Saw this movement in a tallcase clock

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by upstateny, Apr 20, 2017.

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  1. upstateny

    upstateny Registered User

    Oct 2, 2015
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    Have never seen one like this and know nothing about it. It is obviously a musical clock based on the bells but also appears to strike on a gong. Appears to have 8 bells and the gong looks to me to be from a ST clock. Anybody have any ideas on what it is, who made it and when?

    [​IMG]
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  2. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    I know little about brass movement tallcase clocks, but my guess is that the gong would count the hours, and the quarters (or just the hour) would be marked by a musical tune. Just a guess, but an interesting clock indeed!

    George
     
  3. upstateny

    upstateny Registered User

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    Thanks George, however I'm not sure about Westminster. Since the movement has 8 bells and a gong. In my experience WestM clocks have 8 chime rods but only 4 are used for the chime, the other 4 struck in unison constitute the strike. My guess is the gong is used to count the hour and perhaps strike once on the half. The bells are a mystery, unless it is chiming a tune I'm not familiar with. The dial has a 'Chime/Silent' selector in the arch but no means that I can see to select between different tunes. So, my guess is that it plays only one tune that is comprised of 8 notes, such as Whittington or St. Micheal.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. lpbp

    lpbp Registered User
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    Unless there is another switch through the dial to select the chime, Westminster, Canterbury, etc., it's more than likely a one tune on eight bells, striking the hours on the gong.
     
  5. upstateny

    upstateny Registered User

    Oct 2, 2015
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    Just noticed there may be a very small lever at the three position in the attached photo. I still have no idea of the movement maker. Never seen a bell/gong arrangement before.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    You get bell gong setups in Victorian bracket clocks.
     
  7. upstateny

    upstateny Registered User

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    Novice, have look at the pics in the first post. Does this thing look English or American to you? The pendulum looks to be of the sort used in a Herschede or Waltham 'longcase' clock. And how about Lewis blowing the race by impedeing Ricciardo!
     
  8. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    I can't answer on any of that I'm afraid as it is outside my experience, all I know is that the arrangement of bells and a gong is not at all unusual in Victorian clocks. (I look at a lot of bracket clocks and stop as soon as I see a gong, so I don't go much further into them.)
     
  9. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Usually the little lever on the right side of the dial at the 3 o'clock position selects 1 of 3 available tunes. On occasion its sole purpose is to silence the chime and the hour strike is silenced by the hand in the arc. Movements such as these were offered by a number of companies over the years including Waltham, Elite, Walter Durfee, Colonial Clock Company, Elliot from the UK, and several other companies. They are usually quite robust and generally preceded tubular chime versions by a few years. Cases range from plain to oh my goodness in various styles, carved or not carved. Some are cased in cases well over 10 feet tall.

    From the photos provided the maker of this clock is not obvious. Most, but not all, were signed on the dial with a small plaque held by a couple of small screws.
     
  10. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Thanks for the lesson, upstateny! I should have counted the bells, which I carelessly did not do. I think that Jim DuBois' answer above most likely explains things perfectly. He is extremely knowledgeable and experienced!

    Best,

    George
     
  11. Robert Gift

    Robert Gift Registered User

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    Re: The "pin drum" will reveal the tune(s).

    Wonderful! Love the bells. Accurately tuned?
     
  12. Ray Dennis

    Ray Dennis Registered User
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    Re: The "pin drum" will reveal the tune(s).

    I agree with Jim's observation. These clocks were made by a number of different companies and always of very good quality. Just like many of the 8 bell bracket clocks they had a selection of Westminster or Chime on 8 bells. The Westminster used only 4 of the bells and the 8 bell chime were sometime identified as to Canterbury etc but a lot were just an 8 bell sequence composed by the manufacturer. The bells were always well tuned and sound great.
    The hour strike was on the large deep toned gong.

    Don't know if you have access to the clock but I wouldn't doubt that the lever at 3 o'clock would be for changing the sequence to either Westminster or chime on 8 bells by moving the pin barrel in the movement slightly.

    if you can access the dial try moving that lever and and then advancing the hands to the next quarter to see what you get. Just remember wait till the chime is finished it's cycle before you move the change lever.
    You might see a marking at the top and bottom of that lever indicating something like "West" "Cant".. in small letters.
     
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