• Important Executive Director Announcement from the NAWCC

    The NAWCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Rory McEvoy has been named Executive Director of the NAWCC. Rory is an internationally renowned horological scholar and comes to the NAWCC with strong credentials that solidly align with our education, fundraising, and membership growth objectives. He has a postgraduate degree in the conservation and restoration of antique clocks from West Dean College, and throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to handle some of the world’s most important horological artifacts, including longitude timekeepers by Harrison, Kendall, and Mudge.

    Rory formerly worked as Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where his role included day-to-day management of research and digitization projects, writing, public speaking, conservation, convening conferences, exhibition work, and development of acquisition/disposal and collection care policies. In addition, he has worked as a horological specialist at Bonhams in London, where he cataloged and handled many rare timepieces and built important relationships with collectors, buyers, and sellers. Most recently, Rory has used his talents to share his love of horology at the university level by teaching horological theory, history, and the practical repair and making of clocks and watches at Birmingham City University.

    Rory is a British citizen and currently resides in the UK. Pre-COVID-19, Rory and his wife, Kaai, visited HQ in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where they met with staff, spent time in the Museum and Library & Research Center, and toured the area. Rory and Kaai will be relocating to the area as soon as the immigration challenges and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 permit.

    Some of you may already be familiar with Rory as he is also a well-known author and lecturer. His recent publications include the book Harrison Decoded: Towards a Perfect Pendulum Clock, which he edited with Jonathan Betts, and the article “George Graham and the Orrery” in the journal Nuncius.

    Until Rory’s relocation to the United States is complete, he will be working closely with an on-boarding team assembled by the NAWCC Board of Directors to introduce him to the opportunities and challenges before us and to ensure a smooth transition. Rory will be participating in strategic and financial planning immediately, which will allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Columbia

    You can read more about Rory McEvoy and this exciting announcement in the upcoming March/April issue of the Watch & Clock Bulletin.

    Please join the entire Board and staff in welcoming Rory to the NAWCC community.

Mantel Clock Carl Ludwig Buschberg Berlin w/ Verge escapement

WIngraham

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Apr 19, 2019
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Hello all, I think I really have caught this clockitis, I always seem to be able to rationalize to myself that I need another clock. I mean, who doesn't? I would appreciate any information given on this clock or a pointer to good reading material.

I got this one this morning, it is a mantel clock that once was gilded but now is painted with an unfortunate gold. The movement caught my eye more than anything. From the pics I thought it was a silk supsension but the pendulum actually hangs from a metal ring like I have seen in cuckoo clocks. Is there a term for this? Is this a later addition or original? It still has its original crown wheel escapement. The movement looks pretty heavy duty to me, much larger than I thought it was. The pendulum rod has no bob, I understand that the bobs on verge escapements are light weight, is there a way to tell how much is appropriate?

I have done a little research on Buschberg Berlin, and found a Carl Ludwig Buschberg in Berlin, who died in 1805. Would he have made the movement or just sold it? There is an example of one of his clocks in Stadtmuseum Berlin, the dial is nearly identical. As I did more reading I found he feuded with a fellow clockmaker over the job of setting the Domkirche Clock, a public clock. This turned into a very interesting read about the effects of time keeping on the public from a journal article by Michael J. Sauter Clockwatchers and Stargazers: Time Discipline in Early Modern Berlin.

The dial has been repaired kinda poorly in several places, but its hard to tell from a distance. I think I will leave it be. I would love to be able to restore the case. I have some experience with oil gilding but I would like to rebuild the gesso and try traditional water gilding. I will experiment with some picture frames first. Has anyone watched the video offered by NAWCC on gilding? I am sure a professional could do it, but I don't want this hobby to turn into just check writing. I've had some good success with case work so far. Clock movements, that's a different story.

The movement pics aren't very good since I didnt remove it yet. As always, thanks for any input, comments, criticisms, etc

Will

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jmclaugh

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A nice clock and it is interesting, not a type of movement I've seen before and sorry can't help with your question on the case.
 

WIngraham

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Thanks for the replies, I am still not sure if this is the right place on the forum for a bunch of questions. If it isn't please let me know.
 

Uhralt

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Nice find!
I believe that the pendulum suspension is a later replacement of a silk suspension. On top of the back of the movement there is a (bent) brass piece with a hole that would have held the arbor for the adjustment of the silk thread. I think I see a hole on top of the 12 on the dial where the square for turning the adjustment arbor on the other end would show through. I shouldn't be difficult to retro-fit the suspension to something similar to the original.

Uhralt
 
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P.Hageman

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Will, what an interesting clock, love the dial and the hands. Those hands are amazing! Interesting movement as well, highly individual as far as I know and that a big bonus. Congrats.
 

WIngraham

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Thank you, this one is really interesting to me, I took it apart today to take a better look. On the back of the dial is various repair signatures and a stamp of what looks like a date IANUAR 1767, January 1767? I took more pics of the movement, looks different than anything I've collected so far. What do you guys think about the date stamp?

Will

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WIngraham

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Hi JTD, the whole clock is pictured in post #1 along with the dial. The stamp is on the back and pictured in post #7. Maybe it would be referred to the dial plate? It is in pictures 2 and 3 from the left. Maybe I am missing something, please let me know.

Will
 

JTD

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Hi JTD, the whole clock is pictured in post #1 along with the dial. The stamp is on the back and pictured in post #7. Maybe it would be referred to the dial plate? It is in pictures 2 and 3 from the left. Maybe I am missing something, please let me know.

Will
No, you haven't missed anything - I muddled two posts and posted in the wrong place and cancelled. My apologies.

JTD
 

WIngraham

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I've started to strip the gold paint and discovered it is a silver color underneath. It's missing in a few area but mostly intact. I wonder if this is silver or white gold? Does anyone know how to tell? The top is definitely a replacement or addition.

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JTD

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I've started to strip the gold paint and discovered it is a silver color underneath. It's missing in a few area but mostly intact. I wonder if this is silver or white gold? Does anyone know how to tell? The top is definitely a replacement or addition.
I don't think this is silver or white gold. I think it is the base metal over which the gold paint has been applied.

Others may know better.

JTD
 

WIngraham

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The clock case is wood. The silver color is attached to gesso and it has crumbled and come off in some places. It looks like gilding with a white metal leaf. I will have to take better pics.
 

JTD

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The clock case is wood
Yes, I see that now, I should have realised.

I suppose it could be silver 'gilding' but I've never heard of anyone doing that over gesso before the gold finish was applied. Do you suppose there might be yet another finish under the silver before you get down to the gesso? Maybe someone thought it would look better silver, for I believe the original finish would have been gold.

But others may have better thoughts.

JTD
 

WIngraham

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Hi JTD, thanks for the reply. I was convinced it was going to be gold underneath the paint until I saw it. I looked more closely, I only see silver present. It is the only color I see on top of the gesso, the chips were too thin to have another layer under the silver. On the high points it has a mirror shine. I was not able to find more than one example of a silver gilt wood clock case, here is one from close time period. They are very different clocks though. I did not look for that long yet. I dont think silver "gilding" holds up to the test of time very well (cleaning and inadequate sealing).

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/207345?rpp=30&pg=4&ao=on&ft=clock&pos=98
 

zedric

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Silver finish was definitely more unusual than gold. Are there areas inside the case or elsewhere that may have been missed by the person who painted on the gold , and might reveal the original finish?
 

Ralph

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Have you had the dial off? Does it look original to the movement? Could Buschberg be a retailer?

I'd be more inclined to think the clock is Swiss or the movement being Swiss influenced.

Ralph
 

WIngraham

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Hello, the gold paint is all over every inch of it inside and out. There is even drips on the dial and behind the dial. It's almost 1/8'' in parts, it is multiple layers. I will have at it again on Monday when I have a day off. I really do think it is silver gilt with a terracotta or red bole underneath in parts. Here is a few more pics. It has some areas of restoration that are raw wood that had just paint like the top and one piece of the scrolling.
As for Buschberg being a retailer, I have no idea. There is a clock with the same dial, that is dated 1770. THe hands on my clock look like replacements, they are pretty long. But they are really nice looking. Here is the link Sammlung Online I was going to send them an email and see if they had pictures of the movement in that clock. The dial looks like it fits perfectly to me, but I am green with that. The enamel is heavily restored in places, it is attached to to the plate in a way I cannot see.
It is difficult to photograph the case well. Pics dont do the burnished shine justice. Thank you for all your input, it is appreciated.

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Ralph

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The dial is not attached in a way you would expect from a clockmaker. It appears that there are 3 pins protruding through the false plate and then soldered. Is that paint or enamel at the edge of the frontside of the falseplate?

Do you have pictures of the back of the movement that are not obscured by the bells?

Ralph
 

WIngraham

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Hi Ralph, it looks like paint to me but its different depths, so it could be both? By different depths I mean it resembles overpainted chips in some spots. I have another clock that the enamel dial is missing its feet, could the solder be a repair?
I took off the bell stand and took a few pics for you to see. What do you think about the German spelling of January and 1767?

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Ralph

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I love the movement. It looks very Swiss and is probably 18th century. I'm suspicious of the dial starting life with movement. I'm thinking that you might find a different dial under your Berlin dial. Maybe remnants. The hands are probably right. To prove it out, would require removing the Berlin dial from the falseplate.

It's a nice clock and is worthy of restoring.

Ralph
 

WIngraham

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Thanks Ralph for the info, I thought the clock was Swiss when I saw it at auction, I find myself very interested in their movements. I am happy either way I think I got a good deal for such an interesting clock. At some point I will investigate the dial further, more likely the clock shop I go to will. I am still working on removing the paint. The bezel looks like a replacement since there is a different latch inside that does not match. I will update with my progress, hopefully the museum in Berlin will send me a pic of the movement in their clock. Thank you for the guidance.

Will
 

Ralph

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Oh, oh... the jury is still out. The dial will tell the tale.

Great price.!

Ralph
 

Uhralt

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What do you think about the German spelling of January and 1767?
Januar 1767 is correct German spelling for a date. It doesn't mean that the clock must be German, it could also come from another German speaking country like Austria or Switzerland.

Uhralt
 

WIngraham

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I understand, that was rather short sighted of me to suggest that. Was really just looking for clues. Thanks

Will
 

Levi Hutchins

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Oct 21, 2012
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... I was convinced it was going to be gold underneath the paint until I saw it. I looked more closely, I only see silver present. It is the only color I see on top of the gesso, the chips were too thin to have another layer under the silver. On the high points it has a mirror shine. I was not able to find more than one example of a silver gilt wood clock case, here is one from close time period. They are very different clocks though. I did not look for that long yet. I dont think silver "gilding" holds up to the test of time very well (cleaning and inadequate sealing).

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/207345?rpp=30&pg=4&ao=on&ft=clock&pos=98
Silver leaf would tarnish over time (unless sealed with a clear varnish that would dull it.) I would guess that white gold (that is around 50% pure gold) is far more likely to have been used. Palladium leaf might be preferable now, but palladium had not been discovered until after the clock was made.
 

Jmeechie

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Great looking clock! On the silver, white gold leafing it makes perfect sense as one must remember, electric lighting didn’t exist and a clock like this would have been a focal point to show off to guests and such by candlelight! For 1 gold would reflect duller and 2 it would have matched the main room / dining areas fixtures or tableware.
I really hate gold paint jobs! and trying to clean them off!
Cheers,
James!
 

WIngraham

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Hello, I got the movement back from this clock after servicing and noticed that there is a jewel in it below the crown wheel. Is something like this original or a past repair? I do not think I have another clock with a jewel and found this interesting and cool looking.

On a side note, I have begun to restore the case on this clock after practicing gilding on a piece from another case. I have chosen silver as the metal as I think it is what was there originally because of the high reflectivity of the present leaf, I also discovered the bole used was gray and so I'll be using that to try and keep it more in spirit with the original. Wish me luck!

The case appears to have been put back together at some point after being badly broken, someone put a lot of time and effort into it. And bronze paint unfortunately, which I think is the reason for marking Ill Bronze #202 on the back cover. Maybe a shade from the Illinois Bronze Paint Company. It probably took over 30 hours to remove all the paint!!

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Alex K

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The point where jewel setup is importans point where friction must me as less as possible, I would like to think that thos os original solution.
In English movements usually crown weel staying on screw face, since jewels is lost or broken (as I assume). And seems it is first time I see how it must be implemented in origin.

Also I noted you said that pendulum must be light weighted since it is verge escapement. I think this fully truth for verge directly connected to pendulum, for this case I am not sure, but it could be 1 kilo easely, depending on the power of verge drive.

This is 3 days movement, right?
 

WIngraham

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Hi Alex, thanks for the info. I'm not sure about the duration, I havent run it yet and do not have a stand that it will sit on with clearance for the pendulum. It is kinda big with large barrels so it might be more than three days, I'll update you when I have it back in the case.
 

Jeremy Woodoff

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Carl Ludwig Buschberg is listed in Baillie's Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World, with dates 1780-1805. I've never seen a movement quite like this one. At first glance it looks like a standard French roulant, but the double bells and interesting two-train quarter strike (look at that count wheel!) are not typical. And, of course, you don't see verge escapements every day. Although the date on the movement is a bit before Buschberg's listed dates, I would assume the dial is original unless proven otherwise. The repairs to the dial don't seem so bad, but they could be redone to a higher standard.
 

WIngraham

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Jeremy, thanks for the info. I finally found a picture of the movement in the clock in City Museum Berlin Foundation with the same dial. There is also a brief description of the clockmaker Buschberg including saying master was achieved before 1775 but doesn't give a date. There's a few pictures of the movement which to me looks pretty similar to mine, so maybe it is the original dial and it was repaired this way maybe when the rest of the case was put back together with the new wood pieces and dial repaired. Lotta maybes but some good information either way.

Here's the link to the other clock, which is in a beautiful porcelain case.

Carl Ludwig Buschberg, Stutzuhr mit Chronos und Aeternitas auf Sockel, um 1775, Inv. Nr. KGK 68/1 a + b :: Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin :: museum-digital:berlin

Here's a pic showing one of the seams where the case was put back together. I was able to blend it and the new top piece with layers of gesso and small carving tools. Finally some progress!! Pinholes are insidious.

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