20th c German Gustav Becker from Ebay

ChimeTime

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May 4, 2021
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Earlier in the month I located a Gustav Becker on Ebay that, due to dreadful looking condition, wasn't getting any bids. The fact the item didn't show well was probably the cause. This clock is a weight-driven time and strike regulator. After lots of messages back and forth and a few additional photos, it seemed fairly clear that 99% of the pieces were there, and that the seller was an antique dealer (not a clock lover) who wanted it gone. Unfortunately, the clock had been previously stored in a barn or attic and was in very poor condition.

So a low-ball offer was entered that included shipping and purchase. Shipping ended up being half the total price. The seller did a first-rate job of packing, and the huge package arrived unscathed. I really wish now I had taken more photos of its original condition. It photographed badly because it really was in exceedingly bad shape.

The first thing I noticed was that the cabinet was so weak that the glass had popped out of the sides. The cause of the weakness was that over half of the glue joints had given way. The wood and glass were 100% intact, but the extreme storage temps had weakened the joinery. The 4-piece sides were themselves unglued, and they had both come loose from the top and bottom plate. The cabinet was literally a "clock kit".

The movement was at the other end of the spectrum. I couldn't have been luckier. All the movement needed besides a good cleaning and oil was a suspension spring, new weight cords, a new gong strike tip and a 00 winding key ! After the first day I had the movement attached to the side of a cabinet and beating out a steady 4800 BPH.

The cabinet on the other hand, had to be completely disassembled and re-glued. Luckily my son has a woodworking shop and lots of clamps. That was a great excuse to spend the day together and share some father-son time. When it got back to my shop, the whole thing was re-finished and had the glass reinstalled.

Today the clock is back together, about 95% restored, and has made it onto my study wall. It's still missing a crown and several finials, but this clock may never be 100% due to a huge crack in the back board and splitting in the facia above the face. Its rate is still undergoing some fine tuning, but overall, it seems to be one of the top 2 or 3 best time keepers in my collection. Color me delighted !

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Isaac

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Aug 5, 2013
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Very nice clock! Love the dial and the case. A quality clock all around.
 

Schatznut

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Sep 26, 2020
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I'm always thrilled when someone finds a basket case that is really a diamond in the rough and seeing the intrinsic value, invests the time and effort to make it shine. Bravo - well done!
 

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