Old English convex dial clock

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by Chris Radano, Nov 6, 2019.

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  1. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

    Feb 18, 2004
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    I picked up this nice looking, crusty old dial clock without seeing the movement. I thought for what it is, it was cheap, so anything inside the case would be a surprise. Turns out the movement isn't very impressive. And the spring barrel cap came loose, but this spring is still good. I was hoping for a shouldered plate, or A-frame fusee.
    Anyway, the case is very attractive. Looks like English walnut featuring a thin bezel and convex dial. Looks like it hasn't been touched since the 19th century, except replaced side door hinges. The signature on the dial is long gone, and I continue my winless streak with my little black light. But he is an elegant little fellow.
    Typical nonsense that you get with an unrestored dial clock: broken pendulum suspension, 2 dial pegs missing, missing side door molding. I know there was another fault or two but now can't remember.
    The bezel has it's original putty, and key locks at the side. I have a key that came with another clock, that is useless for that clock, but unlocks the bezel on this clock. Or, you can pull on the bezel and it will open. Bottom lock is intact, too.

    Convex dial clock 001.JPG Convex dial clock 002.JPG Convex dial clock 003.JPG Convex dial clock 004.JPG Convex dial clock 005.JPG Convex dial clock 006.JPG Convex dial clock 007.JPG Convex dial clock 008.JPG Convex dial clock 009.JPG Convex dial clock 010.JPG Convex dial clock 011.JPG Convex dial clock 012.JPG Convex dial clock 013.JPG Convex dial clock 015.JPG Convex dial clock 016.JPG Convex dial clock 017.JPG Convex dial clock 018.JPG Convex dial clock 019.JPG Convex dial clock 020.JPG Convex dial clock 021.JPG
     
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  2. daveR

    daveR Registered User
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    Hi Chris, still a nice piec,e, Ok It doesnt have the shouldered plates but it is still a solid fusee movement with a bit of decoration to the pillars. a convex dial in a cast bezel on a good light case which as you say make this a good looking clock.I also like the hands, very light and thin. One of my first fusee clocks I got nearly 30 years ago which almost started me into the world of clocks ( an impulse purchase almost) is very similar to this, it is a brilliant, reliable runner.
    David
     
  3. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Well I think it is a great choice, lovely hands and convex dial. I would say it is mahogany though, and a very nice colour.

    I'm sure there is something on that dial, have another go in various oblique lights.
     
  4. JimmyOz

    JimmyOz Registered User

    Feb 21, 2008
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    Also looks like Mahogany to me, you have to love the way they put those hinges on and with Philips head screws, gives me the shivers just looking at them.
     
  5. JimmyOz

    JimmyOz Registered User

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    My eyes are not great, however I think I see something written on the back of the dial?
     
  6. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    It must be mahogany, which would be correct for this period. I have 2 other dial clocks that I think are walnut. The bottom part of the bezel reminds me of walnut, but I think there's an old scratch on this and not a small wood knot. And it has a mahogany stain. I don't know where this clock was hanging for the last several years, but it's filthy. There was old, hairy dust that was all over the hands and inside of the glass. Maybe there was a hairy dog around the clock? There were older tags and stickers that were baked on, difficult to remove. May have been in an antique shop or something 50 years ago.
    Probably old repair dates on back of the dial, look like "76" and "79". Maybe that's who punched the main wheel arbor. The whole thing looks untouched for the longest except for the replaced door hinges, which are well done. I could always find slot head screws, not worried about them too much.
    I can't get anything of a signature. Only one small sliver of probably an "A", at 12:30 between the hand arbor and numerals.
    For dating my guess would be c. 1840. I like the key lock bezel which gives it an older look for a dial clock. Also, cosmetically hardly touched, which is what I prefer.
     
  7. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

    Apr 10, 2008
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    The pictures of the face show something under the twelve midway between the hands
    It looks as if it could be a name, is very faint and may not be decipherable
     
  8. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    The later ones can be solid mahogany rather than veneer, but at this age I would have thought veneer. My little drop dial came back to me yesterday, that's later (and smaller) and has some solid mahogany in the box.
     
  9. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    A very nice find and I'm sure it will look even better when you've finished with it Chris,1840 sounds about right. What size is the dial?
     
  10. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    12" dial. But with the thin bezel it looks relatively small.
    When the case is smaller, it's easier and doesn't cost too much to use solid wood. I thought I'd see some of your referencing Ron Rose for the clock in this thread. Make sure to post photos of yours.
     
  11. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I'm at work so away from my book. I got back late last night with the clock, I'll take some pics this evening and add them to the thread about it, I'm really pleased with it, it is very late for me but like a toy it is lovely. I really regret not going harder on a locally signed convex 8 inch dial clock now, I think the tiny ones are really charming
     
  12. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    #12 Chris Radano, Nov 7, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
    Here is a fun exercise. I have this A. Winterhalder dial clock, I think can be dated to 1857...if his first name was Andrew it's highly possible. I thought the Winterhalder movement was pretty nice, and before I put the 2 clocks side by side, I thought the Winterhalder's movement would be noticeably larger than the convex dial. Turns out they have some similarities. The later clock's movement plates are slightly under 1/16" thicker than the convex dial. So the later clock does have a more massive movement.
    1857 clock- thicker bezel, flat dial, fatter hands. I thought the case is walnut. Some English walnut does resemble mahogany.
    The movement pillars on the convex dial do appear to taper slightly towards the front plate.
    The last 2 pics I have the clocks side by side.
    So when is a likely date for the convex dial clock? With the similarities between these two clocks, does the convex dial date later than 1840?

    A. Winterhalder 12 inch dial clock 004.JPG A. Winterhalder 12 inch dial clock 006.JPG A. Winterhalder 12 inch dial clock 007.JPG A. Winterhalder 12 inch dial clock 009.JPG A. Winterhalder 12 inch dial clock 010.JPG A. Winterhalder 12 inch dial clock 011.JPG Compare 001.JPG Compare 002.JPG
     
  13. daveR

    daveR Registered User
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    Going by the references in Rose's Dial clock book, I think it is possible for the clock to be later than 1840, but not a great deal more than 1850. The moon style hands are up to 1880, the tapered pillars went to 1850 with a heavier version around 1875. The square plates of course went for a long time. Also the cast bezel overhanging slightly the edge of the glass (so the glass actually fitted into the bezel) started in 1850 and went to 1880. so take your pick!! Of course these dates are always approximate. I think Nick of Novice has the later edition of this book so there may have been amendments to these dates as well
    David
     
  14. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    Thanks Dave! I think the key lock bezel must be older, also the convex dial itself. Just maybe not quite as old as I thought.
     
  15. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    My understanding is you find convex dials on these clocks before 1840 and after.
     
  16. NigelW

    NigelW Registered User

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    I don't own an English dial clock but I like them very much and have just finished overhauling one for a neighbour after it fell off their wall. I find their simplicity and robustness to be admirable and your example looks like a great find.

    Having got the mechanism back into action, my neighbour has asked me to restore the case, which is also mahogany like yours. The glass, which had previously been smashed, had been replaced with a flat piece and the hinge, previously stuck to the brass rim with epoxy glue, is missing. The diameter is 12 inches so a replacement convex glass can readily be obtained. I just need to find a brass hinge of the right size which I will soft solder on. I have been told that the glass was often held in place with Plaster of Paris. The flat glass which it currently has seems to be held in with epoxy putty.

    20191111_091025.jpg
     
  17. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    The earlier ones were plaster of paris, so convex glass fits with that. Linseed oil putty is hard to remove and results in broken glasses. Some of mine the hinges appear to have been soldered on with lead, which is getting close to the annealing temp for copper.
     
  18. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    I used this product to secure a 12" dial glass in the bezel of my Gilbert. I will not use caulk or silicone (which I've seen) because that's wrong. I figured this product is easy to use, and resembles the old putty (but would probably be easier to remove). This product resembles wood filler, only it says on the can "will not shrink". So, I'm taking it on it's word. So far, so good...but it's only been about 2 years. Very easy to use, I would use it again. Also, relatively light in weight. I know this material was not used in 1840, but I would use it again if needed. I do not intend to advertise the product.

    putty 001.JPG putty 002.JPG

    What you see inside the bezel at lower right, is the edge of a brass tab. There were 3 brass tabs soldered on the inside of the bezel, and one of them had broken. This solution was very easy, and appears unobtrusive. I know it's not entirely correct, but the soldered tabs didn't cut the mustard for a replacement glass.
     
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  19. JimmyOz

    JimmyOz Registered User

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    Just a suggestion, add a little bit of brown stain to the mix to lose the new look.
     
  20. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    it is supposed to be white, and unless the clock is nicotine stained they usually stay white.
     
  21. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    Bah, I'm not going to stain the putty. The putty is a pale buff color.....after all, it is a newer repair. Look at that pretty face (pic from 2018)

    Gilbert Regulator #2 001.JPG
     
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  22. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    N.B.O.P. (Nothing Beats Original Paint). But I did strengthen the numerals.
    First, I went over all the flaking areas with Soluvar (PH neutral) varnish applied with a soft brush. Then, I let it sit for about 3 weeks. Today, I removed the varnish with mineral spirits on a shop towel. Hopefully, enough varnish is still in the flaked paint areas, so it is stable for a lifetime or two. By the way, the dial was filthy front and back.
    Is the strengthening job perfect? Noooooo. To me, the numerals were just a weeee bit too faded to look at comfortably. The hardest part is the chapter ring. Especially on a convex dial! I think I will leave the thick parts of the numerals as is (faded).
    Now, I will let that sit another month. Hopefully the ink will set, so when I wax the dial with Renaissance (or Behlen's Blue Label) everything will stay put.

    Convex dial 001.JPG
     
  23. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Looking good. What ink did you use to strengthen the numerals? I have used a permanent marker for this purpose in the past and found that over the years the black color fades and turns into a light, transparent blue.

    Uhralt
     
  24. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    The pen I used is in the photo. I've used it before, and it has stayed the same, but I've only been using it for about 4 years. So far when wax is applied over the ink, I've also had good results. And if the next owner else really wants to repaint, they can do so.... But as it is now, the dial is mostly original (for the price of the pen and an hour of time).
     
  25. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    I can't see exactly what the pen is. Maybe it has a more permanent ink. I had used a simple "Sharpie" that dries almost immediately. Yours seems to dry slowly, so chances are the pigments are different. When I said "faded over the years" I was referring to a couple of decades......

    Uhralt
     
  26. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    It's Micron Archival, it says suitable for acid free environments. The advertising sounds like it's the correct type of pen to use. We'll see what happens in the next couple decades....If it doesn't hold up, no big deal!
     
  27. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    That sounds quite different from what I used. Chances are that it will hold up better.

    Uhralt
     

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