French Wall Clock Case

James Logan

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Jul 12, 2010
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The attached photos are of an old French wall clock case sometimes called a “Baker’s”, picture frame, or “Oeil de Boeuf” clock. The side view photo shows that the case depth varies from 8.3 cm deep at the top to 6.3 cm at the bottom. This case came without a movement and was purchased to house the components of a similar clock with damaged case. There are three holes in the case back for mounting a movement. There is no evidence that the case has been reworked to create the variation in depth. The damaged case has a constant depth of 8.4 cm and a movement is mounted to the backboard on three legs that provide clearance for the pendulum. When the movement and dial are mounted in the replacement case, the case depth variation creates a progressive gap between the dial and case front that increases from top to bottom. (refer to photo). The gap can be eliminated if the movement or glass dial is shimmed to match the slope of the case front. Shimming the movement causes the back movement plate to interfere with the pendulum. If the glass dial is shimmed, the hands drag on the glass dial. Creating a constant depth case is an easy solution, but can anyone comment on the reason for the case depth variation, and the type of movement and mounting original to the case?
 

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tom427cid

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Mar 23, 2009
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I have seen some of thes that had "L" shaped adjustable brackets,prehaps that would take care of your problem.
Hope this helps.
tom
 

James Logan

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Jul 12, 2010
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Palo Alto, Ca
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Tom, thanks for your response. I have tried the "L" brackets but when adjusted to align the face (which is attached to the movement) with the opening in the case front, the angle of the movement is so large that the pendulum hits the back plate of the movement. I suspect the original movement for this sloped case must have suspended the pendulum from a point that did not cause interference with the back plate of the movement. The best explanation I've received for why the case is sloped is that some wall clocks had to be custom fit to the wall since older homes were constructed of irregular stone blocks in sections that were not always plumb.
 

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