• The online Bulletins and Mart and Highlights are currently unavailable due to a failure of a network piece of equipment. We are working to replace it and have the Online publications available as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

French Portico Clock by Vincenti

Jeremy Woodoff

NAWCC Member
Jun 30, 2002
4,191
97
48
Brooklyn
Country
Region
Santa brought no clocks, so I bought one for myself, this time at an actual shop in snowy Cape May, NJ. It is one of the French portico or four-column clocks, this one with twisted columns and shaped top, making it more Baroque than Empire in style. The pictures below show the clock exactly as found, no cleaning or polishing yet. The movement has a round stamp under the bell of Vincenti et Cie, Medaille d'Argent. According to Tardy, I believe, Vincenti won the silver medal in 1855 and stopped producing movements in 1870. A separate oval stamp says "LINET AINE / PARIS" The "AINE" is in smaller type than "LINET."

There is a later date penciled under the base. It reads "30 Mars 97" (March 30 1897) and "E. Jacot." There is also a paper label. It reads "[no.] 730 cette horloge est guarantie pour un an 2 Aout 1892" (this clock is guaranteed for one [handwritten 'one'] year August 2, 1892). LOUIS DALLAIRE 181 Rue St-Joseph, St-Roch Quebec." There is also a signature, looks like "Pour" (by) but the name is indecipherable. The label is lightly crossed out in pencil, probably by a later repairer who didn't want to confuse the warranty referenced on the label. I assume both the penciled info and label are repairer's information.

The clock is in pretty good shape, of course missing the rectangular glass dome and base, as is usually true with these clocks. There were four wood feet, also missing. There are a few dial chips and hairlines. Most of the inlay is good. The columns and serrated molding at the base are ebonized and the rest of the wood is veneer with a dark stain. At least half the original gilding remains on the metal parts. The clock is working but the movement should be cleaned and polished. There is no regulation except the nut on the pendulum--perhaps that's typical for this style.

Any thoughts on the presumed date--1855 to 1870? I thought this style with spiral columns and inlay was a bit later. Also, how would you protect the movement? I guess I could make an acrylic cover--for just the movement or the whole clock--but that just doesn't seem right. 80014.jpg 80015.jpg 80016.jpg 80017.jpg 80018.jpg 80019.jpg 80020.jpg 80021.jpg 80022.jpg
 

Ulan

Registered User
Oct 5, 2010
145
2
16
Poland
zegarkiclub.pl
Country
Jeremy Woodoff;518791 said:
... how would you protect the movement? I guess I could make an acrylic cover--for just the movement or the whole clock--but that just doesn't seem right.
I think you can try to find some old cover that would fit to the diameter (from some marble french clock, not that old :rolleyes:). I see sometime such stuffs on ebay. The round metal cover cutted out with cloth...or just take a piece of thin brass and do yourself.
Realy nice clock, impresive!
 

Dave B

Banned
Jun 7, 2008
2,389
8
0
Westminster. MD
Country
I am surprised this clock does not have a round "can" surrounding the movement, and attached to the back of the bezel. All the portico clocks I have worked on were at least partially protected from dirt by one of them. Here's a photo of mine, which I need to get around to cleaning one of these days. It is an unmarked movement. 80032.jpg
 

Jeremy Woodoff

NAWCC Member
Jun 30, 2002
4,191
97
48
Brooklyn
Country
Region
Dave,

I think some of these may have originally not come with a dome, and those would have had protective covers around the movement. I think that more elaborate, cast metal feet might be another clue that the clock did not originally stand on a secondary base. When they did have a dome, the secondary base was similar to the main base, with the same inlay, etc. if there was any, and a groove cut out to fit a rectangular dome. These domes had curved corners but were not ovals; the curve radius was small. Some sizes can be purchased, but anything large enough for one of these clocks costs many hundreds of dollars.

If the clock did originally come with a base, there would have been no need for a separate movement cover, though I cannot say that all clocks with original domes did not have such a cover.
 

Jeremy Woodoff

NAWCC Member
Jun 30, 2002
4,191
97
48
Brooklyn
Country
Region
I was basing my thought on the possibility of original movement covers on this example from Antiqueclockspriceguide.com. However, it is possible that the cover illustrated is just an example of a good retro-fit. 80044.jpg 80045.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: T.Cu

Kevin W.

NAWCC Member
Apr 11, 2002
23,274
587
113
64
Nepean, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
Jeremy nice looking French clock.:):)
 

Oled

Registered User
Dec 8, 2009
646
23
18
Moscow, Russia
Country
Region
Greetings Colleagues,

Most Empire portico clocks I've seen had a brass cover over the movement. Most of NapIII portico's didn't. I guess that's because in NapIII times these porticos were cheaper and glass domes were also cheaper in production (so they were supplied with almost every table clock).

BR,
Oleg
 

Jeremy Woodoff

NAWCC Member
Jun 30, 2002
4,191
97
48
Brooklyn
Country
Region
Oleg, do the Empire portico clocks you are familiar with that had movement covers but no domes have bezels with glass covers for the dials? Or are the dial and hands exposed?
 

Oled

Registered User
Dec 8, 2009
646
23
18
Moscow, Russia
Country
Region
Hi Jeremy,

Yes, some of them had movement covers, and 100% had no glass covers for the dial. And I never saw early Empire-styled portico under original dome (which dome in this case could be original - who knows?) =)) Of course it could be possible that heavy rectangular domes were damaged in the past 200 years...

BR,
Oleg
 
Last edited:

Ulan

Registered User
Oct 5, 2010
145
2
16
Poland
zegarkiclub.pl
Country
Hi,
This's the big clock, how big should be the dome?
It is really not practical sollution to take it away when winding.
Every dome is a part of the clock - so the base should be prepared to handle it and positionning - that clock has not such profile on the base. And has no old marks that had it. I do not believe that the adge of the dome lie on the "floor".
When you close the case by round brass should be quite OK, I think.
 

Jeremy Woodoff

NAWCC Member
Jun 30, 2002
4,191
97
48
Brooklyn
Country
Region
Ulan, the second clock I pictured (the one from antiqueclockspriceguide.com) is not mine, so I don't know how tall it is. It has a double base, however, which is another reason to think it did not originally have a dome, which would require yet another base for the dome to fit into. My clock is about 16" high, so a dome would have to be about 18". That's pretty large, but probably just manageable to remove for winding.
 

jmclaugh

Registered User
Jun 1, 2006
5,443
271
83
Devon
Country
Region
Lovely clock Jeremy and I would think it did once have a cover for the movement. Aine I believe means older so there must have been more than one of him, there is a Linet listed by Loomes c 1870 who may or not be the one on your movement.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
168,891
Messages
1,473,718
Members
48,640
Latest member
irishbogs
Encyclopedia Pages
1,060
Total wiki contributions
2,955
Last update
-