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New member wanting help to identify old clock

peterl

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Jun 29, 2021
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Hello all - I'm a new member looking to identify an old clock. It belongs to a cousin (unfortunately :) and its origin is unknown. All we know is that it was purchased, not new, about 1945 in Cumberland, MD. It is a time-only movement and I believe it to be quite old. There is no name or attribution anywhere, except for one - the bridge suspending the spring has "FRANCE" struck in it. There are also four instances of "183" stamped in various places, which I assume to be a serial number.

The face is quite large, porcelain enamel on iron. Very crisp but no maker info. The frame is iron, wrought iron I guess. There are top and bottom plates about 5" square connected by square pillars so the total height is about 6". These top and bottom plates hold two brass plates (1/8" thick) that form the main work IMG_8156D.jpg

Here's one showing the scale of the work

IMG_8224D.jpg

A view of the rear plate
IMG_8170D.jpg

Here is a view of all pieces after disassembly

IMG_8179.jpg

There's also a beat adjustment on the pendulum hanger

IMG_8234D.jpg

The most intriguing part is the escapement. I have not been able to find any description of it although the wheel is akin to a crown escapement wheel. Here's the escapement in operation

Fortunately this clock needed only cleaning and the replacement of the suspension spring. Everything else seems to be in good order. I wonder how much wear there is on the pins on the escapement wheel. There seems to be some wear on them but I don't have a micrometer to check how much.

This whole movement seems to me to be an early design and skillfully made. It is generous with materials and space so I'm guessing that it date from early days of fine machining - perhaps late 1700's to early 1800's.

Can anyone provide more information on when this clock came to be, and where ?

Thanks.....Peter Lovell
 

new2clocks

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Welcome to the forum, Peter.

Do you have any pictures of the clock before it was disassembled, including a picture of the whole backplate?

Regards.
 

bruce linde

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peterl

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Jun 29, 2021
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Welcome to the forum, Peter.

Do you have any pictures of the clock before it was disassembled, including a picture of the whole backplate?

Regards.
This is the best photo I have of the rear. I might mention that there was a thin plate at the rear (attached with screws) and hinged side plates but I'm not showing these. What is visible here is the rear brass plate holding the works and the iron columns connecting the top and bottom plates. I assume the thin plates were to exclude dust.

IMG_8200.jpg

The scheme for connecting these brass plates into the iron frame is quite amazing. The brass plates have "pegs" (for want of a better term) at the bottom, shown here

IMG_8172D.jpg

that fit into holes machined in the bottom plate. The top iron plate has a "V" groove cut into it, and there's a matching projection at the top of each brass plate that slides into it.
notches.jpg The screws at the top are the ones that come through the top plate to firmly hold these brass plates, but the precise positioning is with the grooves. And I say "grooves" because there are two - the one for the front plate and the ones for the rear do not line up. They're separately machined.

Thanks.....Peter Lovell
 

peterl

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Jun 29, 2021
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it's a classic jewelers regulator... they were made (mostly) in france and switzerland. american clock manufacturers would buy the movements and case them here.
Thank you for the comment and link.

Several of the examples are exact matches for the work my cousin has. The same very heavy lyre pendulum (didn't think to weigh it when it was here). And the ten-pound weight (I got that one). Even the side doors with the turn-latch!
 

bruce linde

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i have several of them…. they’re very accurate and dependable
 

peterl

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Jun 29, 2021
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One more question - about what time frame were these movements produced and imported?
 

bruce linde

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maybe 1870 to 1910-ish?
 

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