Masonic Tall Clock with Wooden Movement

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by HTWSSTKS, Jul 9, 2013.

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  1. HTWSSTKS

    HTWSSTKS Registered User

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    #1 HTWSSTKS, Jul 9, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2013
    Hello, I've just recently joined this this outstanding forum.

    This Masonic tall clock was built by my great grandfather. Family legend is that most of the components were sourced from a walnut bed. The columns were architectural salvage from a house. I don't know when exactly it was made, but best guess is late 1800's. The case originally had wooden works. My grandfather removed the wooden works and installed an electric movement in the late 1950s. In the 1990s, my mother had a professional clocksmith remove the electric movement and install a David Lindow brass reproduction of a Willard tall clock movement (which it still has working in it today). Doing so involved a couple of minor modifications: 1) two holes for winding the weights were drilled and grommeted into the face with brass grommets and 2) the front glass door was converted from sliding (up) to swinging, since in many homes there is not enough ceiling clearance to raise the door and wind the clock.

    When I was a teenager back in the 1970s, I salvaged the old wooden works from my grandfather's dusty farm workshop and have hung onto it ever since. Since visiting this website, I believe I have identified it as a Silas Hoadley 30-day with second hand and calendar hand. I am thinking it might be fun to return the wooden works to functional order as a standalone display in and of itself.

    Here are some pictures of the clock case and works. I would welcome any comments from the experienced and knowledgeable community here. To untrained eye, the bell support is not correct for the works, there have been some old repairs to the gears, and some of the smaller gears appear very worn. There is one photo of all the loose "bits". The hour hand is missing, I am not sure the weight hooks and the winding string weights are original, and the little loose clip is a complete mystery.

    - Henry

    P.S. Excuse my shims...from reading this forum, I just learned about the importance of leveling the movement and setting the beat! These raw shims will be marked, cut, stained, and installed out of sight under the feet.

    9252568180_c780d23672_o.jpg 9252568100_d532887d72_b.jpg 9252568032_8c90cef367_b.jpg 9249785301_cfa17f8ea9_b.jpg 9249786007_7e29bbcacb_b.jpg 9252568504_26aa5b2c30_b.jpg 9252568286_dfe453b516_b.jpg
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    9249785869_55096bf4a8_b.jpg 9249785781_6699905a2f_b.jpg 9252568722_72daedb56f_b.jpg 9249785661_fbbdce0584_b.jpg 9249786221_ed285004a1_b.jpg 9249786179_dd25bebc36_b.jpg
     
  2. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    That is just an absolutely KILLER clock!

    The use of the iconography of any number of fraternal organizations which have flourished in this country for centuries is an important part of the history of our material culture and decorative arts. Sometimes these objects were part of the furnishings of a lodge/meeting place. Sometimes there were objects that were employed in the rituals and practices of that particular organization. And sometimes, they were just decorative objects that declared pride of membership. Objects in all of these categories decorated with Freemason iconography are well known.

    The use of Freemason iconography can be found in a variety of objects from watches, clocks of all sorts, furniture, textiles, jewelry, porcelain...anything that can be decorated. These objects were made by professional craftpeople, factories and the talented person making something just for their personal use of for that of a loved one.

    The tallcase clock made by your greatgrandfather is just wonderful. It employs carving, inlay, what I would consider folk marquetry/parquetry, and fret work. What a talented guy! Examples of other clocks, not necessarily Masonic ones, employing one or a combination of these techniques are on this MB. Was he a Shriner as well?

    The movement...believe it or not...who cares. The value is in that case.

    For a great website devoted to Masonic Decorative Arts, see:

    www.phoenixmasonary.org

    I am sure they would love to post images of this clock in their on-line museum.

    For 2 Masonic shelf clocks carved by Maine master carver John Haley Bellamy see:

    https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?103802-More-Americana-from-John-Haley-Bellamy

    and

    https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?85509-Bellamy-Carved-Masonic-Timepiece

    Thanks for sharing.

    A wonderful American object!

    RM
     
  3. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    As Bob says, a terrific piece of Americana! I doubt that the wooden movement is a Silas Hoadley- I've never seen movement posts in a Hoadley with that sort of turning on them- the movement pictured below is a Hoadley, and the turnings are typical of most all his work.

    View attachment 183785 View attachment 183786
     
  4. HTWSSTKS

    HTWSSTKS Registered User

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    I appreciate your enthusiasm, guys - it's infectious! I have a whole new appreciation for this unique clock.

    I will take some better pictures on a bright day and share them with the archival website. In a way, artifacts like this represent a cultural heritage for all to enjoy. While I am at it, I will share some photos of a companion desk made by the same craftsman. The desk is covered with inlaid 5-point stars with pentagons at their center. The rest of his creations - including several other (lesser) clocks and another star-inlaid octagonal side table - reside with distant relatives in Oregon and Ohio, but I know they are cherished and well-cared-for. However this clock is the pinnacle of his craft.

    Regarding whether or not he was also a Shriner, I do not know. My grandfather - his son - was a 33rd Degree Mason under the Scottish Rite.

    Interesting information that the movement is not likely a Silas Hoadley. The research continues...
     
  5. HTWSSTKS

    HTWSSTKS Registered User

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    Is the clip (inside the blue area in the attached photo) likely part of the wooden movement?

    Does anyone have any idea regarding the maker of this movement? Does the existing pewter hour hand offer any clue?
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Well, the steel wire pendulum suspension clip is likely from a Black Forest clock, as is the minute hand. I can't offhand identify the maker.
     
  7. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Re: Elisha Hotchkiss wooden works clock

    I agree with Paul! That wood works movement belongs with that clock. Perhaps you could make a nice case for the brass movement when you install the wooden one. I only have three wooden works clocks and I run all of them every day. I feel sure they will last longer than I will, and they require less maintenance and keep better time than my brass clocks.

    RC
     
  8. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Re: Elisha Hotchkiss wooden works clock

    Dealer's choice.

    Is there incontrovertible evidence that the ww was the original movement beyond that it was found in a shed?

    The dial has been drilled for the current brass movement. It looks fine. You would then have to repair the marquetry dial which would not be an easy task. Essentially would represent yet another alteration (remember, it had an electric movement before the current one), etc, etc.

    Furthermore, like most folk art clocks, the discussion of the "original" movement is a bit moot as they almost always had a repurposed one. Of course, it's nice to have the one originally adapted by the person(s) who created the clock. But the real value is in the great case.

    I say, what's done is done. Keep the ww movement with the clock and just enjoy it for what it is.

    RM
     
  9. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    I've just decided to bring this thread back to the surface.

    What a great piece of Americana and a change of pace from what has become the usual MB fare.

    RM
     

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