Italian Bracket Clock - Pompeo Corsi in Rome

WIngraham

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I got this interesting clock a few weeks ago. After straightening out a claim for shipping, I wanted to post it for viewing and any input, since there doesn't seem to be many Italian clocks on the board.

The case and movement look like they haven't been touched in many years. I can still some beautiful blueing of some of the movement parts though the dust. It is certainly a different clock than any I have right now.

The case looks to be rosewood? veneer with beautifully detailed gilt ornaments of great quality. Most of the mounts are there except for part of a spandrel on the front door. I am not sure what to do about that. Will probably have to leave it be. There are some missing moulding pieces but nothing too serious. Shipping vibrated many loose, including one of the glasses but they are present. The glasses are pretty thick and very old with a noticeable brown/amber tint.

The movement needs service and repair, I have sent it to good hands. I really like the engraved dial with mock pendulum and signature Pompeo Corsi in Rome. Dean took the time to explain to me the striking sequence, which strikes the hours and then repeats the strike a few minutes later, it is called Ribotta striking. Also it only counts the hours up to 6, which I'm told is common in Italian clocks. Both the time and strike trains run off of a single barrel. I am guessing this is a shorter duration clock?

I think this will be a great project and I will post pics of my progress in piecing it back together. Any additional info and comments are most welcome. Including possible dating? I did see an entry in Dizionario Degli Orologiai Italiani for a cappuccina clock signed 1750.

Here is my usual barrage of pics. I didn't get a pic of the front plate before I sent it off. I don't have one of my own with the clock whole, since shipping separated the case and movement...:oops:

Thanks, Will

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zedric

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Another great purchase! Due to the restrictions on shipping antiques from Italy, and the fact that far less of these were made than, say, British or Austrian ones, you don’t see many around, so it’s great to see the photos here - keep them coming as you work on it!
 

DeanT

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Mar 22, 2009
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I liked that clock when it was for auction. Now that I've seen more photos I like it even more....

It's got the split barrel similar to the early French pendule religieuse.

In spite of all the dust and grime it looks in good condition. Will look great restored.

Well done on the purchase.

Cheers
Dean
 

bwclock

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Wow! Super clock. Thank you for posting the many photos of the details. Not only is the case beautiful, but the movement has nice ornamental details on the steelwork such as on the countwheel latch and its arbor, among others. Are those great screws or what?

What a treat to see such an interesting clock.

Bruce

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WIngraham

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Thanks guys for the input. I will post pics when I clean it up, should be sometime in the next few weeks. I seem to be accumulating "to do" piles at an alarming rate.
 

Betzel

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Another wow clock. Congrats and take your time. Yeah, Italian clocks this old are pretty rare, so I'm glad the glass survived okay.

If you were interested in historical information or input on techniques / materials for restoration, many of the mid-level fine art museums in Italy are accessible and full of staff who are very passionate. They may be able to help, via email and often for the love of the game. Maybe a bridge too far with the language barrier, but it's an option if others fail.

In bocca al lupo!
 

Ralph

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Your maker doesn’t show up in the first edition of Enrico Morpurgo’s book, listing Italian clock and watchmakers. I can’t seem to put my hands on my second edition, but will keep looking.

Ralph
 

WIngraham

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Thanks Ralph, I would appreciate any additional info. This was the only information I could find on the maker, it is from Morpugo's book but I am not sure if its the second edition or not. I believe it describes a single clock dated 1750:

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Ralph

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Thanks Ralph, I would appreciate any additional info. This was the only information I could find on the maker, it is from Morpugo's book but I am not sure if its the second edition or not. I believe it describes a single clock dated 1750:
That's the second edition. The first edition does not show your maker. It only has Gaspare.

Ralph
 

WIngraham

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Ok thanks for looking. What do you think about the approx. date on this one?
 

WIngraham

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17C? That's surprising, I didn't think it was that old, that would be neat though. Or did you mean to type 18C?

Thanks, Will
 

WIngraham

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I wanted to update this thread. I finally got this clock back together and going again. The movement was restored by David LaBounty and is going great. Very strong tick and strike. It definitely has character. Thank you for everyone's contribution and comments. Greatly appreciated.

I tackled the case myself. It is still missing some mouldings, but I will leave with it as is for now. I ordered some new finials since the ones that came with it were replacements and there was only two.

The first step was to remove all the mounts. I used some fine bent nose pliers and wooden cuticle pushers to remove them. Worked well. I cleaned them with a 10 min soak in boiling water, lathered with Dawn and then a soft scrub with a baby toothbrush. I was surprised with how intact the gilding was. Also, I have to comment on the glasses. They are really thick and have a brown tint with black specks in it. They were cut so well that it was difficult to get them in and out, pretty sure they are original. No rattling glass here. I spoke to a glass guy a few months ago about another clock and he mentioned that he could tell where glass was from based on the tint and other properties. I think that's neat.

I cleaned the case with a mixture of linseed oil and turpentine, recommended by Dean. It worked very well. My new favorite for wood, it is gentle but effective and does not have any unpredictable results. I glued on the loose mouldings, and repaired the back door with rabbit skin glue. I have a large supply, so I figured it was a good use for it. Coated with Rennaissance Wax, and voilà.

I left the dial as is, might refresh it at some point. Maybe when the finials come or I get the missing mouldings made. On to the next project. Hopefully these tips can help others. I really like this one. Picture gallery..

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zedric

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Very nice work!
 

DeanT

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Great work! Looks fantastic and a quality clock.
 

WIngraham

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Thanks for the kind comments and encouragement. It is appreciated.

I forgot to mention that I found the replacement minute hand on ebay, took a few months lol. It is from the same time period and fits pretty well.
 

Alex KVASHIN

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Great work!
Minute hand generally is ok, however my feeling that it a bit heavy compere to hour hand. I think it must be more sword-like as it was more in 17th century.
Also IMO pendulum bob in wrong orientation. Heavier part must be it the bottom.
 

DeanT

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That popped up in my internet search...looks even better each time I see it. Looks the engraving on the dial and the case has come up superbly.

Well done again.

Dean
 

WIngraham

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Thanks Dean, it was well worth the effort. Thank you for your pointers, very much appreciated. It is a great clock to run, has lots of personality, I don't even mind winding it every day.

I just got a set of finials for it from Optimum Brasses, they have a great selection if anyone is ever looking for quality clock parts.

Will
 

WIngraham

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I like to update with progress so...Cleaned up the chapter ring and dial place with cream of tartar, definitely brightened it up, a bit less sleepy now. Installed the finials. Still missing one chimney and some mouldings but that will be for another day(s). It's off the list for now.

Will

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