L. Marti ??

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by mrpowers, Feb 12, 2018.

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  1. mrpowers

    mrpowers Registered User

    Feb 7, 2009
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    I picked up a wonderful slate French clock today. I pulled the works to see a manufacturer but nothing is stamped but 746 and 46 under. It looks like L. Marti style to me. Can you help identify this one?

    IMG_20180212_192359.jpg IMG_20180212_221620.jpg
     
  2. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    Your pics show a french black marble clock made around 1880-1900 with rack strike.The movement maker probably will remain anonymous since there is no maker´s mark in the typical location under the bell.There is no such thing as a "Marti style", Marti was one of three prolific makers of movements,the others were Japi and Vincenti . The numbers below represent a kind of serial number with three digits-the middle hidden under the tapered pin of the lower movement pillar- and the two digit for the pendulum length in lignes and pouces (french inches).For more infos I recommend N.Thorpe´s The French Marble Clock,used copies often come up for cheap.A nice and exellent quality clock,congrats!
    Burkhard
     
  3. mrpowers

    mrpowers Registered User

    Feb 7, 2009
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    Burkhard, thank you for the information. I'm always disappointed when the manufacturer is unknown. It is a beautiful clock. I purchased a second one. I took a look at that one, the same thing, no makers mark. The second one is even nicer with the open escapement. Too bad the maker is unknown.

    Thanks for the information on the book. I will find a copy to add to my library.

    Thanks
    Michael

    IMG_20180212_192409.jpg
     
  4. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Feb 22, 2010
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    Hello Michael,
    There's a good article in the current NAWCC Bulletin titled "The Rise and Fall of the Paris Carriage Clock Industry". As I understand it, the French Clock Industry began to respond to American Mass Production with specialization. Both high and lower quality unbranded "blancs-roulants", or movements, were manufactured and sent to "Finishers" who took the movement, procured dials, hands, gongs, escapements and cases to assemble the complete clocks which were then sold to Retailers or their agents. That applies to the Carriage Clock segment but I think it probably applies more generally to other French Clocks as well. Who made your clocks? The French Clock Industry did. I'm sure Burkhard's reference on French Marble Clocks will be more pertinent for your search for information. One barrier, as you dig deeper, might be the language itself. Many reference books on French Clocks are untranslated. I've also been told that many of the records of the Industry in general were lost/destroyed during the 20th Century European Wars. They're beautiful, well constructed clocks though. Very delicate and unforgiving to work on. I haven't personally gotten around to very many yet, just a couple of Crystal Regulators.

    Enjoy and have fun!
     
  5. tkmc37

    tkmc37 Registered User
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    Feb 26, 2017
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    Often the retailers would not want the makers marks visible on the back plate, in response to this, some makers marked the edge of the movement or the inside of the plates, I have come across examples of both.

    Nice looking clock!

    Tim
     
  6. mrpowers

    mrpowers Registered User

    Feb 7, 2009
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    Thanks Tim, I will surely check the edge of the movements this evening. I wouldn't have thought to look there. More to come. Thanks everyone!
     
  7. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    allthough new information has come to light the last years the book recommended still is valid today and covers the whole subject including tips for servicing and repair of the movement;and it´s a pleasant read as well.The second clock is impressive,congrats!
    Burkhard
     
  8. zedric

    zedric Registered User
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    The French clock industry specialisation was largely driven by the developments made possible by the industrial revolution - and was accelerated the introduction of the concept of factories, where people went to work rather than providing out-work, the development of tools to enable multiple pieces to be worked at once, and so on. The factories at first would not be what we consider as factories now, but these developed over time. There is quite a lot of description in Charles Allix and Peter Boonert's book "Carriage clocks: Their history and development." Antique Collectors Club Ltd, 1974, and this is still one of the best books in English bout the development of the clock industry in general in France in the 19th century.

    At the start of the 19th century there is still a variation and individuality in many in clock mechanisms, but there was a significant drive to reduce costs, as evidenced by the literature at the time, and by mid century things were pretty much standardised. Later in the century with new competition from the German and American manufacturers the expansion of the factory system made possible greater cost reductions.
     
  9. macaw

    macaw Registered User
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    "Very delicate and unforgiving to work on" I disagree. I love working on them, except when I have to repivot, then I use many bad words.
     
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  10. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    I love to work on them too. I guess that's the problem: It is easy to break a pivot during re-assembly. Key is not to put any pressure on the plates while getting all the pivots inside their holes.

    Uhralt
     
  11. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Feb 22, 2010
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    I haven't done so, but this is the caution I was referring to. The fact that the pivots and arbors are very hard steel supposedly makes re-pivoting difficult as well. Fortunately I haven't had to grapple with these issues yet but as I said, I've only worked on a couple of movements from Crystal Regulators.
     
  12. macaw

    macaw Registered User
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    Or answer the phone while assembling and knock it all over!
     
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  13. macaw

    macaw Registered User
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    Taking the temper out of the end of the arbor with a torch, softens the end and makes drilling much easier.
     
  14. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Yes. I've read about doing that. Haven't had to contend with the problem yet though.. I definitely wouldn't want to run across a broken pivot off of a hardened arbor leaf pinion right on the end. Something best avoided but I'm fairly confident that I could handle it if it comes up. I always have the Message Board to come to for guidance if/when needed, right? We have a few French mantel and figural clocks. I'll get around to them... if I don't run out of time first. Regards
     
  15. mrpowers

    mrpowers Registered User

    Feb 7, 2009
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    One more question on these French movements. The first clock I had picture is running but it's really fast. I lowered the bob to the bottom but still way fast. I even put on another pendulum I had that was another 1/2" longer. Closer but still fast. It looks like the pendulum is a replacement.

    The back plate has 4 6 stamped on it.
    Said it was lignes and pouces for the pendulum length. I tried some conversion sites but not sure what I'm doing here. What does the 4 6 convert to?

    BTW, I found the book listed above and ordered it. Just waiting for it to come in and learn more.
     
  16. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    4 pouces and 6 lignes convert to around 11.5 cm,but that is the theoretical pendulum length only.If I were You I´d start with a pendulum rod of about 15cm -provided there is enough space in the case- and play a game of try and error until I´ve reached the length where further regulation can be achieved by the regulation nut on the pendulum.Good luck!
    Burkhard
     
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  17. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    4 6 is the effective length of the pendulum not the actual length and according to Thorpe is the length from where the suspension spring exits the suspension block to just above the middle of the bob. A pouce is 27.07mm and a ligne is 2.256mm so easy to calculate. Thorpe's book is very good and will explain all in chapter V.
     
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  18. mrpowers

    mrpowers Registered User

    Feb 7, 2009
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    Thanks, that is exactly what I was planning to do. I see the pendulums come long, so start long and experiment. Good to have a idea where I need to start though. Thanks
     

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