New England Mirror Clock

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by oxblood2, Nov 4, 2019.

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  1. oxblood2

    oxblood2 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2008
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    New project for the wall.
    Need some cosmetics and a few replacement parts. Weights , mirror, hands and rosettes are missing. Interesting movement, that I’ve never seen before. Looks like the hammer has been replaced. I’ll have to figure out the time side set up with the first pulley being low. Very big too. 50 1/2” tall by 20 3/4” wide. The chapter ring on the metal dial is 11 1/4” in diameter. Someone painted the pendulum rod red .
     
  2. oxblood2

    oxblood2 Registered User

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    The seller thought this might be from Rhode Island. Looks more New Hampshire style to me , but just guessing. Anyone seen a movement like this?
     
  3. wow

    wow Registered User
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    What a neat clock! Have never seen one like it. That’s a big clock....50 inches. The movement is different from any I’ve seen. Having a rack and snail should help determine the date. Others will certainly know more than I . Thanks for sharing.
     
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  4. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Yep, strange clock! Your file shows 10 pictures but I can only see 4?
     
  5. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Saw it on eBay.

    Had my questions about it.

    Is the back board made of multiple boards or just have shrinkage cracks. Bit unusual if made of multiple boards. I'm not that good with identifying woods. Could it be oak or chestnut? I believe the latter was used with some frequency in RI?? I believe oak would be unusual for a clock of that period.

    The board screwed to the backboard looks too fresh. Then again, if the back board was splitting, might have been added to stabilize.

    RM
     
  6. oxblood2

    oxblood2 Registered User

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    #6 oxblood2, Nov 5, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
    1F7D0AF2-255A-4990-AC07-3182DC3A0EDA.jpeg C9950AB2-C21D-4D8D-B2C8-B98E9251258C.jpeg 9A9AF79F-2E11-4B9D-BDAD-46B5126A0C8A.jpeg Here are a few more photos. These were screen shots from the listing and some I had not edited out the “#” of the photos. The back boards do look like oak or chestnut. I’ll post some better ones when it arrives. The back boards appear to have been assembled at one time as the angle of the center matches up to the two outer ones. Whether this was how it was assembled originally, I don’t know. One good point , from looking is the patina inside from oxidation, is even and shows some age. The movement support board does look replaced to me too. There also seems to be another board inside to stabilize the back. Hopefully someone has seen a similar movement. Looks like the anchor and pendulum rod is between the plates.
     
  7. oxblood2

    oxblood2 Registered User

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    The clock arrived today. The dial glass broke, but things happen. It had old wavey glass with flaws.
    There are rectangular head nails that hold the half turned pieces in place from the back of the door. The side boards are solid mahogany with mitered corners. Also glue blocks in the corners. Nice very large brass hook to keep the door closed. The movement has “ 2529” inscribed on the lower right side of the movement. This number is also below the repair label. I can’t find any info about the repair shop. Looks like it could be Ayer, Mass. Still doing some forensics. Big clock. Set it up to see if it wants to run.and it’s trying. Needs a good cleaning.
     
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  8. oxblood2

    oxblood2 Registered User

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    Unusual movement with the escapement being between the plates, with the crutch engaging the pendulum within a slot in the rod. Both are located between the plates.
     
  9. oxblood2

    oxblood2 Registered User

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    Still hard to tell the type of wood is on the back. Seems a little more opened grained that oak , but with the oxidation, hard to say. Also interesting guide marks on the backside of the minute post gear( forgive my term, as I don’t know what all the gears are properly called)
     
  10. oxblood2

    oxblood2 Registered User

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    Secured the the wall for test run. So far so good. Also, patched the gesso and working on some paint matching.
    Going to draw up some plans to make the hands this holiday week.
     
  11. oxblood2

    oxblood2 Registered User

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    Made the minute hand today. Still have the square hole to do and a little polishing to do before bluing
     
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  12. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Looking good! Did you use a file or something else to cut the shape? I have a hand replacement project coming up.

    Tom
     
  13. oxblood2

    oxblood2 Registered User

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    image.jpg
    Thanks Tom
    I used a small flat that’s about 1/4” wide out of this set. Like the set as it has a handle that you can change the files.
    First hand I’ve ever made, Hope the hour hand is better
     
  14. oxblood2

    oxblood2 Registered User

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    Finished the hands today and mounted to the clock. Still up In the air about restoring the dial. The dial has had a coat of varnish applied at some point and has yellowed and has losses.
    The lower tablet appears to have its original glazing, but the surround has been repainted,as the ivory colored paint has ran over some of the glazing.
    The dial color now and the lower tablet blend color wise and not sure if updating the dial would look as good.

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  15. oxblood2

    oxblood2 Registered User

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    Just need the glass and mirror.
    Unusual clock not only on size, but having the pendulum between the plates.

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  16. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Thanks. I have a set like those. Good to know that's all it takes.

    Tom
     
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  17. oxblood2

    oxblood2 Registered User

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    Finally finished.
    Got the upper glass and the mirror in place.
    It’s been a fun project.
    Wish we knew knew more about the movement.
    Thanks to all!

    BEAF7C99-7F57-4693-93D4-9E3FDFF54034.jpeg
     
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  18. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Nice looking. It must look great in person at the size that it is.

    Tom
     
  19. oxblood2

    oxblood2 Registered User

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    Thanks Tom,
    It is very impressive and elegant with its large size.
     
  20. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
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    Nice. Looks like it should be hanging in some old southern mansion.
     
  21. oxblood2

    oxblood2 Registered User

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    Thanks Dave
    It’s not in a mansion, but it is in a huge old highrise in Memphis. Just up the bluff from the Delta
     
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  22. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    A bit on clocks of the style of this one. They are traditionally known as "New Hampshire" mirror clocks as they were predominately made in New Hampshire. Truth be known they were made in smaller quantities in Mass, Vermont, and Maine, as well as New Hampshire. They were made in limited amounts for only a short period of time, most likely as early 1810 and as late as about 1840. There were maybe 30 or so makers of these clocks outside New Hampshire spread all about and a similar number of makers in NH. Very few of them ever achieved or attempted, true mass production. Most of them reflect old-style clockmaking, often rather clumsy execution, a lot of handwork, sometimes iron plates, and some very strange striking mechanisms (rat trap strike for one). Charles Parsons deals with these clocks extensively in his book on New Hampshire Clocks and Clockmakers. At the time of these clocks Terry, Thomas, Ives, Jeromes, and a number of other folks in the Bristol area began producing clocks by the thousands and they were far cheaper than these clocks that were hand made in the New England area.

    The subject clock in this thread would have hung in a pretty formal house, most likely in NH, and built post-revolutionary war +/- a bit. Many earlier houses tended to have lower ceilings and would not have had a good place to house a clock this tall, at least not gracefully. These traditionally hung in central locations in houses where they could be seen by the occupants easily. They would not have hung in the keeping rooms/kitchens, nor in a bedroom, nor in the parlor. The parlors tended to be reserved for special occasions by many families when space and $$$ allowed. Sometimes weddings and funerals only. So, these clocks may well have hung in a central hall or in the front staircase when there was no central hall.

    And yes, I have seen the movement of this clock pictured elsewhere, but I have spent at least 4 hours looking for the subject photo/article all to no avail, so far.

    Most of these clocks stayed pretty close to home as none of their makers attempted to sell outside their locales and their limited production did not flood their local markets to any great extent. Much unlike what was going on down in the Bristol Conn area at the same time. I suggest how this one came to reside down south would focus on its more recent history, not original ownership south.

    My credentials to run my mouth on these clocks? I have owned/restored/repaired/sold 30-40-50 NH mirror clocks and spent 10+ years in NH during which we were able to restore a couple of 18th-century houses all while buying and selling, studying 18th/19th century NE architecture, restoring clocks, etc. So, all that might buy me a cup of coffee on a good day.

    Your clock came out quite nice I think. Congratulations!
     
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  23. oxblood2

    oxblood2 Registered User

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    Thank you for the great information about these clocks and also the compliment.
    The southern location is now new to this clock,as it was purchased from a dealer up East. The movement does appear a one off type and the shape of the pendulum below the suspension is “very”handmade looking. With the size of this example, I “hear” the request for a special order when it was placed.
     
  24. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    #24 gleber, Dec 20, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2019
    If we ever meet, I'll buy you a coffee for sure after reading that. Thanks for the info.

    Tom
     
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  25. oxblood2

    oxblood2 Registered User

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    Your clock came out quite nice I think. Congratulations![/QUOTE]
    Jim,
    With your extensive knowledge base about these types of clocks, I was wondering if you might share some information on if you’ve ever seen one with the decoration on the dial like this instead of the classic reverse on glass with only a round dial behind the glass?
    Thank you
    Robin
     
  26. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    I have seen a few of them, but none were what I would think to be true NH mirror. The Ives mirrors shown here have a bit in common with your clock, I.E. the longer case with 3 glasses as well as the iron dial with no surround. These exist but they are clearly Ives while yours is not. The use of the iron dial looks more like Salem Bridge clocks or some of the more unusual Penn black forest influenced clocks. But, your clock remains in my thinking to originate in the NH area. Billingsly out of Acton Mass made some similar movements to yours as did James Collins out of Goffstown NH. But, I don't think your movement was by either of those fellows, just noting it is similar to some of their work.

    26.%20J.Ives%20Mirror.jpg 20190323_205444 (2).jpg Ives tiger maple cased clock.jpg jan2019-418.jpg jan2019-427.jpg
     
  27. oxblood2

    oxblood2 Registered User

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    Thank you for sharing the information. It’s been very helpful in understanding more about these types of clocks.

    One fact I forgot to mention about this one is that it does have holes drilled in the top blocks of the door and appears to have had some type of finial at some point in its life.
    Thanks again
     

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