Seth Thomas wooden works

MikeA

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Just purchased a ST (Plymouth) (pillar and splat wooden works. Pretty standard works, stenciled columns and splat, door opens from the left, lock on the right side of the case. The bottom glass is a mirror, definitely new as is the top glass.

My question is about the bottom. Instead of putty, there is a thin wooden backing covering the entire back of the mirror. The wood looks much older than the mirror, possibly the same age as the clock. I have not seen clocks with this, but I have seen old mirrors with this construction. I have a small country mirror with a reverse painting in the top and a similar wood back; probably from around 1830 or so. Would it be too much of a leap to reason that the clock originally came with a mirror?

Opinions?

Mike
 

Andy Dervan

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Hello Mike,

Could you post a photograph of the clock?

I believe what you are describing is called "stenciled column and splat" they became popular in late 1820's and were simpler and lower cost case design than earlier Pillar & Scroll case.

Mirrors, stenciled, or reverse painted glasses were used interchangeably - mirrors were actually quite popular in these clocks. Glasses or mirrors would have been held in place with puddy.

Andy Dervan
 

MikeA

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Thanks, Andy.

Will try to get a picture a little later. It is as you described. My question is about the wooden backing behind the mirror. I have several wooden works clocks and have seen many more, but have never seen one with the wooden back behind the mirror. I have seen wall mirrors with a wooden back. Will try to get a picture of the one I have also. Probably this weekend when I can get some daylight to shoot the picture.

Mike
 

Peter A. Nunes

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Many half column and splat clocks with mirrors that appear to be original have them backed with thin boards, usually white pine. I've seen them retained in the door with little cut nails, driven into the inside edge of the door so that the board and the mirror can "float". Generally speaking, painted tablets = putty, mirrors=wooden strip retainers or thin board backing.
 

MikeA

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Thanks, Peter. That was my theory, but I can't recall ever having seen a clock with a wooden back for the mirror.

Mike
 
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