H. J. Davies Cherub Clock (rare?)

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by Floyd's Grandson, Mar 17, 2020.

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  1. Floyd's Grandson

    Floyd's Grandson Registered User
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    I inherited this clock from my Grandfather. I’ve scoured the internet trying to find another similar to it in hopes of finding some more information about it, to no avail.

    All I really know about it is the information that I can make out from the label on the back, which is obviously very worn and hard to make out. I do see a date, “1858” near the bottom.

    I know the case, the carriage and the ornamentation are brass. The back cover is wooden. The cherub itself is not magnetic. I wonder if it might be bronze?

    Any information about this cherished heirloom would be greatly appreciated. Please see the attached photos.

    E676DA21-910F-47FC-973A-E7EB8C5859DF.jpeg EA848345-E5C4-40B5-A6CE-39AB7334B884.jpeg 44BA3F48-4560-4C33-BA30-8DF8398C2929.jpeg 60BB6EC0-EF2A-49F5-905D-9F810B2D852D.jpeg 4F68077E-E21F-436A-AE11-B328BF2333CE.jpeg 905828B5-BB81-45F3-8ACC-17B863F15573.jpeg 28EB3247-77A6-4BEB-A0B3-DDB6AFD5950E.jpeg 0DB96815-360F-4447-A1CE-ECA0D387162C.jpeg
     
  2. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    The label is difficult to read.

    What is actually written on? Where is the name H.J. Davies?

    Henry J. Davies was involved with G.A. Jones and later Ansonia Clock Company.

    The date "1858" is incorrect as he was not involved in the clock business until at least 1867.

    A lot statues were made of "pop metal" a blend of many materials not necessarily iron so they might not be attracted to a magnet.

    Andy Dervan
     
  3. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Thats a nice heirloom. You could try a magnet on the case and see if its magnetic.
     
  4. Floyd's Grandson

    Floyd's Grandson Registered User
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    “Davies” can be seen on the label, and it is stamped on the movement. The label clearly shows the “1858” date. Perhaps it is a reference to a patent date? I’m attaching a photo of the movement.

    E9FE16CF-A680-49D1-9136-BA80C6AA5219.jpeg
     
  5. Floyd's Grandson

    Floyd's Grandson Registered User
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    Thanks, Kevin! It’s one of my favorites that I inherited from Gramps. And it works!! I did check it and none of the parts I mentioned above are magnetic. I’m 99.9% sure they’re all brass. I am curious about the Cherub, however.
     
  6. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    H.J. Davies was born in 1840 and was not involved in the clock business until 1867 - documented in Spittler, Spittler, & Bailey.

    He had some US patents, but they were later.

    Andy Dervan
     
  7. Floyd's Grandson

    Floyd's Grandson Registered User
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    I’m puzzled about the date, then.

    Any ideas as to the significance of it, Andy? Can you see it in the close-up picture I attached above?
     
  8. new2clocks

    new2clocks Registered User
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  9. new2clocks

    new2clocks Registered User
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  10. Floyd's Grandson

    Floyd's Grandson Registered User
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    Thanks, new2clocks!

    There is some interesting information in those threads, and I see the movement of that kitchen clock has the identical stamp on the movement.

    Most interesting to me are the dates mentioned in both threads...1858.
     
  11. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Did you mean "pot metal" ?

    Uhralt
     
  12. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    A bit of updated and corrected information on Henry Davies is contained in this thread by Peter Gosnell.

    Davies Brothers, a bit of history.

    The 1858 date is a bit of a puzzle. It seems that neither Henry Davies nor George Jones were in the clock business that early. Davies was not in the country then. I suppose it is possible that the date is a misprint for 1868, and that 1868 is the year Davies began working for George A. Jones & Co. Apparently by 1870, he was Jones superintendent. Jones went to Connecticut in 1873, and Davies continued the business as Davies & Hodgens. Hodgens apparently left the business by 1875. Davies became Ansonia Clock Co. superintendent in 1878. This would seem to put the manufacture of this cherub clock sometime between 1875 and 1878.
     
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  13. Floyd's Grandson

    Floyd's Grandson Registered User
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    Thanks for the link and the info, Steven!

    It is very puzzling, indeed.

    If you look at the previous threads that new2clocks linked above, the first one Davies Kitchen Clock info needed... in the 10th comment, says that "Spittlers' and Bailey's American Clockmakers and Watchmakers has Davies at 5 Courtland Street in New York from 1858-1886."

    In the second thread ROMULUS H.J. Davies, someone else found a clock that was labeled ""ROMULUS", Established 1858, 8 day striking, H.J. Davies, Successor to GA Jones & Co."

    I also found another source that states "Henry J. Davies operated a clock related business at No. 5 Courtland Street in New York, New York in 1858 through 1886. Henry J. Davies of New York. @ Delaney Antique Clocks

    I'm not trying to dispute the research already done, but I do trust my own eyes. I can also make out "...Jones & Co." on the label on the back of my clock. Considering the placement on the back plate, and the space available before that text where it is illegible, I think it's safe to surmise the full line would read "Successor to GA Jones & Co." like the other clock found in the thread I linked above.
     
  14. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    That information is old and apparently incorrect (note the date of the thread) and is not in the current edition of Spittlers and Bailey.

    That seems to be a repetition of the information on your label, which I tend to question.

    I would discount this, since it seems to be based on incorrect information.
     
  15. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    You need to read Spittler, Spittler, and Bailey "Clockmakers and Watchmakers of American by Name and Place" published 2011. The earlier book had many mistakes.

    Page 106 provides the correct information on Henry J. Davies. There is nothing to support the date 1858; he was only 18 years old!

    Davies was awarded 50 patents, but that was between 1875 and 1885.

    There a number of NAWCC Bulletin articles providing some information regarding Davies mostly related to his involvement with Ansonia Clock Co.

    Andy Dervan
     
  16. Floyd's Grandson

    Floyd's Grandson Registered User
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    Well all of this is good information, however puzzling.

    Regardless of the date, has anyone ever seen a clock like this?

    Is there any way to determine what exactly the Cherub is made of without damaging it?
     
  17. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    Looking at Tran Duy Ly's book on the Ansonia Clock Co. . The novelty clock chapter exhibited a variety of these clocks with figures and clock movements typically with back winding. None looked exactly yours but there were a number of them that were similar designs. It would be almost impossible to document everything the company produced.

    I believe your clock was made by Ansonia Clock Co.

    Patent references on many clocks are meaningless as there were no patents issued for the movement or case it was often a marketing tool.

    Andy Dervan
     
  18. Floyd's Grandson

    Floyd's Grandson Registered User
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    Thanks again for the info and for looking into this for me, Andy!
     
  19. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    Do you mean "made by Ansonia for Davies"? Davies' name appears on the label, as well as on the movement, but not Ansonia's.

    I assume you bring this up as a matter of general information. I can't find in this thread and mention of a patent in regard to this clock.
     
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  20. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    An interesting sidelight is the movement, itself. The April 2009 NAWCC Bulletin has a good article on marine movements by Lee Smith. On page 189, in fig. 28, he shows a somewhat similar movement signed by Ansonia. His accompanying text is as follows:

    "In 1853 Ansonia exhibited an “iron papiermache”-cased marine clock at the World’s Fair in New York.1 A selection of marine clocks was offered in the 1879 Ansonia catalog, with dial sizes ranging from 3-1/2" to 10". These clocks were continued into the 1900s, some in fancier cases. An Ansonia alarm timepiece with a 30-hour Hubble [sic - probably should be "Hubbell"] movement has been reported.29 The same movement was used in an H. J. Davies case. A signed Ansonia movement is shown in Figure 28."

    A closer match for your movement (IMO) is shown on p. 191, fig, 33. It is described as a 30-hour Waterbury movement stamped "L. Hubbell" (L>= Laporte). I suspect Hubbell actually made the movement that Smith shows.

    So, perhaps, just perhaps, your movement is by Laporte Hubbell. The appearance of novelty clocks as described above may be simply coincidental, but possibly influenced by the one you have.

    A link to Smith's article is provided below. Unfortunately, it can be viewed only by NAWCC members.

    https://docs.nawcc.org/Bulletins/2000/articles/2009/379/379_179a.pdf
     
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  21. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    If you do a simple search for Bulletin articles using "Davies" as search term it brings up about 20 references from varying time periods.

    Davies business career is poorly understood - he was involved the G.A. Jones and later with Ansonia Clock Co.. He might have had a small company separately doing clock assembly work before or during while he was with Ansonia. All kiinds of businesses existed like this. Waltham Watch Company had a number of employees who owned businesses while working there and these businesses often supplied items to Waltham known examples are John Logan and hairsprings and Daniel O'Hara and dials - whatever worked for the benefit of both parties.

    Clock companies purchased movements from other companies depending on their needs at the time. Sometimes the movements were signed and other times were not signed, so it can be difficult to identify where and when something was made.

    Sometimes answers are not clear cut - I still believe this is a novelty made by Ansonia. Ansonia made a variety of statute / figure clocks of all sizes, so they would have casting ability or contacts with companies that could do them. They were in New York City and everything was available there for them.

    Andy Dervan
     
  22. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    #22 rmarkowitz1_cee4a1, Mar 18, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
    You have a wonderful little novelty clock. Too bad the crystal is cracked. Could you provide dimensions? The pic with your hand suggests that it is of fairly decent size, larger than the little spelter clocks that Ansonia made that are reminiscent of it. The wooden base also sets it apart. A quick look at Tran's "Ansonia Clocks" book may shed some light upon whether this was one of their products?

    If it's all the same Mr. Davies, then he has created quite a few interesting clocks over the years!

    I believe he was responsible for the "Crystal Palace" clocks. These may have Welch or Ansonia movements. Here's an example of one I have previously posted:

    davies 1.jpg davies 2.jpg

    Now, look carefully at the cherub (actually his reflection). Very similar though not identical cherub used on your clock? No, not bronze, spelter. So a magnet will not stick.

    He made some oddball stuff like milk glass clocks. Here's a lever movement gallery labelled by Daniel Pratt:

    davies 3.jpg davies 4.jpg

    Here's a little novelty one called the "Young America":

    davies 5.jpg davies 6.jpg

    So it seems that he did make clocks with his own label. They may have movements made by others. He may have made your clock?

    I would suggest searching the MB. You will turn up much. A search of the Bulletin (if a NAWCC member) will also turn up much. Pays to join.

    RM
     
  23. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    Here, in fact, is a patent document from 1875, describing a patent granted to Henry Davies for a clock case. The drawing is similar to the one you show, not exact. I'm not certain, but the invention may have been intended for use with different styles of the crystal palace clocks.

    US161211 Clock Case.pdf
     

    Attached Files:

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  24. Floyd's Grandson

    Floyd's Grandson Registered User
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    I am a member. How do I get that yellow badge to show up next to my name?
     
  25. Floyd's Grandson

    Floyd's Grandson Registered User
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    Thank you! It's almost 9" high to the top of the uppermost leaf, the case is 3-1/2" in diameter and 2-1/2" deep, the Cherub is 5" tall, the base is 3-5/8" x 8-5/8".

    It is unfortunate that the crystal is cracked. I'm guessing replacing it would decrease the value. I don't ever intend to sell it anyway...
     
  26. Floyd's Grandson

    Floyd's Grandson Registered User
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    Yes, that Cherub is very similar indeed!

    "Spelter"!! Thank you! I was trying to think of the word, as I had seen it somewhere while doing research, but I couldn't remember what it was called.
     
  27. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Thanks.

    If you just replaced just the glass, I don't think it would necessarily hurt the value.

    RM
     
  28. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    I don't remember.

    A moderator could help with that.

    RM
     
  29. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    It shows up now. You should add your member number to the preferences section of your profile.
     
  30. Floyd's Grandson

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    Done. Thanks, Steven!
     
  31. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Spelter is a synonym for "pot metal" or "white metal".

    Uhralt
     

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