Riley Whiting Column & Splat

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by Curtis Jackson, Apr 19, 2010.

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  1. Curtis Jackson

    Curtis Jackson Registered User
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    Apr 14, 2009
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    Please forgive the awful picture, better ones will come. I think it suits my questions so far.

    This was given to me this weekend by a wonderful couple in our chapter.

    Column & splat? Or something else? I think I've also read that these guys are called groaners. The weights are monstrously heavy.

    Glasses are not original (not wavy), wooden works seems seized up to some degree. Little over 32" high. Weights, lead (unadjustable) bob, iron bell, label and key (!!!) are present. Splat is painted black, about 1/4" thick, seems quite new. Pendulum lead looks new as well.

    The key hole has what I originally thought was a diamond made of ivory around it. It wasn't shaped or glued very well and ended up coming off when I tried the key. Seems like plastic now that it's out. Any comments on what would have originally have been there? Would here have been a key/lock at all?

    Dial seems original. Would those brass escutcheons have been present originally? Methinks not, but thought I'd ask before I took them off.

    Case is in acceptable condition, almost no veneer missing, a couple of scratches on the left column, appears that the columns have been painted, probably the same time as the splat.

    The gentleman that gave it to me was not able to work on it. He speculated it in the 1830s. Would love to get it running but that wooden works intimidates me!

    Better pictures soon, I promise.
     

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  2. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Hi Curtis, nice gift:D. By coincedence, I was gifted a similar Riley Whiting column and splat clock about 10 years ago. Mine still has it's original looking glass (mirror), which is quite likely what yours had. Usually stencil decorated columns and splat. Oversized weights may indicate you have an 8 day clock. Riley Whiting died in 1835, so yours would be this old or older.
    Don't try to run it in it's present condition, as you will likely just chew teeth off the wheels.
    Needs taking apart and cleaning, if nothing else.
     
  3. Curtis Jackson

    Curtis Jackson Registered User
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    8 day would be awesome. The gentleman that gave it to me said he thought it was 30 hour but we shall see. The plates are larger than I expected for a 30 hour wooden works but then again I'm new to it all.

    Suspected it would need work. I just hope that it won't be too much for me. I've had to lay off repairs for a while now because the money just isn't there for them.

    I am, however, going to pursue some wavy glass for the dial and perhaps wavy mirror. Is scrap wavy mirror as easy to find as wavy glass?

    I've seen the splats discussed here and there but in my situation, If I were to try to "restore" the splat by adding some sort of stencilwork, is that kosher or should I leave it as is?
     
  4. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Old mirrors usually are reasonably cheap at auctions, flea markets, etc. If you think the splat and columns are replacements, stencilling them would be acceptable. My splat has a cornocopia motif.
    You could try removing the paint to see what is under it. Couldn't see any stencilling on mine til I cleaned it.
     
  5. Jeremy Woodoff

    Jeremy Woodoff Registered User
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    Curtis, these clocks did have brass escutcheons on the winding holes and door locks with (usually) diamond-shaped escutcheons. I think the escutcheons were originally ivory, but could have been bone. An old piano key can be used to make a replacement.
     
  6. Richard T.

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    Just for clarification, I thought winding arbor holes had "grommets" and keyholes had "escutcheons". I guess it's just terminology again;);)

    Good luck on the restoration.

    Best,

    Richard T.
     
  7. Curtis Jackson

    Curtis Jackson Registered User
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    Thanks Jeremy. I'll definitely ask about piano keys when I go to my local salvage shop looking for glass.


    I totally agree. 'Grommet' escaped me at the time I posted.
     
  8. Curtis Jackson

    Curtis Jackson Registered User
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    Finally making good on the promise for more pictures.

    - The problem with the movement being bound up was due to weight cord wrapped up in the winding arbors. There are a couple of very good-looking repairs to the minute wheel and ... another wheel (can't remember which one). I freed the weight cords and didn't see much reason for a disassembly/cleaning, so I set it running. Then the weight issue...

    - This guy is definitely 30 hour. The eight-day weights went bye-bye and I put a set of weights in from one of my ogees. They were too light (2lb 4.5oz strike and 2lb 15.8oz time) so I added a stack of two inch washers, roughly 0.5oz each, to each weight to get them up to about 3lb strike and 4lb time. No weight-related problems since then.

    - The minute hand is missing and I don't have any of the Terry-style hands laying around, so I opened up the square in a spare ogee hand and put it on. Looks like crap but it does the job for now.

    - Bought some wavy glass, have yet to get it cut to size. Finding original, old, wavy mirror is apparently tough in Nashville. Most glass companies want about $100 to cut, silver and "antique" the silvering if I provide the glass. One place emailed me yesterday and said they'd do all that for $24 plus tax. I couldn't believe it. Emailed him back to clarify the three things I need from him and asked him to make sure that was the right price. Haven't heard back yet. Don't want to make a trip to get disappointed!

    - The lock is by no means original, bummer. Key looks convincing though. Completely forgot to ask about piano keys when I was at the salvage shop.

    - Label is about 60% gone. The best parts are there though:

    Code:
    [CENTER]Modern Improved
    
    Clocks,
    
    Made by
    
    Riley Whiting
    
    Winchester, Conn.
    
    Warranted if well Used.
    
    M. Gardner, Printer, Norwich(?), Conn.[/CENTER]
    
    Runs great, just need to take care of weights, minute hand, glass and mirror.

    Can someone show me what kind of weights would have come with the clock? Judging by the marks on the back of the dial, it's always had cylindrical weights.

    Comment, please. :D
     

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