TALL- LONG CASE / GRANDFATHER CLOCK: CASE STYLES: PRE 1860: A study.

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by laprade, Oct 17, 2009.

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  1. laprade

    laprade Registered User

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    Many people overlook the importance of the hand made cases of Long Case / Tall Case / Grandfather Clocks, as they are variously called. I have placed a end date of 1860, (some might say it should be earlier) as by then, the mass production of the mid 1800s had caught up with the clock industry. Regional and National differences in this field are very important, and in some cases (excuse the pun) the cases of these clocks are more important and interesting than the movements. Some serious collectors only collect on the basis of “the case”, because the genre is so interesting.

    This thread is solely to discuss the types of regional case styles, and you will see some cases with the faces blanked out. In a well known specialist's collection of clock pictures, there is often the comment “this clock is in it's original case”, and this raises the endemic problem of cases and movements being intentionally or accidentally switched, so in some of my posts, I have removed the dials.
    When submitting a clock case, please make sure that the following information is included in the pictures: hood: main door: and feet / plinth.
    If possible,if pictures are available, also include such things as ; hood door lock: main door escutcheon, door hinges, and any other interesting features.

    TO START; I am showing clocks in the style found in South East England: Kent and Essex.

    I show pictures of three clocks that have similar hood decorations. One clock is from Kent (UK) and was described as having a “typical Kent case”, by a well known specialist. It has a nice long door and is made from well chosen mahogany. The feet consist of a plinth which has been cut-out to create the impression of “bracket feet”. These mahogany clocks quite often have “ogee” feet.

    The second clock, has a very similar hood and top crown to the Kent clock. The hood door has a “scalloped-cut” cross banded surround. The trunk door is very short, a sign of lateness, post 1820s, and the feet are too shallow, which indicates “replacements”. The later clocks tended to have bracket feet and sometimes “ball or turned feet”. Genuine bracket feet are much taller. In real life this clock has a Scots movement and “moving” figure in the arch. I don't think the case is Scots. I am not happy with the “scalloped” top door, the “short” trunk door, and the hood style. As the thread progresses, I may be proved wrong!

    The third picture is of a hood only, as the complete clock will appear in another post, courtesy of its owner. I include it because it has the same style hood and trunk door as the Kent clock. This clock has an Essex (UK) name on the dial. This county is next door to Kent.

    The other thing that is interesting about these three clocks, is that they all have animated figures in the arch.

    When it comes to English clock bases, very few have completely flat plinths, and when you see such, take a good look at the carpentry: in most instances they are replacements. Flat plinths were not popular, due to the uneven floors of olden times. Coping with “four” points of contact, is far easier than a continuous front plinth edge.
     

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  2. Dave B

    Dave B Banned

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    Here are two cases by David White, a cabinet and furniture maker who worked in Lngmeadow, Massachusetts from about 1775 to 1820. They are both pine, stained with what appears to be burnt umber, and both were made to house Connecticut wood movements by unknown makers.

    One of them is owned by the Longmeadow Historical Society and is in the first floor front hall of the Historical Society's Headquarters in the old Storrs Library. I have only two photographs of that clock, but will be going back to Longmeadow in Spring of 2010, specifically to document and repair all six of the Historical Society's clocks.

    The other is one that has been in my family since it was new. On the back is stenciled in four lines, "David Booth his clock 1805 1885." In pencil, in what appears to be David Booth, Schoolmaster, of Longmeadow Massachusetts handwriting it says, "White made the case for $7.00" Inside the door, also in pencil, it says, "Calvin Pollard, New Britian, Conn." (The stencil must have been put on by David Booth II, as his uncle, David Booth Jr, was born in 1793 and died in 1885; and wouldn't have known the date of his own death. Because David Jr was only 12 in 1805, I feel certain it was his father's clock, and was probably new that year. We have several other pieces of furniture in the family on which David Booth II stenciled his name; some of which he mentions in his diary as having purchased, and some of which are described in inventories taken at the time of his forebear's death.)

    The wood in my case is noticeably thinner than the wood used to make the case owned by the historical Society. The pediment and finial on mine are only 3/8" thick, while the same parts on the Historical Society's clock are 3/4" thick. The door on my clock is 1/2" thick, and the door on theirs is also 3/4" thick.

    The last two photos are of the clock in Longmeadow; the rest are of the one in my posession.
     

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  3. northcoastimports

    northcoastimports Registered User
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    You can't see it in these pictures, but with careful inspection I found the name of the maker on the dial "Samuel Buxton, Colchester" which traced back to the earliest possible date of 1773 in England. The dial painter was Wilkes and Company.

    More pics here.
     
  4. oldcat61

    oldcat61 Registered User
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    I'll jump in with photos of our John Key, Dumbarton Scotland, LC. Nothing special about the case but I like the proportions & the look/feel of the mahogany. One feature I'm very fond of are the side sound frets: carved thistles. They are on all the other Key clocks that I have seen photos of. I also like the curve to the top of the trunk door.
     

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  5. laprade

    laprade Registered User

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    #5 laprade, Oct 17, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2009
    Thanks Northcoast: But for your clock being of oak, it is virtually identical to the Kent clock. The plinth is most likely to be a repair.

    Dave, your clocks show a decidedly “Scots” influence, and I would like to bring to people’s attention, the “French” feet on the base. This type of foot is nearly always a continuation of the base section, whereas, “ogee” and “bracket” feet, are proud, and the clock (or chest etc) actually stands on posts behind them. In some cases these “French” feet, are often “splayed”. French feet were common on Scots clocks and some of the later Long Cases in Yorkshire.

    To add to the South East clocks that started us off, I show a picture of an oak case, almost identical to NCI’s, but without the “hair doo”. At the moment, this case has a Manchester labelled movement, which I am 99% sure is not right. The "hair doos" on these clocks look to be quite fragile, and I think this one's was damaged and done away with.

    the clock in the photo, was brought to my attention, when it was brought up during discussions in Northcoast's own thread. Makeshift's comment on the style, got me interested.

    https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?t=55691

    Most Manchester clocks have “Liverpool” type cases, but that is another story.
     

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  6. laprade

    laprade Registered User

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    I was a bit hasty in saying that "bracket" and "ogee" feet always have a post behind. It largely depends on the type of bracket or ogee. Some are, as I said, "facings" with little or no strength, and others are solid and made to take weight directly. Ogees are found mostly on mahogany cases.

    Picture shows a good strong pair of load bearing "ogee" feet. Load bearing ogee feet, usually are one piece, whereas "facings" are mitred pieces.
    -> posts merged by system <-
    found an example of "splayed french" feet:
     

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  7. HUDD

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    Hi Laprade

    I've sent you a couple of near full length pictures of my two longcase clocks as promised via email. Not the best pictures due to the proximity of windows and the fact that my camera is pretty old.

    Hudd
     
  8. laprade

    laprade Registered User

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    Ta, Hudd, I have them safe, and they will appear soon.

    Old cat, pardon my manners. I didn't see your post, can't explain it: apologies. I‘ve borrowed the base of your clock, to show a nice example of “bracket feet”.

    The interesting thing about your clock, is the preference for the “English” style of the case, while keeping the “Scots” side frets. I think there is another Scots one somewhere in one of the threads, which has the same English influence.
    I would hazard a guess as to why this change happened:

    The Edinburgh “Adam Bros.”, had started a “classical revival” and a number of informed people wanted to promote it. The “swan neck”, part of this revival, was introduced by the Brothers, as it is a variation of the Roman / Greek pediment. I have read that it was Robert Adam who encouraged Chippendale to incorporate the swan necks in his designs. Before that, the “pagoda” “tea caddy” along with the “round arch” had been the norm. Queen Anne and late William and Mary cabinets, often had the “double round arch” as a top / cornice. The South-east clocks that appeared earlier, show this round arch., which was really a London makers style. So for someone to own a clock with the Brothers classical influence, would improve their “social standing”: being up to date on fashion.

    The “bracket foot” and the “ogee” came in with this classical revival. The earlier W&M, QA clocks had “bun feet” or a “double plinth”. I should elaborate on the “plinth”. In the big houses, country or town, where most of the clocks ended up, the main hallways were usually floored with marble, so “plinths” didn't pose much of a problem. On wooden floors, they are a nightmare! A lot of clocks with damaged brackets, had “single” plinths as replacements. This is due to the nature of the clock cases: replacing brackets was very difficult. Repairing “French” feet, was virtually impossible.

    Alongside your brackets, I show two examples of W&M buns, Two plain double-plinths ,and a rare example of the Queen Anne “Chinese feet”, generally referred to as “Queen Anne feet / legs”. (The clock in question, isn't of the QA period) The QA style was strongly influenced by the “new ideas” coming back from China: claw and ball feet: pagodas: and the tea caddy.

    Old Cat, one thing I will need you to do, is to look at how your bracket feet are constructed, and how they support the clock. If you get the time, a couple of shots of the long door lock, and hinges. Small things like that are very important when looking at these cases.

    (for some reason, OC, your feet have loaded as an image, and not a thumbnail? so they don't follow the others <next etc>)
     

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  9. makeshift

    makeshift Banned

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    I must admit to preferring the "double" to the "single" plinth, has a better look to it. I think the choice of the "QA-Chinese" feet, a bad choice on the part of the maker: far too fiddly and small.
     
  10. laprade

    laprade Registered User

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    Makeshift, I see we get to meet in a virtual world, and must have missed each other by minutes in the real one. It is nice to hear people mentioning Bill Marney.

    I post below a picture of two clocks that both have Lincolnshire names on the dial. The one to the right is kindly lent by Mr Hudd, and other aspects of this clock can be seen on another thread.

    https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?t=55797

    I cannot make any judgement on the provenance of the case style in this instance, as I have never come face to face with a Lincoln clock.

    The left hand clock has a long door, which would put its date at 1800 or before, whereas Hudd's clock has the later short door, circa 1840s +.
    The left hand clock has a “dental frieze” on its swan necks, which isn't common, and is a sign of quality.

    The clock on the left, seems to have been got at. The main door quartered-pillars are decorated in Doric style, but someone has put "Corinthian" caps on the hood pillars. Hudd has promised to send some pictures of the feet.
     

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  11. laprade

    laprade Registered User

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    #11 laprade, Oct 27, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
    This post contains another Kent clock. It is an oak clock, with a square dial, and has an Ashford, Kent, name. The owner told me she bought it in Ashford. The movement is 30hr.

    The base has been cut back quite a bit, and the reasons for this are usually 1/ damage from a damp country house floor, or 2/ having been cut down to fit into a low ceilingded cottage. The clock probably had “bracket feet”.

    The top of the clock looks as if it also has lost quite a bit

    It is a very typical oak country clock, quite plain and sturdy.

    The hood door catch is not the norm: it has a swivel oak catch.
    The keyhole escutcheon is a replacement: not enough ware from polishing.
    The hood pillars have “midriff bulge”, which is what all pillars of that type should have. Though, some fluted or reeded ones are very often uniform.

    The glue block in the case is an addition, and you can see where it has been stained to look old. The back boards in most of this type of clock, were nailed, and usually only have one board, as wide planking in olden times was the norm.

    I can't find the picture, but the trunk door hinges are plain "butt" and not "strap".

    The trunk door is quite plain with just a simple bead. Also, you can see a similar bead on the side of the trunk itself. The long door on a country clock, doesn’t always mean it is as old as one would like. Fashions took some time to percolate down the social ladder, so the clock could be post 1800.

    I also show a shot of the seating arrangement, and hood “slides”.

    I show another picture to give an idea of what the top might have looked like.
    -> posts merged by system <-
    forgot to post the "glue block". In fact, looking at it again, I think the back board is also new, it looks "stained" as well as the block, and there seems to be a seam to the left, indicating another plank.
     

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  12. Paul Regan

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    This is a James Cross of Rochester, NH. Boston dial, maple case of simple country style. Pleasing proportions. 85" to top of fret. Paul
     

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  13. Dave B

    Dave B Banned

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    I have driven through Rochester NY, but I have never heard of Rochester NH - is that a small town? The dial says, "warranted", so ,presumably, Cross made the movement. Do you know if he made the case, as well?
     
  14. Paul Regan

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    Hello Dave. I do not know if he made his cases. He might have as it is a very simple design. The movement is NH origin with the arch cut out of the base of the plates. There is no false plate between the dial and front plate. I have seen banjo clocks by him. Paul

    Yes, I believe it is a small town
     
  15. laprade

    laprade Registered User

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    Paul, welcome to the thread. A very nice clock, with the same design influence as the South East clocks, from Kent and Essex. I have been thinking about the real origin of that hood design, and think that it really should be called "a London style". Maidstone and Colchester, being relatively close to the capital, would have favoured a London style, or at least their clients. So its not surprizing to see this London style across the pond. There is no doubt that the case is made your side (some say that many cases were imported) as maple isn't a wood that was available in any quantity in the UK. Could the case have been made in Canada, or is maple the norm where the clock came from? (Over here, we are lead to believe that Canada is wall to wall maple!)

    The clock is very elegant and the "french" feet add to this.

    This thread is supposed to be a thorough as possible, so can you show a shot of the back board and some of the hardware. I notice that there is no "hood lock". Can anyone elaborate on if that is the norm in New World cases.

    Dave B, nice to have you along as well.
     
  16. Paul Regan

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    Hello Laprade. Thank you for your kind comments. The case is definately NH origin as maple and cherry were and still are very prevalent. The backboard is single piece of pine. I think the influence for this design at the time it was made (1825) was Boston and the Roxbury style cases. Of course the Roxbury case style was available in the late 1790s and was the prefered style of the "Roxbury School" of clockmakers. The Roxbury style was influenced by "a London style" I believe. My clock was made in the mid 1820s so this style had been in America for some time however I agree the original origin was England. The lack of a hood lock is common on country clocks. In fact all of the original hardware on the clock is "pressed in mold" thin sheet brass instead of castings. Here is a pic I have of the movement with the cut out plates. Paul
     

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  17. makeshift

    makeshift Banned

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    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]A nice clock Mr. Regan. I've never seen any American clocks in the flesh, only in magazines.[/FONT]
    I thought it about time we Irish had a go. Sorry Mr. Laprade, but I have only basic pictures, so I can't elaborate on the hardware.
    The first clock is Irish Georgian, a style favoured by the Protestant Ascendency, our former colonial rulers. The style lends itself to a lot of carving, but quite distinct. It isn't to the liking of a lot of people, due to the over done decoration. The second clock is from the province of Ulster, is made of decorated pine.
     

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  18. Dick C

    Dick C Registered User

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    Rochester, known as the Lilac City, is located in southeastern New Hampshire. With a population of almost 31,000, Rochester is the largest city in the seacoast region and fourth largest city in New Hampshire. Encompassing 48 square miles of rolling hills and rivers, Rochester is conveniently located only a short distance from New Hampshire's famous Lakes Region, the White Mountains with its ski resorts and the Seacoast with its superb beaches.

    I once owned a shelf clock by James Cross as well as a banjo.
     
  19. Paul Regan

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    Wow Dick, I never would have guessed Rochester was that large. I assume the 48 sq mi did it. Paul
     
  20. laprade

    laprade Registered User

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    I thought Rochester was Jack Benny's butler.
     
  21. oldcat61

    oldcat61 Registered User
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    Laprade - A while back you asked for pictures of the feet & lock on my John Key LC. Can't really get a good shot of the feet but will attach what I have. Also pix of hinges, back board & a better shot of the side fret showing the old parchment. Sue
     

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  22. laprade

    laprade Registered User

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    #22 laprade, Nov 2, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009
    Thanks Oldcat for your trouble.

    The base section is of fine quality. mitred edges and a well chosen flame mahogany panel.

    The brackets are what I call "outside", as they are beyond the "building line" as town planners say. There is a separate moulding covering them, and continuing along the bottom of the base panel, which can be seen in the picture.

    In standard use of these "outside" brackets, the weight of the piece is taken by a block hidden behind the mitred corners.

    I post a sketch to illustrate it. I haven't used a scanner, but have used a new tablet, so excuse the wobbly look in places!

    The back board looks as if it is two boards, or is that a shadow from the pendulum.

    The picture of the door lock. Is it steel or brass?

    I borrowed you fine feet!
     

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  23. oldcat61

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    Stephen - the lock is steel, no idea if that's correct but it works fine. There's a piece of wood that " locks" the hood. The backboard is two pieces or one piece that split, can't really tell. The tool marks are the same & weight bob scratches line up, so they've been together a long while. At the very bottom on the backboard, what I would call the back pinth, is a horizontal board. Is that a repair or how they were made? The feet do indeed have blocks behind the brackets - one back foot is bodged but it doesn't show. No one seems to comment on my favorite part, the thistle side frets, with the old parchment. They just blow me away & are on all 6 John Key LCs that I have photos of. I've always wondered about the cases, must have been made by the same cabinetmaker. Perhaps he had a relative in that business? Thanks again for your insight/experience. BTW, we call the clock Nessie for the dolphin/sea serpents on the dial. Sue
     
  24. laprade

    laprade Registered User

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    Thanks, Sue, for your help.

    I was hoping the lock would be steel, and am very glad that the brackets have the hidden blocks to take the weight. Sometimes there is a different back board for the base, from when the clocks were made. Many had replacements, as that part of the clock is always at risk.

    Sorry not to remark on your frets! Readers will find these frets on 90% of Scots clocks and on some London clocks.

    The swan necks on your clock, are an influence from the famous Scots Adam Brothers, but oddly enough, not a lot of Scots makers took up the “high” version, as found in a lot of Northern English clocks , especially those of Lancashire, most notably Liverpool. Not a lot of London makers used them either. Robert got his ideas, when he and his brother went on the “grand tour” of ancient Europe, and would have seen such things as the fine renaissance doorway at the abbey in Saintes (Charente-Maritime 17) The “Angelus bell ringing” originated at the abbey. The pictures show a truncated version of the swans, which was known as a “broken pediment”. The full pediment formed a triangle. On one of the web sites about the swan necks, there are some shots of broken pediments with the true curves, which ended up on Chippendale furniture, at Adam's behest, and subsequently on long cases up till today.
     

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  25. oldcat61

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    Wow, that's quite a sweeping statement. I know you've looked at more LCs than me but I hadn't seen that style before. Several geometric designs & quite a few with no side frets, just the one under the pediment. Got any photos? Any idea who came up with that idea & approximate years popular? This discussion is getting to be fun. Sue
     
  26. laprade

    laprade Registered User

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    #26 laprade, Nov 3, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
    Sue, Maybe we got a crossed line. I mean frets in general, not that particular pattern (if that's what I think you mean, I should have been more clear. I hope I haven't caused disappointment). The frets story is a puzzle. A lot of bracket and table clocks kept side frets right up till the late 1800s and beyond. The strange thing is, the Midlands and Northern long case clocks are almost without.

    And as I pointed out in my last post, the swan story is almost the opposite. The only makers that really took the swan story seriously, were those close to Liverpool. Some of the Liverpool makers used clocks in a “high Chippendale “style, and some cases are said to have Chippendale receipts.

    Some commentators call the case style “Lancashire”, but I always disagreed. I admit Liverpool, was in Lancashire (before 1970s local govt. reorganization,) but up till 1840 Liverpool was almost isolated from the rest of Lancashire, because it was surrounded by marshes and water. James Brindley and others had built canals, and Liverpool was connected to the system, but quite late 1790s. Liverpool had a small port in 1764, (I have an old map) and had some link with Manchester by way of the Mersey and Weaver river navigations; but it was quite limited. And yet, at the time of 1765 and up till the canals were built, Liverpool made some of the finest clocks in the North. I put this down to its relative closeness to Chester; 22 miles. Chester and Cheshire were rich and people of influence lived there. The Dukes of Westminster have their family home there (The present Duke is the richest man in the UK 6.5 billion stg: They own most of Belgravia in the city of Westminster). Liverpool port, though small, was better than Chester, (up a tidal river, The Dee,) and Parkgate, (being encroached by silt in the Dee estuary), because it was free of silt, where the harbour was. (The Mersey has a narrow mouth to its estuary,) This meant that Liverpool, while cut off from most of the UK, by natural barriers, was a busy place because of its harbour. Thus attracting people with money. So much money, that the likes of Nash were commissioned to build the “new town” of Birkenhead on the west bank, opposite the city, at the turn of the 19th c. (Central Park NY, is a copy of Birkenhead park!)

    I show a fine example of the top class of Liverpool-Cheshire type. It originated in the thread linked below. I said on the thread, that it was the finest clock to appear on the board since I started to post. The quality is fantastic. (There is also a scann of the complete 1765 map in several sections, on that thread. Scanned so as they can be printed to form a whole map)

    http://www.mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?t=53279&highlight=weatherill+liverpool
     

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  27. oldcat61

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    Didn't realize you were speaking about side frets in general not the thistle pattern in specific. Now it makes more sense. And I still LUV my Scottish thistles! What I really don't understand are the glass side windows - you can see the movement but they don't let out the sound. Next thing I need to get is a map of England/Scotland next to computer, so I know what you are talking about with all the place names/styles.
     
  28. Jeremy Woodoff

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    #28 Jeremy Woodoff, Nov 3, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
    First, let me say that Central Park, NY is NOT a copy of Birkenhead Park. Birkenhead was a precedent and an influence on the designers of Central Park.

    Now, in this post and a following one, I am providing pictures of two of my tall case clocks. This one is a 30-hour, single-weight, chain-drive example in an oak case with mahogany full hood columns and quarter trunk columns and mahogany trim above the hood door. The capitals and bases on the hood columns are gilded brass. The backboard is pine. The brass finials are old (one is cracked and broken like an eggshell). The keyhole escutcheon is a copy I made based on the ghost of the original seen in the case finish. The lock is a replacement. The upper door has no lock--never did.

    The original finish on the case was a dark, purplish-colored varnish of some kind. It made the entire case look like mahogany. Unfortunately, areas of the finish were flaking off, revealing the much lighter wood beneath. At the time, many years ago, I did not think there was a way to save and restore the finish, so I stripped and re-varnished the case.

    The dial is a first-period painted dial. There is no false-plate, as is typical for 30-hour clocks. The faded name on the dial is "Lister & Bromley, Halifax," listed in Baillie as ca. 1800. The bell has the name of "G. (George) Ainsworth, Warrington" cast into it. I believe he made the movement, not just the bell.

    The partial label seen inside the case appears to be from a re-sale by an auction house. It has a date of May 4, 07.
    -> posts merged by system <-

    I DON'T WANT THE POSTS MERGED BY THE SYSTEM!! Now you will have to figure out which pictures go with the first part of the post, and which go with the second (the break comes after the sixth picture).

    This one is my pride and joy! It is a Dutch clock, made in Amsterdam by Pieter Klock, ca. 1700. I believe the case style is William & Mary. The parts that are not marquetry are walnut veneer. The carcase is oak, as is the backboard. There is no keyhole escutcheon (often not used on marquetry cases, as it would interfere with the pattern). The lock is steel and I believe original. The latched hood door is operated by a pull-cord within the case. The capitals and bases on the front barley-twist columns are gilded brass. The back quarter columns have gilded wood capitals and bases.

    The velvet backing on the dial appears to be original, as is the bolt-and-shutter maintaining power. The movement has an inside countwheel and five latched pillars. It has "Dutch" striking, which means the hours are struck on a deep bell, at the half-hour the following hour is struck on a higher-pitched bell, the first quarter is struck once on the higher bell, and the third quarter is struck once on the lower bell.

    One of the pictures shows the feet that were on the clock when I got it. The two bun feet were in front, and the bracket feet in the back. All the feet were attached with modern nails. They did not look right and were obviously added at a recent date, so I removed them. I believe the skirt at the bottom of the base is a replacement.

    The top of the hood has a modern wood cover. I am almost sure the clock would have originally had a carved top similar to the one shown in the last picture, or perhaps a caddy top.
     

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  29. laprade

    laprade Registered User

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    Jeremy! a superb detailed post, bravo. I appreciate the time and effort such a post requires.

    Birkenhead is no problem with me, but be careful if you meet any Birkonians! They see it as one of their "claims to fame" (Its not unlike the Enniscorthy (Wexford) story about the New Delhi governor's palace and the local lunatic house; they say Lutchens got them mixed up!)

    Readers should note;- The oak case is of very good quality, far superior to most oak cases of that era. Also note the quarter columns and their caps, the non-strap-hinges, and the steel door lock. The columns, Jeremy, what are the caps made of; the look maybe mahogany. I would think that the cut-away plinth is a replacement.
    I can't stop stressing that it is exceptional quality.

    The Dutch clock is a fine example of a marquetry case. Things to note:- the quite simple and crude hinges. The simple steel lock and the cut-out work for the glass. Some of these clocks had a “bull's eye” but generally they had good quality glass: makers of reproductions, often assume that the bull's eye was the right thing.

    I show some pictures, (from Jeremy's, and the thread on the “Windmills” clock). People are often quite surprized at the roughness of things that the eye doesn't need to see. The Windmills supposed copy, is too neat, and falls into the trap of modern machine work. The strap hinges: too perfect. The bull's eye: the brass door lock.

    I agree about the plinth, Jeremy. At least, it doesn't encroach on the design. Most marquetry cases I have seen, have buns directly onto the base and no extra work to hold them. The marquetry goes right to th bottom.

    A fine clock, and congratulations on owning it.

    This clock brings into the story, the Dutch influence, and tracing back from there, to the epicentre of European clock making, which is where, I get screamed at. For I think that the Black Forest has more of a story to tell than most people want to believe. The skill of clock making migrated, and part of that migration, from Holland to England was caused by the wars of the Spanish succession, and the persecution of the Huguenots in France and the Catholic regions of the latter day Holy Roman Empire. How it came to Holland is another chapter.
     

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  30. Jeremy Woodoff

    Jeremy Woodoff Registered User
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    This post shows the third of my four tall case clocks, an 8-day made by Benjamin Anns, Highworth, in an oak case. Baillie and Britten give a date of 1770 for Anns, but I think this clock is a bit earlier, perhaps 1750. The case has a pine backboard and oak crossbanding around the trunk door. The hood columns are part of the door. I believe the skirt at the base is original. There is no evidence there were ever any finials or other features on top of the case. The finish is old, and the case has a slightly reddish tint. Although the case is very simple, it has what I find to be beautiful proportions.

    I believe the few metal parts on the case are original. They include the brass keyhole escutcheon, brass-case door lock, brass strap hinges, and iron bolt lock for the hood door. In order to attach the hinges to the case, a piece of oak was added at each location to increase the thickness enough for the hinge to be screwed to the case. Despite this, I think they're original.

    I know this is a thread about cases, but I want to point out the dial on this clock. The engraving is simple but superbly done. It is the best dial engraving I've seen. The same is true for the matting in the center of the dial. It is perfect without a hint of patterning from whatever tool was used to create it. At some point I'm going to start a thread about re-silvering the dial. The hands are replacements.
     

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  31. laprade

    laprade Registered User

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    Jeremy, another gem, bravo, and you saved me the trouble of having to sketch the hood door lock.

    Firstly; things to note from Jeremy's post.

    The trunk door hinges are strap hinges that look old and hand made. But an important point is the style of hinge post. This style is generally known as “acorn”. In some cases the acorn shape is very obvious and I have borrowed Jeremy's and Oldcat's hinges to show this. (the only other picture on the thread of an acorn is one I took, but is out of focus: Ashford, Kent clock)
    The next point is about the trunk door escutcheon. Compare Jeremy's with the Ashford clock, which I said was a repro.
    Note the nails to fix the hood lock bolt, and screws to fix the hasp.
    The next point is the orientation if the base panel: it is horizontal. This is not unusual and doesn't mean it is a repair. Many country clocks had horizontal and not vertical base front panels.

    While on the subject of wood. I like the use of oak cross banding on oak: it introduces a sort of subtlety to the design.

    What surprizes me is the lack of obvious medullary rays which come with quarter sawn oak. I'm wondering if there might be some elm in the case, could be way off course!

    The matt finish on the dial, I was told is usually from the sand casting, and not polished out.

    The town of Highworth is in Wiltshire, I couldn't find another, and that would explain the use of “a high London style”. Wiltshire is the first of the “West Country” counties from London. One could guess that the customer had ordered a “London style” from a rural cabinet maker. Mahogany was expensive, but the cabinet maker went to extra trouble to imitate a prevailing London style, hence the top upper hood and the cross-banding. Remove the upper hood, and you have the Kent and Essex clocks shown earlier.

    Jeremy's point about the finials is a good one. Not all clocks were festooned with knobs and spikes, and if the truth be known, a lot of existing finials are additions. Bill Marney, of Garner and Marney, told me that they made and sold over a thousand finials a year, not to mention dials.

    Talking of which; the numerals on large dials are cut with a hammer and chisel. The chapter ring is set into a bed of pitch, and then chiselled.
     

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  32. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Laprade (or anyone else), I wonder if you might have any photos of rising hood latches/catches. Especially the type used on the backboard to temporarily support the hood while winding the clock. I'd also really like to see a spoon latch. I have heard about both these types of catches many times, and even seen some crude drawings, but I have yet to see a photo of either in any books or web pages I've seen to date. At most, I've glimpsed a partial shot of the backboard latch.
     
  33. Jeremy Woodoff

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    About the dial matting, I've seen descriptions of punch tools and rolling tools used to create the matting. The next clock I'm going to show has clear evidence that a tool of this type was used.
     
  34. laprade

    laprade Registered User

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    Jeremy, I agree, there are tools for doing some of the matting. Such tools would leave traces of the punch points, much the same way, oddly enough, as when you use a "cloning tool" on a picture management program. Also, from experience, (I made ten complete brass faces in 77, under the supervision of a master engraver), when punching, it effects the shape of the brass plate, and you have to plannish it to compensate. The centre section starts to bow into a concave. The punch work has to be done before you place the pillars, (studs).

    The sand method leaves no repetitions. Sometimes you can see “sand marks” on the edges of the cut-outs behind the chapter.

    Sooth, you have me there. All the long cases (Eire & UK) I have seen, were always wound by opening the hood door, like a normal door. The hoods all “slide” forward to be removed, and are held steady by two rails either side of the top of the trunk. Just below the projections for placement of the seat board. I think, if what you describe, was known to the book people, it would be shown somewhere. The problem with a lot of clock books, is that some details aren't shown, either because the writer didn't bother or never noticed. Unless a clock can be taken a part and photographed, one never sees these things. A lot of book pictures that I have seen are mostly of “façades” and are taken in situations, where dismantling was not an option, as is the case of some of the pictures I have posted, because I couldn't get into the cases. The one recent clock that I was able to dismantle, was the Ashford one, because I was repairing it. It had a hood stop, the crude oak swivel, which only stopped the hood from coming off: it isn't a door lock.

    Not that I mention it, I should elaborate for the readers. The bolt and hasp, nicely shown by Jeremy, is for locking the top door. The clock can't be advanced or retarded, or wound, if the lock is closed, and the trunk door locked, with the key in the master's pocket. I always assumed that such door locks, were to stop the servants from fiddling the time! The Ashford clock could still be opened. (picture) In fact, I didn't know it was there, until I tried to move the hood. And even after that, it dropped into the space between the case frame and the front moulding!

    I also show a picture of a hood slide-guide.
     

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  35. makeshift

    makeshift Banned

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    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Messrs. Laprade and Woodof, and other readers of course. I and my nephew helper, found this clock when googling for "Irish" clocks.[/FONT]

    It has almost the same style as the nice Highworth clock. The information said that it is from Ballymena. We are sorry that we can't supply any more details. (The pine clock, we posted earlier is also said to be from Ballymena.)

    From the picture below, it can be seen that the base has a raised panel, as opposed to the "horizontal" panel on the Highworth clock.

    To add further to Mr. Laprade's thoughts on origins of style, I would suggest that the instructions to the maker of such a case, was probably by someone who "was in the know" and maybe even had a London town house. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, a place like Ballymena, wouldn't have been in the height of fashion. Politics also would have had an influence. The Anglo Irish Ascendency who had Dublin as their centre, were quite a different lot, to those from the north, who had Belfast as a centre. The Northerners would have a more direct link with London, as they were very suspicious of those from the South, who had long links with Ireland: some from Norman times.
    Another idea, is that this Ballymena clock case was imported from England.
     

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  36. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    No, the type of hardware I'm interested in seeing is the type used on much earlier clocks. They are found on early rising hood clocks (such as marquetry longcases). These clocks are usually shorter, making it possible to raise the hood w/o hitting the ceiling.

    From what I have read, many of these early clocks did not have a door on the hood. Some were later sawn/modified to have a door, but most did not. Instead, you had to unlock and open the trunk door (to release the spoon latch holding down the hood), then raise the hood until the latch on the backboard clicked into place and supported it. I believe that the hood only raised up to about 1/3 to 1/4 from the top of the dial, but I'm not 100% certain of this.

    I have (somewhere...) a partial photo of the rear latch, and it looks like a spring loaded L shaped hook. I wish I could find the photo, but I have no idea where I had seen it.

    Derek Roberts gives this brief description on his page on longcase clock care:
    "The hood may now be slid forward and removed. The only exception is on a few very early clocks made prior to circa 1690 which still have lift-up hoods and are held by a catch in their raised position for winding. Although they are usually locked down by a spoon latch, this is automatically released when the trunk door is opened."

    This site shows a crude drawing:
    http://www.bafra.org.uk/html_pages/articles_longclocks.html
     
  37. laprade

    laprade Registered User

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    I see what you mean, Sooth, and confess that my mind is a blank. Some museum must have one and some photos. The chances of someone on the board having such a thing, will be remote. Chris Radano has some early things, as he posted one a while back, he might have seen one, or knows where one might be.

    The link didn't sit right in your post, I had to select / copy / paste, to get it to work. (Maybe a Mod could adjust it, Harold adjusted one of mine a while back)

    Interesting article. Well found, Sooth, bravo. I know the time it takes to rummage around for this sort of thing.
     
  38. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    You may be interested to know that I've found the photo(s) that I was thinking about. They are from a book on English Domestic Clocks, but the images show the overall clock with the hood lifted (2 photos of this), and you can barely make out the latch. I will try to photograph these (as I have no scanner), and upload them.

    Note: Since when can we not go back and edit our posts/comments? I used to be able to post links as-is, and they would get auto-formatted to work, but now I see that there is an "insert link" button above that you need to use. :confused:
     
  39. swankyman

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  40. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Nice photos mark, but what I'm on about is the hardware that is found on early longcase clocks with a rising hood. These clocks use rails (dovetails) on the backboard, where the hood slides upwards, then locks in place near the top for winding and adjustment. The hood has no hinges, since there is no door.
     
  41. Jeremy Woodoff

    Jeremy Woodoff Registered User
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    Here are some scans of rising hoods. One or two of them may be the ones Sooth was referring to. The first two clocks are pictured in Cescinsky & Webster's English Domestic Clocks and the next two are from Britten's Old Clocks and Watches and Their Makers. It's difficult to make out the hardware, but if you enlarge the images you may be able to see something. The first and third pictures show the "spoon" at the top of the trunk door. This is depressed to raise the hood. The second picture shows a coiled spring attached to the backboard to hold the hood in place in its "up" position. The last picture shows a different type of spring to serve the same purpose.
     

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  42. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
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    Here are some pictures I had on file..

    I think the other latch of this type I have seen was iron.

    I included a hood lock picture.

    The lift hoods I have seen operated did not have dove tails, instead had tongue and groove.

    Ralph
     

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  43. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Alright, the photos kind of suck, but it's about the best I can do. The photos are not terribly clear to begin with, and even close-up, you can't make out any specific details. I've also kept the images fairly large to show as much detail as possible.

    RisingHood01.jpg

    RisingHood02.jpg

    This is a closeup of the previous clock. You can clearly see a spiral shaped spring (which keeps tension against the catch, which isn't visible from the photo).

    RisingHood03.jpg
    -> posts merged by system <-
    Ralph and Jeremy, AWESOME PHOTOS. I had not refreshed the page, so I only saw your photos after I had posted mine.
     
  44. Ansomnia

    Ansomnia Registered User

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    Here are my file photos: one case with a spoon and another one with the steel catch and coiled spring mentioned earlier.


    Michael
     

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  45. Jeremy Woodoff

    Jeremy Woodoff Registered User
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    The last of my tall case clocks is an 8-day made by George Hallifax, Doncaster. I believe it dates to third quarter of the 18th century. The case is chinoiserie, done in a dark green ground with gold painting, including raised decorations on the trunk door, which was often the fanciest part of these cases. The carcase is oak; the backboard is pine. The finials are replacements; I suppose the originals would have been gilded wood. The keyhole escutcheon is gilded wood, as are the hood column capitals and bases. The steel trunk lock seems to be original. The trunk hinges look original and are brass, with a short strap.The bolt for the hood lock is missing (you can see the holes for it in the picture) and I think the small, round, brass hasp is a replacement.

    This kind of domestic "lacquerwork," which is actually done with shellac on a gesso base, in imitation of real Chinese lacquerwork, is notorious for continuing deterioration in the form of flaking. The case was extensively restored about 25 years ago and could use another round of restorations, although so far the paint, while cracked and peeling or bubbled is still mostly in place. The areas on either side of the hood door arch are actually glass, and were originally reverse-painted. One of the glass pieces has a chunk broken out, and the surface of the glasses have been painted and decorated to match the rest of the clock.
     

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  46. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Awesome! You have no idea how thrilled I am to finally have some of these photos. I plan to build a rising hood clock. And Ralph, you are correct, it was not dovetails (though it could be made this way). It's a dado (or tongue and groove) same as what's seen in your photo) and like in your photo, it's an applied oak runner glued to the edge of the backboard.
     
  47. Ansomnia

    Ansomnia Registered User

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    Sooth, I'm happy you found them useful. Have fun with your project!


    Michael
     
  48. laprade

    laprade Registered User

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    Jeremy, a fine clock. It is quite amazing, that with all the fine decoration, and fine movements in these clocks: but when it comes to the door lock, any old junk will do. Readers should note the use of nails to fix the lock. Nailing into seasoned oak, is a very risky business, and generally reserved for “green oak”.

    The early lacquered cases, were supposedly sent to China to be painted. It would be interesting to know if there is a difference in what was used for the Chinese raised sections. There are various degrees of quality in gesso, and as you say, the medium doesn't always ware well. A customer arrived in my studio in 75, with a green tea caddy topped LC, with terrible damage to the lacquer. It was beyond salvation.

    Sooth, I'm glad you have found your “holy grail”, and thanks to those who went to the trouble of finding the pictures.

    Swanky, Thanks for your hardware. Swanky's and Jeremy's pictures, brings up the point of the hinge type. They are quite distinct from the “acorn”, and wouldn't come under the generic term “acorn”. Does anyone have any thoughts or even references to this “finial” type hinge post.
     
  49. laprade

    laprade Registered User

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    I have been kindly allowed to show this case, which was emailed to me for advice. The case has a movement with a Welsh merchant's name, from the Mid Wales town of LLANIDLOES . Google it: it's a lovely place. It is in what the English call “Welsh Wales”, all mountains and sheep!

    I would put the date of the case at around 1820-30. It has a short door, which is the main pointer for that date. However the “quartered columns” on the trunk lean towards 1800. Quartered columns are Chippendale – Sheraton in origin and very popular in the second half of the 18th c. The inlay and simple marquetry is also from a Sheraton -Hepplewhite influence, again of the later 18th c. The simple lines to the swan necks are a feature of the later clocks, which accompanied the “short doors”. Baluster turned hood pillars were also part of the later clock styles, and it is interesting to see them, as opposed to having fluted pillars with metal caps and bases.

    There are very strong similarities with the "Lancashire-Cheshire" style, in this case.

    The clock's feet are also of interest. They are of a “bracket style”, but made in the manner of the “French feet” favoured by the Hepplewhite style. There is even a proud-mould running long the front of the base, as would be found with normal brackets. French feet, you will remember, are an extension of the case, and not planted outside the base line.
     

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  50. Ansomnia

    Ansomnia Registered User

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    Jeremy, I've been preoccupied with domestic projects lately but I've always admired your Dutch staande klok.

    I think the bun feet of your clock are interesting. I'm not an expert on Dutch clocks but based on comparisons with other extent PK clocks and ones by his peers, the styling of the feet seems to be authentic and may be correct for the period (minus the skirt) so they may even be original to the clock. The style of marquetry is known as "seaweed marquetry".

    May I ask which references you are using to research this clock?


    Michael
     

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