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18th c 19th c English Long case clock inherited

ragobo

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Hi,

About a month ago I inherited this long case clock from my grandparents house. They had passed away long time before but the house wasn't cleared till this summer.

Now I have it in my apartment and here are some pictures of it.

20210815_134104.jpg

The maker on the dial is Higgs y Diego Evans Londres.

According to some information I gathered on the Internet, Higgs and James (Diego in Spanish) Evans were highly respected clock makers. They worked in Sweetings Alley and later in the Royal Exchange. The firm was first established in 1775 and carried on until 1825. They specialised in making clocks for the Spanish market.


Thankfully the movement had been serviced regularly in the past so I only needed to disassemble, hand clean with care, assemble again and oil. There were some repairs done in the past to correct the winding arbour holes by punching them all around its lower side. I don't think they would be corrected this way now.

I cleaned the front and dial by hand with a non abrasive metal cleaner and rinsed later with plenty of water. I ventured and polished the boss or nameplate and the caendar ring and they look good (the black wax stayed in place). I didn't dare to polish the chapter ring as the numbers are too big and I think the wax could be whipped off so I cleaned it with the metal cleaner only.

I didn't know what to do with the spandrels as I read on some other thread that they could have been gold gilded, so I finally decided just to clean them using some ear cotton sticks and diluted vinegar to get rid of the dirt and gain some brightness.

I ordered re-silvering powder and I pretend to re-silver the chapter ring, the calendar ring, the boss or nameplate and the seconds dial. Should that be correct?

Concerning the hands it seems that the minute hand does not reach the minute markings on the dial. Is that correct? Are the hands 'period' with the dial?


Most likely this case isn't the original one but I hope it should be 'period' with the movement and front...

The door seems a bit huge in comparison with the trunk, as it reaches both sides of the trunk being just 0.5cm between its sides and the colums when closed.

Also it reaches the plinth on its lower side. The plinth itself seems to have been modified and the lower end seems to have been added at some point (on one of the pictures I have attached it can be seen from the inside of the plinth that the wood colour of the lower end is different from the upper part.


This clock was bought to an antiques dealer by my grandfather back on the 1930's and thanks to a picture I found at my grandparents house from that time I know the case has not suffered any alterations since (see picture in black-and-white).

So anything done to it must have been done before my grandfather bought it on the 1930's.

Case must be treated against woodworm as there are plenty of little holes everywhere.


Please anything you would like to comment or any additional information would be of great help to me.

Thank you!
Rafael 20210815_134117.jpg 20210815_134133.jpg 20210815_134154.jpg 20210815_134206.jpg 20210815_134339.jpg 20210815_134453.jpg 20210815_134540.jpg 20210815_134651.jpg 20210815_134657.jpg around 1930.jpg 20210630_153655.jpg
 
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bruce linde

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nice.. is that a do-it-yourself night shut-off for the strike?
 

novicetimekeeper

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I think the hands are original, the hour hand looks like it was of the spectacle type but has had both sides broken off. Perhaps one broke and they tried to make it even? I agree the minute seems a bit short. That's the hand that usually breaks.

I don't know the purpose of the string, if it is to silence it that's not the way to do it.

I agree with your observations on the case.
 

ragobo

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I think the hands are original, the hour hand looks like it was of the spectacle type but has had both sides broken off. Perhaps one broke and they tried to make it even? I agree the minute seems a bit short. That's the hand that usually breaks.

I don't know the purpose of the string, if it is to silence it that's not the way to do it.

I agree with your observations on the case.
novicetimekeeper thank you for your post! I handn't notice about the broken hour hand.

I know, that's not the way to silence...its temporary till I find the proper way.
 

novicetimekeeper

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It's not the normal way, but if you stop the rack from falling that will work
 

jmclaugh

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A very nice late brass dial longcase and a lovely thing to inherit. I'd say the dial dates to around 1780 and the case style is contemporary with that, the style of hands looks to be earlier to me. Those fitted with a strike silent function typically had it in the arch boss so it appears this clock never had one. You could resilver the dial but it looks ok to me, cream of tartar is good for cleaning silvered dials.

The Higgs side of the partnership was Robert and Peter.
 

ragobo

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A very nice late brass dial longcase and a lovely thing to inherit. I'd say the dial dates to around 1780 and the case style is contemporary with that, the style of hands looks to be earlier to me. Those fitted with a strike silent function typically had it in the arch boss so it appears this clock never had one. You could resilver the dial but it looks ok to me, cream of tartar is good for cleaning silvered dials.

The Higgs side of the partnership was Robert and Peter.
Good so it would be more 18th then :)

Definitely it doesn't seem to have a strike - silent function in the past but one thing I forgot to mention is that it strikes once at the half hour.

I found a very similar dial from another clock located in Seville which resembles to mine:


The warning wheel seems to have two pins indicating a half hour strike too.

I don't know what to do with the hands. I think I'll leave them as they are.
 

novicetimekeeper

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If it has a passing strike on the half hour you won't silence that by stopping the rack falling. I have one with a passing strike on the half and rack strike for the hour, it needs a different type of strike/no strike. to silence both.
 

ragobo

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If it has a passing strike on the half hour you won't silence that by stopping the rack falling. I have one with a passing strike on the half and rack strike for the hour, it needs a different type of strike/no strike. to silence both.
Thank you again novicetimekeeper, I'll need to think how to silence both then.
 

ragobo

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Hi

Just wanted to update this post after the restoration I did to the clock. I silvered the chapter ring, calendar ring, seconds plate and name plate (boss?).

Also polished all the brass embellishments and changed the hands secure pin and washer.

I think it has improved a bit, hasn't it? :)




Before.jpg Just clean.jpg Finished.jpg Finished 2.jpg Before 2.jpg
 
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bruce linde

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So that means you’re now free to start working on mine, right? Great job
 
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gmorse

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Hi ragobo,
I think it has improved a bit, hasn't it?
Some time ago I had a fine Robert Higgs quarter repeater watch dating from the 1740s to restore, and the following is the result of some research I did for its owner:

Robert Higgs was a well-regarded London watch and clock maker. He is recorded in three entries in the Clockmakers' Company List of Masters and Apprentices, (transcribed from Atkins' list of 1931 by Jeremy Lancelotte Evans). First as being bound on 4th September 1699 to Richard Blundell, free on 29th September 1714, and subsequently taking on a total of six apprentices over the period 1716 to 1731, the last of which was his son, Peter. Not all of these apprentices are recorded as completing their time and becoming free, and those that did took between nine and twenty three years, when the usual length of an apprenticeship was seven years.

Unusually, there is a separate entry for acceptance of a further apprentice in 1718, but there is only one entry for a Robert Higgs being bound apprentice, which raises the possibility that the entry for this latter Robert may have been wrongly transcribed from the written records.

In addition to the above entries, there is a reference in Baillie's to a Robert Higgs being bound apprentice in 1743, free in 1750, and working until 1769, mostly from premises in Sweetings Alley. As there is no reference to a Robert Higgs with these dates in the Masters and Apprentices List, and also the Robert initially referred to was known to work from Sweetings Alley for much of his career, later going into partnership with his son Peter in 1740 before dying in 1769, it is quite possible that the entry in Baillie's is in error.

Robert Higgs also registered his mark of "RH" in rectangular cartouche on 25th October 1721 at the Goldsmith's Hall (the London Assay Office).

Peter Higgs, son of Robert, who was Master of the Clockmakers' Company in 1767, subsequently went into partnership with David Evans at the Sweetings Alley address from 1775 until 1834, specialising in high quality clocks for the Spanish market.


The image below is of a watch paper showing the Sweetings Alley address, with a surround of an Equation of Time chart with instructions for its use, pasted inside a Higgs longcase clock.

Higgs Watchpaper.jpg


Hope this is of interest.

Regards,

Graham
 

ragobo

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Hi ragobo,


Some time ago I had a fine Robert Higgs quarter repeater watch dating from the 1740s to restore, and the following is the result of some research I did for its owner:

Robert Higgs was a well-regarded London watch and clock maker. He is recorded in three entries in the Clockmakers' Company List of Masters and Apprentices, (transcribed from Atkins' list of 1931 by Jeremy Lancelotte Evans). First as being bound on 4th September 1699 to Richard Blundell, free on 29th September 1714, and subsequently taking on a total of six apprentices over the period 1716 to 1731, the last of which was his son, Peter. Not all of these apprentices are recorded as completing their time and becoming free, and those that did took between nine and twenty three years, when the usual length of an apprenticeship was seven years.

Unusually, there is a separate entry for acceptance of a further apprentice in 1718, but there is only one entry for a Robert Higgs being bound apprentice, which raises the possibility that the entry for this latter Robert may have been wrongly transcribed from the written records.

In addition to the above entries, there is a reference in Baillie's to a Robert Higgs being bound apprentice in 1743, free in 1750, and working until 1769, mostly from premises in Sweetings Alley. As there is no reference to a Robert Higgs with these dates in the Masters and Apprentices List, and also the Robert initially referred to was known to work from Sweetings Alley for much of his career, later going into partnership with his son Peter in 1740 before dying in 1769, it is quite possible that the entry in Baillie's is in error.

Robert Higgs also registered his mark of "RH" in rectangular cartouche on 25th October 1721 at the Goldsmith's Hall (the London Assay Office).

Peter Higgs, son of Robert, who was Master of the Clockmakers' Company in 1767, subsequently went into partnership with David Evans at the Sweetings Alley address from 1775 until 1834, specialising in high quality clocks for the Spanish market.


The image below is of a watch paper showing the Sweetings Alley address, with a surround of an Equation of Time chart with instructions for its use, pasted inside a Higgs longcase clock.

View attachment 690031


Hope this is of interest.

Regards,

Graham
Hi Graham,

Thank you for the info it was very helpful. Googleing a bit I found some mentions about Diego Evans clocks in Spain. Not only tall case or bracket ones but also tower clocks for notable Spanish cathedrals (St. Anne Cathedral on the Canary Islands for example).

Interesting one of the articles I read pointed Robert and Peter being brothers associated with James Evans rather than father and son but that could be wrong of course.
 

gmorse

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Hi ragobo,
Interesting one of the articles I read pointed Robert and Peter being brothers associated with James Evans rather than father and son but that could be wrong of course.
Yes, I've seen this too but I can't find any firm information that Robert and Peter were brothers, just that Peter's father was a Robert. It seems that there was another Robert, but the fact that they're all recorded as working in Sweetings Alley makes me suspect that the 'other' Robert, if he existed, was a relative of some sort. There are sometimes multiple entries for the same people in the reference books, arising from various sources, which can be confusing.

Regards,

Graham
 
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