JUST BOUGHT THIS JAMES FOY OF TAUNTON 1788 LONG CASE CLOCK

Chris Klausen

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Feb 17, 2020
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Hi everyone I just picked this up, restrung it and it's running fine! The coolest thing is it has a ton of writing. Inside the door there's a date March 11, 1788 which I think is probably the date it was finished. There's also another date 2/79 and another March 1788. On the back of the dial is initials and a date of 1848. Also an 1860 date. Any comments would be welcome. Thanks!

IMG_5116.jpg IMG_5117.jpg IMG_5119.jpg IMG_5112.jpg IMG_5113.jpg IMG_5114.jpg IMG_5115.jpg IMG_5108.JPG IMG_5111.jpg
 
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Jessk09

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Hi everyone I just picked this up, restrung it and it's running fine! The coolest thing is it has a ton of writing. Inside the door there's a date March 11, 1788 which I think is probably the date it was finished. There's also another date 2/79 and another March 1788. On the back of the dial is initials and a date of 1848. Also an 1860 date. Any comments would be welcome. Thanks!

View attachment 651157 View attachment 651159 View attachment 651165 View attachment 651167 View attachment 651168 View attachment 651169 View attachment 651170 View attachment 651171 View attachment 651172
Also, those dates you mentioned are probably repair dates. Although, there is no 2/79 date, unless it was marked in February ‘72.
 

Chris Klausen

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Feb 17, 2020
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I'm just looking for anyone that might see something I missed. Yes I'm sure they are all repair dates except for the March 11, 1788. I believe that's the date it was finished because it's inside the door not scratched into the back of the dial or the movement.
 

novicetimekeeper

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How do you know it is James and not John?

I don't fully understand the top of the hood.

Other than that welcome to English longcase!
 

Chris Klausen

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I saw multiple references to a James Foy in Taunton around 1790 but not a John yet. The top of the hood is a totally different piece I've only seen 2 others like it. I was told it was in the same family since it was new. It lived in Bristol Connecticut for decades but now it's on Long Island with it's 10 new brother and sisters!
 

novicetimekeeper

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I only have Bellchambers which is the lesser of the two Somerset references,

They show

1770-84 Foy, James W
ca Foy, Robert W
Foy, John W
I don't fully understand the entry so I was hoping you did!
 

Chris Klausen

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Feb 17, 2020
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Thank you I'll do some more research! You've been a huge help over the last year or so with my clocks I appreciate you always taking the time to weigh in Thank you!
 

Chris Radano

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I'm not sure why there's a box on top, that is something I wouldn't expect. And a swan neck pediment in front of the box. But the pediment looks old, I would say it looks original. Also the pendulum rub mark inside the case lines up with the pendulum. So looks rather original to me.
 

novicetimekeeper

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I've never seen a blind fret carved into a swan neck. I think it may have been a caddy top or something and has lost it.
 

Chris Radano

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I thought maybe it was a caddy top, but wouldn't this be a little late? You know more than I.
The pediment looks English carved, it doesn't look outlandish to me but I usually collect early 19th c. It looks old to me but maybe not quite as old as the case. Anyway obviously there were height issues at a previous home, so often longcase tops today survive only in abbreviated formats
 

novicetimekeeper

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I agree caddy tops are generally earlier. I can't explain what is going on other than it needs to be a taller hood.
 

zedric

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Also, those dates you mentioned are probably repair dates. Although, there is no 2/79 date, unless it was marked in February ‘72.
Jessk - I’m not sure what you mean when you say there is no 2/79 date? Are you saying you can’t see 2/79 written anywhere? Dates in the UK and most of the world are given with the day,month and year in that order, so 2/79 would be a date in Feb ‘79, in whatever century the repair work was done.
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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novicetimekeeper

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Is the box like structure on top of the hood an extension of it or an added structure?

The truncated broken arch top looks like a fragment sort of stuck on top of the clock. Does not integrate well with the design.

RM
It looks like an added structure. I would think it gives space for the bell.
 

Jessk09

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Jessk - I’m not sure what you mean when you say there is no 2/79 date? Are you saying you can’t see 2/79 written anywhere? Dates in the UK and most of the world are given with the day,month and year in that order, so 2/79 would be a date in Feb ‘79, in whatever century the repair work was done.
Oops, i just made a typo, i meant to say February ‘79
 

jmclaugh

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The top is odd but it's a nice longcase especially the seconds dial and engraving round the calendar aperture. Loomes has a John and a James Foy in Taunton both with the date 1784 and for good measure a Robert also 1784.
 

Chris Klausen

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Feb 17, 2020
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Wow lots of Foy's in Taunton making clocks back then. There are so many dates on this clock which I love. Discovering the history is so much fun!
1788
1799
2/79
1848
1860
1915
So far
 

Chris Klausen

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Feb 17, 2020
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Hi guys. I had this clock running really well except the piece holding the anchor was slipping. All I did was stop it from slipping and now it runs fine except it's running BACKWARDS! Please HELP!
 

NigelW

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1788 would be very late for a brass, square, matted centre dial with minute divisions like that, even in provincial Somerset, but the lettering of the signature is unusually late in style. The illustration you have just posted is of a 30 hour clock. Yours could be a conversion but there is no sign of it from the pictures you originally posted (plugged holes in the front plate are the usual giveaway). I would say that dial was made a couple of decade earlier.
 

zedric

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Nice piece of detective work though. And you never know what provincial customers were asking for...
 

novicetimekeeper

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I don't think it has been converted, it has 4 dial feet. I'm quite comfortable with it being a fairly late brass dial too with that scalloped edge sunken second subsidiary which is quite a late thing. It could be 70s, but anything around the last quarter seems to work. Those spandrels are no help, they were used from 1709 to the end of brass dials.
 
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novicetimekeeper

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Jevan

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Jul 31, 2014
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Hopefully of some interest, this is a white dial clock made by Pulman of Axminster.

Although the clock is not without restoration I believe the basic structure to be correct, it is interesting in as much as the hood side & box side are the same piece of wood suggesting in this case the box was part of the design.

Added later due to memory lapse.
Thinking back to the 1970's when it was restored I now begin to recall the hood was in poor condition although my memory still imagines there were enough original pieces to accurately restore to the original concept.

Axminster 1.JPG Axminster 2.JPG
 
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novicetimekeeper

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Hopefully of some interest, this is a white dial clock made by Pulman of Axminster.

Although the clock is not without restoration I believe the basic structure to be correct, it is interesting in as much as the hood side & box side are the same piece of wood suggesting in this case the box was part of the design.

Added later due to memory lapse.
Thinking back to the 1970's when it was restored I now begin to recall the hood was in poor condition although my memory still imagines there were enough original pieces to accurately restore to the original concept.

View attachment 653425 View attachment 653426
Yes I agree, that seems conclusively original. Though it does make you wonder why, given it has a fixed back to it which suggests it has nothing to do with making space for the bell.
 

Jevan

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Jul 31, 2014
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Below are some more images of the Cole of Barnstaple clock I pictured earlier, the clock also has a similar fixed back to the hood suggesting the bell was not a consideration.

I have always naively assumed the box was just a different case style with no practical purpose, it has never occurred to me that the bell could be positioned high enough to warrant a box-top extension but I have wondered if the deliberate unused holes I have at times noticed in these boxes are added to more clearly hear the striking.

The Cole movement is perhaps a marriage as it does not sit altogether convincingly on the case trunk so perhaps not a good example to use as a reference.

Cole Barnstaple (2).jpg Cole Barnstaple (3).jpg Cole Barnstaple (4).jpg
 
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novicetimekeeper

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I used to have an M Cole of Barnstaple but I sold it, had no case.
 

novicetimekeeper

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I have a caddy top with holes in the top, they would have been put there to make the bell more audible.
 

Leigh Extence

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James W. Foy is recorded in Taunton before 1752 when he was paid £18-0-0 for Righting and Cleaning the Church Clock. This was presumably the local Taunton church clock in which car park I used to leave my car when acting as the horological consultant to Greenslade, Taylor, Hunt auctioneers across the road. He was still working until at least 1803. James is known to have been in a partnership with a John Foy in 1784, becoming James Foy and Co. the following year.

The two known makers with John as a part of their name are Robert John Foy who is recorded working in Taunton from before 1768 until at least 1797 as a watchmaker, jeweller and goldsmith and Henry John Foy recorded in Taunton from May 26th 1774 when he was apprenticed to Henry Gard in Exeter until 1778. Interestingly an oak eight-day longcase with a flat-top signed Henry John Foy, Taunton was sold locally at Lawrences auctioneers in 1989.
Other clockmakers from the Foy family are recorded in the area including Philip and Thomas in Taunton and Walter in nearby Watchet.
Info from Jim Moore's book, The Clockmakers of Somerset 1650-1900.

The chimney or box sitting on the hood is a fairly common feature of clocks from this area at this time and often sits behind a swan-neck pediment. I have one at present, albeit later in date, with this original hood configuration signed for Pearse of Axminster, a few miles south of Taunton.

Clocks_002 (2) (744x1024).jpg
 
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Chris Klausen

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That was hugely helpful!! Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed explanation it is much appreciated!
 

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