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John Moore & Sons Bracket Clock...

bwclock

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Feb 17, 2015
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I bought this clock on eBay around the start of the Covid pandemic. I have a Handley and Moore astro dial regulator with a well-made movement and was curious if the quality continued when the firm was re-named John Moore & Sons after Handley's death. It did, which may have contributed to their success at selling their movements to other contemporary clockmakers.

The eBay description was limited to the following and a number of photos:
"[SUB]In beautiful condition, however, the coil portion of the movement in the back exhibits slight rust " . [/SUB]

This description glosses over the fact that the clock was missing a piece of return molding(see photo) and that the brass was deeply pitted/stained, presumably from the warm salt air in California. It took approximately two extra days to clean the brass up as some pieces were not removable and had to be polished in situ, requiring care to not mar the wood while so doing. Despite the Seller's misrepresentation I was pleased with the clock. Anytime a clock shows up unscathed by the shipping ordeal, particularly a large, heavy clock such as this one, is cause for celebration.

The clock measures approximately 24" tall by 14" wide. The dial cleaned up nicely. There was a photo(attached) in the eBay listing showing a scratch, so this was not a surprise. It is still present as I am not a fan of sanding dials but it is barely noticeable, absent close inspection.

There is a door with a lock on the right(time) side of the case which allows one to regulate the clock or use the pendulum holdfast without having to move the clock to gain access through the back door.

The movement was in good condition and is finely crafted. The serial number is stamped on both the front and back plates and also on the barrel caps. The scratches on the backplate of the movement in the area of the crutch bridge, seen in the photo of the restored movement's backplate, were apparent in the original listing. I cleaned up and blued the screws later, except the hammerhead one which I did blued ahead of time as I occasionally forget to. Also attached is a photo of the barrel hook peened rivet, to my eye more elegant than the typical round one.

The pendulum has a steel rod and a heavy bulbous bob(fat bob). The bob alone weighs 1 pound 9 5/8 ounces.This style(steel rod, fat bob) is also seen on some McCabe and Vulliamy clocks.

The first four photos are from the eBay listing.

Bruce

eBay Front, .jpg eBay mvmt.back.jpg eBay pendulum.png eBay scratch on dial.jpg Front View.jpg Side View.jpg through side door.jpg Molding missing .JPG Frpl..JPG Bkpl .JPG barrel hook rivet .JPG pend. .JPG barrel caps.png
 

zedric

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Aug 8, 2012
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Nice clock

There is a booklet entitled "A List of Church, Turret and Musical Clocks, Manufactured by John Moore and Sons" which was printed in 1877. That states that at the time of writing, Handley and Moore had made approximately 15,180 domestic clocks

Given this, with the serial number 18,201 it would seem that your clock dates to around 1877 or so, and may even have been in production at the time the author was visiting the factory.
 

DeanT

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Mar 22, 2009
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Bruce, the clock came out great.... :thumb: .

Ralph
Yes it's a good looking clock that screams quality craftsmanship! Interesting that although much later it has a lot of styling seen on 18thC bracket clocks.

Nice one.
 

bwclock

Registered User
Feb 17, 2015
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Nice clock

There is a booklet entitled "A List of Church, Turret and Musical Clocks, Manufactured by John Moore and Sons" which was printed in 1877. That states that at the time of writing, Handley and Moore had made approximately 15,180 domestic clocks

Given this, with the serial number 18,201 it would seem that your clock dates to around 1877 or so, and may even have been in production at the time the author was visiting the factory.
Hi Zedric, Thanks for the information. One of the fun things about some of the older, named clocks is trying to find out some history about the maker and the times in which they flourished. I was able to find information about their original shop in Clerkenwell and the later expansion. It turns out John Moore did not live at the shop location and commuted; no mention of how but one might suspect a successful businessman travelled by hired buggy. There is nothing in the old records about how horses were stabled if indeed any were at these old clockmaker shops. Sometimes it seems as if the non-horological details are more interesting than the clocks.

Bruce
 

gmorse

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Jan 7, 2011
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Hi Bruce,
It turns out John Moore did not live at the shop location and commuted; no mention of how but one might suspect a successful businessman travelled by hired buggy.
There would have been Hansom cabs, (taxis) which were one-horse light, two-wheeled covered carriages in which the driver sat on a platform behind the passengers, as well as more substantial four-wheeled carriages known as 'growlers'. There were also carriages for hire known as 'Hackney Carriages' dating from the 16th century onwards.

Regards,

Graham
 

bwclock

Registered User
Feb 17, 2015
205
140
43
Country
Yes it's a good looking clock that screams quality craftsmanship! Interesting that although much later it has a lot of styling seen on 18thC bracket clocks.

Nice one.
Hi Ralph, Hi Dean,

Thanks for your kind words. This clock does not come with a "repeat the hour at will" lever, you know, where you pull a cord on the right side of the case and the hour strike will release and peal. The attached photo shows one on a different clock, by way of illustration. This is an inexpensive feature to add to the clock and it would give the salesperson and easy way to demonstrate the sound and something extra to blab about. The addition of this feature to English time and strike bracket clocks must be whimsical as some clocks have it and some do not. I just checked five English t&s bracket clocks(James McCabe, Barraud & Lund, Brockbank & Atkins) contemporary with the John Moore and none of these had this feature either. An older pad top bracket clock by Barraud does.

Bruce

repeat at will eg..jpg
 

bwclock

Registered User
Feb 17, 2015
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Hi Bruce,


There would have been Hansom cabs, (taxis) which were one-horse light, two-wheeled covered carriages in which the driver sat on a platform behind the passengers, as well as more substantial four-wheeled carriages known as 'growlers'. There were also carriages for hire known as 'Hackney Carriages' dating from the 16th century onwards.

Regards,

Graham
Hi Graham,

Thanks for the transportation information. I just looked up all three types. It is interesting that there was little concern about the driver being exposed to the elements in those times. I suppose if one driver perished due pneumonia there was another to take his place. I recall seeing older Rolls Royce cars where the driver compartment was not protected from the elements. I am assuming that it rains in England, at least occasionally.

Regards,

Bruce
 

gmorse

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Jan 7, 2011
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Hi Bruce,
I am assuming that it rains in England, at least occasionally.
Yes, now that you mention it, I recall that it does, occasionally.

The drivers' comfort was a very low priority in the design of most vehicles as compared to that of the passengers.

Regards,

Graham
 

zedric

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Aug 8, 2012
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The addition of this feature to English time and strike bracket clocks must be whimsical as some clocks have it and some do not.

Bruce
The repeat feature was quite common on older clocks, which were made when there was no convenient lighting available at night time . so pulling a cord to tell the time was far more convenient than finding a fire that had not yet gone out and lighting a taper and taking that to the clock, for example…

But with the coming of electric lighting where you could switch it on and off easily to check the time at will, the feature became redundant. Some kept it because customers were conservative and wanted the feature anyway, but some customers must have thought it old fashioned by the mid Victorian era.
 

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