Gustav Becker Vienna - Part Identity

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by WRabbit, Apr 16, 2017.

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  1. WRabbit

    WRabbit Registered User
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    I've seen hooks in the past, but not these. What purpose do they serve other than a replacement for a hook? Are they a guide of some sort?

    Jim
     
  2. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Jim, those are pulley stops patented by GB in the Austro-Hungarian empire for use in their Braunau, Bohemia factory where this movement was made. These first appeared about mid-1898, lowest serial number to date with these is 194576. The small hole to the left end of each one originally had an eyelet screwed there for tying off the weight cord, note that the folded "clasp" part of the stop is directly below the winding drum arbor on both trains and that the angle it is turned exactly lines up with the back of the winding drum when the weight is fully wound. These work quite well.

    The GB circular logo has the words "Braunau i. Boehm" stamped at the lower edge of the circle, indicating this movement was made in Braunau. The movement itself has the Vienna style four-post bracket mount that was used only at the Braunau factory. Based on your serial number 4529X8 (can't see the second last digit), the movement was made at the beginning of 1908.

    Do you have photos of the complete clock? Would be much appreciated if you could post to show the case, dial, gong, weights, pendulum, etc. for full documentation.
     
  3. WRabbit

    WRabbit Registered User
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    Thanks for the explanation of the pulley stops. I'll attach a picture showing the complete serial number.

    A few comments on the clock. I picked it up from a local clock shop in "as is" condition. The shop owner's wife said she had it in her home for 3-4 years and recently replaced it with another. She/they thought it was French and it is/was listed on their website as such.

    As for the rest of the clock, there is more, but the movement is on a test stand and the case is semi-naked in the garage while undergoing a mild makeover. I'll post pictures after it's back together.

    Now the fun part -> I suspect this is a marriage of some sort.

    * The case (oak?) is of high quality and aged, but doesn't appear to be a style Becker would have used in 1908. After several web searches, I can't find anything like it.

    * It has a Triumph rod gong. I believe I have seen a few of these on a Becker in the past, but I'm not sure they're OEM.

    * The 4 post bracket mount was painted gold. The paint dissolved after running the part through the US, which revealed the plate to be copper with steel posts. I've seen brass and steel, but not copper.

    * I can't find evidence of a pediment or finials on the case. However, I do suspect something was on top, as it was poorly finished.

    * Did I mention the shiny stuff is chrome/silver? I believe I've seen a few of these _somewhere_.

    Time for pictures.
     
  4. WRabbit

    WRabbit Registered User
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    #4 WRabbit, Apr 17, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
    I was wrong. There was some sort of trim piece/pediment on top.

    Jim
     
  5. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Jim, thanks for the additional photos. These help a lot to see what you have. Confirming my earlier post, the movement was made at the beginning of 1908, and the presence of a rod gong is appropriate for that age. Braunau clocks first applied the rod gong in late 1899, about a year after Johann Obergfell was granted design protection on Dec. 23, 1898. By the time your clock was made the rod gong was the Braunau standard.

    Some observations regarding your questions:

    * The case appears to be made of linden wood or similar fine grain European furniture hardwood. It is an "Office Regulator" style clock of the type made both at the Freiburg and Braunau factories for sale to businesses, stores, railways, etc. Are there any unused holes in the back board that would indicate the case isn't original? Is there any kind of stamp or writing on the back of the case?

    * The Triumph rod gong has been found with about 5% of the Braunau clocks I have documented that have rod gongs. This gong isn't illustrated in any GB sale catalog I have access to so we don't know for certain if it was a GB item or not. It has not been found with any Freiburg clock, however, the ones I have physically seen with Branau clocks all appeared to be original to the cases.

    * The movement mounting bracket can be copper with steel posts, in particular if the clock originally had a nickel finish. See my comments below.

    * The pediment would have been something quite simple to match the overall case design.

    * The pendulum bob, weights, weight pulleys, dial bezel rings and winding hole inserts, and mounting bracket were likely to have originally been nickel plated. I have seen several "office clocks" with that finish over the years by GB and other makers. It appears the finish on your clock may be chrome plating, if so that was done no earlier than about 1927 when chrome plating was fully commercialized for clocks, appliances, and other "small" items. Chrome plating was first commercialized for automobile parts such a bumpers, grilles, etc. in 1926.

    From what I can see it looks to me there isn't any marriage here, although your answers to the questions I asked about the case might change that.
     
  6. woundtotight

    woundtotight Registered User
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    #6 woundtotight, Apr 19, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    Hi guys, I went to an auction on monday to see a couple of clocks but was 2 hours late getting there and didn't get a chance to inspect the clocks closely so I bid on one relatively blind. The other was unfortunately already sold. It was an odd looking regulator but seemed old as far as I could tell. When I got it home and took it apart it had GB on the works (yippy). The only problem was the case was something I hadn't seen before so I questioned it's originality and couldn't find a similar clock pictured anywhere...........until I happened to see your post and pictures. Seems like we've got similar clocks. Any extra info about this clock would be great Good info from John. Thanks Tim B.
     
  7. WRabbit

    WRabbit Registered User
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    Wound,

    Wow! Nice example of what I assume is a very early Office Regulator produced in Silesia. Although I have seen it in print, this is the first time I've seen that GB logo on a movement. Seeing your case makes me feel better about the one I have. I thought mine was a marriage when I bought it. :D
     
  8. WRabbit

    WRabbit Registered User
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    John,

    There are no additional holes in the backboard. There is scribbling on the back that looks like a German name, but it's faint. In addition, the serial number and a few other numbers are written/etched there. Unfortunately, there's no label attached or evidence there was one.

    There is also etching on the dial plate, the last 4 of the serial number and what looks like repair signatures. As with the back of the case, these are very faint.

    I'm not 100% convinced this has been chrome plated, at least by traditional methods. Was all nickel plating dull/satin during the period this clock was produced? If you look at the weights in the pictures below you will see places where it looks like the "chrome" wore off and what looks like nickel shows through. Could a product like Jax Silvering solution have been used to produce this chrome look? I understand it wears off easily.

    John - Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge on this fascinating clock company.

    Jim
     
  9. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Tim, thanks very much for posting your GB office regulator. Based on the serial number 34199 your clock was made about Aug. - Sept. 1869. I have documented other clocks with similar cases to yours. In fact GB advertised making office, railway, and other "industrial" clocks from early years.

    Your clock has the lowest serial number so far recorded in my data with this particular Becker name and anchor logo. Prior to this the GB anchor logo was used and very early clocks had only the Becker name on the dial according to current research.

    Very nice and early example!
     
  10. Feather

    Feather Registered User

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    Hi WRabbit,
    seeing your case made me feel better too. Here is my 1893 GB made in Braunau, the case is even more simple as it does not have bottom pediment.
    GB4.jpg GB5.jpg GBmvmnt.jpg
    Nikolay
     
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