Jonas Barber, Winster long case

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by woodlawndon, Jun 13, 2019.

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  1. woodlawndon

    woodlawndon Registered User
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    I picked this one up at an estate sale just down the road from where I live and it's a big departure from the clocks I normally collect.

    From my limited reading, apparently there were 3 related Barber clockmakers. I also understand that Jonas Barber numbered his clocks but there is no evidence of numbering anywhere behind the dial or on the movement. I have temporarily set it up, it's running and striking well, the bell is quite loud. It stands 86 inches to the top of the hood.

    Among some other paperwork, there is a letter from a British Jeweler that dates the clock to 1760. I know there are a few brilliant experts of English clocks on this site and was very much hoping they could tell me a little bit more. There isn't much about Jonas Barber in the Bulletin. Thanks.
    Don

    3eZkvQPBQFKhklGTpb+R2Q.jpg ZJVNojOgRweTCos37ImBpQ.jpg pSqigcVAR8WxOKiuRU65hA.jpg mn1f9GN%R6Grtf4o%lBG7A.jpg 7g4YEoMyTUKyt29TKZJ+6Q.jpg jiNuIB7VQZux8gq6AG7Itg.jpg a6mfzd3+Sue8fubmE7DNrQ.jpg QePxddxQQ3y6UoXqx7DyoA.jpg
     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Definitely an early white dial, not convinced it is that early. Style was around 1770s to 1800.
     
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  3. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

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    There was a Jonas Barber working in 1760
    Loomes Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World lists:-
    Barber Jonas (11) Winster Westmorland Born c1718 son of Jonas Barber (1) died 1802
     
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  4. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    That explains why somebody thinks it was made in 1760 then. People look up in a book see a single date and use it to date everything the guy ever made.

    There is a bit more to dating clocks than that.
     
  5. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

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    I was going by the last paragraph, in the original post, which has 1760
    I would assume Jonas Barber (11) worked for 50-60 years which would cover that date
    It could have been Jonas Barber (1) who worked in Winster from 1727 and died in 1764
     
  6. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    That's very unlikely, even if he made it in the week of his death. 1764 would have been really early for a white dial, I don't know what proportion of the first white dials were arched.
     
  7. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    I think we can safely say this very nice clock wasn't made by Jonas Barber Senior. The best source of information I know of on Jonas Barber, senior and junior, is in the book Westmorland Clocks and Clockmakers by Loomes which contains a chapter on each of them though it is a small book, 120 pages in total. Perhaps the most interesting feature with regard to Jonas Barber Jnr is his movements, Loomes states he used a combination of latches and pins, typically a latch top left and bottom right and a pin top right and bottom left as viewed from the front plate. Apparently this was purely for the convenience of the maker and repairer as the movement could be clipped together quickly and easily using the latches and both hands would then be free to tap the pins in, it seems to be a most unusual practice and his father did not do so. He is also said to have marked the hammer arbor with a double incised ring at each end for reasons Loomes was unable to explain, other arbors are usually plain.

    As to numbering it seems the number is typically on the front plate below the hole for the hands and is in half inch high numbers, an asterisk indicates a single handed clock and a dagger/cross an 8 day clock, two handed 30 hour clocks have no additional mark to the number. He is is believed to have made over 1,400 clocks and most of his longcases are 30 hour, the aforementioned book contains a dating table for his numbering system which it is thought was an unbroken sequence often also containing a date. Loomes was of the opinion when the book was written in 1974 that the numbering for painted dial clocks starts from 1060 around 1778.

    There was a third Jonas Barber, the uncle of Jonas Barber Snr, who was a clockmaker at Ratcliffe Cross, London in the late 17th C and was a brother of the CC.

    I like the cord to trip the countwheel if the striking is out of synch, it saves having to take the hood off.
     
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  8. woodlawndon

    woodlawndon Registered User
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    Thank you gents, the breadth of knowledge on this site continues to amaze me every time I come here. The lack of numbering on mine is what has me intrigued, as per jmclaugh's research this may put it prior to 1778.

    I have ordered a book called Jonas Barber Clockmaker of Winster, Cave, B.W. Cave - Browne. This 269 page book is solely about the Barber family so hopefully I can learn some more. The book is coming from England so I likely won't receive it for a month. Thanks.
    Don
     
  9. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Nice find, very well made clock, will need some tlc to bring it back.
     
  10. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    No false plate on the dial which is often another indicator of an early painted dial.
     
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  11. Clockwise123

    Clockwise123 Registered User

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    Having been a regular observer of the board for a number of years thought the time was right to join - so first post!
    I live on the edge of the Lake District in the UK and have had an interest in clocks since a young child. I am a restorer with a particular interest in English Longcase and Fusee clocks (particularly Lake District makers) though anything can come across the bench. I choose not to repair modern Hermle and the like as I don`t need to nor do they interest me.

    I own several Barber clocks amongst others and have worked on a deal more over the last 40 years
    This Barber clock is a good example of Jonas juniors later clocks it will date to around 1780. Typical Westmoreland case of the day in oak with shapely trunk door. As already mentioned the movement will be numbered on the front plate and will be clearly visible once dial removed as will the latches to the movement pillars. Further point of note to the movement being the four prong drive pinion to the count wheel. These later Barber junior movements are robustly made. They, by construction, are usually a joy to work on if not heavily abused.
    The only part which on initial examination does not look original being the drive pulley - of little consequence. A nice find. Do share the clocks number once you view it which will tie the date precisely. The book by Cave-Browne-Cave is a detailed reference and well worth having but not an easy read. Barbers business was taken over by Henry Philipson on Jonas juniors death and it is believed Philipson was probably responsible for manufacture of most of barbers output from around 1790.
    Could I just point out most 30 hour painted dials did not have false plates.
     
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  12. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Did any? I've never seen one but painted dial are not my thing.
     
  13. Clockwise123

    Clockwise123 Registered User

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    Rarely, the only couple I have seen being where late larger 8-day dial was fitted to a 30hour movement. These were not marriages. They are certainly the exception not the rule. One frequently encounters 30hour clocks of course made to look like 8 day with dummy winding holes and sometimes a seconds hand pinned to the dial which does not rotate! But yes generally no false plate on a 30 hour painter.
     
  14. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I have not yet seen a white dial with dummy winders, not uncommon with brass dials. Some were quite sophisticated, others just ringing to suggest it. Never seen a dummy seconds hand either, again you can get ringing on a brass dial.
     
  15. Clockwise123

    Clockwise123 Registered User

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    Sometimes makes you wonder who they were trying to fool/ impress? A clock running and keeping time with seconds hand stationary would fool nobody! How about an anti-clockwise rotating seconds hand on a 30 hour I have had one of those too, the seconds dial was however marked for clockwise rotation! Quite bizarre.
     
  16. woodlawndon

    woodlawndon Registered User
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    Clockwise123, what a wonderful first post, thank you very much for the information. This Barber clock has become my far and away favourite, we love it. I have it set up, it's time keeping is spot on and friends I've shown it to are quite impressed with its good condition.

    From the paperwork left inside, it was imported to Canada in 1962 from a port in Liverpool. The Jeweller I mentioned earlier was from Windermere.

    I was going to wait until the book arrived before breaking it down, but my curiosity is surely peaked now. I will have a go during the next week. Thanks again, much appreciated.
    Don
     
  17. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    Ah yes you are correct about the 30 hour not having false plates. I have read that before but have never seen one in the flesh as they aren't my usual style as i'm a brass dial collector normally. I should have looked closer at the dial! As the dial is painted elsewhere and purchased by the clockmaker it was fitted later with the false plate allowing adjustments to the fitting. Given it is 30hr it doesn't need to be fitted with winding holes as the spacing isn't important and hence no false plate to allow for correct placement.

    Quite often the dial painter will have painted his name of the back of the dial.

    Cheers
     
  18. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    My understanding is falseplates were typically supplied pre-fitted to diasl to the clockmaker though obviously they could be bought separately. Their big advantage is it removes any issue with the dial feet fitting to the front plate of the movement due to some part of the movement being in the way. By the time complete dials and movements could be bought in there would be no such issue.
     
  19. Clockwise123

    Clockwise123 Registered User

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    Quite correct. 30 hour painted dials usually have only three dial feet as well causing less of a positioning issue. Usually there is much less happening on the front plate also - unless we have a rarer 30 hour with rack strike of which few were made - the saving over a conventional 8 day in this instance must have been small.
     
  20. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I think the real reason was that falseplates were part of the centralising mass produced market. I suspect that the 30 hours were seen as becoming niche, they didn't last that long in the white dial period. The dialmakers were targeting the higher end clocks with their fancy falseplate. When white dials first came in they were a premium product, more expensive than the brass dials they were replacing.Eight day clocks were their target market.
     
  21. Clockwise123

    Clockwise123 Registered User

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    Appreciate your train of thought but don`t fully concur. 30 hours, particularly in the provinces, were made almost right through the painted dial period - certainly until the 1840s, it generally being accepted traditional longcases were finished by 1870s. In my part of the world 30 hour movements were still largely, though not universally, being made (not bought in almost finished) by the clockmaker who`s name was on the dial until certainly the 1830`s. Construction style being the giveaway here. Look how long the birdcage movement continued fitted to painters down south.
     
  22. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I've had a few 30 hour white dials that have come lumped together in job lots, I'd never buy one as my interests are in earlier brass dials, I've never seen anybody successfully explain why 30 hours didn't get falseplates but falseplates themselves didn't last that long.

    You certainly do get some quirky provincial white dial movements so they weren't all factory made as you say. I bought one recently for the weights, very unusual movement.
     
  23. woodlawndon

    woodlawndon Registered User
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    Clockwise, if you'd be so kind, I'd love to see some pics of your Jonas Barber clocks.
    Don
     
  24. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

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    That dial is signed on the back James Wilson Birmingham. He worked 1777-1809. Obviously quite similar to the one in this thread. The painted scene at the top makes me think later in that time period.

    Dial Simpson.JPG
     
  25. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    I agree about a full explanation as to why falseplates were rarely used on 30 hour white dial longcases. In the book mentioned below Loomes says he's only ever seen them on 30 hour clocks with dummy winding holes and those had 8 day dials fitted. As Clockwise mentioned attaching the dial feet directly to the front plate of a 30 hour movement poses less of a problem with regard to parts of the movement being in the way than an 8 day movement, a point Loomes also makes, so perhaps that's why and obviously no falseplate is cheaper. It is worth bearing in mind holes in these dial were pre-drilled before being painted as doing it after would very likely cause paint chipping and spoil the look of the dial.

    Loomes in his book White Dial Clocks has the following on the general use of falseplates on 8 day clocks;
    With falseplate, unusual 1770-1780, normal 1780-1840, unusual 1840-1850.
    Without falseplate, normal 1770-1790, unusual 1790-1840, normal 1840-1870.
     
  26. Clockwise123

    Clockwise123 Registered User

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  27. Clockwise123

    Clockwise123 Registered User

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    Don,

    Will see what I can do, I am one of those few individuals who manages not to use a mobile phone, social media and all that nonsense. My children find this quite incredible.
     
  28. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Digital cameras existed long before smart phones and social media.
     
  29. woodlawndon

    woodlawndon Registered User
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    Finally got a chance to have a look at the movement today. Turns out it is numbered, No 1308. I don't have my book from England yet to date it but I'm going to guess this would place it around 1790.

    The movement is quite dirty and has been punched in the past but not too bad overall, probably just a couple of bushings. I don't have any bushings this thick, will have to order, quite the chunks of brass. I'll post a pic all shined up when done.
    Don

    fullsizeoutput_4b1.jpeg fullsizeoutput_4b3.jpeg
     
  30. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    In the book by Loomes I mentioned above movement #1311 is dated, not estimated, to 1787 and is said to be a clock by John Philipson with a Barber movement.
     
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  31. Clockwise123

    Clockwise123 Registered User

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    I have number 1361 which dates to circa 1794. Punch marks aside 1308 does not look too bad at all.
    A point of note on the strike side being all of the wheelwork is marked to allow for ease of assembly of the striking train to get the timing right between warning and the hammer not being on the rise, the marks on the great wheel being particularly clear in the photo. The original click and chain - a unique pitch to Barber movements is also in place. A really nice original movement a super find.
     
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  32. Clockwise123

    Clockwise123 Registered User

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    1311 is a rather special musical clock made by John Philipson who worked for the Barbers. It is now in the Abbott Hall Museum in Kendal - not I have to say presently in very good order Abbott Hall do not appear to appreciate the clocks in their collection. The Barbers, renowned for fine work, only ever are recorded for one musical clock which is not signed and described in detail in Cave Browne Caves book - though it was discovered by Brian Loomes. I had clock number 1312 for restoration last year I copy some of my notes from my invoice;

    Jonas Barber Winster No 1312 dated 1787

    An interesting clock. Number 1312 is one number ahead of the John Philipson musical clock in Abbot Hall Museum 1311.

    The back of the dial of your clock retains the dial painters job ticket which provided details to the dial artist of type of decoration etc. – it is now very difficult to read but the information remains. These tickets were either removed after the dial were painted or have simply disintegrated over time and are not frequently seen. The cockerel must have been a special request, other Barber dials have also been noted with this feature.

    In addition, a brush stroke of dial paint has been applied onto which is written the clocks number and date of manufacture 1787, Jonas Barbers signature and in the same handwriting Dean – was this for who the clock was made?
     
  33. woodlawndon

    woodlawndon Registered User
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    Thanks again guys, most interesting. This label is on the back of my dial but I can't really decipher anything.
    Don

    fullsizeoutput_4c1.jpeg
     
  34. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    That's fascinating, especially the little table. Perhaps a magnifier would help? I can read gilt on one line. Perhaps it is the work details for the dial painter? The monogram in black is probably the painter.
     
  35. Clockwise123

    Clockwise123 Registered User

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    These tables are tiny and are usually difficult to read, even when magnified, made worse the passage of time. The "gilt" refers to the gilded gesso around the corner spandrels. There is sometimes mention of colours for flowers and I have seen one which clearly said "ship" and indeed there was a ship in the dial arch. An observation, based on only a tiny sample of dials observed with these tickets, is they were always well painted.
     
  36. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    The tables are great, never seen one before but then I don't see many painted dials closeup. You rarely get much more than a scratched 12 on the back of a brass dial chapter ring, plus scratches to number the spandrels. Occasionally depthing marks or practice letters by an engraver, and rarer still a set of initials. Rarest of all the signatures of other clockmakers who collaborated with the clockmaker who signed the front.
     
  37. woodlawndon

    woodlawndon Registered User
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    #37 woodlawndon, Jul 1, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
    Here's a closer pic of the label. "XXXX gilt painted". XaisXX?

    fullsizeoutput_4c2.jpeg

    *edit* Could it say "raised gilt painted"?
     
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  38. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    Maybe "raised gilt painted"?
     
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  39. woodlawndon

    woodlawndon Registered User
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    That's what I see too, I had edited my post above.
    Don
     
  40. Clockwise123

    Clockwise123 Registered User

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    Once you start cleaning the movement (sympathetically of course) you will no doubt find some scratched repairers marks. I would be most surprised if you did not find early 19th century makings by Henry Philipson who took over the Barber business in 1802 before moving from Winster to Ulverston circa 1804 and members of the Tyson family from Gosforth in Cumberland. It fascinates me why, having owned and handled so many Barber clocks over the years, these same names occur together more frequently on Barber clocks than by any other maker from this area.
     
  41. woodlawndon

    woodlawndon Registered User
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    Well, you were correct Clockwise, as I begin to clean the movement there are at least 5 signatures behind the plate. Two of them are very difficult to read, one of those "might" be Phillipson, I'll keep trying. One of them I think says J Chas Stewart, another is Bowness and another I believe is B Awry Nov 30, 1874.

    Interesting stuff but the cleaning is very slow going, fun though.
    Don
     
  42. woodlawndon

    woodlawndon Registered User
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    Further cleaning has revealed that the name scratched in the plate is not Stewart but J Crosthwaite. There is a clockmaker named John Crosthwaite working in 1787 but he is from Dublin, have no idea if he is the same.
    Don
     
  43. woodlawndon

    woodlawndon Registered User
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    Ready for reassembly, have missed that bell striking.

    fullsizeoutput_4db.jpeg
     
  44. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Hmm, that's something I never hear said in our house.
     
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