Skeleton Clock?

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by Love clocks, Jun 6, 2020.

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  1. Love clocks

    Love clocks Registered User

    Jun 10, 2019
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    Does anyone have any idea how old this may be? The movement is evidently French. Don't have it yet as it's in the post so these are only pics I have. Would you even class it as a skeleton clock?

    Skeleton 1.jpg Skeleton 2.jpg Skeleton 3.jpg
     
  2. Snapper

    Snapper Registered User

    Nov 30, 2014
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    That's quite an attractive clock. It would appear to date from the late 19th century but it of a type I have not encountered. The movements is a standard French drum item of good quality. I am concerned that there may be something missing from the holes halfway up the frame. Is it complete with the glass dome.
     
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  3. Ticktocktime100

    Ticktocktime100 Registered User

    Hi,

    Indeed, an attractive French clock, which I would place somewhere in the 1850-1870 range regarding the date. I wouldn't personally refer to it as a skeleton clock - if it was, you'd expect to see the movement from the front, perhaps even through the dial as is often the case. One could perhaps compromise and call it "skeleton style". I'm not sure there is anything missing from the frame as suggested above, I think the "holes" in question are just part of the pierced gothic style decoration. However, the clock should have a dome, which adds a lot to it if it is present and intact.

    Regards.
     
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  4. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

    Jun 1, 2006
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    I also wouldn't class it as a skeleton clock.
     
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  5. Love clocks

    Love clocks Registered User

    Jun 10, 2019
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    Thank you to all who've replied. You've confirmed my thoughts on it. Unfortunately it doesn't have the dome but then again only one of our French clocks does! Just loved this one as it is simple in style.
     
  6. Jmeechie

    Jmeechie Registered User
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    Dec 8, 2010
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    Hi,
    I was wondering if anything is written on the back of the movement? Can you get a picture of the back plate with the strike bell removed. Not to be negative but there’s a few details that appear to not be French in origin? The pendulum rod is square along with the strike hammer? Also, looking at the dial it looks awfully odd the numerals? I’m just curious if it’s one of the recent years Asian reproduction clocks? I do see a brocot style escapement. All the same it is a nice looking clock, but certainly wouldn’t be classified as a skeleton clock as previously mentioned, the gears would be visible front and back.
     
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  7. Ticktocktime100

    Ticktocktime100 Registered User

    Hi,

    I can see why you are wondering if this clock might be an Asian reproduction, however as I have a certain amount of experience with French clocks I think I can put your questions to rest - while you could mistake it for the very shiny patina which can be seen on Asian reproductions, the brass frame is merely highly polished as it was meant to be when it was first made. The dial with blue Roman numerals is comparatively rare, but you do see it occasionally on the higher quality French pieces - so it is of the period. In addition, square pendulum rods were used by some French manufacturers to support particularly heavy bobs, and they also used rectangular hammer heads to strike the larger bells, thus producing a deeper, more resonant sound. My personal opinion is that such hammer heads were also made to copy the ones seen on the English skeleton clocks which inspired this French version. It will definitely be interesting to see if there is a maker's mark on the back plate, indeed. Hope this helps a little!

    Regards.
     
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  8. Love clocks

    Love clocks Registered User

    Jun 10, 2019
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    Thank you again for your replies. We expect the clock to arrive early next week so will take pictures of the mechanism and post. May throw some more light on it.
     
  9. Jmeechie

    Jmeechie Registered User
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    Dec 8, 2010
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    Hi ticktocktime,
    I am aware of all these characteristics with French clocks and many other innovations. The point I’m bringing up is French manufacturers did not add these details unnecessarily, heavy hammer on a standard bell, poorly enameled numerals on the dial, unmarked movement. My point, having worked on many French clocks over the years, and having seen numerous Asian reproductions throughout the years, the signs all point in that direction. Poor quality dial, cast single skeletonized plate with no rear movement support, unnecessarily heavy hammer, square suspension rod, and also a quality French clock maker would not have got the pendulum drop wrong and had to recess the base to fit the pendulum drop!
     
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  10. Love clocks

    Love clocks Registered User

    Jun 10, 2019
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    I've done a bit of research and found 3 clocks which are almost identical on Carters, Australian Antique & Art Dealers (AAAD) and Olde Time Antiques Websites. They all call it a French Gothic Skeleton Clock with enamelled dial and blue numbers with trefoil hands circa 1850. The one in Carters, movement is marked Vincenti et Cie while the other 2 have no markings. AAAD one did have H Marc Paris on the dial. We received the clock today and the movement is marked with Japy Freres, so it is indeed French. Jmeechie...my thought is that it is not the original pendulum as the examples I found had much daintier weights, so thinking someone has replaced it with the square rod and thus had to recess the base to accommodate the new one. Regardless, I am happy that it has proved to be French and as I said before, love it for it's simplicity. Shame it doesn't have the dome as they look much nicer with it. Thank you everyone for the information and time in answering me.
     
  11. Love clocks

    Love clocks Registered User

    Jun 10, 2019
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    On closer inspection the rods on two of the clocks appear to also be square so it may be right after all. Weights are similar in size though not marked R and A. Carters one has finer round rod and small fancy weight.
     
  12. Jmeechie

    Jmeechie Registered User
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    Dec 8, 2010
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    I agree that the most important thing at the end of the day is you are happy with you purchase. I have a number of French clocks as well as repros (swinging Cupid for one!) and enjoy them all. You’ve done Research and have found comparable matches.
    Congratulations,
    James
     
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