Metal Mantel Clock ID Help

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by mbc111, Jun 25, 2018.

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  1. mbc111

    mbc111 New Member

    Jun 24, 2018
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    Hello all,

    First post here and glad I found this site with all the great info here. I don't know anything about clocks but am familiar with pocket watches and wristwatches.

    While searching for 8 day travel clocks I stumbled on this mantle clock on Ebay and bought it. No markings to identify so I'm guessing it is nothing special but it's interesting although the gargoyles kind of creep me out. The movement is not like one I've seen and doesn't seem to have any jewels. Clock has a marble base and appears to be made of cast metal? It's 18" high with a 7" wide base and whatever type of finish was on it has worn off in large part. Reminds me of old buildings like in London or NYC.

    Would be grateful if someone could identify the maker of this clock as well as the age, type of movement and any other info available.

    Thanks for any help.

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  2. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
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    Welcome to the board.

    I think you have found what was once, and could be again, a very nice clock. I suspect it is French but the movement is not marked and it may never be possible to know who made it. As for it having no jewels, this sort of movement does not normally have jewels, so that's quite normal. I would guess it was made around 1890, but that's only a guess and others may have better ideas. It would be helpful if you could take the movement out of the case a post a picture or two.

    It would have looked very splendid when new, when all the gilding was intact. It is now, as you say, somewhat worn, but it is also filthy dirty and after being thoroughly cleaned up could still look good.

    I like it and it does not 'creep me out' at all. Congratulations!

    JTD
     
  3. mbc111

    mbc111 New Member

    Jun 24, 2018
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    #3 mbc111, Jun 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
    Thanks much JDT!

    Are there any precautions in terms of cleaning it? Soft toothbrush, sponge and liquid dish soap okay? Minus the movement of course. I will take the movement out and post pics later on this week.

    And here is a pic of the gargoyle in the front which is certainly unique. :)

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  4. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
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    I would say so, yes. Rinse it well and dry it quickly (hairdryer or similar). Then you will be able to see what you have and whether anything further need be done.

    JTD
     
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  5. tracerjack

    tracerjack Registered User
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    I agree that the gargoyle, front and center, is a bit unusual - but the clock overall is lovely. Usually on these cast metal clocks there are dings, cracks and often broken parts, so your clock is to me perfect. Great find.
     
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  6. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    the movement in this clock is of medium quality,time only,and regulated by a cylinder escapement platform.Hopefully the cylinder is intact,otherwise You´ll have a problem because spare cylinders are no longer availiable and watchmakers who can repair a cylinder are as rare as hen´s teeth.I´d bet it has 4 jewels.Otherwise an impressive clock!
    good luck!
    Burkhard
     
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  7. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    I hope your platform escapements is intact. If not, platform escapements come up on ebay all the time, mostly coming from England. However, most of the time they are not cheap. You would need to find one with roughly the same dimensions as the original and may have to drill and tap new holes to fit the new escapement.

    Uhralt
     
  8. mbc111

    mbc111 New Member

    Jun 24, 2018
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    #8 mbc111, Jun 29, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
    Thanks for the replies and I have given the clock a first go around cleaning. I can now see how this was beautiful when the gilt was crisp and clean. So here are some new pics.

    Does the movement come out through the dial side after removing the dial screws? Trying to remove the movement but one of the four screws on the dial is close to being stripped and I need a better screwdriver if I don't want to strip it completely. The balance wheel moves freely and appears to be okay. Was this a key wind and does anyone happen to know if mantel clocks used a standard size or did they all have different keys?

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  9. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    Typically these movements do pull out from the front though I can't see from the photos quite how it is secured to the case. The four screws on the dial appear to be to secure it to the movement, not the case. The movement is wound through the dial and the key size depends on the width of the winding arbor. Googling clock keys sizes will explain the various sizes, imperial and metric measurements, e.g. size 7 key or 4mm. You can also get a spider key which usually has 4 or 5 different key sizes on one key, they are handy if you have a number of clocks with different key sizes.
     
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  10. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    In french clocks the movement drops out to the front after two skrews have been undone that connect the back bezel frame with two metal strips reaching out from the front bezel frame across thge case: so one hand secures the front bezel and movement,the second the back bezel and with the third You undo those two skrews.Good luck!
    Burkhard
     
  11. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    I don't see the two straps on this clock which Burkhard refers to but perhaps they aren't visible in the photos. It is quite common on French drum clocks with platform movements in a wooden case for the movement to be fixed to and enclosed in a round brass cover which is pushed into the case from the front and then secured to the inside of the wooden drum head of the case via some screws. It can be quite fiddly to unscrew/screw them and that method of course wouldn't work on this metal case.

    Anyway perhaps mbc111 can confirm what the arrangement is on this clock.
     
  12. MLS

    MLS Registered User
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    It’s a very nice clock. Hope you get it cleaned and going.
     
  13. Bill Ward

    Bill Ward Registered User
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    The verdigris on the case implies brass or bronze, but it's unclear whether this is plating over a white metal slush casting. Look on the inside of the case-does it look like bronze, or zinc? You can scratch it on the inside with a sharp scriber; does it look like brass? Is it very soft, implying that it's zinc? If the case is bronze or brass, it can be re-finished and patinated. If it's white metal, probably the best bet is a new paint-type finish, as re-plating is expensive, and not eco-friendly. In any event, the white residue in the crevices of the case must be removed- they are likely corrosive. The traditional method is to scrub it with whiting and a soft brush.
     

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