Odd Jerome/Manross steeple clock...

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by Peter A. Nunes, Dec 6, 2011.

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  1. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    This was an auction find last week, and although it is possible that all the pieces started life together, I am skeptical. I've never seen, nor heard of, an Elisha Manross (see page 48 of "Forestville Clockmakers", by Roberts and Taylor) movement in a Chauncey Jerome labeled case. Yet all the pieces seem to fit. The holes in the dial are lined up nicely, there are no extra holes in the backboard, the screws and mounting blocks seem original. Jerome did make a movement with lyre-shaped plates that wound at 3:30 and 8:30 (see p. 112 of "From Rags to Riches to rags", by Chris Bailey). It would be unusual if the movement's back plates were the same size, so the same mounting blocks could be used- and I don't have one to compare. With all the factory fires and bankruptcies that were going on in the late 1840s and into the 50s, there was plenty of trading going on, as companies struggled to stay in business- perhaps Jerome purchased some movements from Manross, and cased them up. I would appreciate any insights or opinions...
     

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  2. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    I think you may have hit the answer, Jerome buying movements from Manross. Manross failed in 1853 (IIRC); perhaps Jerome bought up unused stock. Jerome himself did not long survive Manross's failure. Of course, the appearance of a second Jerome case with Manross movement would be welcome to test the hypothesis.

    In a similar situation, I have an E&A Ingraham-labeled steeple with a NH movement. An analysis by Snowden Taylor led him to suggest that the movement (dating from 1857 after NH completely bought up Jerome) was added to EAI stock purcahsed in bankruptcy (ref. NAWCC Bulletin, April 2009, pp 219-222).

    So, your suggestion is quite possible and attractive.
     
  3. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    #3 rmarkowitz1_cee4a1, Dec 7, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
    Based upon the pictures posted, the clock looks unaltered.

    Every so often unexpected combinations occur without clear evidence of alteration. I believe these clocks are a reflection of the vissicitudes of and dealings between the clock makers of the period. It could be that Jerome bought movements from where ever he could when his movement factory burned down or for some other reason that he could not fill an order or whatever? And who better than as the title to the below reference states, Mr. Manross, the "clockmakers clockmaker"?

    For more about Manross, see:

    http://www.nawcc.org/images/stories/1990/articles/1993/286/286_541.pdf

    This "clockmakers clockmaker" provided movements to many of his contemporaries. This article states that amongst the clock makers supplied was Chauncey Jerome.

    Another possibility I will toss out is that Manross may have gotten some cases in trade and stuck his movement in??

    There was another rather earlier connection. Neat tidbit but probably not germane. On page 68 of Chris Bailey's Rags to Riches to Rags, he reports that a joint stock corporation called the Bristol Clock Co. was formed in 1843 to sell clocks in China and the Orient! Elisha Manross, Chauncey Jerome, and Augustus Jerome were amongst the stockholders.

    Steve, one of the nicest steeples I have owned was as you described. E&A Ingraham on the dial and label, New Haven movement. I examined that clock with a fine tooth comb. Absolutely right as rain. To heck with the nay sayers. I bought it (and have since sold it). How thrilled I was when Snowden's article came out. Here's a link to that reference, too:

    http://www.nawcc.org/images/stories/2000/articles/2009/379/379_211.pdf

    RM
     
  4. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    #4 Steven Thornberry, Dec 8, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
    Just to keep the story straight (and I can't seem to see what is right before me), the E&A clock I have is not a steeple, but a round gothic, aka beehive. Sheesh! :bang: I do, on the other hand, own a Brewster & Infrahams steeple (sharp gothic).

    To add a bit, it would be interesting to know if there is a printer's name/address on the label. I can't see one, but that may be my eyes. I also wonder if the label style might serve to narrow down the date of production. The Manross article is welcome and a good source for future research.
     
  5. Jerome collector

    Jerome collector Registered User
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    I concur with others. The pictures tell the tale. I don't see anything that causes me to doubt this movement started its life in this steeple case. Although nobody has commented on it, the tablet is also attractive. One of the Fenn books shows an example similar, but not identical, to this one in a Brewster & Ingrahams beehive clock. Yours is actually more elegant, to me anyway, than the one in the Fenn book. The similarities make me wonder whether this is a Fenn tablet. Curious whether it's acid-etched, or is it the faux acid-etched version? The way parts have been rubbed clear makes me think it's the faux version. Fortunately, the design itself has survived pretty much intact.
     
  6. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Yes, it is the faux version of an etched and cut tablet- here is an example of a real one, an early 8 day, brass spring, Terry & Andrews beehive or round gothic. As for the clock in question, it is a minor miracle that the well intentioned cleaner of the faux tablet stopped when they did. Now it they'd only taken a moment to sharpen the steeples...
     

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