New Haven Miniature Tambour

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by gleber, Aug 15, 2019 at 7:47 PM.

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  1. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    I haven't seen many of these on here. I've seen a few in antique stores, mostly priced on the high side, but this one was cheap.

    I've heard these are salesman's samples. Is that true?

    Any idea on the age, and if it is a sample, does anyone know the model name of the full size one?

    It should clean up nicely. The movement is loaded with crud, so it will need an overhaul cleaning.

    Thanks,
    Tom

    20190815_191628.jpg 20190815_191651.jpg
     
  2. chimeclockfan

    chimeclockfan Registered User
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    These are sometimes known as boudoir clocks. In this instance referring to a small clock ideal for bedrooms, dressing rooms, and the like. Herschede and other American companies made similar clocks during the 1920's so would presume your clock was made during this decade.
     
  3. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    #3 rmarkowitz1_cee4a1, Aug 16, 2019 at 7:57 AM
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019 at 8:03 AM
    Gotta chuckle.

    Antique dealers will call any smaller sized object a "salesman's sample".

    Now, that is true in some instances, but not here. Have seen a # of these. I bet if you looked in one of Tran's Seth Thomas books you might find it there.

    I have also seen a number of miniature mission style tall clocks (I think they were made by New Haven) most enthusiastically hawked as "salesman's samples" by the seller. No, afraid not.

    Now to poke some holes in this salesman's sample thing in general.

    In my experience, a true salesman's sample is an exact often functional reproduction in miniature of an object that would otherwise be prohibitively large or heavy to carry. A long time ago I posted a salesman's sample toilet, a beautifully made object:

    img_5903-jpg.jpg

    A full sized toilet would be rather difficult for a salesman to haul around to potential clients on a train or in their car. So miniaturizing it in all it's full accurate detail makes sense so as to be able to demonstrate its salient points to a potential buyer. Given how well made this and other salesman's samples were, they were probably not cheap to make.

    Sometimes the actual objects were quite large. Here are some salesman's samples where again a functional miniature makes sense.

    A road grader:

    grader.jpg

    A mowing machine (with its original carrying case):

    mowing.jpg

    To summarize, salesman's samples are wonderfully made small scale exact reproductions of larger heavier difficult to transport objects used to demonstrate to potential clients their features and function in detail. Smaller objects are often called salesman's samples. Sometimes they were, sometimes they were actually a child's toy, a miniature made by a hobbyist, or just a small clock.

    RM
     
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  4. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    #4 Time After Time, Aug 16, 2019 at 8:20 AM
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019 at 8:27 AM
    It might be categorized by Tran as a "Novelty Clock". Your example looks very similar to a model called the "Harvey" from circa 1917 found on page 454 of Tran's New Haven Clocks & Watches book. The Harvey measures just 4 inches in height and 6 7/8 inches in width. It came with an 8-day movement (pretty impressive considering the size) and could also be fitted with a 1-Day Intermittent Alarm movement at the same list price.

    The Harvey is under a category of "Solid Mahogany Clocks" with 8 Day Lever Time Movements, 2 1/4 inch Porcelain Dials. Beveled Bowed Glass. They could be furnished in Mahogany, Brown Mahogany, Circassian Walnut Finish,or Golden and Fumed Oak. I must have been a pretty competitive market. Glad you found a good deal on an interesting little clock. Good luck with your restoration.

    :chuckling:

    Plus there would be the potential hazard of someone mistaking it for a fully functional toilet! :eek:
     
  5. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Yuck.

    RM
     
  6. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Thanks for that information. The description fits my clock. Mine looks to be mahogany, but I don't know the difference between mahogany and brown mahogany, unless mahogany means red. My finish is dulled and alligatored, but under the bezel it looks more brown than red.

    Tom
     
  7. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    You're very welcome Tom. Without samples it's really hard to know what these different case finishes looked like. It's the same thing with some of the Spelter Finishes Ansonia offered to the market like Japanese Bronze or Syrian Bronze. When I read Mahogany, I tend to think of Minwax's Red Mahogany Stain but who really knows? If it looks brown under the Bezel, I'd go with that. I'm sure it will look nice and run well when you're done. Are you familiar with the Warren Method?
     
  8. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    I have not seen that, although I have seen similar. I think I will try that on this clock. It's a tiny clock and what do I have to lose?

    I tried lacquer thinner and 0000 steel wool in the past, but I found a tooth brush worked better. In that case, I was trying to remove the finish entirely, because there were other issues (paint stains). The tooth brush was also much better at getting in the crevices than the steel wool.

    Tom
     

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