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Identify Gilbert Bim-Bam Tambour with Ornate Inlays

Elliott Wolin

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I don't see anything like this after searching the web, does anyone know what model clock this is? It looks like a lot of early 1900s Gilbert tambour clocks (has bim-bam strike using dual chime rods).

20211026_200706.jpg
 
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Calvin H. Huynh

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That’s a cool clock and a cool thing Gilbert did - added ornate designs to certain models. It’s always a nice “Gilbert Treat”.
 

J. A. Olson

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The dual rod strike was known as the 'Normandy Chime' in trade literature, though it is a simple half hour strike.
I have not seen a Gilbert mantel clock with this style of ornamentation before. The symmetrical and more detailed patterning suggests a factory production design, however it is not unheard of to try sprucing up typical household clocks with home-made decor. If it was really home-made then it is one of the better efforts out there.

Gilbert made several variations of ye olde American tamboure and were heavily marketed, with several advertisements running through consumer magazines promoting their clocks. A Gilbert ad from 1922:

Gilbert Ad.jpg
 

ToddT

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The closest I could find in Tran Duy Ly is this - the "Jubilee" - though I didn't see any samples showing that kind of ornamentation. 20211028_043951.jpg
 

Willie X

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Toll painting was a big thing about 50 years ago and some people got pretty good at it. That might explain your clock's ornamentation? Antique furniture was often the Toll painter's prime target.
Willie X
 

JTD

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I’ve seen multiple Gilbert’s with toll painting so I believe it may be original.
If the clock has tole (not toll) painting, which was done by an owner, then it would seem not to be original, if by original you mean the painting was done by the manufacturer.

It is, however, extremely well done.

JTD
 

JTD

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Here is my example. This has similar “tole” paintings.

View attachment 678535

Was this how the clock left the factory? If so, I don't think it can really be called tole painting, rather it is factory decorated in the way that some clocks had painted chinoiserie decoration.

As I understand it, toll painting is a hobby art form which, as Willie said earlier, was popular some years back (and in Victorian times) and some people got very good at it. But it was not done in a factory as far as I know.

That's what I understand tole painting to be, but I am not an expert and others may know more/better.

JTD
 

Elliott Wolin

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Here's another view of the decorations.

I looked carefully and in a few spots on the front the finish (paint? veneer?) chipped off, taking the painted-on decorations with it. But it's still possible the decorations were painted at the factory. I suppose if nothing similar shows up in a catalog or on the web, odds are that it was painted after being sold. But someone said he's seen similar decorations, so who knows...


20211028_164815.jpg
 

Elliott Wolin

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Just found two identically painted clocks in Google images here. Links to originals broken so this link may not work very long.

So either some after-market person painted a whole bunch of Gilbert clocks identically and sold them, or it was done at the factory.

One of the images claims an 1807 production date, seems hard to believe. I'll post a picture of the movement soon.

I'm tending towards believing the decorations were done at the factory, but I suppose a large retailer could have done them.
 

Willie X

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It looks good to me, no matter what the back story turns out to be. Willie X
 

Heresolong

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I just picked up a Gilbert Tambour and quickly found out that the 1807 is a Gilbert marketing thing where they claimed the founding of the company to go back an extra 34 years, rather than a manufacturing date.
One of the images claims an 1807 production date, seems hard to believe. I'll post a picture of the movement soon.
 

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