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Tallcase clock purchase question - condition

dietrijj

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Nov 26, 2017
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Hi,

I am very interested in adding a tallcase clock to our home, and have found a Solomon Parke clock locally which my wife and I both really like. My only concern is that the waist door is a bit warped - when it is closed and locked (which it does fine), the door remains about 1/4" sticking out at the bottom. Is something like this a real big problem? This would be the largest clock purchase I've ever been "allowed" to make (haha) and I don't want to do something dumb. Otherwise it is a beautiful thing to behold. Thanks for any insight!

-Jason
 

Salsagev

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Maybe we need some pictures to see what your referring to.
 

Salsagev

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Thanks for the pictures! Others will know more about this make. As far as I can see, the door is slightly warped. I’m sure that is able to be fixed by a carpenter (or water and a clamp). Or could it be the hinge that’s bent?
 

Jim DuBois

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There are people who will say the warp can be removed. They are usually wrong about such "repairs." Even if it is forced out, it is likely to reoccur with changes in humidity with most techniques used. One of the so-called repairs involves slotting the back of the door with long deep slots, flattening the door, and then filling the slots with epoxy. Most of us consider that to be malicious vandalism at best, and destruction of an antique. But sometimes it works. Sometimes not. It looks like it could be a very nice clock by a well-respected maker. A desirable clock even with a bit of a warp. As RM suggests if it bothers you very much at all, buy something else.
 
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Salsagev

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There are people who will say the warp can be removed. They are usually wrong about such "repairs." Even if it is forced out, it is likely to reoccur with changes in humidity with most techniques used. One of the so-called repairs involves slotting the back of the door with long deep slots, flattening the door, and then filling the slots with epoxy. Most of us consider that to be malicious vandalism at best, and destruction of an antique. But sometimes it works. Sometimes not. It looks like it could be a very nice clock by a well-respected maker. A desirable clock even with a bit of a warp. As RM suggests
It doesn’t look that bad to me.
 

dietrijj

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Nov 26, 2017
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Thank you for the help. I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on rough range of what you'd consider a reasonable price for such a clock. If this isn't an "allowed" question in the forums, I apologize - I looked through and didn't find anything saying we couldn't discuss. I'm just looking for a ballpark since I am relatively new to tall case clocks. It's going to be a family centerpiece with no intention of ever parting with it (aside from passing it down) but I always like to know I'm making a somewhat smart decision. Thanks again.
-Jason
 

JTD

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Sep 27, 2005
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Thank you for the help. I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on rough range of what you'd consider a reasonable price for such a clock. If this isn't an "allowed" question in the forums, I apologize - I looked through and didn't find anything saying we couldn't discuss. I'm just looking for a ballpark since I am relatively new to tall case clocks. It's going to be a family centerpiece with no intention of ever parting with it (aside from passing it down) but I always like to know I'm making a somewhat smart decision. Thanks again.
-Jason
The question is certainly allowed, but without knowing more about the clock it is hard to give much advice.

Does the clock run? Has it been serviced recently? What is the condition of the dial, etc., etc..
All these things affect the value and having just one long distance photo and one partial view of the door to go on, it is hard to say very much.

And have you decided whether the warped door troubles you?

JTD
 

Jim DuBois

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Sold Price: SOLOMON PARKE FEDERAL CHERRY TALL CASE CLOCK - November 6, 0120 9:00 AM EST (invaluable.com) There are several other listings of his clocks on the bottom of this page. We can't ascertain the true condition of the clock you show, nor its overall lines, nor what is possibly right or wrong with it as is. Based on other of his clocks this one is of the more simple design and likely less in value. But, the one in this auction was given away. The one you are looking at should be worth quite a bit more if it is all correct. But, I can't offer any better information on it now.
 
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Jim DuBois

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Well, that would have been sold by Steve Petrucelli from Adams Brown. Thanks for the detailed photos. It would not have been cheap from Steve but it would carry a high degree of confidence of it being as represented from him. You might want to contact him directly.
 

JimmyOz

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The warp in the door can be offset by adjusting the hinges, it does not change the warp but balances it out and is not as noticeable as it is now on the locking side.

To do this you would have to move the top hinge out and if possible (if the check in the door is not touching the frame/case) move the bottom hinge a little closer.
 
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Jim DuBois

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here is the write up on the clock referred to for those who did not pursue the link;
Solomon Parke Philadelphia


Solomon Park was a watch and clock maker who was at work as early as 1782 in Bucks County PA. He advertised in the New Jersey Gazette in July of 1782. He moved to Philadelphia in 1797 and maintained an active shop on North Front St. This example is from the end of his career and has perhaps the unique feature of being the very first early brass striking movement configured for a cathedral gong strike. The bold figured Cherry case with Tulip Poplar secondary woods. The English painted iron dial is from the Osborne foundry and it is in a remarkable state of preservation with no in-painting. The signature is untouched and original. Only the calendar wheel has been re-touched. Another important detail is the fact that the feet and finials are original to this case and that both case locks are original, functional and come with keys ! Note the chamfered columns with line inlay and contrasting mahogany. The waist door has some shrinkage, minor cracks and slight warp but it closes and locks just fine. The eight day brass striking movement is in excellent running condition and has been professionally serviced. Overall dimensions of the clock are 101 1/2 X 21 1/2 X 10 3/4″ with an 13″ dial. The works have been serviced and the clock runs fine. The case has been professionally refinished and it retains its original color and contrasting inlay.​
 

dietrijj

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Nov 26, 2017
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Thank you all for your input. After much thinking I have decided to give this gem a new home with our family. The slight warp in the door might be seen as an imperfection I suppose, but it is after all a 200 year old wooden object - and there is no functional impact since the door opens, closes, and locks. It gives it yet another unique bit of character I guess! I have no intention of doing anything with it. I suppose I could tinker with the hinges, but I'm feeling at the moment to do absolutely nothing but enjoy it. I'll be picking it up next week, and I'll add a picture or 3 once it's here. Thanks again!
-Jason
 
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Burkhard Rasch

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Good decision,dietrijj ! You should consider that the warping comes from the door being cut out of a solid panel of wood (looks like lively grained cherry with knots) instead of being made of plywood and then veneered.Solid wood especialy panels with knots are prone to warping, take it as a token of quality and authenticy.Nice clock,congrats!
Burkhard
 

Sooth

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Sometimes, if the dimensions/wood allows, a severe warp like this can be partially camouflaged by slightly relocating one of the two hinges, and/or relieving some of the contact area on the rear side of the door where it's contacting the case front. Neither is ideal, and you will be partially messing up the clock, but as others have said, it's very difficult to fix a warp. This is actually more of a twist than a warp, which is even more difficult to deal with. Generally this comes down to poor lumber selection on the part of the case maker.
 

claussclocks

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Very nice clock. All I can say is, If I last as long as that clock I bet I'll have some warping too. Take it for what I consider it. Character and expected age related changes in a fine piece of history.

DPC
 

dietrijj

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Nov 26, 2017
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It’s home! I couldn’t be happier with it. I may need to add a rubber band around the bell though to turn the volume down just a touch. I also read about a bandage on either the striker or the bell. If it’s up to me I’ll leave it since I love the sound, but I must keep the peace with the others in the household!

-Jason

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novicetimekeeper

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you can bend the hammer arm away a bit to reduce the sound.
 
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