Skeleton Clock....Old/New ?

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by hemioutlaw, Apr 13, 2017.

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  1. hemioutlaw

    hemioutlaw Registered User
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    Greeting's,

    I just unpacked this L'il guy and while I know it's a skeleton clock my knowledge base of these timepieces is limited in scope and since I had little time to research this prior to purchase it was fairly cheap so I thought what the heck. I have read that building one of these in some instances were sort of a precursor to receiving your clockmaker credential's while under tutelage in the UK and I have also seen that these were sold as prefabbed kits you could purchase. This was purported to be from about the turn of the 19th century but not having the time to research it I'm either going to take my lumps if it's of recent manufacture or be happier if it is indeed of an earlier date.

    I have my own thought's which I'll keep to myself until other's of much higher Horological Intellect can weigh in. The photo's ironically make it look fairly clean, shiny and modern whilst in reality it's quite dirty with a very darkened patina to the brass which I actually like which leads to my next question on the acceptability of cleaning it without turning it into a Bright Shiny Object. I see it has a fusee with chain drive powering mechanism which will be the first in my collection and you could put on a small pinhead my knowledge of this type of mechanism.

    Any thoughts on Dating, Cleaning and pitfall's to avoid when working with this type of movement as always greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    One can often determine a rough age by checking the threads
    on the hardware.
    Many older clocks were not made with today's standard threads.
    Often clock makers made their own hardware, taps and dies.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  3. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    #3 roughbarked, Apr 13, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
    It is a quite unique piece. Doesn't look young from here. The cheaper modern Chinese ones often have the pendulum in front so that it has to be taken off to wind the clock. A lot of these are Chinese though.

    It has to be since 1900's to start with standardised threads.

    I'd suggest that using an axe as the hammer isn't on a lot of clocks.

    Was using that as a search term when I found this lovely clock https://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/decorative-objects/clocks/mantel-clocks/victorian-double-fusee-skeleton-clock-greenhalgh-manchester/id-f_6259153/
     
  4. hemioutlaw

    hemioutlaw Registered User
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    Good starting place Dwight and it wasn't purported to me nor did I believe it to be earlier then the turn of the 19th century, I checked one of the case screws and it's a standard M3-.5 metric, a further search of the history of threaded fastener's concludes that both Metric and American threads were standardized in the 1860"s so I'm post that period but was hoping that maybe someone could spot something in the movement that would be more determinate of a period. All my searches of images for skeleton clock kit's have shown nothing that is even remotely similar so far so good. The foundation for my collecting exploit's are Old = Good and modern ummmm, not so much.
     
  5. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    For some reason I cannot fathom, the axe head as the striking hammer seems to be related to some maker real or imaginary, in the back of my memory.
     
  6. hemioutlaw

    hemioutlaw Registered User
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    I have a feeling that the hammer and bell in my unprofessional opinion are of more recent manufacture, for one they are a dissimilar color, Two the hammer appears to be cast with remnants of slag that are painted over and Three it is the one component that I have seen offered on a modern skeleton. Hoping the rest of the clock is old but Pssssssssssst some of the air has come out.
     
  7. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Sorry to say but it appears to be a Chinese replica made some time in the later half of the 20th century. There are a number of minor clues that suggest that to be the case, including the brass screws though out, the rather cumbersome pendulum support bridge, the too thin rod holding the hammer itself, the rather ungraceful crossings out of the wheels, and the construction of the pendulum all point to it not being a period English made skeleton clock.
     
  8. hemioutlaw

    hemioutlaw Registered User
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    Don't Rain on my parade Jim....Lol

    In all seriousness I have yet to see an identical clock anywhere and from a production standpoint it seems logical that if they were chinking these out that they would be more of a production run than a one off creation and the plinth surely looks old. Still holding out hope but can live with the results either way.
     
  9. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User
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    #9 MartinM, Apr 14, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  10. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Hundreds if not thousands of new skeleton clocks of all natures have been imported from Chinese makers in the last 50 years. I have seen row after row of them at various importers and the model you have was much like some IIRC. There were also a couple of English firms that offered kits similar to your clock as recently as maybe 10 or 15 years ago. May I suggest looking at some photos of known period skeleton clocks and consider the difference you see between yours and those in the books, or on line. Derek Roberts published a decent book on skeleton clocks in 1987 and it was reprinted in 1997 I think. It is not a cheap book but well worth the expense if you want to buy such clocks. There is also an older book by Royer-Collard with many good photos.
     
  11. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    #11 roughbarked, Apr 14, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  12. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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  13. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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  14. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    What does the base attachment look like from underneath? Sometimes the oblivious pops up in the less obvious places!
    Willie X
     
  15. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    like a sticker with the word, China?
     
  16. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User
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    Snort!
    I'd think the fusee chain might also be a good indicator of whether this was something more obviously mass-produced than hand-crafted.
     
  17. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    After looking at it some, I'd say the crossing of the wheels,
    or the lack of, is enough to say that is was no anything other than
    a Chinese movement. I wouldn't be surprised that if you inspected
    wheels you wouldn't be able to see the tears from the machine that
    punched them out.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  18. hemioutlaw

    hemioutlaw Registered User
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    Psssssssssssstshuuuuuuuuu,
    Wellllll Hell,
    The air's out of the balloon now and dang you guyz are brutal Lol!

    No "Made in China" sticker on the bottom but the cheap thing probably had Chinese glue on it and fell off and yeah I'd say looking at the freshness of the mounting hole's in the bottom of the not as old looking as the top plinth that "GULP" I've been had! Another lesson learned from Clock and Collector University Course 101: Prior to purchase heed these words "CAVEAT EMPTOR"!

    Guess ya can't hit it out of the park every time and hopefully after cleaning the thing will at least run but every time I pass by it now I'm going to mumble under my breath.

    I decree that from this day forward I'm chasing off every stray dog I see wandering around the Mandarin Express downtown to get my revenge... Ha Ha Ha !

    Thanks Fella's
     
  19. Raymond Rice

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    Don't beat yourself up over it. We've all had to pay for our lessons! Enjoy it for what it is.
    Ray Rice
     
  20. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    I recently had this in. They had put it out of beat and damaged the dial trying to wind the thing up. Presumably with the pendulum getting in the way. Maybe they were shaking it to make it work. Anyway I cleaned it for them. They were happy to pay. It still had the sticker underneath.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Yeah, we all do make occasional payments for a lesson. I did it to myself very recently....
     
  22. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Even known Chinese replicas are not real cheap.
    There is a lot of brass.
    Its not worth thousand.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  23. hemioutlaw

    hemioutlaw Registered User
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    Tis true Dwight, I have seen even the KNOWN replica's opening at $250 and hammering down at $4- 700.00, I've only got a couple of bill's in this so guess I'm still ok.
     
  24. harold bain

    harold bain Forums Administrator
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    Did it come with a dome? The dome would likely be worth around $2-300.
     
  25. hemioutlaw

    hemioutlaw Registered User
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    No such luck Harold and now that it's been condemned to my Ralph Kramden Caper hall of shame I've nixed my plans of pursuing a hat for it.
     
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