Strange Antique Longcase - Any ideas about age or origin?

Oled

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Good day and a Happy new Year, colleagues!

I wanted to share with you my "strange" longcase granfather clock photos and maybe you will help me in identification of their origin and age. Because further I understand something about longcase clocks - more I see that they are something not very common.

They were exported several years ago by one antique reseller guy from Holland. And this was one of my first possettions in field of clock collecting :Party:

First thing you notice about this clock is very nice proportional body and a strange "bombay base" podiment with engraved front foots. Also strange thisng is that on other parts of the case we will not see any kinds of such engravements.

Trunk door has nice decorated upper side, hinges and key lock are quite antique (pre-1800) looking, from black forged metal.

8-day movement is mechanically quite near to ones from English clocks.

The strangest thing is dial and hands. The work itself is quite rough, for example front plate is made from two brass lists and ecorative frets are not made from brass, but casted from some white metal and painted. Also painted moon face is not something common: usially moon is a bit not so ugly :))

On the inner side of case there is a paper tag with following: "Herr Urmager. Kans. Gravins gade, Aalborg." This is danish, some street address in Aalbord city (in Danmark). As I can date this tag it is from post-1900-s. Maybe some clock repair shop or something.

Ok, please look at the pictures. I would be glad for any ideas regarding this clocks.
 

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Andy Dervan

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Hello Oled,

Interesting & puzzling clock.... Unfortunately most of the photographs are slightly out of focus so it is difficult to really view the clock details.

Andy
 

John Hubby

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Oleg, you mention that the clock was sold to you by a dealer from Holland. Actually, the features and proportions of the case suggest to me it was probably made in Holland. Their movements were very similar to English movements of the same period but the cases tended to be more elaborate.

Perhaps someone here can comment further on the possible origin.
 

Oled

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Yes, I agree that clock obviously has some dutch influence, for example hands are really dutch-styled. And the case itself and movement (It is visible to the naked eye that it is fully handcrafted) are from from pre-1800s era, but what I cannot understand is why dial works are so rough? Usially clocks from that era has very nice and fine-moulded, or engraved dials with nice frets that looks like complete artwork. Strangest thing that dial is not looking like some replacement, everything fits as it should.

I will try to make some better photos on this weekend.
 

Ansomnia

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Hello Oleg, John Hubby is most likely correct about the origins of the clock. The Dutch and English longcase clockmakers from the 18C shared many design similarities in their clocks with the exception that the Dutch tended to be a bit less consistent with design conventions and quality of work.

Very often it can be a bit disappointing to have an expert pass an opinion on such clocks depending on what you were originally told about the items. Many such clocks turn out not to be authentic and this clock appears to be one of those. Unless we were lucky to have an experienced mentor guide us throughout our collecting we've all had similar disappointments, including yours truly.

The movement does look like early or mid-18C Dutch but the dial of your clock is a marriage, something that was custom assembled for the movement many years after the movement was made. Longcase clocks from that era were usually signed on the dial - yours is not (clue #1). The dial centres were usually matted, yours is smooth as with the rest of the dial plate. Dial matting is a very difficult process to duplicate if you do not use a cast dial plate or if you do not have the right tools and experience. If you look at the back of the dial plate, you'll also notice how far back the winding arbours stand behind their holes, that potentially makes the movement harder to wind - they should be much closer, suggesting the dial plate is not original to the movement. Check the brass on the dial plate, it may be rolled brass, in which case it would date post late-19C.

The number "3" on the calendar dial is a modern "3" not used in the 18C - the restorer who made the calendar markers and the moon dial tried to imitate the other numbers but did not copy the original "3"of the chapter ring.

The chapter ring does not have quarter hour markers so it was likely (possibly an English dial plate) made for a 30-hour movement but this is an 8-day movement from the mid-18C so they probably did not start life together. The arch dial case is also a mid-18C style.

There are many other clues. I suspect this clock was assembled from disparate components, possibly in The Netherlands. It was meant as a decorative clock with some period components. The movement is quite interesting and neat while the case is of good construction though likely provincial in origins. As a whole, it looks like a nice shorter rustic longcase clock (possibly cut down to fit) for a country house but it is not an authentic antique.


Michael
 
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laprade

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It is quite odd how things come in batches; number 14 buses and policemen, and then nothing for weeks. The first clock of this type to recently appear, was French case with a UK LC movement and brass face, then the "Windmills" one, then a clock belonging to a friend of Kim St Denis. At the moment, there is another thread with a similar creation, which has a German flavour to the case.

However the main difference between this clock and the others is the quality of the case work. This case has the "blandness" of a modern interpretation of an older style. The minute features lack "clarity" e.g. the hood pillar caps and the squiggles on the top of the trunk door. The feet are a bit lacking in clarity also.

One odd thing, is that the hood door is pegged, yet the other joints on the clock aren't.
 

Oled

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Thanks Ansomnia and Laprade, very appritiate your help and I really admire your expert opinion! I even did not noticed that type of number 3 is really different from the one on number plate and so on... In the matter of fact when I bought this clock seller mentioned that they were made in 19 century, but I doubt that because of case design and handwork and movement type. And what I know now is not quite dissapointing to me, I did not paid a fortune for them :cool:, it was a quite reasonable sum for a clock for my country house (dacha) :rolleyes: But you've opened my eyes and knowing all details I will be much carefull in the future! Thank you again, sirs!
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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Thanks Ansomnia and Laprade, very appritiate your help and I really admire your expert opinion! I even did not noticed that type of number 3 is really different from the one on number plate and so on... In the matter of fact when I bought this clock seller mentioned that they were made in 19 century, but I doubt that because of case design and handwork and movement type. And what I know now is not quite dissapointing to me, I did not paid a fortune for them :cool:, it was a quite reasonable sum for a clock for my country house (dacha) :rolleyes: But you've opened my eyes and knowing all details I will be much carefull in the future! Thank you again, sirs!
Hard to tell for sure, but also looks like "shims" added to the cheeks for mounting the movement to bring the seat board up to height.

RM
 

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