John Mercer of Hythe 30 hour 1720s

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by novicetimekeeper, Aug 8, 2019.

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  1. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
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    John Mercer was a very well known chap in Hythe in Kent as he was Mayor more than once.

    My first ever longcase that I bought is still in our hall, it is an 8 day by him. Brian Loomes originally dated it to 1720 but I believe it is 1730.

    This one is in an almost identical case, I think it is probably a little earlier, closer to Loomes' original date for the 8 day. It has a posted frame movement, a single bird on the dial, a common feature of Mercer dials and other makers of the area, and a date aperture with ringing which also appears on the 8 day.

    I left a bid under the lower estimate and it went under the hammer for that bid. I don't know if that was taken as a maiden bid. There were others following it and it was sold in an auction house in Kent close to Hythe so I was surprised to win it. plenty of hotels in the area I would have thought would like a local clock but he was pretty prolific with a long working life and a son to follow him so perhaps they all have one.

    1037 (1).jpg 1037 (2).jpg 1037-1.jpg 1037-movement1 (1).jpg 1037-movement2.jpg 1037.1 (1).jpg
     
  2. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Nice. It will look great after the "Nick" touch. When are you starting the addition?

    Tom
     
  3. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Why do the backboards generally have a number of large holes? I presume from mounting to the wall? Or, were some of these boards from recycled lumber when first installed? I doubt they were environmentally conscience about that back then, but they all seem to have lots of holes, some in lower places, which seems odd for mounting.

    Tom
     
  4. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    They are for fixing to the wall, as the cases are not really strong enough to stand free without induced sympathetic vibration when the weights get near level with the pendulum.

    Originally it would have been with nails

    By addition you mean what we call an extension I guess, I have no funds for that, all spent on clocks, but I have a space for this one. Bit more difficult with the one I bought this morning.
     
  5. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Yes, addition = extension (we use either). Another one? There does always seem to be room for one more somehow, doesn't there?

    Tom
     
  6. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I really cannot see this one getting a home in the house, but it is small. It is by a maker I know well, very well known provincial maker, I always fancied one. I need to study it though, I'm not 100% sure about it yet.

    A different thing from the Mercer, that seems to be 100%, a good honest clock in its original case.
     
  7. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Finally got to pick this up today.

    It is very interesting having two clocks by the same maker in original cases. They are probably 10 years apart and also quite different in price and market, but you can see similarities in the case, and in the dials. The movements are completely different of course but I will have a look at collets and compare.
     
  8. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
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    Took some comparative pics. It is without doubt in my mind the same case maker, although there are differences. This cheaper clock is mostly crown sawn not quarter sawn. It has a peg construction on the hood door which may be a repair, peg construction is very unusual in longcase. It has very similar doors other than that with identical marking out. Same edging to the hood side windows. Slightly different moulding plane used on the cavetto moulding under the hood. Same moulding plane on the door.

    Same iron nail construction.

    View attachment 546731 IMG_3645.JPG IMG_3646.JPG IMG_3647.JPG IMG_3648.JPG IMG_3649.JPG IMG_3650.JPG IMG_3651.JPG IMG_3652.JPG IMG_3653.JPG
     
  9. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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  10. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Although the eight day has a blind fret and the thirty hour doesn't I'm not convinced that the thirty hour hasn't been altered. There may have been a fret in there before which was later replaced because it was in poor condition.
     
  11. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    what is a fret, blind or otherwise?
     
  12. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    It's short for sound fret, where the noise comes out, don't you have them on guitars? You might call it a frieze?

    It is either on the side of the hood (bonnet) or above the door. Not always there. Most longcase will have glass on the sides but very early ones would have had wooden frets.A blind fret looks like a fret but is not pierced through.
     
  13. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    Oh… I think we would call those more fretwork rather than frets. Frets are the vertical metal raised pieces on a fingerboard of a guitar or mandolin or bass that when you press down on the string set the distance between that metal piece and the Bridge saddle to define the pitch of note you’re playing. I think you’re talking about scrolled fret work on the side panel access doors that let the strike and chime sounds ring out.
     
  14. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Let's not fret over frets... But I'm glad you asked about blind ones.

    Tom
     
  15. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    I thought a blind fret is when you close your eyes because you are too afraid to see.....:D

    Uhralt
     
  16. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I think we have been sidetracked by frets :)

    Anyway the clock is now reassembled and stood by my chair in the sitting room. It is on the list for a clean and tidy but for now it looks very happy.
     
  17. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    Looks like there was a fret which has been replaced by a different wood that the beetles seem to like eating.....
     
  18. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Yes I think so too.
     

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