Inherited a mantle clock

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by MiniBukta, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. MiniBukta

    MiniBukta New Member

    Jan 12, 2020
    Country Flag:
    Hello! Was directed here from a knowledgeable friend, they said this was a good place for more information.
    I recently received this clock from my grandmother, it was purchased by her grandparents when they emigrated over from Germany.
    She recently had it gone through by a professional and it is now mine to keep. I know about the family side of this clock, I’m curious what anyone could tell me about the antique side of it. I’d love to learn about it!
    I read it’s from the sessions company, and a bit about that company, but that’s as far as I know. I will not ever be selling this clock, so while I’d be curious to it’s value, I don’t much care. I don’t think it’s anything very high.
    Any information would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

    72B8CDBB-B23C-4BF2-8528-5AF2400F4FBA.jpeg 51A3E677-E872-453B-9072-6BDAFF177628.jpeg 4FB08EBF-CC73-4090-8A28-27D1F0DD6C81.jpeg CBDD24A2-9B7D-4A4A-A641-96B87D1276A2.jpeg
  2. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
    Western NSW or just this side of the black stump.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    You grandparents probably paid no more than $22 for it originally. The case needs a bit of work done but thankfully the movement doesn't look too bad at all.
  3. gleber

    gleber Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
    Underwater Robotics Expert
    Downingtown, Pennsylvania USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Welcome to the message board. General info (some of which you may or may not know):

    It is indeed a Sessions Black Mantel clock with a time and strike movement. The strike counts the hours on a coiled gong and the half hours with a single strike on the bell. The movement uses a count wheel style to count the hours. It has several wheels (gears) with slots or pins and levers to control the strike count. The half hour strike is a passive strike. It has a small cam on the minute arbor (shaft) that lifts and drops the hammer on the half hour without turning any wheels. To synchronize the strike with the time on count wheel movements, you can either rotate the hour hand to the correct hour (it is press fit), or you can lift a lever (but the lever is hard to see in your photo). The lever would be on the front side of the clock (behind the bell in your rear view photo).

    To start the clock, it should be level. Swing the pendulum bob (with the "S") gently from side to side. If it does not have an evenly timed tic-toc, see this post: Beat Setting 101 The time can be regulated (made to run faster or slower) using the square arbor in the 12 using the key. The F and S above the 12 indicate the direction to turn the key. F will make it run faster, not that it is running fast. The key for this clock would have two ends - one for winding the time and strike trains, and one for regulating the clock. If you don't have the key, they are available online or a local clock shop would have one.
    It looks like the case was refinished at some point. Traditionally it would have been all glossy black with white incising (engraving on the lower front).

    The small jewelry label on the back is probably the retailer from where it was purchased, but could also be a jewelry store that did a repair at some point. The Sessions label is mostly gone as you can obviously see.

    Hopefully that's enough to get you started, and this message board is a great place to learn more including how to maintain and repair it. Also, other people on here may be able to provide model name and approximate age.

    Good luck with your new old clock. It's nice to hear it is, and has been, in good hands who care about it.

  4. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    The single screw holding the rating assembly at the top of the back plate along with the pictured pendulum bob would likely place your clocks age in the early 1920s.

    These were very common and called 'black mantles'. Clock people often shorten this to just "blacks.

    Wind your clock carefully, they have a bad history of winding ratchet (click) failure. Wind it with a deliberate motion with a gradual release of the key after each stroke.

    Do you realise your clock is in a run down condition at time of your photo?

    WIllie X
    roughbarked and Kevin W. like this.
  5. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
    I think Willie means it needs winding, not that it's shabby or uncared for!

    roughbarked likes this.
  6. MiniBukta

    MiniBukta New Member

    Jan 12, 2020
    Country Flag:
    Thank you all for the information! Glad to know more about the clock itself.
  7. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    North Carolina
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    There were so many similar clocks made that it's really hard to find a name for them now. But look closely inside the case. There might be a label, a scratched message or maybe some penciled comments about the clock. This was very common in the early 20th century, and often adds insights like what you are seeking.
  8. Royce

    Royce Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 8, 2018
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I'm not sure how useful this might be but here is some info on the Jewelry Store tag on the back of the clock:

    Math. Hibbeler - Jeweler
    Forgotten Chicagoans: Mathias Hibbeler by Neil Arsenty, August 1, 2013 at 9:57 am
    "At the top of the building at 917 W. Armitage Avenue in Lincoln Park reads MATH. HIBBELER 1895.
    Mathias J. Hibbeler was born in"
    (Hanover) "Germany in 1866" (where he learned the watchmaker trade). "He arrived in the United States in 1884 and became a naturalized citizen in 1890. This building was erected in 1895 to reside and house his jewelry business. On May 18, 1925, Mathias died. In the 1920s, the business became Mathias Hibbeler & Son. Mathias Jr. remained a jeweler here through at least the 1940s."

    Assuming the Jeweler Tag would probably have changed to Math Hibbeler & Son in 1925, this would imply it was at that shop (for purchase or service) between 1895 - 1925 and this ties in pretty well with Willie X's "early 1920s" dating.

Share This Page