Help ID French clock with no markings

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by heifetz17, Jun 4, 2020.

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  1. heifetz17

    heifetz17 Registered User
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    Apr 8, 2015
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    I picked up this clock which I believe to be French but I’m not certain. There are no markings that I can find, but I haven’t looked at the front of the movement yet.

    The case is marble and is very heavy. The dial appears to be metal. The plates are pinned together. Can anyone id and possibly give an age?

    14BE20D6-52AD-46BF-AC69-C7239340A328.jpeg F09A3D14-43EF-43FF-BD5B-C00169D36F15.jpeg 29B0D919-02D6-4CA5-851B-A81306556B28.jpeg
     
  2. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

    Jun 1, 2006
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    It does look French but as it has no markings I can't help with the maker. It has a silk suspension so probably not much later than around 1850. The dial looks to have engine turning decoration to the centre and may be silvered, if it is cream of tartar may clean it up. The case is an unusual colour.
     
  3. heifetz17

    heifetz17 Registered User
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    Apr 8, 2015
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    Thank you! I took the movement out this morning and there are no markings on the front plate either. Does anyone recognize it? Could it be much older than 1850?

    B0B915A4-AC6D-4E63-B2FB-8743D4E919DE.jpeg
     
  4. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
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    I don't think so, but that's just my opinion.

    I agree it looks French, but for some reason I feel it is possible it could be Austrian. Again, just a feeling.

    Others may know more (or better).

    JTD
     
  5. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
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    Jan 22, 2002
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    I would concur it is French. The Viennese had a proclivity to go with fixed barrels, and rack and snail striking. The count wheel and I suspect the presence of going barrels will strongly suggest being of French origin. The tapered arms on the count wheel and silk suspension are usually indicative of an earlier, rather then later movement.

    If you are really ambitious and are able to, you could disassemble the movement , remove the mainsprings, and examine the barrel hook end. The makers often scratched their name on the spring end..... and date.

    Ralph
     
  6. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
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    Having listened to your reasoning, I think you are probably quite right.

    JTD
     
  7. heifetz17

    heifetz17 Registered User
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    Thanks all! The movement is in dire need of an overhaul so I do plan to take it apart. Maybe if I’m lucky I can find a date on the mainspring!
     
  8. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Sep 4, 2008
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    The funny thing is, I worked on many French clocks and on only one Austrian clock. The only clock that had a name and a date scribed on the main spring was the Austrian one.

    Uhralt
     
  9. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
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    Jan 22, 2002
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    Uhralt, I have found earlier movements marked..... and not marked.

    Mileage may vary.

    Ralph
     
  10. heifetz17

    heifetz17 Registered User
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    Apr 8, 2015
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    So I removed both springs and one of them is broken. One spring has 8L (the L is cursive) scribed onto it, and the other has 30 1/2 scribed onto it. On the inside of each barrel cap there is a 2 scribed. Does any of this mean anything?
     
  11. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

    Jun 1, 2006
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    My understanding is springs were very often bought in components and clockmakers didn't usually make all the parts in a movement. It is known that the makers of springs did mark their produce but I couldn't say to as to whether that was common practice.
     
  12. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
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    8L? 8 lignes. Could it be the spring width? About 18mm

    Does the 30 1/2 look period. Maybe it's the spring length.

    Ralph
     
  13. heifetz17

    heifetz17 Registered User
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    Ralph, I wondered the same thing, however the springs are 20.5mm wide and 61 inches long. They are blued steel and very corroded. Perhaps they’re not original?
     

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