Smith, Blakesley & Co. Pillar and Scroll

George Nelson

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Hi, All,

I have just added a rather interesting Pillar and Scroll clock to my collection. From first look, it appears to be rather typical, but I noticed that the lock for the door is in a different position than usual. With the other P&S clocks I have, the ivory or bone diamond shaped lock set escutcheon starts at about 1" above the wood strip separating the top and bottom glasses. The latch on this clock is located 1" below the divider. In looking at the wear caused by locking and unlocking the door, the latch has always been in this position.

Also a bit unusual is the fact that the escutcheon is drilled with a round hole, not a keyhole-shaped one, and apparently was never meant to take a key. Instead, the clock has a permanently installed turn handle made of a brass strip, flat on the inside and rounded on the outside. It is well formed, and to my eyes at least, not a later repair or replacement. The Terry-type lock set is thusly different in that it is missing the internal locking mechanism that turns on a pin inside. Upon removal, the lock set seems never to have had this rotating piece, as it is missing the pin that this piece would have rotated on. Also, the wear marks on the inside of the back plate caused by the brass strip that forms the handle and is bent to provide door-locking are also consistent and match; in short, I believe this latching device is original. The short stud that would stop the internal locking mechanism from rotating 360 degrees in a complete Terry lock prevents this brass handle from turning all the way around, working the same as if using a Terry-type key (see picture). The latch works quite effectively but is dramatically different to the ones I am used to seeing.

This clock was made by Smith, Blakesley, and Company. My understanding is that they operated in Bristol between the years 1840-1841, after which Smith was in business by himself. The Spittler and Bailey Book of American Clockmakers, Volume 3 mentions only brass movement OG clocks by the pair. The same book lists Smith and Blakesley without the "& Co" after their names (the same Levi and Agustus just mentioned) as operating in Bristol in the same years and making wood movement clocks but does not describe or list case styles. The label has "Burr & Smith, Printers, Hartford" on it.

The clock is in good condition, with a quality tablet by Lee Davis that is a copy of the original image, proper early manufacture reproduction finials, possibly original (one can never be sure of this…) winding key, weights, and pendulum bob. There are no indications, to my eye at least, of any case alterations. The label certainly appears original, with the same texture, quality of printing and other attributes as all of my other American wood works clocks.

This clock is quite a mystery to me, and I can find precious little information in the Bulletin index. (Of late I have been having trouble accessing the back issues of the Bulletin. Even though I'm logged in when searching, and with current membership dues paid, the website will occasionally ask me to log in as if I haven't. I have even logged in again when I get this message, but sometimes the site will not give me access to the particular issue I'm trying to read. Quite frustrating! Is anyone else having this problem?)

So, here are my questions:

1) Does anyone have any information on the Smith, Blakesley, and Company of Bristol entity?
2) Isn't 1840-1841 a bit late to be making Pillar and Scroll style clocks?
3) Has anyone got any info at all on the printers "Burr and Smith, Hartford"? I can find nothing on them.
4) Has anyone seen an apparently factory-modified door lock using Terry-type parts such as the one on this clock?
5) Who made this movement? I cannot seem to find it in the Bulletin wood movement ID supplement, but I could have missed it...
6) And finally, I would LOVE to hear of other, similar clocks that may be residing in your collections. From what I can ascertain from the very limited info I can find, this clock may be uncommon and warrant further investigation.

As always, thanks to everyone for reading, and I will look forward to any help I can get!
Warmest regards,
George Nelson

Smith and Blakesley P&S Clock.jpg Face.jpg Back of Face.jpg Label.jpg Lock Closeup Outside.jpg Lock Closeup inside.jpg Lock Description.jpg Movement.jpg
 
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George Nelson

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Friend Collectors,

Nobody has any help to offer? Not pressing, but I AM curious about this clock!

Many thanks,

George
 

BLKBEARD

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Neat Clock

At a glance it reminds me of an Antique Shaving Mirror.

i think it's Great!!
 

George Nelson

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:D Thanks, Blackbeard. The clock is sitting on that three drawer shelf, and now that you mention it, does indeed look like an antique shaving setup! George
 

Jim Burghart

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Beautiful clock! I love the pillar and scroll style. One of the most elegant clocks from the time.

It looks like the escutcheon has been replaced. In the close up it doesn't look as cleanly fitted as originals I've seen. Could the old ivory been replaced, and the round hole added to allow the use of a simple latch?
My guess is it had a Terry style door lock that failed, and was replaced with a make do latch.
I don't remember a lot of wear on the plate from the normal lock? I will check some of the ones I have.

I have seen clock with this label. I will look tonight and see if I can find some information about them.
 

Jim Burghart

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I was just wondering about the location of the lock. Is the a notch in the case to receive the latch in that location? Is there a notch higher up where the lock would normally be?

The location is correct for a larger door. A possibility is someone cut a column and splat door down to fit the case. If that is what happened, I would expect to see a second notch for the lock higher up, and some differences in the joinery on the two bottom door joints compared to the top.
 

George Nelson

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Hi, Jim and all,

Well, I took another picture of the ivory/bone escutcheon and blew it up. Now, I can see what you mean that it might indeed have been replaced. If so, this negates most of the questions I have asked above about it. It took me blowing up the new picture to see what you describe. Time for new glasses, for sure! What I had thought were chips of missing varnish might be signs of a rework.

Now, on the the door latch position. I had checked before I began this thread on that very thing, and there are no marks or cutouts for a latch anywhere else. Also, the wear marks on the door lock area are consistent with the brass wire lock only, not what would be caused by a complete Terry type lock, nor is there a cutout that would be needed for the Terry type of lock.

Also, the joinery on the door is consistent top and bottom, and if replaced, it was a very good job. It looks the same as the joints on my other P&S's. Quite a mystery, huh?

Thanks for your forthcoming info about another label like this and other locksets on your clocks. Your efforts are much appreciated!

Warmest regards to all,

George
 

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Jim Burghart

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Hi George,

I am glad the rest looks consistent with what is there. I hope I wasn't being a doubter, just asking :)

I went to wind one of my pillar and scroll clocks I have on a mantel, and the lock being lower would be nice. Our mantel is a bit high and the lock a little too high, as are the winding arbors. Our house was built in the 1840's, maybe this was a special request. I am 5' 10"' and the door lock is probably 5' 9" off the floor.

This is a picture of my mantel. An Eli Terry & Sons P & S, a Seth Thomas Albany, an 8 Day Jerome steeple, and an Alpha Hart column and splat.
 

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Jim Burghart

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As promised, I looked into the firm Smith, Blakesley & Co. in Bristol. The best information I found was in the Brooks Palmer's "The Book of American Clocks", on page 277.

To paraphrase, Smith, Blakesley & Co. was started around 1840. the principals were Levi Smith, Augustus Blakesley, and Edwin Ray. The partnership seems to have ended in 1842, with Levi Smith continuing on until 1846. The location later became the site of Noah Pomeroy's shop in Bristol on Federal St.

Not much more than you already know.

There are not many out there with this label.

As for the movement maker. I looked at the spread sheet based on Snowden Taylor's wood movement identification, and came up with 2 main possibilities.

Riley Whiting type 1.171. Used by R. Smith & Co.
and
C. & L.C. Ives type 1.511. Used by Caleb West, M. & E. Blakeslee, H. Blakeslee, William Hickox, and Chauncey Merchant.

There is a movement listed made by Smith, Blakesley & Co, but it does not match yours. Type 7.111

I am no expert at identification, I just used the filters included in the Excel file, so take it with a grain of salt. Maybe someone could confirm it.
 

George Nelson

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Jim, how can I possibly thank you for your help? It has been invaluable to me. I have a very limited number of clock books at my disposal. If only I could have them all, this research would be much more interesting. And I don't for a minute think you were a "doubter"! You just want to help us all!!!

Thanks, too for your comments on the door latch position. I agree, it is a bit more convenient! I'm jealous that you live in such a historic house- 1840s, WOW! Your house is older than many of my clocks... Those clocks on the mantle are special as well. A wonderful part of your collection, I'm sure.

So now, to all reading this, here is a summary so far:

The latch in question seems to be a replacement
The latch location remains a bit of a mystery (possibly a special request or order?)
The Smith, Blakeslee and Company was comprised of Levi Smith, Augustus Blakesley, and Edwin Ray, who were in business ca. 1840-1842

Almost all of my questions have now been answered with Jim's faithful help, save for one:

Isn't 1840-1842 a bit late for a Pillar and Scroll clock? Does anyone have any thoughts about this mystery?

Thanks to Jim and anyone else who can help,

Frantically-seeking-information-George
 

BLKBEARD

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:D Thanks, Blackbeard. The clock is sitting on that three drawer shelf, and now that you mention it, does indeed look like an antique shaving setup! George
OOOPS..............I thought the three drawer chest was part of the clock case.

Still love it though
 

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Hopefully someone with more knowledge of these early clocks will come along to provide definitive insight. (Perhaps a new thread to specifically ask the question about production dates of pillar & scroll clocks?) Until then, from what I've read in Bulletin articles and the Pillar & Scroll book that accompanied the exhibit, it seems that pillar & scrolls began to fall out of favor in the 1830s, and the 1837 depression hit the CT clock industry hard. Additionally, their fate seems to have been closely tied to wooden works which were popular until Jerome's success with the lower cost brass movement in the late 1830s. Based on this, as you proposed, it seems that the 1840s would have been late in their popularity.

Brooks Palmer's books might provide additional insight - I'll try to look tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about this topic.
 

George Nelson

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Thanks, Pat. I'll do just that- start another thread about the pillar and scroll production dates right away! I agree with your thoughts about the timeline. My clock would be a very late use of that style indeed!

Peace to all,

George
 

Jim DuBois

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the following is loosely paraphrased from Ken Roberts book on Eli Terry and is of possible interest.

It was apparent that the future of the clock business in 1839-1840 was in the brass thirty hour
clock. The wood movements by this date were rapidly becoming obsolete. Movement quality
declined. Movement posts were often turned as simple curves, and decorative circles on wheels
tended to disappear. The 32T escapement movement was sometimes accommodated to the shorter
ogee and bevel cases by increasing the teeth on the center wheel from 40T to 42T, 78 thereby
reducing the theoretical pendulum length from 15.3" to 13.9".
But death came slowly. Hotchkiss & Fields and Williams, Orton, Preston's & Co. manufactured wood
movements into the 1840's as did Ephraim Downs.
Elbridge G. Atkins was a "late" maker, as was Edward K. Jones. As discussed above, H. Welton
& Co. made wood movements from 1840 to about 1842, and Seth Thomas to c. 1844-1845. Levi
Smith commenced making wood movements and clocks in 1840 with Augustus Blakeslee (Blakesley)
and Edwin Ray80 as Smith, Blakesley & Co. After Ray left the firm, it was called L. Smith & A.
Blakesley, and after Blakesley departed, Levi Smith. Smith continued until bankrupt in August 1845.
His inventory showed that he had a batch of wood movements "in the works". On June 12, 1847 Smith
wrote to Daniel Pratt, Jr. that he was delayed in sending a batch of 100 alarm movements, because
C. Boardman had not yet cut the alarm crown wheels. He
was also trying to sell Pratt "1000 or more of the Com. Mov." for cash, but these were probably not
current production. Sylvester Root assigned his estate in bankruptcy in January 1846 with a batch
of wood movements in process. Chauncey Boardman was making wood
movements as late as the spring of 1847. Joseph A. Wells, loosely affiliated with Boardman at the
time, continued to sell or offer wood movements to Pratt as late as the summer of 1847, but these
seem to have been older stored stock rather than current production. The price was 37 1/2 cents
each. In mid-1848, Pratt purchased from Ezra Clark & Co. 300 wood movements that had been
stored, paying 23 1/3 cents each. The wood movement era was over.
 

George Nelson

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Hi, Jim and All,

Wow, Jim... Possible interest? This information has now answered ALL of my questions! I'm genuinely grateful for your diligence in helping me. You, and everyone else who has helped with this mystery have/has been wonderful. Hooray for you and hooray for this message board!

Warmest, happy regards to all,

George Nelson
 

Peter A. Nunes

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A bit late here, but I have the following observations. The movement is an early Terry product, either by E.Terry or E. Terry & Sons, likely a type 1.111 in Snowden's chart- certainly not by Riley Whiting or Chauncey Ives, as it lacks features associated with those makers. The escape wheel bridge mounting block is an obvious replacement. I don't think I've ever seen a pillar & scroll dial with the chapter ring outside the numerals, so I wonder if it is a replacement. I think your speculation about the escutcheon and door hook are correct- there was a typical P & S style door lock on the door, long gone and since replaced, and it is too low on the door. I'm skeptical of the label- Smith, Blakeslee & Co., as you and others have pointed out, was active around 1841 and 42, a bit after the pillar & scroll era. A couple of questions- first, are there extra movement mounting pinholes in the movement rails? Extra holes generally indicate a changed movement. Secondly, are there extra pinholes in the bottom edge of the dial, and/or the cross piece it sits on? Again, a sure sign of change. I see extra holes near that cross member in the movement rails, so that piece at least has been moved at some point. Are the finials originals, with a wooden pegs and soldered seams? A nice looking clock, original or not.
 

George Nelson

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Peter, please don't apologize for being late. Any information or help is ALWAYS welcome! Thanks for your observations. As to your questions:

1) As for the dial, it seems to fit perfectly, and there are no additional holes in the sides of it or in the side rails themselves. As for the bottom,the holes in the dial and rails match, even though, as you point out, the rail seems to have been moved or relocated. I have no explanation for this.
2) The backboard shows no evidence of having been removed or altered, and the label itself is in good condition and shows wear in the proper areas. I do believe that it is original to the case, as I'm familiar with the trademarks of a changed or reproduced label, and none of these are evident. Previous comments by others show that while this is a very late in production P&S, it is in keeping with the facts that Jim quoted from the Roberts book on Eli Terry: "...Levi Smith commenced making wood movements and clocks in 1840 with Augustus Blakeslee (Blakesley) and Edwin Ray as Smith, Blakesley & Co. After Ray left the firm in 1842, it was called L. Smith & A. Blakesley..." Since my label can be dated to 1840-1842, this is in keeping with Robert's facts, so I, inexperienced as I am, do not question the label. I'm still trying to discover as definitive a date as possible for the last years of the pillar and scroll style case. At this point, I'm coming to the conclusion that, if original and not a very good alteration, this was a very late production P&S. (I have always wondered why that case style was abandoned, as it is so much more attractive than are the very basic column and splat case styles that followed. A question I'm sure won't be able to be answered.)
3) The finials are not original and are reproductions. I knew that from the beginning, so if they are of the wrong style please let me know and I'll replace with the proper ones.

Thanks for the info on the movement ID. I do not believe that Smith, Blakesley and Co. were in business long enough to make their own movements. And, according to Roberts again, at the end of the wood movement era, there were lots of extra movements floating about, so I would assume that the company bought whatever movements they could find for their clocks. This is, of course, an assumption on my part, and I could well be wrong (ask my wife, as she knows how often I AM wrong...:rolleyes:)

Again, Peter, many thanks for your efforts on my behalf. If afraid this clock will always be a bit of a mystery, but, with the help of you and all the others who have replied in this thread, it is now a smaller mystery.

Peace to all,

George Nelson
 

Jim DuBois

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The following is a letter, also from Ken Robert's work, offering to sell wood movements in quantity for 37 cents each. But, more interesting is his offer to sell the equipment to make more wood works at what seems to be a lot of money in 1847+/-, $700-$800. Translated into today's money the equipment's asking price might well be $200,000+/-. Seems like a lot of equipment, more than we might normally envision, and all for making movements that are no longer desirable in the market... that one simple offer suggests to me at least that clock making machinery was sophisticated and had other purposes (and value) over and above whacking out more wood works.


Bristol June 22 1847
Mr. Pratt
Sir Yours of 8th was rec'd. in reply I will say that
I have 900 wood movements that were made some time since, were put
up in Boxes &have been stored in a very good dry place. I have
opened some of them & all that I have opened appear to be in good
condition, so much so that I should be unwilling to take your offer
for them. You may have them if you take the lot for 37~ Cents each,
you giving a note at 4 to 6 months for them, Del'd in Hartford.
You enquire what I will sell the Machines for making wood mov'ts for,
specifying articles, prices & c. There are such a multitude of
articles fixtures & c that it would be a task of some difficulty
to do so by Letter in a manner to satisfy you or myself. The
machinery in Gross ought to bring $700 - $800 & even more, but it
would depend something upon how much you wanted to do, as there are
in some parts several articles of the same kind. As to whether any
improvement can be made in the machinery I am not aware that there
can be any very great improvement. I designed while in the business
to keep up with the improvements of things in that business. As to
where you could procure the Plates I do not know where a good article
could be got at present. There is a lot of them some 30 miles North
of here that I selected from, some of the last I used, but they are
not a good article, they were probably the cause of a good share of
the trouble with my Mov'ts--the last of them--I used to get my plates,
a good share of them, of A. B. C & the rest of the Alphabet in the
Town about to the North of here. Farmers & others used a leisure
day in winter in getting out a few plates. I have also had a good
number & very good ones from Ohio. I usually paid $9 to $13 per M
for them.
J. A. Wells Esq
June 22, 1847
 

George Nelson

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Jim,

I am constantly quite amazed (and inspired) at your diligence and completeness in helping with questions on this and other boards. Your kindness and expertise are to be enthusiastically commended!

Thanks for the further information about the late production of wood movements! Based on your information and the information of others, here is a summary of my conclusions about my Smith, Blakesley Pillar and Scroll clock. I post this summary due to the (much appreciated) number of comments and observations:

1) Clock produced between 1840-1842
2) A VERY LATE issue of the pillar and scroll case style
3) Movement not made by Smith and Blakesley, but purchased elsewhere. Movement made by Terry, type 1.111
4) The early date of this movement in a late case adds support to the theory movement may not be original. However, no evidence of a movement switch out with extra holes, etc.
5) Odd location of door lock is still unexplained. No evidence of a door modification or switch. Door lock location is consistent with a column and splat type clock. Lock itself has most likely been modified from a standard Terry type lockset.
6) Dial may be a replacement, based on Peter Nunes' comments above, but little evidence of replacement on dial itself.
7) If original (and I think most likely so) a very late P&S production, could still have been made ca 1840-1842 as per Roberts in his Eli Terry book.
8) It has been proposed that label may be suspect (Peter Nunes above), but I respectfully disagree, as there are absolutely no signs of a reproduction or change out, and backboard has no alterations whatsoever. It is tight, installed with original nails, no fresh cuts evident, etc.
9) Due to the financial crisis of 1838-39, many clock companies started to struggle. It seems logical that clockmakers would try to save any money possible by making use of various heretofore unassociated parts in an effort to throw together a clock.

While this clock may never divulge its complete history, it is, to me at least, quite attractive and remains a favorite among all of my Pillar and Scroll clocks. My final conclusion and opinion? My clock is a late production, made by a business operating for a very short time and using whatever parts could be found to throw together a clock, trying to sell in a once-popular case style at an attractive price to prospective purchasers...

If my conclusions are off-base here, anyone with differing opinions, PLEASE feel free to comment. All opinions are strongly solicited and valued.

Most appreciatively yours,

George Nelson
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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Jim,

I am constantly quite amazed (and inspired) at your diligence and completeness in helping with questions on this and other boards. Your kindness and expertise are to be enthusiastically commended!

Thanks for the further information about the late production of wood movements! Based on your information and the information of others, here is a summary of my conclusions about my Smith, Blakesley Pillar and Scroll clock. I post this summary due to the (much appreciated) number of comments and observations:

1) Clock produced between 1840-1842
2) A VERY LATE issue of the pillar and scroll case style
3) Movement not made by Smith and Blakesley, but purchased elsewhere. Movement made by Terry, type 1.111
4) The early date of this movement in a late case adds support to the theory movement may not be original. However, no evidence of a movement switch out with extra holes, etc.
5) Odd location of door lock is still unexplained. No evidence of a door modification or switch. Door lock location is consistent with a column and splat type clock. Lock itself has most likely been modified from a standard Terry type lockset.
6) Dial may be a replacement, based on Peter Nunes' comments above, but little evidence of replacement on dial itself.
7) If original (and I think most likely so) a very late P&S production, could still have been made ca 1840-1842 as per Roberts in his Eli Terry book.
8) It has been proposed that label may be suspect (Peter Nunes above), but I respectfully disagree, as there are absolutely no signs of a reproduction or change out, and backboard has no alterations whatsoever. It is tight, installed with original nails, no fresh cuts evident, etc.
9) Due to the financial crisis of 1838-39, many clock companies started to struggle. It seems logical that clockmakers would try to save any money possible by making use of various heretofore unassociated parts in an effort to throw together a clock.

While this clock may never divulge its complete history, it is, to me at least, quite attractive and remains a favorite among all of my Pillar and Scroll clocks. My final conclusion and opinion? My clock is a late production, made by a business operating for a very short time and using whatever parts could be found to throw together a clock, trying to sell in a once-popular case style at an attractive price to prospective purchasers...

If my conclusions are off-base here, anyone with differing opinions, PLEASE feel free to comment. All opinions are strongly solicited and valued.

Most appreciatively yours,

George Nelson
I too come a bit late to this discussion. I will preface my remarks by saying that in the clock world, there are exceptions to every rule, no one has seen everything and never say never.

There were a number of makers from the early 1840's who were still offering ww clocks as these movements could be obtained rather inexpensively. People wanted BRASS movement clocks and the makers of ww movements were dumping them. Sort of like trying to sell flip phones when just about everyone wanted or already had an iPhone. The ww movements would then be put into relatively inexpensive simpler cases and sold cheaply.

Furthermore, by this time, pillar and scroll cases were not only out of style, but were just too expensive and complicated to produce. There was just no economic incentive for their production at this late date.

Pillar and scroll clocks are one of those clock styles that have long found favor amongst collectors as they are felt to be a uniquely American form of clock in the Federal style...besides being beautiful.

Thus, alas, there is a long history of putting things together. Much like many of the "banjo" clocks we see today.

One bit I'll point out that may have already been mentioned by others and I have missed is that the label mentions "with the improvement of brass bushings" which I don't see when I look @ the movement.

My gut feeling from studying your clock carefully is that it may be a conglomeration of old parts. That assembly may have occurred long ago.

I suspect the label portion of the backboard is from either a ww ogee or "pillar and splat" and cut down. The dial may be from the same source.

I've most definitely seen put together stuff like this before.

Pix of the back of the clock and crest may help, too.

RM
 

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Hi, RM and All,

RM, your thoughts and observations are much appreciated and valued. I'll get pics of the back soon (the clock is currently screwed to the wall). But I can address some of your notes.

I didn't mention it out of sheer stupidity, but the clock label has the words "with improved brass bushings" crossed out with what appears to be a charcoal utensil of some kind. Not the best marketing practice, for sure, but it adds to the theory that this clock might have been a very late to the market conglomeration of leftover parts and pieces. In looking at the label picture (re-posted here for convenience), you can see the marks through the words with and improved. These marks appear consistently through all of the words. My observations of the back (pictures forthcoming) tell me that I believe it is original and untouched.

More soon,

George Nelson
 

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rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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Hi, RM and All,

RM, your thoughts and observations are much appreciated and valued. I'll get pics of the back soon (the clock is currently screwed to the wall). But I can address some of your notes.

I didn't mention it out of sheer stupidity, but the clock label has the words "with improved brass bushings" crossed out with what appears to be a charcoal utensil of some kind. Not the best marketing practice, for sure, but it adds to the theory that this clock might have been a very late to the market conglomeration of leftover parts and pieces. In looking at the label picture (re-posted here for convenience), you can see the marks through the words with and improved. These marks appear consistently through all of the words. My observations of the back (pictures forthcoming) tell me that I believe it is original and untouched.

More soon,

George Nelson
Interesting.

I've seen original labels with overpastes and cross outs!

RM
 

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Yes... I've seen some interesting overpastes, but this is the first (assumed) maker's cross-out I've seen...

George
 

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Hi, All,

Well, a truly stomach-churning communication has just been received, and I am absolutely heartsick!

In an effort to find out more about the Smith, Blakeslee and Co. clock in question, I spent numerous hours trying to locate the original owner of this clock. My efforts finally paid off a bit, and was able to locate one of the previous owners (not the person I bought the clock from.) I truly wish I hadn't...

(I'm reaching for an air sick bag even as we speak).

The past owner turns out to be a notorious internet auction seller, who delights in taking apart, in their entirety, historic and many times rare, one-of-a-kind clocks and selling them piece by piece!!! He does not discriminate; he takes them ALL apart.

(Now drinking from a large bottle of Pepto Bismol).

I contacted him through the auction site, innocently asking about the pillar and scroll, without divulging any info about me or the fact that I owned the clock. Here is part of his response, word for word. Spelling is his-I had to disable my spell-checker to include this.

"Yeah, I think I had that clock. I got if from a fiend who used to sell lots of clcks.se he is ded now it was a beaute, prety mush all together i didnt hav to add anything to it and it sold for okk mony. I was gonna sell it apartt but tryed sellng it together for onse it didnt go for as much as i wanted shuld have sold it saprat as i always do. glad you founnd me do you want schrolls or other parts i hav lots..."

(Now through the bottle of Pepto and on to my bottle of Tums Fruit Flavor...)

In my mind as I read, I visualized a vast graveyard of historic clocks, all in pieces, including Willards and Terry box clocks and others, aside a pile of now-damaged painted tablets. Sigh. It appears that he is not good at writing, but surely has more money than me, made from poor buyers desperately trying to piece together one of his dis-assemblies.

I have not quoted his entire e-mail, but he goes on to say that his "wif" writes his auction postings, as he is not "good writin." At least he was accurate in his description of his "fiend who used to sell lots of clcks.se"

(Now trying a gallon of milk to try and settle my stomach).

He reported to me that his "fiend" used to sell top dollar clocks for lots of money. I'm afraid that the "fiend' might have actually been an accomplished forger, and my heretofore beloved pillar and scroll is a total fake.

(Milk not working, now trying a gallon or two of ice cream and some aspirin).

Of course, I am still desperately clinging to my theory that I have a very late-production pillar and scroll originally made of leftover parts in 1841 or 42, but after receiving this jewel of information, I'm most uncertain. I'll know more when the black lights I'm borrowing from my friend at the University can get them to me.

(Ice cream helped a little, but now my stomach is making loud noises that my wife can hear far down the hallway from the office and into the living room. Appropriately, she is watching The Antiques Roadshow).

I promise to report my black light findings. At least I have learned a great deal from this conversation, and I truly appreciate everyone's help. I'll wait to post pictures of the back of the scroll and back of the clock which were requested yesterday (both of which appear untouched to me) until I can get my black light results.

(Wife now threatening to call the Emergency Room, as she fears from the sounds from the office that there is an eminent explosion developing, and the noise is interfering with her TV program...)

More later, providing I don't throw myself off of the balcony...oh, wait, we live in a slab-built home and don't have a balcony...

Again, more later if, in fact, this is not my last action on earth. I have chosen not to share the identity of the butcher in question as he is most likely the type of person who delights in lawsuits.

George Nelson (Having trouble finding the most appropriate emoticon, but these will have to do). :(:mad::mad::^:confused::sour::mysad::bang: ;-{:thumbs_down:
 
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Peter A. Nunes

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Good that you don't have a balcony. I've mentioned this before, and I'm sure I will again- think of this experience as education, and the dollars spent as tuition. We've all had some variant of this experience along the way.
 

George Nelson

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Thanks for your kind words, Peter! The black lights will be delivered by my friend sometime tomorrow, and I promise to report my findings, good or bad, immediately.

With great trepidation,
George
 

Peter A. Nunes

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Thanks for your kind words, Peter! The black lights will be delivered by my friend sometime tomorrow, and I promise to report my findings, good or bad, immediately.

With great trepidation,
George
I think you have the remains of an original pillar & scroll, with its original movement, but with an added later backboard, door, and dial. If so, someone went to an awful lot of work to deceive.
 

George Nelson

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Thanks, Peter, that makes me feel a bit better! If you are correct, that means that it has an early Terry movement, possibly original scrolls, feet and columns, and "adopted" dial, door and backboard. I do agree that if it is a deception, it is a very good one! More to come, after black light examination tomorrow!

George
 

George Nelson

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Hi, All!

Well, with a great deal of trepidation and shaky hands, I completed my black light investigation of the clock discussed in this thread. By the way, I have described the lights I used in the thread referenced directly below, in the hopes that everyone would learn of the benefits of using black light on their clocks and antiques. Owning one is surprisingly cost effective-costing less than $45.00:

https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?140708-Black-Light-and-Our-Antique-Clocks

I practiced with the light, in order to learn how to determine how the light would glow on repairs/changes I knew had been done to some of my clocks. In all cases, using the handheld light described in the above link, any known fixes glowed in a fairly obvious and dramatic different color. Some glows were more subtle than were others, apparantly dependent on how old the repairs were. Here are my findings:

Front and sides of case are 100% original, glowing evenly in the same color as did the original cases on my other clocks. Absolutely no difference in glow between the door in question and the rest of the case.
Chimney caps re-glued with modern glue, which I did myself as they arrived detatched due to shipping damage
Backboard itself glowed as original, with only one nail replaced with a modern square-nail reproduction
Bottom tablet, which I knew to be a repaint, glowed bright orange
Right pillar repaired a long time ago, as glue used did not register as "new," but showed as an old but not original adhesive
Scroll and glue blocks behind it 100% original and untouched except for repaired tip breaks which sadly occurred in shipping to me
Lockset glowed like an orange peacock, indicating change/removal/parts added
Escutcheon plate also glowed bright orange
Left front foot on case had a heretofore unnoticed repair with modern glue, which glowed brightly
Backboard indicated label to be original, with no changes to the glue used to adhere it to backboard
Nothing in the movement glowed, except for one known tooth repair and replaced pendulum rod. No new holes in edges of movement plates, but holes do show wear from removal and re-installation
Front and back of dial glowed as did the others in my collection, with no touch-ups or alterations, nor any "new" holes (Surprisingly, new holes in some of my other dials glowed fairly brightly
Bottom dial support wood glowed, indicating a long ago replacement. Old wood with original cuts, but not as old as the other parts of the clock.
Finials not of the period, which I already knew.

So, my friends, here are my conclusions about this mysterious clock:

Most likely pretty original, with repairs commonly found on our older clocks. Door in question likely original, as it exhibits construction methods consistent with my other P&S clocks, with no sign of alterations. The lockset, which was a big question, has turned out to be not original, and parts of it replaced. However, wear marks where lock held door shut consistent with this location. No other lock cutouts or wear marks on frame. The scrolls and all top pieces are original, with the glue blocks untouched. Only the corner chimney caps have been re-glued, which I did myself. There is a leg repair which I did not detect before, very well accomplished, as only black-light examination reveals it.

To sum up, really only one question has been truly answered, that of the mysterious lock set. Most of the other questions remain: Why such a late date of manufacture of a case style likely out of favor by 1840-1842? Why the odd location for the lockset-was it a special order or something? Smith, Blakesley and Co. made far more brass movement clocks, only a few "woodies" are known by them. What are the other known wood clock styles they produced? Any documentation other than the one mentioned earlier in this thread?

If I have missed or misinterpreted anything, misunderstood my black light determinations or if there are other things I should look at while I have my borrowed lights, let me know. I'd also love to hear any and all thoughts about this continuing mystery!

Warmest regards and gratitude,

George Nelson
 

Pat L.

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Smith, Blakesley and Co. made far more brass movement clocks, only a few "woodies" are known by them. What are the other known wood clock styles they produced? Any documentation other than the one mentioned earlier in this thread?
Here's a woodworks clock by Smith and Blakesley in a bevel OG case. The label appears to be the same as your P&S clock label. The bevel OG clock movement does have a couple of brass bushings in the alarm train, so maybe that was enough to justify mentioning it on the label.

Pat L.

S&B-1.JPG S&B-2.JPG S&B-3.JPG S&B-4.JPG
 

George Nelson

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Pat L. and All,

Pat, thanks for this new to me information! The label in the bevel case is very similar to the one in my P&S as you say. As for the brass bushings, I've seen several Smith/Blakesley clocks with movements not 100% brass bushed. Whether or not the bushings are original is a bit uncertain, but I've always seen them in clocks with the "With the improvement of brass bushings" nomenclature on their respective labels. Most of the ones I've seen have been in either OG or bevel cases like yours.

Thanks for this information. I've added it to the notes on the P&S clock.

Best to all,

George N.
 

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Alright, I might just be repeating info that has already been posted, but I want to make my comment separate from what's already been posted. I skimmed ahead, and already I got different movement ID results...

5: From the Wooden Works ID spreadsheet, I got the following matches (being not 100% sure if the count hook hole counts as SSS or SOS I included both, but I ended up with only SSS results based on the other criteria):

1.111 Eli Terry / E. Terry & Sons (no additional notes)
1.112 Samuel Terry (Bristol) with a note that it should have a large milled circle around the verge pin button, which basically eliminates this as a possibility
1.113 Samuel Terry (with the same note about a milled circle)

The criteria (just for clarification) breaks dows as:

strike levers centered: yes
figure 8 hole: SSS
retainer wire: 12:00
esc bridge: rec
levers: w/w
verbe button: rd
access holes: sml
square hour: yes
rings levers: no
rings winding: no

1: Nope. I can see if I have similar clocks, but I don't know anything about the company itself.

2: 1840 seems almost 10-20 years too late for a PS, but I don't know EXACTLY how long they were made. I would have assumed that they largely fell out of fashion by the early to mid 30s.

3: No info for that printer.

4: I believe this is a later lock modification. Presumably the original lock or key were broken or lost, and this was an easy fix. It's old enough that it could be left as-is, but I'd prefer a Terry lock and key (mainly for aesthetic purposes and for originality's sake).

6: will have a look, and now I'll have a look at the other replies.
 

George Nelson

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Sooth,

Your input and information is always most welcome! As I hope you know, I've always appreciated both your enthusiasm and your free sharing of your vast knowledge base. Most impressive indeed!

This particular P&S has been and still remains a bit of a mystery to me. Personally, I'm leaning toward the movement being a Terry 1.111, but as you mention, there is a question as to the count hook hole being a SSS or SOS. I'm really looking forward to any more information you might come across!

It is easy to conclude, based on all of the "oddities" associated with this particular clock, that it may have been faked during the times when a P&S clock brought large sums of money. If indeed a fake, it is extremely well done. If not, there are a lot of mysteries associated with it. The backboard, if not original, was/is a perfect fit for this case. It shows no evidence whatsoever of any fresh cuts or modifications.

To me, the biggest mystery is, if original, it is a VERY late production of the P&S style case...

My best always,

George N.
 

Jerome collector

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I don't have any doubts as to the count hook hole: it's a SSS. I agree with the identification as a type 1.111.
 

George Nelson

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Thanks so much! I have always admired your love for all things Jerome, as well as your dedication to your passion! (Your website is A-1 also.) Your assessment of the movement in my mysterious P&S clock goes a long way in my book! Thanks.

Best always,

George N.
 

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Oh wow! I had completely overlooked the position of the door lock. It should DEFINITELY be above the centre bar. The location where it is now suggests it was made from a half column and splat door, which was cut down. Are there additional photos of the door that we can see, including the joinery to the corners? It seems even more clear (that it's a recycled door) when we consider that the 45 degree veneer pattern is not centered on the door.

I'm starting to really lean towards this clock being a complete marriage of various parts (very VERY carefully pieced together and with all traces of modifications well hidden and antiqued).

As a bit of a follow-up, the only Blakesley clock I was able to find in my archives is an M Blakesley & Co with an H Whelton brass movement (as indicated on the label). This one clearly dating to the 1840s, which is consistent with the maker's working dates.

Weldon - Blakesley 01.jpg Weldon - Blakesley 02.jpg Weldon - Blakesley 03.jpg
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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Oh wow! I had completely overlooked the position of the door lock. It should DEFINITELY be above the centre bar. The location where it is now suggests it was made from a half column and splat door, which was cut down. Are there additional photos of the door that we can see, including the joinery to the corners? It seems even more clear (that it's a recycled door) when we consider that the 45 degree veneer pattern is not centered on the door.

I'm starting to really lean towards this clock being a complete marriage of various parts (very VERY carefully pieced together and with all traces of modifications well hidden and antiqued).

As a bit of a follow-up, the only Blakesley clock I was able to find in my archives is an M Blakesley & Co with an H Whelton brass movement (as indicated on the label). This one clearly dating to the 1840s, which is consistent with the maker's working dates.

View attachment 411020 View attachment 411021 View attachment 411022
Wonderful Fenn glass.

RM
 
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