I write to ask several questions about the banjo clock I recently bought at Schmitt-Horan pictured in Fig 1. The house described the clock as follows: Unknown, possibly New Hampshire, hanging banjo or patent timepiece, mahogany case, painted metal dial, barbed hands, 8 day, weight driven brass movement.CONDITIONMahogany case in an old finish in good condition. A piece of wood was inserted into the head to repair some damage (is this the spacer mentioned below??). The brass bezels possibly a replacement as the hinge is smaller than the carved out area. The painted dial looks to have been restored and now has clear coating on the surface. Mismatched period hands. The tablets were painted by Lee Davis, of York, Pennsylvania. When the lead weight was cast, someone used a couple of coins that left an impression in casting. One of the impressions was coin that was dated 1812. ACCESSORIES: Pendulum, Winding Key, Weight
Comment-the assertion about the coin imprint is incorrect. The impression is of two USA coins dated 1918: the then newly issued Lincoln cent and the 5cent piece. Both faces of both coins are present. I am not sure of my rights in this situation, but this seems particularly misleading.
I have bought Foley's book and carefully scanned all photos and appropriate texts. In the following I cite some figures that seems relevant.
Of course the tablets are inappropriate—too much like the "cliched" factory made Walthan centennial clocks. I wish the designs were more appropriate
I would appreciate any thoughts about these two questions:
- Is this clock a marriage?
- Can I comfortably claim this is a clock by Ivory Hall?
- Do you think that this clock could predate 1840 given the info about the label as described below?
I would describe the movement as: recoil escapement, not T-mount, step train, heavy iron dial, mounts: center screw plus 2 diagonal screws-there appears to be a thin wood spacer under the movement like Foley:Figure 160/pg 34 for an signed 1835-40 movement. See my Fig 2 which shows the side of the movement with one of the diagonal holes and pencil marks setting the position of the movement. Note these screws do not extend out the back. Fig 3 shows the entire movement.
Case description: One piece white pine back with number 970B scratched. Large dug out hole for center bolt. Head and rest of case Mahogany. Door and throat construction is via lap/rabbet joints, pendulum box is mitered with nails. Box has rounded glue blocks identical to Ivory Hall clock (circa 1825) in Foley: Figure 212/page 92. See my Fig 4 below. Also like that clock, case sides do not extend to the head like Hall's where scrap wood is inserted for support.See Foley:Figure 213/page 93 (Foley Fig 160 cited above has the same characteristic). Hall was in business from 1816-1864. Thin spacer inserted to supports for the sheet tin plate. Also to be noted pendulum hold down also like Foley: Fig161/page70.
Technical question: in the absence of the case sides supporting the movement, is this why there are two diagonal holes to fix the orientation?
Basel as described by auction house attached with 4 tabs. Standard side clip to fix basel door.
Side arms have poorly filed arches(??) that to some extent retain a diamond shape, see my Fig 1. Is this an example of what a maker in New Hampshire would do to distinguish its clocks as suggested by Foley? Isn't this very sloppy work?
The finial eagle seems identical design to Foley:Figure 140/page 63 of a William Grant .circa 1830
A close look at Figure 4 shows a partial label (reading "Palmer") just left of the tin plate—internet sleuthing indicates it is that of Davis and Palmer, Boston which was a partnership lasting from 1838-1846. They advertised as watchmakers, retailers of imported clocks, shelf clocks, lamps, silver, clock/watch parts, etc.
Is that going to be the best guess of the age of this clock? Could it be older?