Help identifying regional style of tall/long case clock

Greg Burton

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Jan 29, 2018
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I purchased this at a recent estate sale from a couple who were going to assisted-living. The gentleman had purchased it years ago at an auction in Virginia. Case has been refinished. With the possible exception of the very lower bracket is all original. Movement, weights and pendulum are also original. Painted dial with steel hands appears to be original. The dial is not signed. The style of the hood and the Chippendale door make me think it’s from the north west area of England. But the short door suggests the West country. The style for the 4 pillar movement and Arabic numerals indicate a first quarter 19th century date. Any insight would be appreciated, pictures attached. Greg Burton, Delaware

A6011E8C-15B5-4F8D-8EB1-5D8FE27EA1B2.jpeg A7F2433C-7BAB-4AB2-93A6-6C054AE92011.jpeg DA69951D-A6D3-4B39-A6E6-1687CC4FF3FF.jpeg 07CBB049-9240-4E7D-8DEE-B3519B79E89E.jpeg
 

jmclaugh

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Jun 1, 2006
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An attractive dial and case. British painted dial longcase clocks are usually split into three time periods and this one fits into the middle period 1800-30. Matching steel hands were the norm by the end of the 18th C until matching brass ones came into use around 1815 or so, the numbers which reverse direction from 4 to 8 are referred to as tumbling. It looks more towards the beginning of this period as it still retains dotted minutes and quarter minute numbering, it is unusual in having a painted scene inside the chapter ring. The swan neck hood is one of the most common styles of all and was used over a long period of time so is no real help in dating and the shorter trunk door came into use during this period and doesn't seem to relate to any particular region.
 
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Greg Burton

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Jan 29, 2018
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An attractive dial and case. British painted dial longcase clocks are usually split into three time periods and this one fits into the middle period 1800-30. Matching steel hands were the norm by the end of the 18th C until matching brass ones came into use around 1815 or so, the numbers which reverse direction from 4 to 8 are referred to as tumbling. It looks more towards the beginning of this period as it still retains dotted minutes and quarter minute numbering, it is unusual in having a painted scene inside the chapter ring. The swan neck hood is one of the most common styles of all and was used over a long period of time so is no real help in dating and the shorter trunk door came into use during this period and doesn't seem to relate to any particular region.
Jonathon, thank you for taking the time to confirm much of what I suspected. The gentleman selling the clock had been told it was missing a part when it stopped running after a move. So it sold for much less than it should. The crutch had become bent and needed to be adjusted. It is back in neat keeping time. The reason I asked if the hood indicated a regional variation has to do with the parapet extending above the lower molding on the swan neck. The neck itself is rather squat. I searched the websites of the better UK clock dealers. All the clocks I found with similar hoods were from the NW of England. None from Scotland or Wales. So I thought it might be a regional characteristic. The resources readily available for research on British long case clocks are limited here. They mostly focus on Colonial makers. So thank you again for your insights. Tumbling numbers is a new term for me as well.

Greg Burton
 

NigelW

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Jan 2, 2015
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Nice clock!

I am no expert on British provincial long case clock cases, but for some reason the thought came into my head that the case might be Welsh. This dealer in Welsh clocks seems to have an unusually high proportion that are this kind of shape:

xhttp://www.welshantiques.com/longcaseclocks.htm

The iconography is curious. Is the woman on the left holding a crucifix? If so it would seem unusual for a predominantly protestant country. The seated woman in the centre seems to be holding an anchor.
 

novicetimekeeper

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Jul 26, 2015
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It is a very unusual dial with that centre painting, and I wonder if it is possible it was originally 30 hour because the dial would have been painted after the holes were made on an 8 day and it seems odd to have arranged it so they cut through the picture like that.

30 hour moon rollers are uncommon but not exceptionally rare, more common in brass dials.
 

NigelW

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It is a very unusual dial with that centre painting, and I wonder if it is possible it was originally 30 hour because the dial would have been painted after the holes were made on an 8 day and it seems odd to have arranged it so they cut through the picture like that.

30 hour moon rollers are uncommon but not exceptionally rare, more common in brass dials.
The same thought occurred to me. If the dial was originally intended for an 8 day the design was rather poorly laid out. An examination of the front plate of the movement might give some clues if there are spare or blocked holes for different dial feet.
 

novicetimekeeper

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30 hours usually have 3 dial feet though moon rollers can get in the way of that layout.
 

Greg Burton

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Jan 29, 2018
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Nice clock!

I am no expert on British provincial long case clock cases, but for some reason the thought came into my head that the case might be Welsh. This dealer in Welsh clocks seems to have an unusually high proportion that are this kind of shape:

xhttp://www.welshantiques.com/longcaseclocks.htm

The iconography is curious. Is the woman on the left holding a crucifix? If so it would seem unusual for a predominantly protestant country. The seated woman in the centre seems to be holding an anchor.

Nigel,
You have good eyes. The woman in the centre is resting her right arm on an anchor. The woman on the left is holding something wood that is shaped like a capital I. There is a corresponding piece of wood to the top piece under her arm. I, too, at first thought it was a crucifix. All three women are looking off in the same direction and the one with the anchor seems to be waving. My theory is that they represent ladies whose husbands have gone off to sea. If we could determine what the one muster object is, that might help. Thank you for taking the time to,share you thoughts. I shall check out Welsh clocks certain. Regards, Greg
 

Uhralt

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Sep 4, 2008
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Nigel,
You have good eyes. The woman in the centre is resting her right arm on an anchor. The woman on the left is holding something wood that is shaped like a capital I. There is a corresponding piece of wood to the top piece under her arm. I, too, at first thought it was a crucifix. All three women are looking off in the same direction and the one with the anchor seems to be waving. My theory is that they represent ladies whose husbands have gone off to sea. If we could determine what the one muster object is, that might help. Thank you for taking the time to,share you thoughts. I shall check out Welsh clocks certain. Regards, Greg
I think he wooden piece that the lady to the left holds is a cross-staff. A cross-staff is a simple, often wooden instrument used since the 1600s (or even earlier) for navigation at sea. Probably your theory is correct. The picture shows women waving goodbye to their husbands going to sea, the one to the right left alone with her kids.

Uhralt
 

Greg Burton

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I think he wooden piece that the lady to the left holds is a cross-staff. A cross-staff is a simple, often wooden instrument used since the 1600s (or even earlier) for navigation at sea. Probably your theory is correct. The picture shows women waving goodbye to their husbands going to sea, the one to the right left alone with her kids.

Uhralt
I think you win the prize. I just looked up cross-staff and about the time of the clock some mariners modified it. They were able to use it almost like a sextant. The longer crosspiece is under her arm. With the modified version the smaller end was pointed towards the sun. It makes sense. Thanks for your insight!
 

Uhralt

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Sep 4, 2008
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I think you win the prize. I just looked up cross-staff and about the time of the clock some mariners modified it. They were able to use it almost like a sextant. The longer crosspiece is under her arm. With the modified version the smaller end was pointed towards the sun. It makes sense. Thanks for your insight!
You're welcome! Somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered having seen something similar related to early navigation. Glad I could help!

Uhralt
 

Clockwise123

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Jun 18, 2019
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Certainly a Northern case, the shortening of the door suggesting a date of 1810 to 20. It is typical of the cases used on the better quality clocks of the period. I have seen similar cases housing clocks by makers from Preston, Blackburn, Bury and Manchester and one by William Bellman of Broughton-in Furness. Your dial appears to have been restored somewhat heavily. It is unusual there is no seconds dial with the large blank area fulfilling no purpose. Examine this area vey closely to see if there is any sign of a makers name which has been subsequently erased.
 

gmorse

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Hi Greg,

...My theory is that they represent ladies whose husbands have gone off to sea...
The three ladies are, from the left, Faith with the cross, Hope with the anchor and Charity with the children, (orphans?). Hope was the clue, since she's always depicted with her anchor.

Regards,

Graham
 

Greg Burton

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Jan 29, 2018
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Hi Greg,



The three ladies are, from the left, Faith with the cross, Hope with the anchor and Charity with the children, (orphans?). Hope was the clue, since she's always depicted with her anchor.

Regards,

Graham
Graham, thank you, that makes perfect sense. Especially since one of the children is poorly clothed. Having a clock or an antiques’ provenance is always nice. But when you don’t, the detective work can be both challenging and fun.
 

Greg Burton

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Jan 29, 2018
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Certainly a Northern case, the shortening of the door suggesting a date of 1810 to 20. It is typical of the cases used on the better quality clocks of the period. I have seen similar cases housing clocks by makers from Preston, Blackburn, Bury and Manchester and one by William Bellman of Broughton-in Furness. Your dial appears to have been restored somewhat heavily. It is unusual there is no seconds dial with the large blank area fulfilling no purpose. Examine this area vey closely to see if there is any sign of a makers name which has been subsequently erased.
Thank you for confirming by suspicion that it was a northern case. I examined the dial with a torch. The faint hairline cracks in the paint are evenly distributed and there is no overt sign of restoration. If the faith, hope and charity explanation for the subject matter is correct, then I wonder if th Dario was repainted early on as a memorial to someone. If only the clock could talk!
 

Uhralt

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Sep 4, 2008
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Hi Greg,



The three ladies are, from the left, Faith with the cross, Hope with the anchor and Charity with the children, (orphans?). Hope was the clue, since she's always depicted with her anchor.

Regards,

Graham
I think you nailed it! BTW, Charity is also often referred to as Love, so the children might be her own.

Uhralt
 

NigelW

Registered User
Jan 2, 2015
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Certainly a Northern case, the shortening of the door suggesting a date of 1810 to 20. It is typical of the cases used on the better quality clocks of the period. I have seen similar cases housing clocks by makers from Preston, Blackburn, Bury and Manchester and one by William Bellman of Broughton-in Furness.
These places are mostly in Lancashire which is close to Wales so I guess I was not too far off. Faith, Hope and Charity it has to be!

62b.jpg
 
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