James Stevens, London, twin fusee bracket.

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by novicetimekeeper, Dec 21, 2018.

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  1. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
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    I believe in the later books he is shown working till 1740, I only have him listed earlier. This is presumably one of his later offerings. Perhaps missing a pull repeat?

    Looks like the case should be ebonised, but apart from the missing repeat appears in reasonable order.

    Pics are from the auction house with permission. I won't see it till late january

    stevens 3.png stevens 2.png stevens 1.png
     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Cabinet maker saw the pics yesterday when he was here, thinks it might be pearwood veneer, so will be great ebonised.
     
  3. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    Very nice, somebody went to town on engraving the backplate. Loomes has him c 1710 to c 1750.
     
  4. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Yes, the backplate is particularly good I think, and it seems a six pillar movement. Going to cost a few hundred to sort the case out, do something about that keyhole and re ebonise. Movement looks to have steel hawsers fitted which is never a good sign.
     
  5. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

    Jun 1, 2006
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    Aren't they for mooring ships, are you referring to the fusee chains?
     
  6. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I'm referring to the awful steel cables that have been fitted instead of gut by some incompetent.
     
  7. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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  8. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    It's been collected from the Auction house in Denmark, should be in the UK mid Jan.
     
  9. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Just got back from meeting with the Danish courier at a motorway services outside London. Against my instructions they had transported it on its back from Denmark. Fortunately the movement mounting bolt held and neither case nor movement is damaged.

    It does appear to be fruitwood veneer, and will look great ebonised. Has lovely proportions, and ticks and strikes, so seems good all round.
     
  10. zedric

    zedric Registered User

    Aug 8, 2012
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    That's why you get experts to help with the packing ;)... Glad it arrived undamaged, will look great when tidied up.
     
  11. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I told them what to do, but they put it on its back in a box with a blanket. In a van though, so no conveyor belts. The movement could have just fallen out and gone through the case.

    However it is secured by a bolt through a bottom pillar, and fortunately the bottom of the case did not give way, presumably because all the handling it received like that was careful.

    Anyway, it is here, it is a very fine clock, lives up entirely to expectations, and justifies the rather sad state of my bank account.
     
  12. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    It really is a lovely dial with fantastic hands. the movement is six pillar with fine collets, I think it is a bit earlier than we thought. Apart from removing the repeat and modernising in the 19th century to look like mahogany it seems in pretty original state. ( I think the feet are wrong too)

    50542068_1294889517316593_4405149545197993984_n.jpg DSC_1006.JPG
     
  13. P.Hageman

    P.Hageman Registered User

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    Now that look greath! Can you offer us also some pictures of the movement?
     
  14. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I was too tired yesterday to trust myself removing the movement from the case, but will do that soon. I have just peered through the side windows so far. It has 6 pillars and the collets I've seen all match, though I know the fly has been moved. It has metal cables which have to go.

    The pillars have knops and fins, the dial mounting feet are ringed, always nice to see somebody adding detailing. I have seen any other clocks by him, my baillies has mention of a bracket clock with the date 1710. That would suggest he would be in Loomes big book of makers up to 1700 but he isn't.

    On my initial inspection the movement and dial are high quality, the case appears to be fruitwood veneer on an oak carcase, I think this is a good clock. Perhaps a bit earlier than we first thought
     
  15. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I was going to take the movement out today but I think there is a risk of damaging the case so will leave it for an expert.

    I did get a few pics which might help a bit but not much. There is a pic of the spandrels, because they are really fine, great casting, and hand finished. They are also early further pointing to something around 1715-1720 or so.

    The case is beautifully made. I have some doubts about the back door, at the very least it has modern glass, but the veneers seem thin, will ask the cabinet maker. I took the bell off, is that a Gustav Becker mark?

    My apologies for the picture quality.

    received_2133058240340278.jpeg received_350688955660692.jpeg DSC_1013.JPG DSC_1016.JPG DSC_1012.JPG DSC_1014.JPG DSC_1011.JPG DSC_1015.JPG
     
  16. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    Fantastic clock. Is the movement fastened by seating hooks, or screws directly into the movement pillars?
    This is doubtful, I am not aware of G. Becker clocks utilizing cast bells, mostly gongs and rods. It is likely a founder's mark.
     
  17. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Have started looking for foundry marks
     
  18. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Well it took two of us and it was a bit fraught, but we have it out. I have also run down the clock as not having a holdfast for the pendulum it ran away with itself every time we tried to move it and the verge jumped out of the crownwheel, I was concerned it would damage the crown wheel.

    It seems to have been dropped at some point, the plates are a bit buckled but everything seems ok.

    I can't really explain the big hole top left of the back plate. A few things have been moved, the fly in particular which now has a wheel without crossing out. I don't think I've ever seen a bracket of this age with a strike train but no silent lever.

    The hands are beautiful, the engraving on the backplate and the dial too. I'm very pleased with it.

    DSC_1039.JPG DSC_1032.JPG DSC_1033.JPG DSC_1037.JPG DSC_1035.JPG DSC_1036.JPG
     
  19. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    So how is the movement fastened in the case? Are there seat board hooks, or screws from the bottom of the seat board up through the lower pillars?
    I'm not sure, My guess would be provision for a pull repeat mechanism. Either the hole was ready made in the plate and never utilized, or the clock previously had a pull repeat that was removed?
    Maybe, if the case shows no signs of droppage that could have happened in shipping. Especially if a plate fastening pin fell out or was missing.
     
  20. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Pull repeat was my original thought, and there are holes in the bottom of the case. Something has rotated in the hole you can see an annulus on the back plate. To repeat here though all you need do is lift a lever, isn't that quite a big hole?

    The clock was transported with the movement in. I gave strict instructions which the carrier failed to follow, they had it laid on its back in a box, we were both fortunate that it had two threaded mounts into the bottom pillars and it was securely fixed. The damage must have occurred in an earlier life, though now that makes the originality a bit in doubt unless it got dropped during a repair.

    I'm sure somebody used to this could have separated them on their own but I was worried about damaging something.
     
  21. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    Probably the original pull repeat was removed, it looked something like this:
    A FINE GEORGE III MAHOGANY PULL REPEATER BRACKET CLOCK by John Taylor of London, with silvered ch
    I never saw one but I believe it had a spring in it.

    I would think it's original. Good think those old clocks were quite robust. No wonder they are 300 years old and can still be daily runners.
     
  22. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    That's what I imagined it to be, I've never had one either so not entirely sure what I'm looking for. Now the movement is out I'll have a good look inside the case to see what I think.

    I am in a bit of a quandry with this one. I really like the look, but not having a silent function means it is unlikely ever to run. Not sure there is much point having the movement restored but I can clean the dial up myself and have the case ebonised again.
     
  23. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    I've seen many bracket clocks with a silent lever. Probably most are George III. Probably the majority of bracket clocks have no silent lever. I run our Victorian Scottish miniature twin fusee 24/7/365. It's about 25 feet from the open bedroom door. Gongs are easier to sleep through. I wake up very early maybe you can tell, sometimes if I choose to hear it strike I'm able to.
     
  24. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Yes, silent levers are less common on regency and later clocks, but very much the norm on 17th and 18th century bracket clocks. (Some only make a noise when you pull a cord so more of a noise lever!) This one is a bit unusual I think. We have well defined boundaries on what is acceptable here in a very small house. This won't be.

    Still, it looks good :)
     
  25. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Have to pop out, but took some pics of underside of case, will post later.
     
  26. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Here is the bottom of the case, a large number of holes! The two counter bored ones are for the heads of the movement fixings. Typical threaded iron bar with square brass heads riveted on. The big counter sunk holes near those are for big woodscrews holding the feet of the seatboard. Another reason the clock survived transit from Denmark on its back. These softwood feet have the oak seatboard nailed to them with machine made nails. Old nails though, from when they had a diamond pattern on the heads. I remember those but don't know how long they were made like that.

    Some of the holes must be earlier versions of fixings, but one to the left of the pic with an angled look is probably where the repeat cord went.

    DSC_1040.JPG
     
  27. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Another thing you can see from this is the brass feet are later replacements. Will replace with wooden pads.
     
  28. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    Lovely movement.

    I can't see any matching holes on the front plate that align with any holes on the backplate?
     
  29. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    It looks like the there is a plug on the mid right section of the backplate where the engraving doesn't quite match. Is that the plug from the upper left vacant hole. Looks like the engraving might match?
     
  30. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    that's a teaser, will have to wait till I get home from work. I have put the dial and hands back on but not put it back in the movement so will have a look
     
  31. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I see what you mean. One of the things that confused me was the way holes in the back were not paired with holes in the front, and that odd bit of engraving always intrigued me.

    What would the hammer arrangement be? Have they just changed the hammer head or have the moved it altogether?
     
  32. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Took the case to the cabinet maker this week. He is very happy with it, says it has been cleaned rather excessively when they stripped the ebonising but no damage done. The inside of the front door is also pearwood veneered and the mouldings are finely detailed, both signs of quality.

    The handle is a later replacement and makes the case look much later than it is. The feet are much later too.

    When I got back I found a new handle as a bare casting, I have ordered one. The current handle has the studs as part of the casting but the new one needs them to be steel. Looking at the pics I think there is enough meat in the new casting to do that without fouling the pin. The current handle has the pin very low down, so much so the handle can't swivel, but the new one looks much better.

    Will have to find somebody able to machine it all next!

    s-l1600 (1).jpg DSC_1069.JPG DSC_1068.JPG
     
  33. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    that's easy....plus some square nuts rather than hexagonal ones!
     
  34. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    simple job I agree, but bigger equipment needed than most I know, I'm sure somebody at BHI can help. Will be with me before the next meeting.
     
  35. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Case went to cabinet maker last week, 6-8 weeks away now.

    Just been sent this pic. All I can say is wow. That's going to look marvellous in a freshly ebonised case. Just dial and hands for now, movement will be done later but movement has been checked over ready for later work.

    stevens dial.jpeg
     
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  36. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    Yeap. WOW!
     
  37. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    That's all i said when I saw it. Looks fantastic.
     
  38. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
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    Chris,

    I believe that one has a pull alarm. The repeat description is in error.

    A side note, usually the the lonely hole found where the repeat spring arbor once lived, is tear drop shaped, to clear the arbor hook.

    IMHO, Ralph
     
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  39. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Apparently has many completely unexplained holes

    The mock pendulum bob had traces of red wax in it, so it has been rewaxed.

    DSC_1306.JPG
     
  40. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
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    Looks great.

    RALPH
     
  41. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Thanks Ralpn, I'm looking forward to seeing it in the re ebonised case. It has a space booked in the house currently occupied by one of Dean's but that will be going.
     
  42. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I had to check the old pics to see which spandrel he had repaired, I couldn't see the repair!
     
  43. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    Upper left?
     
  44. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Upper right, below the N of London
     
  45. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Case coming back this week, handle ready to go on. The base of the new handle was a poor casting so he used the old one and fitted the new handle to that.

    DSC_1331.JPG
     
  46. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    Excellent. Can’t wait to see the photos!
     
  47. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    tomorrow is case day, all ebonised, three coming back. Fortunately I only have to pay for one of them :)
     
  48. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    ;)
     
  49. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Better pics to follow, but here is the clock, handle on , re ebonised.

    I was expecting it to come back with pad feet but may address that later.

    james stevens in case.jpg
     
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  50. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Looks fantastic. It will be nice to see larger photos with more detail.

    Tom
     

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