Harper Blakeslee Wood Works Clock

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by thm1946, Jan 20, 2020.

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  1. thm1946

    thm1946 Registered User

    Feb 6, 2012
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    I acquired this clock at an estate sale. The owner thought it was made in 1825. I have been unable to find out much info on H. Blakeslee other than his full name is George Goodloe Harper Blakeslee, born 1806, and brother to M. & E. Blakeslee. Consensus is that he was a clock seller in Cincinnati, OH, and possibly worked for Luman Watson before going in business for himself. The movement looks like a Seth Thomas 1.511 and is a short drop with a 46 tooth escape wheel. The label says it is a patent clock and was printed by the "Office of the Evangelist" which I assume was a newspaper. The clock has an odd mixture of features like claw feet, two doors, four columns and a scroll with wood finials. The scroll is probably not original as it is made of 3/4 inch thick solid mahogany. I'm looking for any information that would pin down when it was made, who made it if Blakeslee was just a seller, and what it might have looked like originally, prior to the new scroll.

    My first time posting, so thanks in advance for your help.

    Blakeslee with Moberg Tablet.jpg 100_6880.jpg 100_6896.jpg 100_6901.jpg 100_6906.jpg 100_6907.jpg 100_6976 (2).jpg
     
  2. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    I imagine the top would have originally looked like this what with the carved feet. Or it may well have had the more simple stenciled splat.

    20200102_121352.jpg E103a.JPG
     
  3. thm1946

    thm1946 Registered User

    Feb 6, 2012
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    Thanks for the pictures. The case with the carved scroll looks very similar to mine. If I read the label right it was made by Eli Terry and Sons. Maybe they made the case, which would fit the timeframe. If the clock was really made in 1825, Blakeslee would have only been 19 which seems young to run a clock business.
     
  4. Chris Klingemier

    Chris Klingemier Registered User
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    Oct 26, 2011
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    The "office of the Evangelist" shows up with an advertisement in 1834. It states that they have moved to Carthage, Ohio, about 7 miles from Cincinnati and are available to print books, newspapers, and job printing , executed in the best manner and at the cheapest possible terms. That at least places your clock prior to 1834
     
  5. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    #5 rmarkowitz1_cee4a1, Jan 23, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
    You have an attractive clock.

    Killer dial!. The "double decker" configuration is nice, too.

    As already mentioned, the crest is a later replacement and not in the appropriate style. The finials are nice but not period appropriate. The columns would have most likely been stenciled. The lower tablet appears to me to be a decent quality reproduction.

    IMCO, what really makes this clock special is that Ohio label! Definitely not encountered every day, at least not by me. During this period, Ohio was the Western Frontier. It became accessible with the new Erie Canal and the ability for steam boats to go up as well as down river. As is typical of a burgeoning US in those days, goods and profitable trade started flowing back and forth.

    situation of america.jpg

    The mass produced shelf clocks offered there might be largely of local production, assembled there or shipped whole from CT.

    For another example of a H.B. pillar and splat ww with a similarly worded label and some additional history about the maker, see "Ohio Clock Exhibit:1810-1850; A Guide to the Collection" page 16, figures 30 and 31. This monograph was produced for an exhibit of Ohio clocks at the Warren County Historical Society Museum and NAWCC Chapter 23 in 1984. I would bet it's available from the NAWCC Library.

    Also see Gibbs' "Buckeye Horology", pages 10-11 for a transition clock with an Ohio label and some history.

    So, seems that he made a variety of case styles including "double decker", "pillar and splat" and transition.

    Finally, Cowan's sold Paul Heffner's collection in 2003. I keep that catalog as a reference about Ohio clocks. Nice job cataloging. You will probably find some examples in there.

    Last but not least, see if you can access the Cog Counter's Journal. Would bet you will find material there, too.

    So, nice Ohio clock.

    RM.
     
  6. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Bill Fox, Ohio, sent along photos (see photo section) of a shelf clock
    with label all but obliterated. Mov't is a short pendulum Leavenworth
    type. Chris Bailey deduces that it most likely states IMPROVED/
    PATENT CLOCKS/ made and sold by/ H. BLAKESLEE, (Cincinnati).
    Chris also adds that Robert Goodloe Harper Blakeslee (born 21 July
    1806 in Plymouth, Conn.) was the brother of Marvin and Edward Blakeslee
    who sold clocks in Plymouth. Their sister Philena was married
    to Randall T. Andrews, nephew of Seth Thomas.

    H Blakesley.jpg
     
  7. Chris Klingemier

    Chris Klingemier Registered User
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    Oct 26, 2011
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    The clock pictures with the nearly obliterated label is now in my collection. The clock's label is actually for Hart & Truesdale, Hartford, Ohio. They made dial, movement and case. Their shelf clock production began about 1830 and went for 2 or 3 years.
     
    Peter A. Nunes likes this.
  8. thm1946

    thm1946 Registered User

    Feb 6, 2012
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    Thanks to all for the information and suggestions of more places to look for documentation. I think I will try to replace my scroll with a carved splat if I can find one that will fit. I will have to make new corner pieces, but I have done that for other clocks. I really like the carved splat look with the rest of the clock. The original lower glass had a paper picture glued in place. This lower glass was done by Tom Moberg in 2018. Thanks again, and I will keep you posted on future progress.
     
  9. thm1946

    thm1946 Registered User

    Feb 6, 2012
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    I found a reproduction carved splat on eBay that would fit the dimensions of the top. I then made chimneys and caps from solid mahogany and side pieces from old poplar with vertical grain mahogany veneer. the scroll came off without much effort, and I was able to save the glue blocks. The new parts were dyed and top coated to match the old original finish. I have some period carved pineapple finials that I have made molds of, so I cast a set of finials for this clock, faux painted them, and installed them in the caps. Obviously, I would never try to pass this off as "original", but I like how the clock looks now.

    100_8841.jpg 100_8855.jpg 100_8856.jpg 100_8857.jpg 100_8858.jpg 100_8859.jpg 100_8911.jpg 100_8913.jpg 100_8950.jpg
     
  10. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Good work! Looks like it should I think.
     
  11. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    great looking clock! I´m glad that You withstood the temptation of buying "original" parts from internet sellers who butcher up complete clocks to make greater profit by selling the parts! Instead of that You replaced the parts lost in 200 years of history by nicely looking,appropriate and still not "original" parts.Well done and honest,chapeau!
    Burkhard
     
  12. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    In their full glory, they are impressive clocks are they not?

    Real antiques that reflect the design trends of their time of creation all delivered, in the current market, in an affordable package...you're basically buying an American late Federal/Neoclassical Revival period piece of furniture.

    RM
     

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