John Knibb, Oxon, real or make believe?

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by novicetimekeeper, Jun 5, 2017.

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  1. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
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    Jan 22, 2002
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    Nick/P.H.,

    The spandrels threw me. I couldn't identify them initially, but later I found them .. I think it was the Brass Dial Clocks book. They say 1720-1740 ... in that range, which would be on the tail end of John Knibb's clockmaking career.

    Nick , thanks for finding the pillar example. Were they from a Knibb? I know he and Joseph used baluster pillars, but the examples I found were a little more elaborated, and were on spring movements.

    Thanks for your comments , Ralph
     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
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    They are on a movement that came with a case I wanted. Most of the wheels removed, the dial was a 30 hour one with extra holes drilled to fit the movement. It has an odd spring and a strange post coming out sideways from one pillar. Might have been an alarm. Not sure if it is English.

    Early 18th century feather banded oak case with barleytwists

    The case is currently with the cabinet maker and will be the new home of my Thomas Speakman

    Thomas Speakman, London 1660-1720

    I have seen baluster pillars on a William Porthouse of around 1730.
     
  3. zedric

    zedric Registered User

    Aug 8, 2012
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    I’m going to state upfront that I’m no expert on longcase movements, and am very willing to learn and be proven wrong, but something about Ralph’s clock makes me uneasy. The dial and spandrels are, say, 1720-30, due to the style of minutes etc. but the baluster pillars and the latched dial feet and pillars are definitely an earlier feature (usually pre 1700) as are the style of collets. While older makers sometimes kept old styles going for a while (eg Henry Jones) it just doesn’t feel right to me. If I was looking at it to buy, I would be thinking that I was looking at a combination of elements that might not have started out life together. The movement is very interesting and seems to be early, but the dial, where the Knibb signature sits, I just don’t know...
     
  4. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Baluster pillars were definitely still in use in the 1730s, but latched pillars would have been more unusual. Both indicate a lot more money spent on a clock than usual. Herbert Cescinksy dismisses any clock after 1730 as rubbish but there was still quality about.
     
  5. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
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    Zedric/Nick,

    I am not convinced it is genuine. Re: the spandrels, they could suggest a possibility of being produced late in John Knibb's career, if Loomes spandrel dating is correct. The screws for the spandrels have cheese heads, instead of square, so that raises a question if the spandrels are original. I'll remove them this week to see if there are any witness marks to suggest other spandrels at one time.

    Ralph
     
  6. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    nearly there on this one, just waiting on the hood.

    Here is the list of works from the clock repairer

    Derust iron work
    dress back of arbours and conservation was iron parts
    recut click teeth
    make new click
    replace two teeth on hoop wheel
    free fly and make new fly clutch spring
    deal with worn hammer spring anchor point
    extend hammer tail
    bush strike great wheel back
    close pallets and face exit pallet
    make new crutch and shaft
    bush both escape pivots
    bush anchor arbour pivots both ends
    bush hammer arbour front
    make new pinning end to strike release arbour
    top and dress star wheel teeth
    Attend to strike problems warning and locking (count wheel slots previously enlarged and altered)
    make cruciform retaining wedges
    make weight hook
    close and tidy damaged chain links
    improve hand clutch washer
    make bellstand screw
    resilver chapter ring
    make spandrel screws
    clean and lacquer spandrels


    still to do...

    get blacksmith to make bellstand



    Will take some pics this eve
     
  7. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
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    Here movement and dial, restored and good as new.

    DSC_0626.JPG DSC_0630.JPG DSC_0627.JPG DSC_0628.JPG DSC_0631.JPG
     
  8. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    That is an awesome result. Excellent job! The hand is super and the spandrels are perfect.
     
  9. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    very pleased, awaiting the hood and need to resolve the bell stand. He is not swayed by the formerly verge argument, there appear to be two positions for a bellstand which was my original thought. Not quite sure who butchered it but the rest is more than a little Knibbish.
     
  10. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    The movement and dial, when I bought it, had herman miller spandrels and a cheap looking modern pendulum. The spandrels have been changed for period ones of a pattern known to be used by Knibb, and on an almost identical clock in Brian Loomes Brass Dials book.
    I felt that even though the case has no lenticle Mr Knibb might approve of my choice of pendulum bob, rather more in keeping with his own decoration on the wheels in this clock.

    DSC_0639.JPG
     
  11. daveR

    daveR Registered User
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    A very impressive result. I look forwardto seeing it fully casedup.
    David
     
  12. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    If I get a chance this weekend I will move some furniture about and fit the case to the wall. I can then put the movement in, but I don't have the hood back yet. That is being finished with a door, glass, and capitals and bases for the pillars. The last bit to be done will be the bellstand the blacksmith is fully booked up at the moment and it takes a very skilled one to make a posted frame bellstand, the plated frame ones are rather easier and available from clock parts suppliers.
     
  13. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Hood is back, new door, new glass, new pillars, new capitals and bases.

    DSC_0647.JPG
     
  14. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    Can't wait to see it all together, but I'm sure I'm not nearly as anxious as you are! It will certainly be a clock to cherish and enjoy for years to come.

    What do you have in store for the case to the right?

    Pat
     
  15. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Hoping to get it in place and together this weekend. The hood looks brilliant, I selected the style of capitals and bases from a 1690s clock which had the same pillars on the door. He has done a lot of work but it looks fantastic.

    I bought the case next to it very cheaply, it is a 12" dial mask, case is mid 18th century. I have a very nice 12" 8 day that needs a home (I have two but must chose one)
     
    PatH likes this.
  16. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Mr Knibb has his own space in the house now, just need to fix the case to the wall and fit the movement.

    DSC_0668.JPG
     
  17. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Picked up the bellstand for this from the blacksmith today. I don't suppose many of these are made the traditional way any more, he even made it from wrought iron!

    DSC_0765.JPG
     
  18. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Nick,

    That's a good piece of work. Did he use some old wrought iron? I didn't think the stuff was made any more.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  19. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    It is being made again, I had read about that and talked to him when we discussed it, he said he wanted to get some in to try it out anyway.

    He is over your way in Burley, originally trained as a toolmaker at Flight's but in the days when your apprenticeship included every shop and his favourite was the forge. His dad was a blacksmith so I suppose it was in his blood. He has also repaired quite a few clocks in his time so he is very much in the mould of the people who made the original.

    I'm very pleased with it.
     
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  20. KillerBean

    KillerBean New Member

    Mar 25, 2019
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    Hi Nick I was trying to find information about a longcase clock I have and happened upon this thread. The clock actually belongs to my father but it is in my possession, its a John Knibb similar to yours. I would be happy to take detailed photos for you if you wish.

    Dads clock used to work but the weight and pendulum have gone missing, if you dont mind me asking, where did you get your replacement from?

    JON_0814.JPG JON_0818.JPG

    Cheers ... KB ...
     
  21. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    That's very different to mine, it is a two handed clock and the style of the dial suggests later. It would be very interesting to see the movement to compare. Sadly the hour hand is a replacement. Not so sure about the minute.
     
  22. KillerBean

    KillerBean New Member

    Mar 25, 2019
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    I hadnt realised yours was only single handed, I thought it was showing 5 to 5. I'll try and get some pics of the movement for you. I have no idea of the history of dads clock TBH, he just wanted me to try and get it going for him.
     
  23. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I forgot about the pendulum. I usually have a few knocking about, I chose the best one I had and used that, after all it is a Knibb :)
     
  24. KillerBean

    KillerBean New Member

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    Ahh, you didn't buy it then. Does a pendulum have to be a specific weight at all, I do know the springy bit of metal at the top has to be a specific length for the clock.
     
  25. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Well I would have bought it at some point. Probably with a movement that was in the wrong case and already a marriage so I split it up. You can buy second hand pendulums or new ones on ebay, you will need a suspension feather where the two blocks are the correct distance apart. You can shorten a longer one or get one with a long bottom block.
     
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  26. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    My clocks often take a long time to get finished but this was definitely a marathon not a sprint. When I started this Sally was still alive and an active member, I still have the bell for her. Will always think of her when I see it.

    This is now ticking and striking in celebration of new life, I think it will take over as my bedroom clock for now.

    knibb in place 1.JPG knibb in place 2.JPG
     
  27. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Very exquisite and it seems to fit perfectly in that little nook. Funny how you can always seem to find room for one more...

    Tom
     
  28. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    There was an oak wellington there, now it has become Matthew's bedside table. He can't use the bedside light any more because he can't reach the light switch and he would be in shadow anyway :)

    Fortunately he has his own clock free bedroom to escape to.
     
  29. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    It’s taken a while but worth the wait as the result is superb....that’s a very attractive 320 year old clock
     
  30. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    yes it has found a great spot and I really appreciate it, definitely the most famous name in my collection!

    Tom said it had found a perfect spot, it took a bit of creativity fixing it there but I suppose at least there is no excuse for not cleaning behind it now. (It had to be this far out from the wall to avoid central heating pipes)

    DSC_1346.JPG
     
  31. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I have to say I adore this clock, and one of the things that gives me huge pleasure is winding it with that 8 day click. It is so smooth compared to a normal 30 hour clock.
     
    musicguy and bruce linde like this.

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