American Silverfish Label Damage

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by Jim DuBois, Aug 9, 2019.

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  1. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    #1 Jim DuBois, Aug 9, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
    The recent auction of Snowden Taylors research collection of clocks has reminded me of a need to discuss silverfish and the damage they cause in our clocks. Dr. Taylor was one of the finest, if not the finest scholar, regarding the documentation of first half 19th-century American clocks. He has provided us with his outstanding chart of woodworks movement identification methodology. He has written many books and articles on clocks of this period. Fantastic scholar!

    Please do not consider my comments regarding Snowden as anything more than observations and in no way are they intended to besmirch his contributions or his memory. His research collection does, however, raise thoughts regarding conservation.

    He was not in my experience a proper conservator. I purchased a number of his research clocks in the last two auctions held by Daniel Horan/Schmitt auctions in New York. Some of these clocks were featured in Snowdens works during the last 40 years and had remained in Dr. Taylor's house since then. The example seen below shows what can happen in 30 or 40 years of a clock residing in our houses where SILVERFISH run untreated.

    What is looks like today, and what it looked like 40 years ago. I have found silverfish in my own clocks and have started a treatment to eliminate them. Time shall see if my treatment is effective. I sincerely hope it is, for many reasons. Please inspect your clocks and seek professional advice if you find one silverfish in a clock.

    Minor update, the second photo is not of the same label, I mixed up the file names, but the point regarding silverfish is valid no matter my sloppy file keeping. The 3rd photo represents a better preserved label

    20190808_100312 (2).jpg Terry Suitcase Taylor Photo 4 .JPG 54-02.jpg
     
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  2. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    What is your treatment?

    I've seen silverfish in my house.

    RM
     
  3. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    A professional recommended these packages. I placed one in each of my labeled clocks a couple of months ago. I have seen no silverfish in a clock since. I also placed a number of them around the house, under sinks, in the closets, around some of the libraries etc. Seems to be nothing active except boric acid in a convenient package. Available online cheap and quick.

    20190809_070838.jpg 20190809_070900.jpg
     
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  4. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Ah! Thanks.

    RM
     
  5. Jerome collector

    Jerome collector Registered User
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    Jim,

    Any chance you can post the photo of the label as it looked 40 years ago? I appreciate the concerns about silverfish, but the impact is diminished by not showing actual before and after images. Also of interest is the fact that your chewed up label is an overpaste. Is the under-label also Eli Terry, Jr. & Co.? If so, why would they have overpasted their own label?

    Mike
     
  6. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    I am not finding the original image of the now chewed up label Mike. I thought it was the good example pictured above, but a better look clearly shows they are not the same label. As to your second question, why the over paste? There are several of these clocks with the overpasted labels. Two are shown above. The under label is "Eli Terry Jr." where the overpaste is "Eli Terry Jr. & Co." His firm became "& Co." in 1836 with the addition of partners Milo Blakesley and Warren Goodwin. Also pictured here is another of the over pasted labels as well as one that is not an overpaste. There were apparently a fair number of cases with the old company label that were overpasted. We have photos of at least 3 of them today.

    suitecase ogee ELT Jr. Co. (1).jpg s-l1600.jpg
     
  7. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Like Jim said.

    Besides changes in company name, sometimes they overpasted because a 30 hour movement was used in place of an 8 day movement as an example of what I believe was just using stuff up. Here's an example I posted a while back:

    302964-jpg.jpg

    302965-jpg.jpg

    For more about this clock see posting # 20 on this thread:

    Eli Terry Jr Eight Day Just Acquired

    Chris Brown had a similar clock in his collection.

    RM
     
  8. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    It appears there were at least 4 different movements used in this case. Eight-day wood, 30-hr wood, round S.B.Terry / Eli Terry 8-day brass round front movement, and most likely a movement similar to this movement. (It slides into my case using the runners cut in the rails originally).

    sb terry movement 2.jpg
     
  9. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    More serious damage from silverfish. This would be a decent clock, upside down Forestville, good case, good dial, good glass, if not for the critters chewing on the label. So far, the chemical packages shown above are working in my other clocks. Have not seen any silverfish at all since a packet went into every case.

    20190910_150857.jpg 20190910_150902.jpg 20190910_150907.jpg
     

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