Thomas Speakman, London 1660-1720

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by novicetimekeeper, Dec 9, 2017.

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  1. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
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    I won this auction recently, though I have not had the invoice yet.

    It is going to be expensive to get it here, more than I paid for it, but it was very cheap.

    Thomas was the eldest son of William Speakman, William had several sons who made clocks, it was quite a family of clockmakers.

    It comes with what appear to be London brass cased weights contemporary with the age of the clock, and a pendulum. The case is quite a bit later, but looks quite tidy for an 18th century case, I'm sure I can find a use for that. I'm told it is an 11" dial, and I recently bought a case that might fit it. Although that case, too, is younger than this clock, it would be a more appropriate setting.

    I'm supposed to be collecting local provincial clocks, but this was too good to pass up. I have a space in mind for it.

    Will provide more pics when available

    Staand horloge, Thomas SPEAKMAN, London. A fine and elegant Queen Anne longcase clock, ca. 200 c

    I think this is probably pre 1700, but certainly there or there abouts. 11" dial but early spandrels and internal countwheel. 5 pillars knopped and finely finned. Will be interesting to see if the fifth is latched, I don't yet have a clock with latched pillars.
     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Slight delay on this one. The auction house took days to produce an invoice which they eventually did after two phone calls from another collector and several emails from me. Unfortunately despite immediate payment it was still to late for the carrier I was using who won't be going again until the New Year.

    Trying to find another but Christmas is rapidly approaching and the carriers are booked.

    Auction houses don't like to be rushed (They do like to collect a high percentage in fees though from vendor and purchaser.)
     
    JB likes this.
  3. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Have permission now to use the pics.

    Though this is all very frustrating, looking at them again makes me very pleased I bought it.

    thumbnail.jpeg IMG-2157.JPG IMG-2156.JPG IMG-2155.JPG IMG-2154 (1).JPG IMG-2152.JPG IMG-2153.JPG
     
  4. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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  5. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I'm hoping it will go in this

    original (11).jpg
     
  6. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    when are you inviting me over for lunch so i can see your collection?
     
  7. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Concorde has been withdrawn from service!
     
  8. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    been riding my bike a lot these days...
     
  9. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Well that should help!
     
  10. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    DeanT has pointed out it appears to have one bell two hammers. I had thought that was a weird b3llstand, but two hammers sounds more fun.
     
  11. P.Hageman

    P.Hageman Registered User

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    Nick, correct me if I am wrong, but do you mean this Speakman has two hammers?
     
  12. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    It appears to, the picture is a bit unclear, but something comes up from the front of the movement and curls up to the bell.

    I had noticed it but thought it was some odd sort of bell stand.

    The only reason I can imagine for a second hammer would be a passing strike on the half hour. I have a clock of a similar age that has this, my Thomas Baker, but that has a smaller bell for the half hour.

    EDIT> I see the pic isn't in this set, I'll track it down, I think Dean saw it on facebook
     
  13. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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  14. P.Hageman

    P.Hageman Registered User

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    Yes, now I see, indeed looks like a passing strike. Interesting :)
     
  15. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Yes, I think it must be what it is, presumably operated by a pin on the wheel that sets the strike in motion same as on my Baker.

    I thought it was a very unusual feature, and now I have two!
     
  16. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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  17. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Finally arrived today. It was lucky to arrive undamaged, the auction house had promised me that the dial/movement was not fixed in and the carrier was instructed to wrap it in a blanket. However it travelled from Zeeland to the UK warehouse in Salisbury with the dial and movement in place and held on by a couple of long tacks, They then took it and put it on a smaller vehicle to get here. At any point the movement and dial could have parted company with the case and been severely damaged.

    However, safely here now I will take more pics tomorrow.

    The dial is lovely, the movement is 5 pillar, all pinned, not badly messed about and all collets match. It has had a few repairs to the strike arbours, and I think the passing strike is a later addition.

    The fifth pillar is plain, the others knopped and finely finned, great pillars. The plain one has matching ends, I think this plain pillar is original.

    The pendulum is a funny affair, perhaps Dutch. A tiny 2" bob on a brass rod.

    The weights are phenomenal. Superb quality. Worth more than I paid for the clock.
     
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  18. tracerjack

    tracerjack Registered User
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    Curious about the #3 about the VI. Is that a calendar number? Have only learned to recognize these as older movements, and admire their beautiful craftsmanship, particularly the dials, but have never worked on one, so don't have a clue whether they had calendars or not.
     
  19. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Yes, that's the earlier style of calendar wheel, it is a 31 tooth wheel riding in rollers mounted on the back of the dial. It has internal swept style teeth (same type of profile as a crown wheel of a verge escapement) and is driven by a pin or flag on a wheel that turns once every 24 hours.
     
  20. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    When you get a chance and have the dial off - with the movement still intact - I would love a couple of pictures of the motion works from a couple of angles. I will be fabricating a pin or flag - not sure which will be required - for a similar movement. Mine has a calendar wheel that lies flat on the back of the dial with shark teeth, but am interested in how these pins and flags are typically attached and shaped. I have a couple of examples from online searching, but the more the merrier.
     
  21. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I find the flags are needed on rack and snail so that you can clear the snail. On countwheel strike a simple pin does the job.
     
  22. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    #22 THTanner, Jan 19, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
    Yes - didn't realize yours was count wheel? I have found two examples similar to mine with rack and snail where a pin worked because the calendar teeth moved by the snail with just enough clearance - but still close enough - that a pin worked. I think my clock may be similar to that. The calendar wheel teeth clear the snail by a bit less than 1/4 inch and the center of the drive wheel is a bit more than a 1/4 inch from the snail. So I may be able to put a pin a about a 1/4 from the center and catch the teeth. If not a very short flag will be needed.
     
  23. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Actually, thinking about it I have a rack with a pin too, but I think that is more unusual.

    My Richard Fennel has a pin but it is a similar age to this and has a small snail.
     
  24. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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  25. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Thanks - from that view I will be needing a flag. My fear is that if the rack tail were to drop just a bit too much due to some failure, the calendar pin - turning counter clockwise - would snag the tail and cause all sorts of issues. So even if I have clearance I will make a flag to keep everything well clear of the tail.
     
  26. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    lots of pictures now. Very pleased with the movement, never seen a plain 5th pillar before but that seems original. Engravers marks confirm the chapter ring and date ring go together. I was a bit concerned about the date ring but now very happy. Nice axe head lever on the strike. The passing strike has been altered a bit but may be original, if so spring is later. The hands are original I think but badly repaired and painted in gloss paint, I am hoping I can find somebody who can restore the hour hand, the minute hand is a bit easier.

    The dial plate is incredibly heavy, and obviously had a casting fault expertly filled from new. There is impressive work here.

    The brass weights are later but very high quality.

    DSC_0405.JPG DSC_0404.JPG DSC_0406.JPG DSC_0411.JPG DSC_0419.JPG DSC_0407.JPG DSC_0410.JPG DSC_0413.JPG DSC_0412.JPG DSC_0408.JPG
     
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  27. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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  28. P.Hageman

    P.Hageman Registered User

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    That looks very good!!! What a joy to see you finally have it home. It was a long muddy road, but worth it :D Congrats on the 17th century clock!!!!
     
  29. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    It was a long road, and thank you for all your help with it. It is a beautiful dial and a very good quality, pretty original, movement.
     
  30. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    It has quite a few scratched service marks, that stamping of 1818, don't know what that's about, the clock would have been around 120 years old then. One that is dated 06, could be 1906 or 1806. Somebody needs soft jaws for their vice.
     
  31. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    i hate scratched service marks... graffiti is graffiti, whether on an otherwise lovely clock movement or national monument.

    something wrong with a folded piece of paper left inside the bottom of a case?
     
  32. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    It's always nice to get some sort of history spanning back through the centuries I think. I'm less impressed with the vice marks.

    The best marks are the engraver's marks. There seem to be two sets, that YO and the KB. Possibly KB is the dialmaker, YO the engraver. It interesting if other members of the Speakman family used the same engravers.
     
  33. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Dean says his Speakman (an Edward) has no engravers marks :(

    I have had the spandrels and the remaining chapter ring (seconds) off. The chapter has signatures YO and KB. The spandrels are all signed KB, and show signs of fire gilding.

    This is one seriously upmarket clock!

    I wonder if KB was the dialmaker and YO the engraver?
     
  34. shimmystep

    shimmystep Registered User

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    Lovely Nick, really nice indeed. I'm assuming the second hammer is a passing strike for the half hour?
     
  35. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Yes, the second hammer is a passing strike on the half hour, similar idea to my Baker but using only one bell with a lighter hammer. I think this is original, but the hammer arm has been bent and a new hammer fitted. Not sure the bell is original.

    It seems to be a really well made clock with absolute minimal messing with since the 1690s. Sad it lost its case and pendulum, the weights it picked up on the way are exceptional.
     
  36. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I happened to be visiting the chap who now repairs my clocks today and took this with me to show him.

    He confirms it is in remarkably original condition, and has no doubt about the originality of the passing strike.

    He wonders if it originally had the bell mounted vertically and that's why the passing strike is now so bent to make it hit a horizontal bell in the right spot.
     
  37. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Took this to the local BHI meeting last night. It was confirmed that the complete set of signatures on the dial parts is a very rare thing. Sadly there are no records of engravers and dial makers so unlikely I will ever know who they are but the consensus was it is VO not YO. Presumably could be a huguenot name.

    There was also agreement with the theory that the bell had been vertical. Might get that put back if it makes sense when you unbend the hammer. Depends on the available space in the hood.
     
  38. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    The cabinet maker will be taking the case for this next week. He needs the dial and movement so that can't be restored until the case returns.

    However the movement raises a question on the plain fifth pillar. I've now seen a second movement with this feature. It seems very uncommon. Anybody else got one? Who made it?
     
  39. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Reached the stage of selecting veneers for the case.

    The hood is finished, the trunk and plinth are being tidied up.

    When the cabinet maker has finished I can have the movement and dial back for restoration.

    Messaging1528534341850.jpg
     
  40. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Not a great pic, will get better, however I am really pleased with this. It is now an appropriate height, in proportion, and very tidy. Plinth now the right size and shape, new feather banding, turns out the veneers are elm. replacement lock

    Very pleased, and a great fit for the Speakman.

    DSC_0648.JPG
     
  41. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    some detail from the case

    DSC_0651.JPG DSC_0650.JPG DSC_0649.JPG
     
  42. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Nick,

    That does look very good now. How commonly was elm used in this way?

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  43. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Judging by Scott's surprise when he worked it out I assume not common at all. It has a lovely colour and grain.
     
  44. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I assume he buys the sticks of veneer in so it must be something that was done enough to produce that market, but it is the first I've seen on a clock. I wasn't expecting it back yesterday so it is in the hall and we use it as a roundabout but when the light falls on that feathering it is beautiful.

    The plinth edging is all new the rest has been tidied up with a little bit of replacement. I bought the case for £140 at auction I think, this has proved to be quite a success.

    Now he has spent some time with it he thinks the case is a provincial William and Mary/ Queen Anne transitional period. Perfect for the Speakman even though not a London case.
     
  45. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Nick,

    It does have a lovely depth of grain. I've never seen it used this way, although it was common enough for things like Windsor chair seats, (we have a couple of modern ones by Ercol).

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  46. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Lots of examples of ash on burr walnut furniture from the W&M period, but haven't found any elm. Here is a tutorial on how to make the stuff, it is a thick veneer to fit the space available. You get elm back boards and occasionally elm cases. A lot of provincial case makers probably made coffins too and those were elm. The worm absolutely love elm.

    Bands of Feathers
     
  47. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    It has a home, I just need to move a phone point a little to the right so that there is room for a coffin stool between the chest and the clock. Then replace all the pics that had to move to get the clock there!

    DSC_0652.JPG
     
  48. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    looks great...
     
  49. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    The loft hatch door misses it by just a few mm so moving it to the right a little. Will fix to the wall tomorrow. Can't afford to have the movement restored yet but will do the dial and put the clock together.
     
  50. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    chapter ring came up well with just cream of tartar, haven't done the dial yet but now the case is fixed to the wall I really wanted to see it with the dial in place

    DSC_0664.JPG
     

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