Gustav Becker two-weight wall clock

oiron

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Sep 19, 2018
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I purchased this two-weight Gustav Becker this summer. Please see the attached images. Serial number is 1793673.

The condition is not bad. The movement works well. The case is ok, except for the crown. But there are a few details missing. The dial, hands and weights are fine. The pendulum has got a couple of punches, but looks fine otherwise. I’m planning to do some cleaning and restoration, but want to keep the patina.

The movement looks original to me (P64). So does the case, but I’m not sure about the crown. I have only found one image online of a clock with a similar crown. (But it’s not 100 % identical and the finials are different.) But it’s a low quality image and really hard to see the details. Maybe the 1912 GB Catalogue has the answer, but it seems to be impossible to get a copy.

The two finials on the crown hardly have any shellac left. For the rest of the crown I hope it will be sufficient to clean and polish it. One of the two details on the front of the crown is missing. The eagle is broken, but that’s hardly a surprise.

I would appreciate any information you can provide me about this clock.

By the way, in Karl Kochmann’s book Gustav Becker Story 1847-1927 (2000) there is one thing that puzzles me. In the second paragraph on page 7: “After 1880 Becker’s weight-driven regulators became practically obsolete due to competition from much cheaper produced spring-driven regulators”. My impression is that they kept producing these clocks in large quantities for decades even after 1880. Am I missing something?

P1030988.JPG P1030990.JPG P1030996.JPG P1030881.JPG P1030857.JPG P1030874.JPG P1030875.JPG P1030998.JPG P1030910.JPG P1030911.JPG
 

new2clocks

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Apr 25, 2005
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I purchased this two-weight Gustav Becker this summer. Please see the attached images. Serial number is 1793673.

The condition is not bad. The movement works well. The case is ok, except for the crown. But there are a few details missing. The dial, hands and weights are fine. The pendulum has got a couple of punches, but looks fine otherwise. I’m planning to do some cleaning and restoration, but want to keep the patina.

The movement looks original to me (P64). So does the case, but I’m not sure about the crown. I have only found one image online of a clock with a similar crown. (But it’s not 100 % identical and the finials are different.) But it’s a low quality image and really hard to see the details. Maybe the 1912 GB Catalogue has the answer, but it seems to be impossible to get a copy.

The two finials on the crown hardly have any shellac left. For the rest of the crown I hope it will be sufficient to clean and polish it. One of the two details on the front of the crown is missing. The eagle is broken, but that’s hardly a surprise.

I would appreciate any information you can provide me about this clock.

By the way, in Karl Kochmann’s book Gustav Becker Story 1847-1927 (2000) there is one thing that puzzles me. In the second paragraph on page 7: “After 1880 Becker’s weight-driven regulators became practically obsolete due to competition from much cheaper produced spring-driven regulators”. My impression is that they kept producing these clocks in large quantities for decades even after 1880. Am I missing something?

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Hello, Oiron, and welcome to the board and to the NAWCC.

We have our own in-house expert in Becker clocks - John Hubby. John should be along to provide as many answers as possible to your questions.

With respect to Kochmann's book, over the years, it has been proven to be inaccurate in many instances. I am not sure that spring driven regulators made weight driven regulators obsolete, per se. Spring driven movements allowed for smaller clocks. For a Vienna style wall clock, such as yours, a weight driven mechanism was appropriate based on the length of the case.

We have a thread dedicated to Becker clocks:

Post Your Gustav Becker Clocks Here

You will find many weight driven Beckers within that thread.

Regards.
 

John Arrowood

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Dec 14, 2001
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During the 1960's when boat loads of antiques (including clocks) were imported into the US and the clocks were on display for sale, it was quite easy for crowns to be swapped from case to case. Some of the clocks ended up losing their crowns.
 

brian fisher

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Jan 20, 2017
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the only issues I see are up at the top. the 2 wood finials on your valance are...unusual to say the least. I have never seen a set up like that. when you look at the picture of the clock as a whole, they definitely look to me like they don't belong. my first impression was that they look like caribou horns. also, it appears the finish is quite different. I am pretty sure those were added later. I think it would improve the clock if you took the finials and their pedestals off. the metal angel face appears to be affixed with double sided tape? that doesn't seem to fit either. are there any holes in the wood under the casting that match? the eagle topper is broken? that may also not belong to this clock. that is really the only blaring thing that really stands out to me in the photos you provided.

the rest of your crest seems to match in color, finish, and scale to the rest of your clock? it really is common for the this part of the clock to not match on these things. actually, it is kind of rare to find one that is actually original.
 

oiron

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Sep 19, 2018
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Brian,

I agree with you. The two finials look like they don't belong there. But here's a couple of examples of clocks with a similar setup. The first one at (the one at the top left):

Keyword Results Antique Clocks Price Guide

The second one on this message board (take a look at the second image in ericn1300s post from Dec 19 2011):

Post Your Gustav Becker Clocks Here

For the finish on the finials I think they used to be different. I've found traces of shellac on them. But somehow most of it is gone.

Sorry for the confusion about the angel face. The tape does not belong there, of course. The face was correctly affixed with two nails. I just removed them temporarely.
 

oiron

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NAWCC Member
Sep 19, 2018
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I found another Becker the other day. This one looks almost identical as the first one in this post. The dimensions are slightly different, but it's more or less the same crown. The angel face is different though, and I don't think the eagle is original. The tip of its wing gets in contact with the only top finial left, and I believe the color should match the angel better. This new Becker is a few years younger (# 2256300).

The movement has P 65,5 engraved and also a capital A. There's another engraving on the pendulum crutch. It could be the number "300", but I'm not sure. And I have no idea what it means.

P1040012.JPG P1040013.JPG P1040020.JPG P1040026.JPG
 
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