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sawin gallery clock, c1834

bruce linde

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this rare john sawin gallery clock with 27" dial is on its way to me via white glove freighting. the photos of the clock are from the seller... i will of course post more photos when it arrives. the last photo is a mockup of what it will look like hanging in my entry hall. on a side note, john delaney and paul foley have seen the photos and given a big thumbs up.

needless to say, this is a major acquisition of a very rare clock... i was only able to find two other sawin gallery clocks, neither of which come close to this one. can't wait! :)

sawin_front_2.jpg sawin_angle.jpg sawin_sig.jpg sawin_movement_weight_front.jpg sawin_movement_right.jpg sawin_top_half.jpg sawin_regulator_right.jpg sawin_regulator_top.jpg image4.jpeg

sawin_bottom2.jpg sawin_movement_weight.jpg
 
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bruce linde

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the two other sawins... one obviously (and poorly) restored (with totally wrong hands) in a church in maryland, the other with hands that look almost right but too heavy to me....

IMG_0413.jpeg IMG_0415.jpeg LGalleryClock.jpg
 

bruce linde

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and, there are the similarities between this clock by simon willard, and my sawin.... like the clocks are cousins...

willard_sawin_comparison.jpg
 

bruce linde

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oops... forgot the mockup....

sawin_mockup.jpg
 
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Jim DuBois

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Hey, great find! I have always liked gallery clocks but never had one that size! Congratulations!
 

bruce linde

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just got photos of the back of the dial....

dial_back_1.jpg dial_back2.jpg dial_back_3.jpg dial_back_4.jpg dial_back_5.jpg
 

Ralph

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this rare john sawin gallery clock with 27" dial is on its way to me via white glove freighting. the photos of the clock are from the seller... i will of course post more photos when it arrives. the last photo is a mockup of what it will look like hanging in my entry hall. on a side note, john delaney and paul foley have seen the photos and given a big thumbs up.

needless to say, this is a major acquisition of a very rare clock... i was only able to find two other sawin gallery clocks, neither of which come close to this one. can't wait! :)
Did it come from Connecticut? I saw one there a month or so ago.

Ralph
 

bruce linde

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no. the guy i'm getting it from just got it from a top collector who had it on ice for maybe 20 years. the guy that guy got it from had it stored for 30 years before that. it hasn't seen the light of day for (at least) a half century. :)
 

Levi Hutchins

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... on a side note, john delaney and paul foley have seen the photos and given a big thumbs up.
From Delaney's informative website,

"The Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association held it's first fair in 1837. John Sawin entered two gallery clocks in the competition. They were equipped with improved regulators to avoid the necessity of removing the dial. They were proclaimed to be the best clocks exhibited at the fair and he was awarded a Diploma by this new organization."
 
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bruce linde

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"The Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association held it's first fair in 1837. John Sawin entered two gallery clocks in the competition. They were equipped with improved regulators to avoid the necessity of removing the dial. They were proclaimed to be the best clocks exhibited at the fair and he was awarded a Diploma by this new organization."

would have been great if people at the competition had their iPhones with them and shared photos on the message board and social media.... :)
 

bruce linde

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btw - just googled and found the full text of "First Exhibition and Fair of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association, at Faneuil and Quincy Halls, in the City of Boston, September 18, 1837"

john sawin is mentioned twice, but with two different locations... and the only clock mentioned is a striking time piece.

1421. John Sawin, Boston. One Striking Time Piece. This, the Committee had no opportunity of examining, internally, and there-
fore can give no opinion in regard to its merits.

872. John Sawin, Chelsea, Mass. One* Model Churn.

i will ask delaney about his source for the award info.
 

Levi Hutchins

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btw - just googled and found the full text of "First Exhibition and Fair of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association, at Faneuil and Quincy Halls, in the City of Boston, September 18, 1837"

john sawin is mentioned twice, but with two different locations... and the only clock mentioned is a striking time piece.

1421. John Sawin, Boston. One Striking Time Piece. This, the Committee had no opportunity of examining, internally, and there-
fore can give no opinion in regard to its merits.

872. John Sawin, Chelsea, Mass. One* Model Churn.

i will ask delaney about his source for the award info.
See #249:

Screen Shot 2021-08-05 at 12.19.02 PM.png

 
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bruce linde

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dude… well googled, thx!
 

bruce linde

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sawin usually signed just his last name. andy dervan suggested that he might have done this one for a church, as part of a donation or something special where he wanted his full name on it. i’d like to think that it was because this was one on the two clocks entered in the competition. hard to imagine he was kicking out that many gallery clocks during that period and the timing seems right…. and it has the ‘improved regulation’.
 

Jim DuBois

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There were a lot of gallery clocks made starting about 1800. An excellent and extensive read can be found in Husher & Welch's book "A Study of Simon Willard's Clocks" a good study of gallery clocks. It is interesting to note the E. Howard and Company used the Sawin "patent" for adjusting their timekeeping, at least in some of their later gallery clocks.

Just about every meeting house in the general Boston area would feature a gallery clock up through about 1840. It is also notable the clock would face the minister, not the congregation, and quite a few of them featured a fall-off strike on the hour, just to remind the possibly over-exuberant pastor he may be treading on thin ice after the second peal of the bell?
 

bruce linde

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just received the movement, pendulum, top regulating rod, pulleys and movement mounting screws. here are some initial photos... a comparison against a tifft banjo clock movement, and some side views... one of which shows the counter balance for the minute hand.

the weight is 9lbs 3ozs, but gets compounded in the case.... it's currently running on a 3lb 9oz weight hanging straight down.

oh... and while the movement is approx. 1.5x bigger than a banjo clock movement, the pendulum is about 2/3 the length of a banjo clock pendulum.



movement_size_comparison_tifft_2.jpg movement_size_comparison_tifft.jpg movement_left_counter_balance.jpg movement_right.jpg
 

PatH

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Great details to have documented here, Bruce! Thank you!!
 

bruce linde

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bruce linde

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the case and dial finally arrived, and the clock is up and running. the solid wood dial weighs eight pounds. there is a pendulum starter at the case bottom so you can start the clock up without having to remove the hands and dial.

11_hanging_assembled_2.jpg 10_hanging_assembled.jpg 09_pendulum_starter.jpg 08_hanging.jpg 07_case.jpg 06_back_2.jpg 05_back_1.jpg 04_unpacking.jpg 03_unpacking.jpg 02_unpacking.jpg 01_unpacking.jpg

 
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bruce linde

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some additional dimensions:

case diameter: 30"
dial diameter: 27"
chapter ring: 23 5/8"

minute hand (tip to center): 12 1/4"
hour hand (tip to center): 8 9/16"
 

bruce linde

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some... but this one was in trade for a pretty complex website... he and i are both thrilled with the deal we made. :)
 

Jim Andrews

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some... but this one was in trade for a pretty complex website... he and i are both thrilled with the deal we made. :)
As a well seasoned IT person myself I am never hesitant to bill what my knowledge and abilities are worth. Attorneys and others don't cut breaks, if they think the work we do is easy, go learn it then and see. Glad you were able to make a good arrangement so that you both got what you liked.
 

Schatznut

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When it comes right down to it, money is just a mechanism. It's all the barter system, and I applaud both of you for getting filthy lucre out of the equation. He got a complex website; you got a really excellent clock. You're both happy. Bravo!
 

bruce linde

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it took me a bit to get things configured so the clock would run reliably... just documenting what was learned:

1. the counterweight is held in place with a screw that presses against a flatten portion of its arbor.
2. when it is secured in place, the dots/marks on the hour hand cannon and counterweight gear must line up (at this point the heaviest part of the counterweight is hanging freely, straight down).
3. when they do, the marked side of the square minute hand arbor end is up... and tilted slightly to the left... as is the bushing in the minute hand.
4. dial is replaced, and the hands are put on initially set to 6pm
5. a highly polished (both sides) thin flattened minute hand washer keeps minute and hour hand cannons from pulling forward and getting out of proper alignment.

the clock is happy when set up like this.

btw... it runs for 6-7 days with .8mm braided nylon cord. i would go to something skinnier to eke out the extra day, but am going to leave it as is for more confidence with the heavy weight.

setup.jpg
 
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