin on the movement.

    Regards.
     
  30. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    I know almost nothing about this clock or these movements. - so any guess as to country of origin on may part would entail throwing darts at a world map. The owner does not know whether the clock was bought in the USA or somewhere else - so, sadly, we are stuck with what the pictures show.
     
  31. new2clocks

    new2clocks Registered User
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    Tom,

    The country of origin is France, as it is a Japy movement.

    To clarify my earlier post, I did not see any markings on the movement that stated "France" or "Made in France" and that you did not indicate that you saw such markings.

    As such, the movement was most likely not manufactured for export to the U.S. or if it was, then it had to be manufactured in between 1889 and 1891, a period of three years during which the trademark was used by Japy and no requirement to indicate the country of origin (i.e., "France" or "Made in France") existed.

    Regards.
     
  32. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    I understand- was just noting that I cannot add anything to the question to help clarify. And I was wondering, is it certain with these clocks, that if they have this movement in them, the case and movement were always put together in France, or is it possible that the movements were sent outside of France and used by other clock makers?
     
  33. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Do you know a source for the Vallet suspension springs? I have looked at the usual sources I know and they seem to have the Brocot only. There is one that is close, but the top block on this one is different. Do you get the closest Brocot and reshape the top block?

    thanks
     
  34. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    In the UK the site below doesn't call them Brocot or Vallet but it has both types in different sizes, the Vallet type is the one with the square top. Search for French suspension. HTH.

    Medmaw Lobby
     
  35. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Thanks so much. I checked out their site and found a lot more options than elsewhere. I also found this spring at Perrins -their part #13 - in Canada that is closer to what is currently in the clock. The only difference seems to be the that the top corners are cut off. The Perrins spring is 21.9 mm long - the one in the clock is 20.3. Otherwise they are the same and that difference does not seem important.

    The clock spring and the Perrin's part are shown below. (sorry for the focus - enlarged it too much)

    Spring.JPG SusSpring.jpg
     

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