Jeromes & Darrow column & Swan splat, w/Lion Paws

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by MDean, Jan 18, 2011.

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  1. MDean

    MDean Registered User

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    Attached are pictures of my Jeromes & Darrow Column & Splat case. I only say "case" because the ST No. 44? movement is of course not original and I plan to make proper wood movement restorations.

    The Swan Splat is exquisite and fine in detail. I have not see a splat like this before. The Paw feet are also finely carved.

    I will be posting on the Repair forum to discuss the numerous issues on restoring this case and installing the proper wooden movement, glass, dial, hands, proper nails & attachment methods and so on.

    The previous owners attacked Felt over the label! Above the label the felt is glued onto the case!

    Fun project.
    -> posts merged by system <-
    Attached are more pictures of my Jeromes & Darrow clock. 81673.jpg 81674.jpg 81675.jpg 81676.jpg 81678.jpg 81679.jpg 81680.jpg 81681.jpg 81682.jpg 81683.jpg 81684.jpg 81685.jpg 81686.jpg 81687.jpg 81688.jpg 81689.jpg 81690.jpg 81691.jpg 81692.jpg 81694.jpg
     
  2. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    A remarkable clock, if the splat is original, which it appears to be. If you have a moment, a couple of good closeup pictures of the back of the splat, chimneys, and returns, showing their associated glue blocks, would be helpful.
     
  3. MDean

    MDean Registered User

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    Peter,

    Attached are the pictures you requested. 81704.jpg 81705.jpg 81706.jpg
     
  4. lamarw

    lamarw Registered User

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    Congradulations Emit. You have found a wonderful clock case for restoration. I too have not seen this splat, but it is beautiful. I also love the carved columns and the front paws.
     
  5. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    Very nice, indeed! The splat seems to complement the columns thematically; I see nothing to doubt about its originality at this vantage point. Nice also that somepne chose to keep the case alive even with an ST movement, rather than consign it to the scrap heap.
     
  6. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    #6 RJSoftware, Jan 19, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
    A couple of questions about the splat.

    Not disputing it's beauty and originality..!

    Is this pressed wood?

    I have been trying to understand how one can tell the difference between a pressed wood molding and a carving.

    I have seen other examples (mainly Gilbert gingerbreads ) that where explained to be pressed wood design. The Gilbert gingerbreads look pressed wood.

    The confusion comes in because of other so called "pressed wood" has the deep details. My impression (forgive pun) is that pressed wood has more superficial detail and has a tendency to be flatter or cruder.

    But I really don't understand the pressed wood process. Maybe it's a combination of both...

    Also, if it is a carving, how do they repeat with same accuracy?

    Maybe there is some other process going on not mentioned. For example some of the later Syroco clocks (reported to be pressed wood) have great depth and detail. Then spray painted with gawdy looking gold :D.

    RJ
     
  7. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Rather unique splat for a rather nice clock. Definately worth finding an 8 day movement and dial for it!

    Based upon my feeble memory (forgive me if I err as I'm not where I can look things up to confirm my memories) I have seen other carved and pierced figural splats. Terry made clocks for the Canadian market with a splat based upon the British coat of arms (shield flanked by a lion and unicorn). I think there was a Salem Bridge clock with a splat with winged a pair of winged griffens facing each other. Definately not common.

    It's hard to tell from the pics which on the computer I'm using I cannot enlarge further, but I do have some questions about the color, especially of the back of the splat, the way it's retained by the chimney's, the head of the swan on the viewer's left looks rather crude like it may have been replaced, the thickness of the splat, that the carving is unrelieved on the back side...

    I dunno. I am certainly rooting for it to be right.

    RM

    RM
     
  8. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    Swan on the viewer's left: facing back of splat, I presume?
     
  9. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Not only can't I spell, I have dyslexia compounded by attempts to multitask.

    Sorry, meant front view on right. :%

    RM
     
  10. MDean

    MDean Registered User

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    Moderator: Lets move this thread to the case restoration forum. I will be discussing restoration of this case.

    RJ - Examining the wood up close I can tell that it is carved not pressed. The carvings are deep and more 3 dimensional that pressed can accomplish.

    RM - You are correct, one of the swans has been repaired. Fortunately it is not actually a replacement. I can tell by the wood grain it matches up with the solid wood. The repaired portions look like built up epoxy with mahogony stain. I know I can do a better job making it look original.
    The repaired splat was glued back and was easy to remove.

    I thought the splat might not be original since it was so easy to remove. After further examination I believe it is original. The splat has non-shouldered tenons. The chimeys look like they had open mortises or "slots" to match the tenons. This would make sense because the splat should be installed floating to allow shrinkage & expansion movement just like a cabinet panel. Also before the glue job there were nails set. The holes on the tenons match up exactly with the holes at the mortises. This may have been done after the initial damage / accident. I will splice in new wood to the existing and create new mortises.

    I tested the finish on the back. It is affected by alcohol and not by mineral spirits. I cleaned one of the "leaves" and you can see some of the natural aging micro-cracks in the shellac. I have attached 3 pictures, one showing the old accumulated dirt, one pic showing where I did some cleaning which shows the aging and one showing the tenon. 81795.jpg 81796.jpg 81797.jpg
     
  11. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Thanks for the info and pics.

    I agree the splat appears to have an old surface which is reassuring towards indicating that it certainly "has age" though not always assuring originality. I believe shellac was used through the 19th into 20th century.

    I would point out that the carving looks "of the period" and if not, it is awfully good (there were still people around late 19th-early 20th century who could do that...and did).

    As I said, I really want this splat to be the real McCoy. As part of that desire, want it to pass muster, too.

    RM
     
  12. MDean

    MDean Registered User

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    RM
    Thanks for the comments. I would also like to compare this carved splat with others of the same era. I would like to compare type wood, style, colors, mounting methods etc.

    I will need to review some close up pictures.
     
  13. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    If you wish, can post/send a couple? Don't vouch for my photography skills, though.

    Also, will try to dig up documentation of those pics floating around in my head of pierced and carved figural splats. Might be interesting to compare those, too.

    RM
     
  14. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    This splat (which we hope is authentic!) brings to mind a couple of odd ones at the American Clock & Watch Museum. One portrays two dolphins, and the other (which is thought to be unique) a pair of monkeys, a pineapple, and two hyena-like creatures, maybe dogs. I've seen pictures of another example depicting two alligators, or maybe crocodiles. I think at least the latter two have been pictured in publications, probably the Bulletin, but I don't recall just now. Uncommon themes are extant, but uncommon!
     
  15. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Check out:

    http://www.nawcc.org/images/stories/1980/articles/1981/210/210_20.pdf

    It's an article by Sheldon Hock that shows various figural carved crests.

    Included are pictures of the E. Terry clock splat of the British coat of arms to which I referred, the dolphin splat Peter refers to, and a crowing rooster found on top of a wooden works alarm timepiece. The last seems especially relevant given the "avian" theme of the splat under consideration, though the carving of the rooster is much less refined.

    Also see page 30, figure 18. That shows what are claimed to be 2 sea serpents facing each other over a basket, sorta like the swans so also somewhat reminiscent of the splat in question.

    Also see Horology Americana, page 123. It shows a Bishop and Bradley with 2 griffins facing each other (not pierced as I mis-recalled). Finally, page 137, which shows a pierced figural splat depicting 2 cornucopiae. Notice how the fruits are carved.

    Just something to chew on.

    RM
     
  16. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Another thing to consider is how light weight the wood is. The older the wood is the lighter the weight, as it dries out over the many years.

    Also creates the condition of having more resonance, amplifies sound.

    Sometimes I can recognize much older pieces of wood by slight orangish hue of a bare surface. Not sure why and if it is common to all wood though.

    About the depth of a wood pressed image. I would agree with you normally as what you say is logical, but till you have seen a Syroco wood clock (with the gold spray paint) then you would have to question it like I do. I guess the only evidence would be undercuts. The one thing a pressing could not perform. I say this because of a certain sheen I see on the birds. But could be just the camera shot.



    The alligatoring of the shellac is something I am particuarly fond of. I hope you dont strip but just remove the dirt. At most maybe a slight amalgamation.

    Once its gone, its gone. You cant imitate 150+ patina.
     
  17. MDean

    MDean Registered User

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    RJ - The light weight of the mahogany was one of the first things I noticed when I removed it. I would say the wood does have a tonal quality to it. It certainly is not dull sounding. The design has many undercuts as you can see in the attached pictures. Also there are cuts on the back of the splat.

    I provided a close up picture to point out the longitudinal cells. The cell appearance changes according to the angle of the cut. Same idea as wood grain in quartersawn vs. plain-sawn. This indicates different levels of wood and provides further evidence it was cut and not compressed. With compression you are looking at the same surface level of wood but at different positions.



    RM - Thanks for the bulletin article. I had spent a lot of time researching the bulletins and never saw that one.... excellent examples. I did see some other articles but the splats in them were all eagles.

    This is a lot of discussion on "just" a splat but then I read the article and now appreciate that any part of a clock can have significance in design and history and stresses the importance of preservation.

    Thanks for taking the time to look for pictures and sending me the info! 81890.jpg 81891.jpg 81892.jpg
     
  18. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    What your last point brings up is for me the appeal of antique clocks. It's not just about the movement and certainly not just about a serial number, but about the case, glasses, dials, etc. Period antiques...and still attainable and relatively affordable. Can't be beat (though they hopefully can be put into beat).

    Hadn't thought about the weight thing => age. Not so sure I'm convinced. I could be wrong, but with hard woods, thought the weight had more to do with density. Also, would that criteria distinquish between a piece of wood 50 years old vs. 100?

    In fact, if something is really light, would wonder if it's a soft wood like pine. Have also seen some modern Asian repros of things made out of some type of rather light weight wood that was "mahoganized" with stain. I hasten to add it does not appear to be the instance here.

    This ain't pressed, it appears to be carved wood. Reallly doesn't look like a moulded product which sometimes can be quite detailed.

    Finally, My apologees for misspelling Mr. Hoch's (not Hock's, Hox) name as pointed out by Mr. Nunez.

    RM
     
  19. MDean

    MDean Registered User

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    Peter, I will need to visit the Museum some day. I'm still researching the bulletins for pictures.

    I'm also concentrating on the design of the leaves. Whoever carved these must have done some on other splats or furniture. They would most likely look very similar and could be a key to who accomplished this. 81958.jpg
     
  20. MDean

    MDean Registered User

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    I would say you cannot accurately date the age or era of wood by its weight relating to moisture content.

    This splat is made of Mahogany. Attached is a picture from one of my wood manuals and another closeup of the back of the splat. Mahogany has a distinct cell characteristic between the large darker cells or pores as you can see in the picture.

    The design with the fruit basket does seem to be consistent for this clock. Hopefully with further research I can get more specific information. I do not think it was done by the Mystery man noted in the bulletin article. 81960.jpg 81961.jpg 81962.jpg
     
  21. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Aha..! Excellent point which makes perfect sense as the whole surface is "pressed" down, stretching the grain pattern etc.

    So the distinguishing evidence of pressed wood should be continous uninteruppted grain pattern, if occasionally stretched or compressed in places.

    Good to know.

    RJ
     
  22. Troy Livingston

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    Interesting clock. The splat sure does look good although there are a couple of concerns.

    The surface of the back of the splat seems much "fresher" than the surrounding case components. I suppose much of this could be from when the splat was repaired or even a trick of lighting.

    Similarly, I would expect to see tool marks on the back of the splat much like:

    81973.jpg

    Cleaning up the back of the splat would require time and effort to plane the surface by hand. Granted, it wouldn't be all that much of an effort and as if to prove me wrong there is:

    81974.jpg

    However, common to both images is a hole in the end of the splat, (matching hole in other end) that was used to secure the splat blank to some sort of mounting board or fixture so it could be carved. Are these on your splat? Granted, I'm not a leading splat historian, but as a woodworker who has dabbled in carving, my guess is that the tenons were cut first and then the blank was then attached to a board so it could be secured to a workbench.

    It would be interesting to see if the elaborate splats in the museum have similar holes and to compare their spacing. I expect that there weren't that many people carving splats, fewer still making the unusual ones.

    Finally, the weight of the wood will not provide any useful information. Green wood is significantly heavier but once seasoned (rule of thumb is one year for each inch of thickness) the moisture content is determined by that of the surrounding air. The carving would have been done in seasoned wood, so there would be no significant difference in weight from the day it was finished to today.

    Troy
     
  23. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Some superb points have been made here that sent me scurrying around to look at the back of the splats on some of my carved case ww clocks.

    These observations reflect some of the fundamentals of assessing antique furniture: signs of "tool marks" and other evidence of appropriate period wood working techniques, like jig holes, surface in which I include the nature and presence of an old or original finish, the present "color", and evidence of wear.

    I'm happy to confirm their presence on the carved crests of my clocks. I think the examples Troy posted capture what the back of one of these carved splats should look like and how they may be mounted on the case if undisturbed.

    The one exception I had in my collection was a Leavenworth fully carved transition where the outside of the case underwent a thorough refinishing probably about 40 years ago removing the oxidized color of the back of the splat. However, the tool marks remain as do the pair of holes which I too suspect anchored the splat securely to a jig for carving.

    I've attached pics of a loose splat I own. Confirms what's already been said and posted.

    RM 81991.jpg 81992.jpg 81993.jpg
     
  24. MDean

    MDean Registered User

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    Troy, RM Thanks for submitting the pictures. This is a big help in continuing this analysis.

    It would be ideal if we received more pictures of both the back and front of carved splats. I would like to see some specifically from Jeromes & Darrow half column & splat. If anyone can help with that I would appreciate it.

    (Would it be worth having a thread specifically for researching carved splats sometime? )

    The back of my splat does not have the holes you show in your pictures.
    There are no indications on the clock case of having glue blocks to hold the splat.

    I have done some more cleaning and noticed some interesting things. There are numerous areas that are quite dark with heavily alligatoring. The shallow parts of the leaves and sides are all dark. Most high areas are lighter with less noticeable crazing but noticeable under the right lighting.

    I would like to know from someone familiar with shellac if this might be caused by areas have thicker vs thin shellac or would this mean someone has worked on the surface or both?

    Another interesting thing I found was a hole all the way thorough the right wing. It is about 1/32 hole.


    82079.jpg 82080.jpg 82082.jpg
     
  25. lamarw

    lamarw Registered User

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    #25 lamarw, Jan 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
    This is one of my Jerome and Darrow's.

    I can not say too much about this clock. I bought it a couple of years ago just before relocating from VA to AL. It has been a busy few years moving over a hundred clocks plus a house hold. I will have to examine it a little more closely one of these days. 82086.jpg 82087.jpg 82088.jpg
     
  26. MDean

    MDean Registered User

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    Lamar, thanks for taking the pictures. These show good detail I am looking for.
     
  27. Jerome collector

    Jerome collector Registered User
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    Attached you'll find carved splats from two Jeromes & Darrow 8-day wood works clocks. These were taken with a flash; sorry about the shiny areas. The darker of the two splats is from around 1833 (for clock, see http://home.earthlink.net/~mmbailey39/id20.html). Interestingly enough, this clock has stenciled columns. The combination of carved splat and stenciled columns is not that common, and I've always wondered whether the splat is original. As time passes, I've seen more examples of this combination, so I've stopped worrying about it. From the back, you can see the two holes mentioned in previous posts from other splats, as well as a third in the center. The holes on each side seem randomly positioned. There are no signs that there were ever glue blocks.

    The other example is from around 1829 (for clock, see http://home.earthlink.net/~mmbailey39/id23.html). This splat has two holes in the back, as well as glue blocks on each end. The glue block in the center is probably not original.

    Both of my examples are unfinished on the back, with some evidence of tool marks. As noted by others, the example with two swans looks as though it was not left in the rough (perhaps pride of craftsmanship?).

    I agree with others that it would be really neat for this to be original. Figural splats like this are rare and worthy of study. 82136.jpg 82137.jpg 82138.jpg 82139.jpg
     
  28. MDean

    MDean Registered User

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    Thanks "Jerome Collector" ! Beautiful carvings. Excellent examples of how deep and detailed the carvings can be. It looks like there are various ways the tenons are set up according to the design and case requirements.

    You made a good point about the back being finished. I did not think about it before but know I realize the tenons are also finished. Whoever did this made sure everything was finished. Not sure if this was done at a later time or not. There is a dripping of finish down the back of mine like on yours. I will use my microscope to see if I can possibly tell if the finish on the back is under or over the dripping. The darker dripping has crazing.

    Attached are a couple pics with more of a profile view showing the depth and detail of this splat. 82160.jpg 82161.jpg
     
  29. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Whether clocks or furniture, I've observed that the degree to which the "unseen" parts are finished varies. However, as a general rule, these were folks who used their time wisely and for what the customer was paying for. Attention was lavished on the seen, the unseen received less. For example, there are many examples of elegant serpentine front Chippendale desks with beautifully carved ball and claw front feet. The rear feet look great from the front, but the rear of them were left uncarved! Why bother, the desk was going to be up against a wall anyhow.

    Furthermore, there is a certain ease and almost stylized manner to period carving, too. The carvers worked in a sure and fluid manner, turning out their product to earn a living. Sometimes it's the later/reproduction carving that seems almost too fussed over.

    It's not a Jerome product, but for chuckles posting an 8 day transition ww by Orasamus Fyler for Riley Whiting. Alas, the case was refinished long before I got it.

    RM 82194.jpg 82196.jpg 82197.jpg
     
  30. MDean

    MDean Registered User

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    Thanks RM for pointing out the business logic of creating these carvings for customers. I really had not thought about that. I recently retired and relating to business I totally appreciate what you said and it makes sense.

    I appreciate the pictures. Another beautiful carving and there's those holes again on back.

    Thanks everyone I think I will let my swans rest for now.
     
  31. Jeremy Woodoff

    Jeremy Woodoff Registered User
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    Here, for the record, is one more. It is a Jeromes & Darrow carved short case clock. 82558.jpg 82559.jpg 82560.jpg
     
  32. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Nice clock.

    Those finials are kinda different.

    RM
     

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