Gustav Becker - Real, Built-Up, or Fake?

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by wbranko, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. wbranko

    wbranko Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    403
    1
    18
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Hello,

    I bought a Gustav Becker clock in an antique store in Baltimore about 2 years ago and have finally gotten around to repairing it. As good as it looks in photo 1, it has a modern carved (poorly) top, a coat of something brown disolved in shellac, and was generally filthy.

    Of course, I bought it!

    Now I'm not so sure what I bought.

    Picture 2 is the back of the movement. Picture 3 is a repair note on the back of the clock. Also written in pencil on the back of the clock is "318"...perhaps the GB model number?

    Anyway, the clock has been disassebled for cleaning and a new coat of shellac. As I took it apart, the center part of the case was assembled with square nails...but the cut outs for the side windows are very crude...there are clear indications of saw marks. Also, there are several places on the clock where oak has been faux painted to look like walnut. Was this a common GB practice. Did they leave saw marks on the wood?

    My questions...do I have a real GB clock, or a GB movement in pieces of some other built up case? Also, how old is this clock...the repair note looks like 1909, but the movement looks newer? Is this a newer movement in an older case...or an original?

    Any help from folks familiar with GB is appreciated!

    Bill
     

    Attached Files:

  2. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
    NAWCC Member Deceased

    Nov 4, 2002
    40,850
    166
    63
    Male
    deceased
    Whitby, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Bill, a picture of the movement, with trademarks and serial number might help to narrow down its age. Many of these clocks somehow manage to loose their original tops.
     
  3. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
    Deceased

    Apr 6, 2004
    936
    49
    0
    Retired
    Mesquite, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I will say it has that thick, heavy, Beckerish look about it. Is that a logo I see below centershaft on dial?
     
  4. chrsvor25

    chrsvor25 Registered User

    Jun 16, 2005
    1,243
    3
    0
    Many tops for these clocks are lost...its not that common if it has a replaced top. I wouldnt jump to conclusions just on that.

    We would need better pictures to judge the rest, however they probably didnt have power tools back then, so perhaps the saw marks aren't that big of a deal. Does the finish look aged at all? Could you post closeups of that for us to judge if it is a newer finish or not.
     
  5. wbranko

    wbranko Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    403
    1
    18
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Scottie,

    Yes...here is a photo of the dial!

    Bill
     
  6. wbranko

    wbranko Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    403
    1
    18
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Scottie,

    Really trying to attach the photo! Wish this was more user friendly!!!

    Bill
     
  7. wbranko

    wbranko Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    403
    1
    18
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Harold,

    No serial number. The markings on the movement are P42 (the pendulum length) and the GB anchor logo with "Silesia" underneath. I'll try to post a photo, but this @#$@# webpage seems to not want to do that!

    Bill
     
  8. wbranko

    wbranko Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    403
    1
    18
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Harold,

    I'm really sorry...I click on "attach a file", pick my photo from the browser, press "attach" and....NOTHING HAPPENS. To add insult to injury, I attached five file photos to my original query, and two came up...of course one of these was a photo of the movement!

    Someone from the club...this needs to be more user friendly!!!! Those of us who are not computer geniuses can not post photos easily!

    Bill
     
  9. wbranko

    wbranko Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    403
    1
    18
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Scottie,

    I think I have a photo this page will read...here I go again!

    Bill
     

    Attached Files:

  10. wbranko

    wbranko Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    403
    1
    18
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Harold,

    Apparently photos on this web page MUST be in a certain format...some of mine were not. Here is another try on the movement!

    Bill
     

    Attached Files:

  11. wbranko

    wbranko Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    403
    1
    18
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Here is a photo of the saw marks I referred to!

    Bill
     

    Attached Files:

  12. clocksiam

    clocksiam Registered User

    Aug 24, 2006
    264
    0
    0
    South Caroina
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I have found that a lot of case work on GB can be rough; the side lights are normally pine with saw marks; for the rest of the case beech (solid or veneer over pine) would be used that can look like walnut or mahogany. iIhave not seen oak. It appears that much emphasis was put on the door of the clock, with turnings and finials. If you notice the door is always wider than the case so that the side lights are not visible from the front. The case is probable original. Do you have other pictures?
     
  13. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
    NAWCC Member Deceased

    Nov 4, 2002
    40,850
    166
    63
    Male
    deceased
    Whitby, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Bill, the pendulum leader leaves something to be desired:?| If I recall correctly the unserial numbered Silesia movements were low budget, made around the 1920's or so. I have a similar Becker clock. Mine has a wooden seatboard, and a "Gloria" gong.
     
  14. wbranko

    wbranko Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    403
    1
    18
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Harold,

    That was my concern as well. I had this clock pegged for about 1926 movement wise...but the case looks like it might be older? The low budget would probably fit however, given the case work. The gong is unmarked, and there is a metal seatboard that is integral to the gong. I'll take a photo and post it later.

    Once again thanks for everyones help!

    Bill
     
  15. wbranko

    wbranko Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    403
    1
    18
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Clocks,

    Thanks! I had the same feeling...and the door looks like what I see in Tran's book on GB clocks. I am still worried that the case and the movement may not have been together forever...however, I have just thought about it a little more and the gong/seat match the clock back...with no extra holes. The writing on the back of the clock looks like 27 Dec 1909...but the movement itself looks later to me. Still confused!!!

    I'll get some additional photos up in a few minutes. Have to allow for the fact that the clock is still in pieces.

    Bill
     
  16. wbranko

    wbranko Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    403
    1
    18
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Clocks,

    I have tried to convert a photo taken at the antique shop to JPEG. This should work but....?

    Bill
     
  17. wbranko

    wbranko Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    403
    1
    18
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Clocks,

    Trying again....!

    Bill
     

    Attached Files:

  18. John Hubby

    John Hubby Senior Administrator Emeritus
    Staff Member NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Life Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    12,286
    224
    63
    The Woodlands, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I'll post here my response to Bill about his clock on the Gustav Becker Group Yahoo List:
    I would add a couple of additional comments.

    Harold, I don't understand your question about the pendulum leader. It is complete and correct, and is a design patented by GB in the early 1900's. The upper part of the pendulum rod should have a trapezoidal end that just seats into the lower end of the leader, providing a secure fit with no "slop". Most all the clocks made at the Freiburg factory had this feature or one similar to it from about 1905 onward.

    I'll stick to my dating of the clock being early to mid-1909. This movement design was introduced in 1st half 1909 and continued to be made for about 25 years with only minor variations. The case appears to be original except for the capital, and the penciled date of 27 December 1909 is a perfect fit with the first production of this type of clock.

    John Hubby
    >>>>
     
  19. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
    NAWCC Member Deceased

    Nov 4, 2002
    40,850
    166
    63
    Male
    deceased
    Whitby, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    John, looked like a repair, not original, at first look, the way it was folded over. I should have looked closer at my own clock, as it has the same leader:bang:
     

Share This Page