R Whiting Winchester Grandfather Clock

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by sylvester12, Jun 8, 2020.

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  1. sylvester12

    sylvester12 Registered User

    Oct 17, 2015
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    I havent taken this clock home yet but I think I will the price is good and I dont have a grandfather clock now I do lol.
    It's a R Whiting Winchester Conn. with what is supposed to be the original stenciling on the case. The dial and movement are original so are the tin can weights. I don't have a pendulum for it so I'll have to sort that out. Needs a good cleaning and I'll get it running. Any info greatly appreciated not too familiar with old grandfather clocks.
    My phone takes lousy pictures I'll get some better ones when I.get it home this week.

    20200608_171831.jpg 20200608_171603.jpg 20200608_171853.jpg 20200608_171848.jpg 20200608_171640.jpg 20200608_171657.jpg 20200608_171615.jpg 20200608_171609.jpg 20200608_171836.jpg 20200608_171823.jpg l
     
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  2. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    GREAT PAINT! I like it a lot.
     
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  3. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Okay, now you've really done it!!

    As you yourself say, not the best pix. However, my first impression is a very positive one.

    If "right", that is a painted case that your typical Americana/folk art dealer or collector would be very pleased to own. Have you seen the clock in person??

    Truly a beauty!!

    Just 2 somewhat discordant notes. And I'm just nit picking and sharing my thoughts as if I were pondering its purchase myself. That latch arrangement and position is a bit odd. Would have expected a knob (metal or turned) on the door with an internal latching mechanism? That said, I do recall seeing a few country cases that never had a latch (albeit not typical; like some chests where the draws never had pulls). If so, the latch on this clock may have been added later as the door didn't stay closed. Also I would expect wear around the latch from years of being turned and abrading that area of the case case and door. Examine the door carefully. I do think the feet have lost a small amount of height. NOT really a problem.

    A very nice clock and a very serious painted case provided it all checks out.

    When you can, please send more pix including the sides and back so that we may live vicariously through them!!

    A plea: do NOTHING to the case except wipe it with a soft cloth. I think it needs nothing else and anything more might be deleterious.

    Congrats.

    RM
     
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  4. Fred Henderson

    Fred Henderson Registered User
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    Great case! I really like the paint. Good find.
     
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  5. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    The latch question remains a good question. As to why skilled case makers would use a chunk of wood on a turn rather than use a bit more sophisticated method defies conventional wisdom, or at least the way I see case making. If I have the skills to build a fine case why do I want to deface it with a turn-lock? It does happen far more often on country cases, formal cases will have much better solutions. I have seen several of the Whiting like cases with the turns. Sylvester's clock has a fine and originally "extra cost" paint job so why the cheap turn? But, I don't see anything else was ever used. A great paint job on a fairly humble clock case. In years past this would have commanded a five-digit price on the paint market, today, that market is quite soft, but you still have a great clock! And the paint adds a lot of value for some fair number of us.

    This clock has lived for nearly 300 years with no other method of holding the door closed, just as a point of comparison.

    20200609_070721 1.jpg
     
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  6. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    You get provincial cases here with wooden turnbuckles, I have one where it has been removed and replaced with a lock but you can clearly see the wear pattern of a turnbuckle. I don't know if the turnbuckle was the original fitting, especially as there are two plugged holes, but it certainly has age. The case is about 1740.

    20200609_135156.jpg
     
  7. Raymond Rice

    Raymond Rice Registered User
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    What a great clock! We are all eating our hearts out over that paint! Stop what you are doing and go get that clock!
    Ray
     
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  8. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Points very well taken!

    I have had painted country furniture (I won't bore you with a story about the wonderful oyster white jelly cupboard I had that is now in OH). It had a turn buckle latch like the clock. My memory of that I guess raised the ancillary question I had, and what is visible in your photos, especially Jim's. That is the wear and the "schmutz" from 100's of years fingers turning that turnbuckle. Nicks case might have lost some of that as it appears to have been polished?

    As I have said. A WONDERFUL find. My gut tells me it's most likely "right". Another good example of the opportunities in the current market and how one can buy nice things rather than piles of stuff. I'm just sort of going through and sharing as an academic exercise my mental check list of things to examine more closely as if I'm the potential buyer. Part of that is also the point/counterpoint discussion that it elicits which I find worthwhile and enlightening.

    As Jim points out, these folk art painted clocks/cases and other furniture forms were bringing some serious $$ and in fact, still are though not as much. Human nature being what it is, there were/are some people out there who could do some REALLY good and convincing paint jobs using traditional materials and methods. As some of this work may have been done years ago, it's starting to show some age which can further confuse things. Though expensive, it was worth it financially. And it was in the little details that they got tripped up and their work detected.

    For example, I recall some years ago being at a high end NH show and mentioning to a dealer friend how I wished I could afford the low 6 figure price on what I considered a fantastic PA glazed corner cupboard painted in the manner of Ruppe (spelling?). This dealer friend has decades of experience. He just looked at me and said "really?". He then invited me to go with him to examine the piece which he had done during set-up thinking HE might like to buy it. We were quite discrete. He pointed out any number of relatively small things that in sum just didn't add up no matter how hard we tried to rationalize. He believed that he even knew the guy who did the paint job and so on. Very eye opening! Afterwards, he asked me if I still wanted to spend > my life savings on it? Still sprouted a sold tag.

    RM
     
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  9. senhalls

    senhalls Registered User

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    "Still sprouted a sold tag." What a great turn of phrase ! Thank you for the observations too .
     
  10. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    About 35 years ago I had a badly stripped clock repainted by one of the very good painters. Now that it has aged and moved across the country a few times, accumulated some dust, been wacked on an occasion or two with a vac sweeper, and so forth, it is now pretty convincing. Fact is it fooled self-proclaimed experts from day one. It is what is known in some trades as "second surface!" Never should it be described as a repaint, heavens no! The clock, unsigned, is by Nathaniel Hamlen of Oxford Maine. You can find a very similar case and a very specific designed movement in Philip Morris's book on American WoodWorks tall clocks. The paint job cost more back then than the clock would bring in today's market. And the fellow who painted the case back then did a lot of work for some high powered dealers. Whoever those dealers were they always wanted a better paint job for less money. And of course, they were selling everything as original and getting big money. The painter finally tired of their cheapness, he quit painting and went into entirely nonrelated work. I loved his work.

    Hamlen stripped 2.jpg P7140001.JPG P7140005 (2).JPG IMG_0935 - Copy (2).JPG IMG_1436.JPG IMG_0942.JPG IMG_0948.JPG
     
  11. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    You’re welcome.

    RM
     
  12. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    The other term is “paint history”. A Windsor hasn’t been repainted ad nauseum, it has paint history!

    Nice clock. Did a great job. But just looking at pix (recent or when “fresh”?) to my eyes, too pristine. Looks like edges which have bumps are painted over. The other potentially telling thing is to examine the split in the base. If there is paint in there, suggests not a first surface. Still could be an old surface... or later, even much latter. I don’t see wear, “patina” around the lock or on door where hands would have grasped it while opening & closing, & so on. Maybe I’m being unfair...I just have the pix to judge.

    Another factor is the fact that when something is “great”, it’s too painful to believe it may not be “right”. Like a certain memorial Civil War folk art secretary??

    RM
     
  13. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Flash photography. It's just waxed, and the rub marks from turning the turnbuckle are quite obvious without the flah, including the wear to the edge moulding of the door. I think the turnbuckle has been gone for a century or so.
     
  14. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    #14 Jim DuBois, Jun 9, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
    RM, you are of course correct in that the paint would be more convincing if I added some age to the door lock, and the front of the door where it is handled and so forth. The crack in the base has formed in the last 35 years so it has no paint in it. Thanks be unto central heat? The edges and corners were pretty believable when originally done and have gotten even better. I have at least one other tall clock he painted for me with a truly outrageous paint job. I sold it for precisely what it was, the dealer who bought it sold it a "right and original" for over 10X what he paid me. And you would know his name if I were to mention it. I am looking for a photo of that clock now.

    The other painted tall clock below shows discoloration from hands on the door etc. It is a modern clock, as in brand new, Bari bought it last year as she liked the paint. The photo of the aged and worn door latch is one of my more recent creations that needed to not look new.

    The cupboard is by the same fellow who painted my clock case.

    20190704_182838.jpg 20160816_151002.jpg Scan0562 (2).JPG
     
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  15. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Interesting stuff!

    And I thought that the cracking and warping of my clocks and other stuff due to central heating coupled with dead of winter dryness had no potential benefit?

    Never can one be too sure.

    RM
     
  16. sylvester12

    sylvester12 Registered User

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    I will be bringing it home with me tonight. I'll get some better pictures tonight and post them. The door is worn a bit where the latch is but theres no sign of anything else that was used.
     
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  17. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Your clocks are not only often quite nice but they also do stimulate some real good discussions!

    That to me that is the essence of a good thread on the Forum.

    RM
     
  18. sylvester12

    sylvester12 Registered User

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    I totally agree with you I like the feedback from all members and really respect the knowledge and experience that the members have.
    I'm doing some work for the person who owns the clock the clock is partial payment but I asked if I could take it home today and I can. I'ts in the garage here but I cant wait to get it home.
     
  19. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Heck. I would be pretty excited about it, too!

    RM
     
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  20. sylvester12

    sylvester12 Registered User

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    I got the clock home today all set up in the only spot it can go in lol only have to move two.
    It's missing the second hand I'll try and make one I don't know if I could find an original. The hands are really delicate are they made of white metal.
    I forgot to grab the tin can weights but I can get them tomorrow.
    I dont have the suspension rod or pendulum might need some advice on what to use and how long the drop is.
    I wanted a grandfather clock and now I have one. I really like the looks of this one it definately works for me.
    Some more pictures.
    DSC07844.JPG DSC07837.JPG DSC07834.JPG DSC07835.JPG DSC07831.JPG DSC07827.JPG DSC07828.JPG DSC07829.JPG DSC07822.JPG DSC07826.JPG DSC07823.JPG DSC07852.JPG DSC07853.JPG DSC07854.JPG DSC07851.JPG DSC07832.JPG DSC07844.JPG DSC07833.JPG DSC07856.JPG
     
  21. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Excellent! Neat hands, very usual. A great clock, great paint. You should be very pleased! I would recommend making a seconds hand. The hands offered by the usual suspects generally look like they are replacements. And your clock deserves something better I think.
     
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  22. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Oooo dat nize!!!

    Congratulations!

    RM
     
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  23. senhalls

    senhalls Registered User

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    Is it missing finials on top ?
     
  24. sylvester12

    sylvester12 Registered User

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    I dont think it had any theres no holes even in the middle. I wondering about that too.
     
  25. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    I would suggest going over every square inch of that case and seat board on the very slim chance that you may find a previously missed signature of the case maker or decorative painter. It has happened.

    My first impulse was the Coles, but, I disabused myself of that notion rather quickly.

    The bottom line is that the overwhelming vast majority of these wonderful cases are anonymous. Not unusual for many great pieces of painted furniture, folk art, and so on from this period.

    Another method of potential attribution would be to compare it to other pieces of painted furniture and clock cases that may have a firm attribution based upon label, signature, a preserved bill of sale and so on. Sometimes even if a specific maker cannot be identified, an attribution to a particular region might be assigned. Though admittedly the techniques and motifs tended to be commonly used, certain regions sometimes had particular characteristics to the decoration. Remember, that it has a CT movement does not always mean it was cased there. I will take the safe route and say NE, probably CT. Just for chuckles, see Morris, page 301, figure 22-2. That clock has Twiss, Meriden CT on the dial, a Hoadley movement and as per Morris, the case was probably made in CT but apparently found in Canada. Guess I'm a bit confused by his account as he talks about this case in the context of Canadian made cases. Of note, your case does not have coiled wire hinges which if present would have implied Canadian manufacture. Morris also says that the Twiss' purchased movements from Whiting.

    There are books about painted furniture (Fales comes to mind). Lots of stuff on the internet, too. Might be interesting for you to do some leisurely looking around. Of course, I hope someone out there might have some ideas.

    Most likely we will never know who the artist was.

    Ultimately, who cares. We're too obsessed with "date" and "ID" when there's so much more to talk about. Enjoy the clock of which you are now the custodian.

    RM
     
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  26. sylvester12

    sylvester12 Registered User

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    I did a search of Whiting grandfather clocks the other night looking to see how the pendulum and suspension rod was set up in this clock. I didnt get the pendulum he didnt have it. I found another Whiting grandfather clock with the same paint on the top, the picture didnt show the bottom of the clock so I dont know if that was done the same way mine was.
    I would have to assume that Whiting was having these clocks painted by someone it would be interesting to find out who the artist was.
     
  27. sylvester12

    sylvester12 Registered User

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    I picked up the tin can weights yesterday look original 200 year old rocks.

    20200612_070344.jpg
     

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