Tablets in wooden works clocks

MikeA

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Dec 21, 2006
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I am wondering if anyone has seen or has any data on the types of tablets that were originally on wooden works clocks. It seems to me that often when a tablet needed to be replaced that a mirror was used, whether or not it had a reverse painting or a mirror. Of course, it's much easier to put in a mirror (even I can do that) than paint or pay someone to paint a nice reverse tablet.

Did the mix change from the pilar & scrolls to the short case transitions to the later half-pillar and splat? Which were cheaper? I think mirrors were fairly expensive then. Any sources?

Thanks,
Mike
 

fume happy

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Mar 31, 2005
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Mike,
if you go to antiqueclockspriceguide.com, you will find a plethora of examples of clock tablets by browsing the different catagories. THey have them by maker as well as type of clock. My understanding is that mirrors were somewhat common because they let the clock serve two purposes: 1: tell time, 2: looking glass... an uncommon household item at that time.
There are also several auction sites out there such as r o schmidt and cottone that have old auctions up there with tons of clock type examples
~Fumey
 

Sooth

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Feb 19, 2005
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I'm not exactly sure what your question is. Are you asking "in general" or for a clock you're working on?

Some makers used pretty much only painted tablets, and others only mirrors. Some used both on the same clock.

As far as price wise, I have no idea which was more expensive. It would seem to me, that silvered mirrors back then would have been a luxury item, and it seems to me that I read this somewhere. Wether that's a fact, or an opinion, I don't know.

I do know that many MANY broken tablets were replaced with mirrors over the years. This may have happened after mirrors were less expensive?

If you want to see a REALLY good selection of original stencilled tablets, browse the current, and past auctions from Cottone Auction House. There are HUNDREDS of nice, high quality photos.

http://www.cottoneauctions.com/
 

MikeA

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Dec 21, 2006
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I was not asking about a particular clock, but just asking in general if anyone had any data on what these clocks may have had originally had. I can only recall seeing one reference to it, in the NAWCC booklet on the Atkins Clocks. It mentioned a tablet painter going to work for Eli Terry, but nothing else (except she didn't seem enthusiastic about working for him).
 

Paul H

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Jun 23, 2005
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Mike;

Pillar and Scroll clocks came first and never had a mirror installed at the factory. Transitional clocks (short drop wood works) also never came with a mirror from the factory. Chauncey Jerome introduced the Bronzed Looking Glass Clock around 1828. This is your basic Stencilled Column (long drop movment) wood works clock. I believe these mirrors where actually silver leaf applied to the glass. (see Tom Temple's site for a great explaination of this).

I have no idea what percentage of the long drop wood works had mirrors originally installed. Like Sooth commented above, it would depend on the maker. What make wood works are you particularly referring to??

If you are thinking of putting a mirror into a wood works, I would not put in a new piece of mirror glass. It will not look right in the clock, and generally result in a lack of character for the clock. Find an old junk mirror that you can cut to size or use Tom Temple's directions to make your own on a piece of old glass. The results will be worth the effort.

Good Luck
Paul
 

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