Please ID this antique Clock?

Tom234b

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Hello and thanks for looking. Any whole or small bits of information will be very appreciated. I did spend a couple hours on-line poking around but didn't find (especially) identity of the trademark. I'm not really (or at all) a sophisticated clock guy. I have gotten many of them to run, however, so I kind of know the basics- especially with pendulum and anniversary clocks. However if I see a shot bearing, crooked gears, and (usually) a busted spring, I'm out.

So the case is only about a foot tall (see pic), and the original (I assume) label (see two pics), says Welch and 30 Hour Time Piece and Forestville. It's hard to make much else out, but it doesn't say anything about alarm or sounding bell, etc. As you can see, there is a screw there where one might expect a bell or gong. But there is only one hole in the face, one spring and nothing to indicate the current movement ever had striking mechanisms. There is no embossing or ID on the movement (not pictured). The plate of the movement on top closest to the front (dial) is held on by pins, not screws or bolts.

So that all brings up the question to me, perhaps the original movement was replaced. There is a trademark on the front of the clock dial (see pic). I couldn't find it on-line. Does anyone know who that is?

In addition, there are a few extra screw holes about a half inch from the current ones, again hinting at a different movement. It says 30 hours, but clearly has room for another 12 hours or more. The key that came with the deal says Germany, and it is size four.

That's about all I got. The trademark on the dial would be an easy indicator that only the cabinet is Welch. Trademark looks like an L and J over a larger S, all in a circle (Sessions?). Thanks again for any info and have a good day. Tom

Label 1.jpg label 2.jpg trademark.jpg whole clock.jpg
 

Kevin W.

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The S on the dial is for Swiggart, they made replacement dials for clocks. Pictures of the movement would help identify the maker.
 

demoman3955

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label says welch, so im tempted to say the label is correct for a 30 hour clock. There is no bell or alarm because its a time only clock. One winding arbor is for time, if it had 2 it would have a gong or bell.
 

Tom234b

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I just got it reliably working so I am reluctant to take the face and hands off again, but I'll do it this evening and post the picture. My experience is every time I disassemble a clock I run a risk of screwing something up. Just looks like a simple tic-toc movement. But please return this evening for an additional pic. Thanks.
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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Hello and thanks for looking. Any whole or small bits of information will be very appreciated. I did spend a couple hours on-line poking around but didn't find (especially) identity of the trademark. I'm not really (or at all) a sophisticated clock guy. I have gotten many of them to run, however, so I kind of know the basics- especially with pendulum and anniversary clocks. However if I see a shot bearing, crooked gears, and (usually) a busted spring, I'm out.

So the case is only about a foot tall (see pic), and the original (I assume) label (see two pics), says Welch and 30 Hour Time Piece and Forestville. It's hard to make much else out, but it doesn't say anything about alarm or sounding bell, etc. As you can see, there is a screw there where one might expect a bell or gong. But there is only one hole in the face, one spring and nothing to indicate the current movement ever had striking mechanisms. There is no embossing or ID on the movement (not pictured). The plate of the movement on top closest to the front (dial) is held on by pins, not screws or bolts.

So that all brings up the question to me, perhaps the original movement was replaced. There is a trademark on the front of the clock dial (see pic). I couldn't find it on-line. Does anyone know who that is?

In addition, there are a few extra screw holes about a half inch from the current ones, again hinting at a different movement. It says 30 hours, but clearly has room for another 12 hours or more. The key that came with the deal says Germany, and it is size four.

That's about all I got. The trademark on the dial would be an easy indicator that only the cabinet is Welch. Trademark looks like an L and J over a larger S, all in a circle (Sessions?). Thanks again for any info and have a good day. Tom

View attachment 726658 View attachment 726659 View attachment 726660 View attachment 726661
Really no mystery here.

You have what is referred to as a “cottage clock”.

As the label states, it is a “timepiece”, i.e., a timekeeper without a strike. Probably 30 hour duration.

Could it have had a separate alarm movement? I believe the alarm function would have been incorporated into the movement rather than a separate one. Also, many old clocks have holes in the backboard because they were used to secure the clock to a wall so it wouldn’t fall off of a shelf or mantel. At this point, the description & visual information you provided is inadequate to do more than speculate.

As indicated, the logo on the dial has nothing to do with a clock maker. Though I believe in 1903, Welch did become Sessions. That logo is of someone who produced thick paper dials made to be pasted over the original dial. This is no longer considered, at least by a few, an appropriate “restoration”.

The clock was made by E.N. Welch, a prolific late19th century maker of clocks. Their product line included some of the best American clocks of their time to, well, really inexpensive very basic ones like this cottage clock.

I have seen many like yours. The tablet, which appears original, is nice.

The label is rough. Leave it. Ignore anyone who has suggestions as to how to “restore” it. You cannot.

The little spring driven brass movements in these were simple & typically unmarked. They are most commonly time only. There was a wonderful Bulletin article published a # of years ago that summarizes info on cottage clock movements. You can probably find yours in there & confirm if it’s a Welch product of at least a movement they used in their clocks.

RM
 

Steven Thornberry

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Oh, and BTW & FWIW, the logo on the dial currently is of E.&J. Swigart of Cincinnati. The company was in business for over 100 years, closing in 1992. A brief statement of its history can be found in the June 2001 NAWCC Bulletin, pp. 378-79.
 

Tom234b

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The S on the dial is for Swiggart, they made replacement dials for clocks.
Thanks very much Kevin, mystery solved, I Googled the name and checked the trademark and read some info, One was interesting in that it claimed "Swiggart" dials also would show up on other old clocks when they were new, for various reasons, so they may have made more than replacement dials. Certainly this Swiggart dial is not new stuff from a clock shop, it's heavy solid brass-ish. So I'm going to refer to the whole clock as an unmarked Welch movement and case with a Swiggart dial. I'll hold off on disassembling the clock again. I don't think there is anything there for ID purposes. The pins rather than nuts hint to me it is old enough. Swiggart in one of the articles began in 1898 which is near when a Welch factory was rebuilt after fire, so i can guess something might have gone on between the two companies. Thanks again, Tom
 

Tom234b

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Really no mystery here.

You have what is referred to as a “cottage clock”.

As the label states, it is a “timepiece”, i.e., a timekeeper without a strike. Probably 30 hour duration.

Could it have had a separate alarm movement? I believe the alarm function would have been incorporated into the movement rather than a separate one. Also, many old clocks have holes in the backboard because they were used to secure the clock to a wall so it wouldn’t fall off of a shelf or mantel. At this point, the description & visual information you provided is inadequate to do more than speculate.

As indicated, the logo on the dial has nothing to do with a clock maker. Though I believe in 1903, Welch did become Sessions. That logo is of someone who produced thick paper dials made to be pasted over the original dial. This is no longer considered, at least by a few, an appropriate “restoration”.

The clock was made by E.N. Welch, a prolific late19th century maker of clocks. Their product line included some of the best American clocks of their time to, well, really inexpensive very basic ones like this cottage clock.

I have seen many like yours. The tablet, which appears original, is nice.

The label is rough. Leave it. Ignore anyone who has suggestions as to how to “restore” it. You cannot.

The little spring driven brass movements in these were simple & typically unmarked. They are most commonly time only. There was a wonderful Bulletin article published a # of years ago that summarizes info on cottage clock movements. You can probably find yours in there & confirm if it’s a Welch product of at least a movement they used in their clocks.

RM
Hello Rmarkowitz- Thanks for response and correcting the spelling on that- one g not two in Swigart. So it remains a mystery for some. Couple thoughts I have and what really is behind my question?-

You say "That logo is of someone who produced thick paper dials made to be pasted over the original dial. This is no longer considered, at least by a few, an appropriate "restoration"." Please make no mistake, I am not trying to sell anything here on this site, but to keep me sane in my old age, I do purchase stuff cheap to later sell at my space in a local antiques market; clocks or anything else. "Stuff" must be acquired real cheap to leave room for mistakes, and to make it cheap for the next guy or gal, who is also usually a re-seller. I picked this up for $2. So step one was accomplished.

Step two in this case is getting it to work, otherwise I sell an empty case for $5. So after my methods of de-gunking and lubrication, and bending of the crutch, it ran. But would stop after about the first 3 hours of a full wind, so I opted more de-gunking and lubricating of the (I'll call it) center shaft with encouragement round and round with my finger, and finally, it ran consistently predictably. Step two accomplished!

Keep in mind that when selling, honesty is the top priority. I find out what I've got so I can accurately and honestly describe it.

This brings me to my post, step 3, ID'ing the clock and deciding what price to put on it. I already examined the movement and found no ID. But the plates and everything were held together with tiny brass pins, so that looked old to me. I've got an old working movement. I already know the clock case has a sticker that says Welch. What then is the copyright-logo on the dial about? Spent an hour or so on-line and found nothing, so I posted my question, checked the answer "Swiggart" on line, and I had my mystery solved (Google is great with auto-correct). But this is where more questions than answers come in….

Who really is Swigart? The clock is somewhere near late 1800's or very early 1900's. I would think (#1), who would be restoring it before (let's say) 1950? And I think (#2) why would it need restoration at such a young age? And then I think (#3), would this thing have commanded a value back then, worthy of a "restoration"? So my answers- no one, didn't need it, and no, too cheap to restore. So if it were more recently restored, why was it so gunked up? Answer- not restored. Then why does it have a faceplate that says Swigart?

Welch burned down near the turn of the century two or three times. Perhaps they were unable to produce faceplates for a while? Perhaps Welch didn't want their name on the front of cheap clocks, but had a lot of cases with labels already inside? Perhaps Welch went bankrupt and they had numerous cases that were picked up by some other company for cheap.
Furthermore, again, who is Swigart, a recent maker of cheap clock replacement dials? No, Swigart has been around a long time also (incorporated 1907), and this according to the Smithsonian Institution: "Tools, supplies and equipment for watch and clock makers, jewelers, engravers, opticians, hobbyists, instrument makers, metal workers, silversmiths, tool and die makers, school shops, electronics, industry. Pliers ; watch dials ; watch parts ; drilling machines ...this comprises the uncataloged portion."

The movement looks about like what Steven refers to here, except that rather than bent wires holding the whole movement assembly together, there are brass pins.

The Swigart dial was not haplessly attached, does not appear suspiciously thick, and looks age appropriate. As far as not being considered by some as an "appropriate restoration", then, we really have no evidence that the clock was "restored" or that any other clock dial ever existed. As a matter of fact, perhaps another supplier recovered a large number of these cases and turned to Swigart to complete them. Swigart certainly had what was needed. While I'll not tag it with the words "original dial", I'll also not state restored, repaired, reproduction, replacement or the like. Those words frequently kill a sale. But I'll be happy to describe what I learned. "It is what it is". On my written description, next to the clock for sale, it will state

Key Wound Pendulum Clock
Welch Cabinet circa 1900
Old Movement no ID
Swigart Dial
Antique
Works Well

They'll get a very fair price, be likely to return, and we'll both be happy.

Thanks again for your reply and to all the others. Tom
 

new2clocks

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And I think (#2) why would it need restoration at such a young age?
I cannot speak for RM, but Seth Thomas dials, for example, were known to have flaked - some to the point where the function of the dial (i.e., the numerals) were not legible. Seth Thomas clocks with restored dials are not unheard of.

would this thing have commanded a value back then, worthy of a "restoration"?
In 1950, unlike today, there was no "Antiques Roadshow" wherein people believe that everything that is old is of great value. This is not an opinion of your clock. In 1950, the clock, if it were purchased, was done so more for utilitarian reasons than (at that time) for potential profit of a 'vintage' clock.

Restoration of a dial is not the issue - the type of restoration is what RM (I believe) was referencing.

Regards.
 

JTD

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Then why does it have a faceplate that says Swigart?
It doesn't have a faceplate (which is something quite different) - it has a dial which has had a Swigart paper dial put on.

I have never heard of a clock with a Swigart paper dial that hadn't been restored. As far as I know, no manufacturer ever sent clocks out with Swigart paper dials.

Seeing Swigart on the dial immediately tells me the dial has been restored/repaired/altered, call it what you like, but it's not the original dial.

Others may have different opinions.

JTD
 
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Steven Thornberry

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It doesn't have a faceplate (which is something quite different) - it has a dial which has had a Swigart paper dial put on.

I have never heard of a clock with a Swigart paper dial that hadn't been restored. As far as I know, no manufacturer ever sent clocks out with Swigart paper dials.

Seeing Swigart on the dial immediately tells me the dial has been restored/repaired/altered, call it what you like, but it's not the original dial.

Others may have different opinions.

JTD
I agree with JTD. E.&J. Swigart Co. never touched this clock.
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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Hello Rmarkowitz- Thanks for response and correcting the spelling on that- one g not two in Swigart. So it remains a mystery for some. Couple thoughts I have and what really is behind my question?-

You say "That logo is of someone who produced thick paper dials made to be pasted over the original dial. This is no longer considered, at least by a few, an appropriate "restoration"." Please make no mistake, I am not trying to sell anything here on this site, but to keep me sane in my old age, I do purchase stuff cheap to later sell at my space in a local antiques market; clocks or anything else. "Stuff" must be acquired real cheap to leave room for mistakes, and to make it cheap for the next guy or gal, who is also usually a re-seller. I picked this up for $2. So step one was accomplished.

Step two in this case is getting it to work, otherwise I sell an empty case for $5. So after my methods of de-gunking and lubrication, and bending of the crutch, it ran. But would stop after about the first 3 hours of a full wind, so I opted more de-gunking and lubricating of the (I'll call it) center shaft with encouragement round and round with my finger, and finally, it ran consistently predictably. Step two accomplished!

Keep in mind that when selling, honesty is the top priority. I find out what I've got so I can accurately and honestly describe it.

This brings me to my post, step 3, ID'ing the clock and deciding what price to put on it. I already examined the movement and found no ID. But the plates and everything were held together with tiny brass pins, so that looked old to me. I've got an old working movement. I already know the clock case has a sticker that says Welch. What then is the copyright-logo on the dial about? Spent an hour or so on-line and found nothing, so I posted my question, checked the answer "Swiggart" on line, and I had my mystery solved (Google is great with auto-correct). But this is where more questions than answers come in….

Who really is Swigart? The clock is somewhere near late 1800's or very early 1900's. I would think (#1), who would be restoring it before (let's say) 1950? And I think (#2) why would it need restoration at such a young age? And then I think (#3), would this thing have commanded a value back then, worthy of a "restoration"? So my answers- no one, didn't need it, and no, too cheap to restore. So if it were more recently restored, why was it so gunked up? Answer- not restored. Then why does it have a faceplate that says Swigart?

Welch burned down near the turn of the century two or three times. Perhaps they were unable to produce faceplates for a while? Perhaps Welch didn't want their name on the front of cheap clocks, but had a lot of cases with labels already inside? Perhaps Welch went bankrupt and they had numerous cases that were picked up by some other company for cheap.
Furthermore, again, who is Swigart, a recent maker of cheap clock replacement dials? No, Swigart has been around a long time also (incorporated 1907), and this according to the Smithsonian Institution: "Tools, supplies and equipment for watch and clock makers, jewelers, engravers, opticians, hobbyists, instrument makers, metal workers, silversmiths, tool and die makers, school shops, electronics, industry. Pliers ; watch dials ; watch parts ; drilling machines ...this comprises the uncataloged portion."
Not sure I entirely follow your line of reasoning here. Swigart was a supply house to the clock and watch trade. Yes, they were in existence for a goodly amount of time, up to the '70's I believe. They offered replacement parts, including dials. These were made to be pasted onto an existing dial plate. At one time, it was a relatively inexpensive, readily acquired, easy and quick fix rather than having a dial repainted. To my knowledge, based upon many first hand encounters, they were never original equipment. Could be 50 years old or more. So call it an older replacement Maybe at one time, the use of these overpaste dials was considered an appropriate restoration. Not now. But a lot cheaper than proper restoration or repainting, especially for a common inexpensive clock like this one. What's really bad is when you find them on a better clock. Like the otherwise WONDERFUL all original Kroeber # 46 regulator that I know of in a shop. The seller wants top dollar plus and the dial for me is such a turnoff.

Why the dial in your clock needed replacement? Sometimes the dials actually didn't. I have gently peel back a few and found that the dial underneath wasn't so bad. Sometimes the dial had a few flakes and someone thought this looked better. Sometimes they had extensive flaking.

I am very familiar with these and other cottage clocks. This one most likely originally had a painted tin dial. Period. It's a later addition.

Cottage clocks were included in Welch catalogs. The company was not embarrassed by them. They sought to provide merchandise to fit everyone's "pocket book". Like many care companies did. Take a look in Tran's Welch book. I think they're in there, but I haven't looked.

A grungy movement. Not a sure sign of age.

I cannot speak for RM, but Seth Thomas dials, for example, were known to have flaked - some to the point where the function of the dial (i.e., the numerals) were not legible. Seth Thomas clocks with restored dials are not unheard of.

In 1950, unlike today, there was no "Antiques Roadshow" wherein people believe that everything that is old is of great value. This is not an opinion of your clock. In 1950, the clock, if it were purchased, was done so more for utilitarian reasons than (at that time) for potential profit of a 'vintage' clock.

Restoration of a dial is not the issue - the type of restoration is what RM (I believe) was referencing.

Regards.
Yes, someone might have just wanted a legible dial on a usable clock. And yes, the type of restoration. See my comments above.

The standard for what is considered appropriate restoration is certainly not fixed, but it surely existed before the Antiques Roadshow. And there are multiple factors weighted and considered in determining value. One of those is originality and lack of restoration.

Here's an extreme, probably ridiculous example that's really not comparable but makes a point:

1663606274443.png


Ratty, dirty, faded, cracked, feet have lost height, all sorts bits missing, missing handles.

Strip or repaint? Restore or leave it be and which pathway do folks think will ultimately yield the best price??

RM
 
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Tom234b

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This is a summery reply to Steven, JTD and Mr. Markowitz- Yes, any altering of the original piece (whatever it is), brings up questions and brings down value, especially for a serious collector. Apart from this, my interpretation of the Swigart situation leads me to a few deductive questions. If you have a clock with a Swigart logo on the dial, what does it mean?

Today, no company in their right mind would seriously make cheap paper replacement dials with their own logo printed boldly on the front as if that were to mean something (or nothing), and expect to stay in business. "Clock people" would never, never, never buy them. Never. And this is not news, serious collectors have felt this way since the beginning of anything to do with collecting. So why did Swigart do it? To supply replacements, along with all their other clock and fine machine fixing stuff. Today, you can print out dials with your computer and put whatever name you want on it (I've done this a few times when there was no other option.) No one today, and I'll suggest yesterday too, is going to put a replacement dial on a clock unless they absolutely have to. Swigart was not making cheap paper dials for collectors to "restore" their clocks, putting their name on it and expecting it to sell. That's all my opinion.

I'll also turn back to the fixing/utilitarian explanation- This clock is a pain in the A and inconvenient to use. If this is your only way to keep track of time, you are lost after a week, and whatever you do, don't forget to wind it every day. By the 1930's I am going to guess, most people had electric, and therefore electric clocks. If not, they had a simple dependable Westclox they could use. So that rules out the post 1930's utilitarian fixing theory. So if the clock were not recently fixed for use, and collectors do not want alternative dials/face plates, what is the explanation?

First explanation is the clock was fixed a long time ago.

Another theory I can come up with, is that Welch went out of business some time there in the early 1900's (I believe I read). Businesses get liquidated after final closing time, one way or the other. If, and that's a big if, Welch were caught with their pants down and there were hundreds or thousands of clocks without dials/face plates, some other company would have picked them up cheap and needed to put dials/plates on them. Where to get dials/plates cheap and not be concerned about a logo? Swigart. (In addition, surmising from the Smithsonian description, Swigart could easily have supplied/sold "no ID" clock movements and even, if they really wanted to, manufacture them, if there were a profit to be made. So I believe they could be the culprit too).

A small profit might be made from insurance claims from fires or floods- replace the dial, not the whole clock, and the insurance company saves money. Again, the question comes up, when would it be OK or feasible to replace a clock dial and put a new name on the clock. Kind of like having your Ford fixed after flood or collision but the shop replaces the Ford emblem with the name of the shop. Answer- never.

And finally, again, I have a nice unusually little antique clock with an old Swigart dial/face that says Welch on the inside. Some home owners just like to have a few old conversation pieces around, and this can be one of them. It is real, and it is what it is. "The way people used to live." And it works! Want to see and hear it go? A 20 year old today may have no idea what a mechanical clock is. To them, this is real history and gets their imagination going (maybe).

Thanks again everyone for your input. The logo is Swigart. We know for sure that much.
 

Bernhard J.

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Ratty, dirty, faded, cracked, feet have lost height, all sorts bits missing, missing handles.

Strip or repaint? Restore or leave it be and which pathway do folks think will ultimately yield the best price??
I personally would leave it. If at all, I would clean it carefully and search for matching handles. But I know, and this is absolutely acceptable, that others would rather have it restored for use. The "best price" question nevertheless depends on the quality of the restoration, if done. Only few have the skills and sensibility to restore such an object so that it keeps its aura of age.

I would never ever want to "restore" for example this dial. And in this case believe that the value as is is higher that if "restored"

B&A.jpg

P.S.: Irrespective of when the dial of the Tom´s clock was "restored" (replaced), it looks in my eyes well and does not yell "wrong". I like it. And it is part of this objects history.
 
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Steven Thornberry

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Another theory I can come up with, is that Welch went out of business some time there in the early 1900's (I believe I read). Businesses get liquidated after final closing time, one way or the other. If, and that's a big if, Welch were caught with their pants down and there were hundreds or thousands of clocks without dials/face plates, some other company would have picked them up cheap and needed to put dials/plates on them. Where to get dials/plates cheap and not be concerned about a logo? Swigart. (In addition, surmising from the Smithsonian description, Swigart could easily have supplied/sold "no ID" clock movements and even, if they really wanted to, manufacture them, if there were a profit to be made. So I believe they could be the culprit too).
Welch went out of business in December 1902 and by January 1903, Sessions took over the company. Sessions disposed of left-over Welch stock. I seriously doubt that Swigart played any part in the activities you describe, nor do I get that impression from the Smithsonian Institution information.

[Trade catalogs from E. & J. Swigart Co.] | Collections Search Center, Smithsonian Institution (si.edu)
 
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JTD

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If you have a clock with a Swigart logo on the dial, what does it mean?
It means the original dial was replaced, nothing more, nothing less.

Irrespective of when the dial of the Tom´s clock was "restored" (replaced), it looks in my eyes well and does not yell "wrong". I like it. And it is part of this objects history.
I agree.

JTD
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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I personally would leave it. If at all, I would clean it carefully and search for matching handles. But I know, and this is absolutely acceptable, that others would rather have it restored for use. The "best price" question nevertheless depends on the quality of the restoration, if done. Only few have the skills and sensibility to restore such an object so that it keeps its aura of age.

I would never ever want to "restore" for example this dial. And in this case believe that the value as is is higher that if "restored"

View attachment 727328

P.S.: Irrespective of when the dial of the Tom´s clock was "restored" (replaced), it looks in my eyes well and does not yell "wrong". I like it. And it is part of this objects history.
That chest sold for $50K because it was unmolested. Most would consider restoration a huge mistake.

I do understand the desire to have a legible dial. I have had a few dials restored or repainted.

Honestly, I have seen many restored dials. The quality ranges from the work done by professionals like the Dial House and others to overpastes like this to some absolutely awful home handyman specials. Some of the professionally done ones are okay. Often too bright or when there is an attempt to artificially darken them, doesn't look right. I never like the ones with the artificially induced craquelure. Again, never look right. Often the signatures just don't look right either. Sometimes the numerals are too heavy. The home handyman specials and overpastes. Sorry, no. Part of the history. Yes. But not always a happy history. I do have one clock with a Swigart overpaste. It's a rare clock and I live with it, like I live with intermittent back pain.

RM
 

demoman3955

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hahaha i have a drop octagon thats nothing special, and i remover the peper dial that had the name of one company, but the movement of another. The movement was correct for the clock, but somewhere in the past, someone actually repainted the dial and added thie company they worked for at the time. Now the paining was really bad, but thats a part of its past, and i wont change it. Yes the paper dial was also a part of its past, but asses no interest to the clock.

IMG_1621 a.jpg
 

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