Seth Thomas Pillar and Splat, with questions

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by Raymond Rice, Dec 13, 2019.

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  1. Raymond Rice

    Raymond Rice Registered User
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    Feb 14, 2011
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    I recently picked this one up at auction -- it obviously has suffered a number of travails over the last 180 years. Judging from the burn marks on the back it spent some time too close to a flue. The time weight was jammed up into the pulley, and i suspect someone tried to force the clock to run by winding it a little further, breaking two teeth on the winding arbor wheel. The mirror is a replacement, as are the hands. The hands are very flimsy --the hour hand fell apart when I removed it. The minute hand is stamped "B. Cady" in two places. The central portion of the label is in reasonably good shape. The label was printed by Hudson & Skinner, Hartford --who were in business 1825-1839.
    My question concerns the tin dust covers over the cable pulleys. Were these a characteristic of Seth Thomas? I haven't encountered tin covers on my other clocks -- only wood covers or "long gone" covers.
    My other question concerns the pendulum bob, it seems a little fancier than those I usually encounter in common pillar and splat clocks. It's a patterned brass stamping over a lead slug. Was this something common the Seth Thomas?
    Ray Rice

    PC130046.JPG PC130038.JPG PC130039.JPG PC130044.JPG PC130043.JPG PC130041.JPG PC130042.JPG PC130045.JPG PC130040.JPG
     
  2. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Nov 26, 2009
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    Both the pulley covers & bob are things I have seen before. To me, nothing unusual.

    I have also seen serpentine stenciled splats before. In fact, a while ago, I posted a “transition” clock with one. I do believe, however, the one on your your clock may be a replacement. Back looks too “fresh” & stenciling is not period.

    Love the polychrome floral dial. Some klutzy retouching of some #’s with a felt tip pen. Wish people would leave well enough alone.

    RM
     
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  3. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
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    Feb 22, 2010
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    Yeah. We have the same thing on our Seth Thomas Garfield. Would love to have been there to smack the "Magic Marker" right out of their hand before the damage was done.
     
  4. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    The "B. Cady" stamp on the hand is a very interesting touch. Highly unusual and suggests the need for more research to see what more can be learned about him, I haven't started any search, so anybody knows anything more about him and saves me the effort?

    Also, the label suggests a pretty early effort as it recognizes the Terry patent for the movement. The chronology of the Terry suit against Thomas and the resultant agreement has to do with the label I think. That should allow the date of manufacture to be narrowed down. Not important overall, but still interesting to those of us who have nothing better to pontificate about?
     
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  5. Raymond Rice

    Raymond Rice Registered User
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    Jim, RM, Bruce--thanks for your comments. I repeat my original comment: this clock has suffered at the hands of repairmen/perpetrators over the past 180 years. I acquired this from an online auction, and like a lot of mail order brides, it looked better in the pictures. On the subject of "B. Cady", my guess is he was a repairman who fabb'd the hands and probably put his mark on everything he touched.
    Ray Rice, still paying for lessons, in Rifton
     
  6. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    If it's any consolation, I'd be happy to have a clock like that. I don't know what you paid or how that compares to it's condition, but wouldn't we all be happy to look that good at 180!

    Tom
     
  7. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    The hand you show above with the Cady stamp does not appear to be a fabrication, to me. It appears to have been stamped using a fairly good die. Also, there is at least one Cady listed as active a bit after your clock was made. It happens to be Horatio Cady but there might be others in the family working earlier. Here is from Erastus Hodges writings of the period;

    "Bristol, April 13th 1842 225
    Dear Sir: Mr. Addison Palmer informs me that you have a claim against Palmer
    and Cady of about 250 dollars, and Mr. Palmer, being unable to pay, thinks there
    is a chance to collect it of Cady, who is in Canada. I have a claim of 6 or 700 dollars,
    which I should like to get something on. Mr. Palmer informs me that you proposed
    to join me and send a man on to Canada and try to collect our claims from
    Cady. You will have the goodness to write me and inform what your opinion is of
    collecting of Cady. I should be willing to employ some person with you to go to
    Canada, if you are of the opinion that we should not make a losing trip of it. I
    should like not to lose anything more than they owe me. Please to let me hear from
    you soon.
    Respectfully yours,
    George Mitchell."

    As to values of hands and other parts I find this most interesting:
    A daybook entry of February 16, 1833, contains a listing of
    Reuben Loomis's services from May 1831 to the date of the entry, including:
    "sawing clock plates, cutting wood and helping cart it, piling wheel
    stuff and plates in the kiln, carting coal and boxes to the clock shop, making
    2,941 clock hands ($11.71),
    making 1,005 keys ($15.07'/z); one day's
    work at woodhouse at clock shop; turning 2,900 arbors ($29.00), making
    1,034 keys; days sawing, sawing clock plates, work on barn, carting clock
    plates."
     
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  8. Raymond Rice

    Raymond Rice Registered User
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    Jim, your stamping idea sounds very plausible. The hands in question are extremely flimsy --from very thin sheet metal. Stamping them out would be more likely than trying to file by hand.
    Ray Rice
     
  9. dlb1052

    dlb1052 Registered User
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    Dear Ray,
    I am done with projects for the day so I guess I have time to put in my two cents opinion. Clock overall is pretty nice. The movement looks nice and clean and correct. As for the face I think the "bad" stuff might come off with a gentle touch using a q-tip and go-jo. Nice looking face overall and the arbor holes are a different distance apart then the standard terry type. The hour hand falling apart that is probably good as it is too short, it should at least touch the chapter ring. I would keep the minute hand, name stamping is pretty nice. I haven't seen one before. As for the splat, I agree the stenciling is not period correct. I also believe the whole splat is not the correct style for a Seth Thomas clock, way to many humps. I believe it should have one center hump and a "ear" or "horn" on each side of the hump. Pendulum bob and that type dust cover(s) are not unusual but sure nice to have, keepers to me. I think you have a nice clock, enjoy. Diane
     
  10. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Yes, the signed hand merits further research.

    However, when I "blow up" the picture and examine closely, the signature looks to me like it was created using a punch to create the letters? I really suspect they were good older repops signed by the maker.

    By the way, on a mass produced clock like this, the hands were typically stamped, not hand filed. They were thin but not "flimsy" per se.

    Reminds me of a Bulletin article some years ago reporting Cyrillic words on the hands of a ww clock.

    RM
     
  11. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    a bit more detail on the hand stamping

    cady blowup.jpg
     
  12. Raymond Rice

    Raymond Rice Registered User
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    Feb 14, 2011
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    I thank all of you folks for your comments and interest and I wish you all Happy Holidays!
    Ray Rice
     

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