Interesting paper-on-wood dial Samuel Terry/W. Griswold half column and splat...

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by Peter A. Nunes, Dec 21, 2010.

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

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Mar 3, 2006
    1,642
    11
    38
    Male
    Restorer of antique clocks.
    Rhode Island
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    This clock is interesting in several ways, not the least of which is the paper on wood dial, lithographed by Endicott & Swett, New York. I knew of only two other such clocks, one by Eli Terry Jr., the other by Samuel Terry (Eli's brother) until this one came to auction two weeks or so ago. Recently an identical paper on wood dial showed up on eBay, which was purchased by a friend who is doing research on these rare clocks. The seller had another loose dial, in poor condition, which my friend also purchased, so in addition to three complete clocks, we know of two loose dials with the same lithographed paper. The dial on the clock illustrated here is apparently the best of the extant examples, as far as condition, quality of hand colored details, etc.

    The second feature which distinguishes this Samuel Terry transition clock is the overpasted label of W. Griswold, Hartford, a name previously unknown in the literature. He was undoubtedly a clock dealer.

    The clock features an original tablet, with some losses, a great stenciled splat, and one replaced foot. For some unknown reason, a well meaning but ill-informed former owner has stripped the half columns. Luckily, he stopped there.

    I would be very interested in hearing of other examples of paper on wood dial shelf clocks- while few and far between, they are apparently out there. Please send me a private message if you know of one. It will help further our knowledge of these rare and interesting artifacts. 79206.jpg 79207.jpg 79208.jpg 79209.jpg 79210.jpg 79211.jpg
     
  2. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
    Gibbs Literary Award NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Member

    Oct 23, 2002
    2,255
    4
    38
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hello Peter,

    Wonderful condition clock - you keep finding unique and unusual clocks.... Maybe Mary Jane could look up Mr. Griswald for you.

    Andy Dervan
     
  3. cazboy

    cazboy Registered User

    Apr 27, 2006
    1,106
    1
    0
    Retired!
    Prescott Valley, Arizona
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi Peter, that is indeed a wonderful clock. I'm really intrigued by the wooden wheel on the back of the movement. Overall, seems to be in great condition! Well done! :D
     
  4. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Mar 3, 2006
    1,642
    11
    38
    Male
    Restorer of antique clocks.
    Rhode Island
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi Doug, what do you mean by a "wooden wheel on the back of the movement"?
     
  5. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    20,901
    641
    113
    Male
    Ne’er do well
    Here and there
    Country Flag:
    Perhaps he's referring to the countwheel on the front??

    I wonder whether this W. Griswold might be related to the Daniel White Griswold (son of White and Elizabeth), mentioned in Spittler and Bailey?? Just specoolatin'. There were others, it seems, many in the Massachusetts area.
     
  6. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Mar 3, 2006
    1,642
    11
    38
    Male
    Restorer of antique clocks.
    Rhode Island
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi Steve,

    I think you may be right about the countwheel, hadn't thought of that as it's on the front plate.

    I wondered about D.W. Griswold, but he is probably too early a maker to be involved here- perhaps there is some family connection, but I suspect our Mr. White was a dealer, not a maker. I am quite curious about what was cut out of the apparent parentheses to the left of Mr. Griswold's name. It looks to have been cut out prior to the label being applies, as label underneath is not damaged. Why would there even be parentheses on a clock label, and why would something have been excised? Very odd, but I love these little mysteries. 79472.jpg
     
  7. laprade

    laprade Banned

    Sep 10, 2008
    3,240
    2
    0
    writer, radio producer, old building-materials adv
    Irish, but live in Laprade, 16390, France, (70 mil
    Country Flag:
    Peter, you mention "lithography" in your description of the print. Have you any thoughts on what method was used; stone or steel. Printing such large and intricate designs on "hard paper", was quite complicated, as the only methods available in those days was letterpress and early lithography. standard Letter press would have been very complicated, as it would have to have used the method used by the newspapers for reproducing picture images, and the circles would pose a major problem. The other possibility, "intaglio wise", would be the method that is being examined in the "dial art and script" thread. The printed label shown by Steven, is a simple case of letterpress, using a flatbed machine, or a Heidelberg style press.
     
  8. cazboy

    cazboy Registered User

    Apr 27, 2006
    1,106
    1
    0
    Retired!
    Prescott Valley, Arizona
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Steve Thornberry is right; I was referring to the second-to-last picture. There's a wheel to the left of the escape wheel - I didn't realize it was a countwheel at first. When I made my comment I thought it seemed to be wooden, but a closer look makes me not so sure. What's it made of?
     
  9. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    20,901
    641
    113
    Male
    Ne’er do well
    Here and there
    Country Flag:
    The countwheel is wood; not sure what type, however.
     
  10. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Mar 3, 2006
    1,642
    11
    38
    Male
    Restorer of antique clocks.
    Rhode Island
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Count wheels in production wood movements are almost always made of cherry, as are most other wheels.
     
  11. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Mar 3, 2006
    1,642
    11
    38
    Male
    Restorer of antique clocks.
    Rhode Island
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I'm not sure, as I know only enough about nineteenth century American lithography to know I don't know anything about it! The labels of the day I suspect were done on a printing press, much as newspaper pages were printed. The overpasted label in this clock has a very 3-D look to it especially, and is printed on quite heavy laid paper.

    http://www.library.upenn.edu/collections/rbm/keffer/endic.html

    Here is a little more about the partnership of Endicott & Swett, who were partners from 1830-34. They were noted for popular scenes, made available to the emerging middle class at cheap prices, much the same as Currier and Ives, their contemporaries.

    There are other paper on wood dial clocks known, but they tend to be miniatures- I have the only two known (so far!) paper on wood dial Torrington (probably Norris North) clocks, one of which, to make it further rare and interesting, is a miniature pillar and scroll timepiece, the only known Torrington timepiece. The Torrington clock is a bit smaller than three quarter size.

    Treat and Bishop produced miniature wood movement timepieces with alarms, and many of those sport paper on wood dials.

    If anyone reading this is aware of any unrecorded examples of paper on wood dial clocks or timepieces, I would appreciate hearing about them. Privacy would of course be respected.

    Merry Christmas!
     
  12. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,627
    538
    113
    Country Flag:
    Wonderful clock Peter, thanks for posting it.

    Couple of things which will expand a bit upon what has already been posted.

    Based upon my experience having owned and handled lithographes by Currier, Currier and Ives, Kellogg, Audubon, and others and examining close ups of the dial, it is undoubtedly a hand colored lithography on wove paper. Just as an FYI, laid paper would reveal chain lines which I couldn't discern in the pics and wove paper was more typically used during this period.

    For more about the art of lithography and about Endicott and Swett (1831-4) of NYC, see pages 4-5 of:

    http://www.librarycompany.org/economics/2010Conference/papers/PEAES%20--%2010%20conf%20Barnhill%20paper.pdf

    This firm lithographed a wide range of things, from scenes to portraits (see examples of these 2 genre on the NYPL Digital Image website) to bank checks to diplomas...you name it. They provided services to a wide range of clients. Examples of their work on line demonstrate their ablity to render rather detailed images on stone and they certainly had the ability to do clock dials.

    It would not surprise me that attempts at methods of stepping up the production of dials at a lower cost would have been undertaken in parallel with the changes occuring over time to reduce the cost of manufacturing clocks. Look at the example of decorating tablets, eg, hand painted -> stencilled -> decalcomania and so on. So, attempts to print the dial requiring someone relatively unskilled to do little more then some trimming and then gluing them to a board makes sense in this context. Why not more widely used and thus more often seen? That's a matter of speculation.

    I personally don't recall seeing before any full sized shelf clocks of this period with genuinely original paper on wood dials. I have no reason to question the authenticity of this clock based upon the pics provided which would make this clock rather rare.

    My recollection of paper on wood dials, both printed and done by hand, are generally the dials of tall case clocks.

    As mentioned, there are examples of small shelf clocks with a printed paper on wood dials. To add to the list, see an example of a miniature pillar and scroll with such a dial by Isaac Pease:

    https://www.cottoneauctions.com/oldsite/auctions/2007_04/ck_Shelf.php

    lot #29.

    For another Pease miniature ww with wood on paper dial, see Tran's American Clocks, Volume 3, page 46, illustration #39.

    I guess I could cheat a a bit and include a more recent maker of wooden works wall clocks, Charles Alvah Smith, who made clock dials out of cardboard (supposedly from his shirts he sent to the laundry) which are then applied to wood.

    For a cottage clock with a paper on wood dial, see:

    http://www.nawcc.org/images/stories/1990/articles/1998/317/317_709a.pdf

    page 714, figure 8.

    Who was Griswold? Well, there's the guy from National Lampoon's Vacation movie, but I don't think that's him. There is a Griswold Inn in Essex, Ct.

    The only additional Griswolds I could stumble upon who might have had some connection with the CT clock industry were Harris Griswold and Josiah Griswold of Whethersfield, Ct. They were both Olcott Cheney's creditors.

    Furthermore, Harris' and Cheney's wives were probably sisters. He was also the guardian of Lucy Ann Norton whom married the clock maker William B Loomis (I actually own one of his clocks).

    For more, see The Cog Counter's Journal, No. 30, Summer 2008, page 37.

    And datsa whatta I know, which as usual, ain't much.

    RM
     
  13. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Mar 3, 2006
    1,642
    11
    38
    Male
    Restorer of antique clocks.
    Rhode Island
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #13 Peter A. Nunes, Dec 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2010

    I agree. The Griswold Inn is where I stop for a pint every time I drive up or down Rt. 9 in Connecticut, usually on my way to or from the ACWM. They actually have a couple of weight driven clocks, which are usually running (the Griswold Inn, as well as the ACWM).

    This dial is definitely wove paper, as are the other extant examples of the same lithograph. The overpasted Griswold label is what I was referring to as laid, and I think it is.

    I agree that this was an attempt to produce a cheaper, more easily produced product- for whatever reason, it didn't catch on. Was it perceived as too cheap and shoddy, compared to painted dials? That is a question worth pursuing, though we'll probably never find the answer. There must be a reason that there are literally thousands of similar clocks around with painted dials, and only three known clocks, and two loose dials, of this sort. Endicott & Swett, being in business fro 1830-34, were certainly poised for success in the dial printing field- I'll be they were disappointed at the result!

    Let's see, Clark Griswold- that sounds like a likely clock maker's name.
     
  14. laprade

    laprade Banned

    Sep 10, 2008
    3,240
    2
    0
    writer, radio producer, old building-materials adv
    Irish, but live in Laprade, 16390, France, (70 mil
    Country Flag:
    Peter, my reason for discounting the "newspaper" method is to do with how they printed images. If you look very closely at a printed sketch in 19thc newspapers, you will see a very fine set of grid lines that appear to break the image at regular intervals. This is due to the method of making the sketches into printed images. The original sketch was cut up into squares of the same size, and farmed out to wood engravers, who engraved their part onto end-grain boxwood. The blocks came back and were cramped together and then a casting made of the image. This casting went into the frame with the other blocks of text etc and then printed as letterpress, which was the fastest method at the time. The problem of the circles meeting in the right place, or the engravers being able to get exact registration is virtually impossible, so as RM says, they used lithography, and it seems they used stones. The main problem with using stones (polished limestone), is that they tend to give the lines a "texture" which can sometimes give the impression of a sketch, hence the switch to steel plates. To imitate the properties of the stone, i.e. the ability to absorb water, and to hold a wax / oil image at the same time, the steel is placed in a orbital tray with pumice and ball bearings. This creates the matt surface, and behaves in the same way as the stone surface. Modern day lithography; offset litho, works on the same principle, but uses flexible plates and a revolving drum: very fast!

    Another problem with lithography is in the drawing of the designs, as they have to be done directly onto the plate. So, it should be quite easy to spot any differences in the supposedly similar artwork. If they are all the same, then the print process was a two part method. Circles and numerals, by lithography, and the other decoration by letterpress, which would enable the patterns : artwork to be identical. if you want to research further the art of wood engraving and its application to publishing, look up Dr Leo john De freitas, who is one of the leading sources.

    As a point of interest: a lot of stone lithographs were printed on slightly yellowish paper, a quite hard paper, and also after tinted with some titanium. People such as Edward Lear, who published "portfolio" books of his travels around Europe, usually in sets of 25 images.
     
  15. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,627
    538
    113
    Country Flag:
    Okay, just for chuckles, something else I'm going to toss out there.

    A while ago, there was a thread about lithographed images on tablets:

    https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?t=59259&highlight=lithograph

    Does this tie together with lithographed/printed paper on wood dials? Clocks shown are about the same vintage.

    Wouldn't it be interesting to find a clock with both?

    RM
     
  16. laprade

    laprade Banned

    Sep 10, 2008
    3,240
    2
    0
    writer, radio producer, old building-materials adv
    Irish, but live in Laprade, 16390, France, (70 mil
    Country Flag:
    RM, a related subject, i.e. printing on a solid surface, is being talked about in the "dial art and scripts" thread. Printing directly onto glass would come under that. As far as I'm concerned, using the term lithograph in respect to glass tablets, is incorrect. I asked a lithographer (academic) if transfers could be made from lithography: in this case; stone. (Normal transfers were made with copperplate engraving method). He was doubtful, and was going to talk to others. (besides, one would see the transfer medium on the glass)

    The options discussed in the other thread, stem from "sack printing" and the use of flexible print image. I suggested gelatin, but early rubber is a contender. To go down that road here on Peter's thread would take it off topic: best to add your "tuppence worth" there. I know the thread is to do with LC clocks, but I have no objection to including the glass problem.

    Peter, I forgot to say that that clock of yours is a "real cracker", or as William Morris and Ruskin used to say, when talking about Pre Raphaelite girls: "a real stunner".
     
  17. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Mar 3, 2006
    1,642
    11
    38
    Male
    Restorer of antique clocks.
    Rhode Island
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I misspoke (or miswrote) when I mentioned Treat & Bishop as producers of paper on wood dial timepieces- I was thinking of Isaac T. Pease of Enfield, Connecticut. Sorry for the error, but my pronouns are going.
     
  18. F. Christopher Tahk

    F. Christopher Tahk Registered User
    Old Timer NAWCC Member

    Dec 30, 2010
    7
    0
    1
    The printer’s inscription on the clock dial, “Lith. of Endicott & Swett, N. York”, would seem to establish definitely that the dial is a lithograph. The firm of (George) Endicott and (Moses) Swett were in business in NYC in 1830-34, a period in which Samuel Terry and Eli Terry, Jr. both worked in Bristol, CT. Swett had been an apprentice to the noted Boston ornamental artist to John Ritto Penniman, 1782–1841, who had been a dial painter for the Willards. On completion of his apprenticeship, Swett and Penniman became partners for a very brief period, Swett then working in Boston for the Pendleton brothers who ran Pendleton's Lithography (1825-1836), one of the very earliest American printing firms to make successful use of the lithography. He later went to Baltimore and NYC becoming a parter with Endicott.

    In the 1830s lithography provided a far faster and less expensive method of producing multiples the alternative printing processes then available., the process of lithography (as the name indicates) involved the artist creating the image in a greasy crayon on a special stone (a Bavarian limestone), which was inked and multiple prints being printed from it. There are many references on lithography and overviews on Wikipedia.

    Also, in the 1830 the printing of a colored lithograph (chromolithgraph) was a thing of the future so the color on these paper dials was certainly applied by hand after printing and (assuming watercolors were used) likely after the paper dial had been adhered to its supporting board.

    As others responding to message have suggested, the increasing competition and diminishing markets for wooden movement clocks in the 1830s presumably made cutting production costs in their manufacture of great interest to manufacturers. There are obvious difficulties in producing these paper on wood dials and also with regard to their permanence. Are they now rare because few were made or because few have survived or for both reasons? Also, aside from Endicott & Swett, I know of only one other woodem movement shelf clock paper dial signed by printer or artist. Are there other signed dials?
     
  19. laprade

    laprade Banned

    Sep 10, 2008
    3,240
    2
    0
    writer, radio producer, old building-materials adv
    Irish, but live in Laprade, 16390, France, (70 mil
    Country Flag:
    FCT, I still believe that the corner decorations were done by letterpress, as to hand draw onto a stone and get exact copies of the spandrels is impossible, and by the same token, but in reverse, Lithography, would be the only effective way of doing the circles, as I explained earlier.

    If the images are superimposed and found to be exactly the same, then there is no doubt that it was put through a second process. There is also the possibility that the spandrel decorations were done separately with a hand held letterpress block.

    I am speaking here as a dial painter and owner of several printing presses.
     
  20. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Mar 3, 2006
    1,642
    11
    38
    Male
    Restorer of antique clocks.
    Rhode Island
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    A very close look at the spandrel decorations reveals that they are all slightly different. This may be difficult to pick up in the photo I posted. The easiest things to differentiate are the pineapples- they are clearly all different. In addition, lines used to for shading and accentuation are different from corner to corner.
     
  21. laprade

    laprade Banned

    Sep 10, 2008
    3,240
    2
    0
    writer, radio producer, old building-materials adv
    Irish, but live in Laprade, 16390, France, (70 mil
    Country Flag:
    That settles it then Peter, if they are different, then they were drawn directly onto the stone. I wouldn't want to have been the artist doing that! It must have been done using a "non repro" pencil to get the near similarity. Non repro pencils are not of a wax medium, and are still used to do the layout registrations on "paper plates" in modern lithography. (The paper plates are only available in A4, as far as I know. It is twenty odd years since I bought any paper plates, so I don't know if they are still available. (I still have old stock). When the final drawings are done in "reproduction" pencils, the ink only sticks to the their image and not the layout markings. A art printer, I knew in London, used to put her paper plates through a photo copier!

    The other problem with stone litho, is the number of impressions, before the image fades from use: the inking and printing gradually removed the image. Later, as image media improved, i.e. resin based, the images lasted longer.

    In the case of steel plates, the image could be baked on, but I haven't looked into when they were first used.
     
  22. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Mar 3, 2006
    1,642
    11
    38
    Male
    Restorer of antique clocks.
    Rhode Island
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
  23. laprade

    laprade Banned

    Sep 10, 2008
    3,240
    2
    0
    writer, radio producer, old building-materials adv
    Irish, but live in Laprade, 16390, France, (70 mil
    Country Flag:
    Peter; I was just looking at the name of the printer on the dial and it is a good example of what I have been saying in the "dial art thread" about "printers fonts".

    It is very clear that the name is hand drawn, using a "one stroke" pen.

    While looking at the signature, I noticed the other major problem of drawing dials: the minute lines between the two circles. They are off kilter! Anyone who does dials, will know how difficult it is to get them to be "correct radials"!
     
  24. laprade

    laprade Banned

    Sep 10, 2008
    3,240
    2
    0
    writer, radio producer, old building-materials adv
    Irish, but live in Laprade, 16390, France, (70 mil
    Country Flag:
    Peter, one last point about the image. (I don't want to chastized for commandeering the thread and leading it off course)

    It is generally accepted that a "wax point" was used for lithography, but if you look closely at the minutes lines, you will see that they weren't done with a wax pencil point: looks more like a brush. The wax crayon point, would not be able to give the "bulge" effect in the middle of each line, and I doubt if that bulge could be drawn so neatly with several strokes and then "infill".
     
  25. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    4,627
    538
    113
    Country Flag:
    A bit of necroposting and yes, a bit of a repetition.

    Another example of a ww transition clock with a lithographed paper applied to wood dial has surfaced.

    See this thread:

    Terry Jr Pillar and Splat clock: how to re-ebonize columns?

    The dial and its lithographer appear to be the same one responsible for the dial on the clock that PAN posted on this thread.

    Here's a teaser pic:

    dscf2178-jpg.jpg

    The OP on the linked to thread, as do most of the responders, seem most interested in how to repaint the columns. I think the rare dial is the most interesting aspect of this clock.

    So, adding it to this thread.

    RM.
     

Share This Page