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Thomas Armstrong & Brother

12lb weight

Registered User
Jun 3, 2019
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Norfolk UK
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Despite the lockdown, I have managed to acquire this Armstrong clock.
Anchor escapement , Chiming on 8 bells for Winchester and 4 gongs for Westminster, it strikes the hour on one large gong. Some paperwork coming with the history suggests it was made in 1850/51 for the Great Exhibition in London of 1851. (?). Rather tall for the average house these days at 90", but luckily I do not live in an average house. Nice to add to the collection which is now running at 48 sundry clocks together with a loving wife , it adds nicely to the cacophony that is Sunday lunchtime. :D

P1010351.JPG P1010352.JPG P1010353.JPG P1010354.JPG
 

Isaac

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Aug 5, 2013
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A wonderful clock! Bet it sounds great.

Thanks for sharing.
 
Last edited:

new2clocks

NAWCC Member
Apr 25, 2005
3,825
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Pennsylvania
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Despite the lockdown, I have managed to acquire this Armstrong clock.
Anchor escapement , Chiming on 8 bells for Winchester and 4 gongs for Westminster, it strikes the hour on one large gong. Some paperwork coming with the history suggests it was made in 1850/51 for the Great Exhibition in London of 1851. (?). Rather tall for the average house these days at 90", but luckily I do not live in an average house. Nice to add to the collection which is now running at 48 sundry clocks together with a loving wife , it adds nicely to the cacophony that is Sunday lunchtime. :D

View attachment 593747 View attachment 593748 View attachment 593749 View attachment 593750
Beautiful clock!

Regards.
 

12lb weight

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Jun 3, 2019
45
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Norfolk UK
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Thanks, I must admit the sound of the strike gong fills the entire house and the bells are a delight playing Whittington. They do, however, clash a bit with some other clocks playing Winchester.
All in all, a nice problem to have :), I must untangle those cables though
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

NAWCC Member
Nov 26, 2009
6,150
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Despite the lockdown, I have managed to acquire this Armstrong clock.
Anchor escapement , Chiming on 8 bells for Winchester and 4 gongs for Westminster, it strikes the hour on one large gong. Some paperwork coming with the history suggests it was made in 1850/51 for the Great Exhibition in London of 1851. (?). Rather tall for the average house these days at 90", but luckily I do not live in an average house. Nice to add to the collection which is now running at 48 sundry clocks together with a loving wife , it adds nicely to the cacophony that is Sunday lunchtime. :D

View attachment 593747 View attachment 593748 View attachment 593749 View attachment 593750
Very handsome musical clock.

Here is your clock when it passed through auction in 2018:

THOMAS ARMSTRONG AND BROTHER, MANCHESTER GRANDFATHER CLOCK, CHIMING 8 BELLS, 5 SONGS

It is in the inlaid revival style of furniture typically called Edwardian which roughly dates from about 1890-1910. I've seen quite a bit of it. Case furniture, seating furniture, tables, tall case clocks, bracket style clocks and so on. Generally very well made by good firms using good quality materials. It wasn't cheap in "the day".

Revival style furniture and clocks in general were quite popular during this time period.

Thomas Armstrong and Brother were a Manchester, UK firm that produced scientific and optical instruments between 1825-1968. I believe that they retailed the clock which was made by someone else. Not at an unusual practice for such firms. I sorta doubt, then, that they made this for the Great Exhibition and as indicated above, the date really doesn't work, IMCO, based upon the style of the case.

Still, a nice object to enjoy. Glad you have the type of house that can accommodate it.

RM
 

12lb weight

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Jun 3, 2019
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Thanks RM. I did doubt the paperwork, hence my (?) , but nice to have your input. These clocks are now very inexpensive due to both the fashion for longcase clock waning and the sheer size of them.
An absolute bargain for the odd chap like me
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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Nov 26, 2009
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Thanks RM. I did doubt the paperwork, hence my (?) , but nice to have your input. These clocks are now very inexpensive due to both the fashion for longcase clock waning and the sheer size of them.
An absolute bargain for the odd chap like me
Yes. Given the current market, many good opportunities to acquire clocks that seemed out of reach not so long ago.

I know in the past few years I’ve been able to check a few things off the bucket list. Not always dirt cheap, but accessible.

Enjoy your new acquisition.
RM
 

jmclaugh

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Jun 1, 2006
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A nice and interesting longcase. The case decoration is typical of the Edwardian period yet the case style and brass dial hark back to earlier times and could on that basis be described as a reproduction. The movement is a high quality one.
 

12lb weight

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Jun 3, 2019
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Norfolk UK
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Further to RM's observations , I have carried out a little research, I. I also think that it is late Victorian/Early Edwardian, probably made by H. Williamson of Salisbury and retailed by Armstrong. Williamson offered a variety of movements ie. bells or gongs or bells and gongs and also a variety of cases which include some of similar proportions, design and decoration. It is incredibly heavy and comes with three weights, the heaviest being almost 30 lbs with the other two of lesser size hung on cables.
The hood alone is weighing in at 60 lbs. The case stripped of movement, weights and hood is a struggle for both my wife and I to move.
Thanks for your comments and observations.
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

NAWCC Member
Nov 26, 2009
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Further to RM's observations , I have carried out a little research, I. I also think that it is late Victorian/Early Edwardian, probably made by H. Williamson of Salisbury and retailed by Armstrong. Williamson offered a variety of movements ie. bells or gongs or bells and gongs and also a variety of cases which include some of similar proportions, design and decoration. It is incredibly heavy and comes with three weights, the heaviest being almost 30 lbs with the other two of lesser size hung on cables.
The hood alone is weighing in at 60 lbs. The case stripped of movement, weights and hood is a struggle for both my wife and I to move.
Thanks for your comments and observations.
See this:

Clockmaking in England and Wales in the Twentieth Century

The dates would seem to fit, though would need additional evidence for their authorship.

RM
 
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12lb weight

Registered User
Jun 3, 2019
45
31
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85
Norfolk UK
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Thank you again RM for the efforts on my behalf . This will take some reading. My information had primarily been gleaned from the Shenton's book covering 1840 to 1940 , but it did not go into the depths of your book, a copy of which I must acquire.
An examination of the plates did not reveal any trade marks or identification/ reference numbers, so this clock may well go down as unattributable. The lack of a maker does not reduce our enjoyment of it and it is now on its journey to it's final resting place,(with us), which is on a landing half way up the main staircase from where it can be heard throughout the house. Should any firm identification become clear I will post the details and supporting evidence for scrutiny.
Regards Holmcroft
 

jmclaugh

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Jun 1, 2006
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I did look in the book RM posted a link to but I didn't spot the movement in it or a similar case. It is worth remembering the book only really deals with makers producing clocks on an industrial scale. Anyway I'm sure you'll enjoy it once it's in situ.
 

Raymond Rice

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Feb 14, 2011
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Based on a limited side view of the works, I see great similarities with a J. J. Elliott works in my Harris and Harrington tall case. I suspect that a full on picture of your back plate would confirm this. (Considering the weight of that movement, I seriously doubt you will be removing it anytime soon!) The weights for mine weigh in a 70 lbs, combined. I agree with you, that hour gong is one to be reckoned with--we have a house full of clocks and that gong is a standout.
Whatever, your clock is a beauty! Enjoy it!
Ray Rice
 

brian fisher

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Jan 20, 2017
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it appears this movement could really use a good servicing. i think i see oil in the winding barrel wheels.

i would tend to agree with ray in that i've also seen a few jj elliot movements with some striking similarities. those clocks were probably 1880's to 1890's. at least that might give you a direction to point your research.
 

12lb weight

Registered User
Jun 3, 2019
45
31
18
85
Norfolk UK
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Region
Agreed Brian. The last owner could never be accused of under lubrication. It is my intention to clean the entire movement and then to replace the wires and oil lightly.
Does anyone know if there is a suitable alternative to wire or braided cable, as up to now I have always used gut, either genuine or synthetic . The only other clock that have I owned with a more than 12 lb weight was a year going longcase and that went years ago as I found it rather boring, with no interaction , and I cannot remember what was on that?
I also am concentrating on the late Victorian period , although my library consisting mainly of Derek Roberts,Brian Loomes and John Robey, amongst others, tend to finish prior to that time and our public libraries are closed.
StillI am not planning on going anywhere soon.
Thanks Holmcroft
 

DeanT

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Mar 22, 2009
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i have a Thomas Armstrong clock from 1778....Different Thomas obviously.

phone 052.JPG
 

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