Turnbull Clockmaker???

Jamie Samana

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Mar 8, 2017
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Hello. I purchased this lovely tall case clock with a clear inscription on the face of "John Turnbull, Philadelphia", but I can't find any such clockmaker anywhere in the States. Any insight from my savvy, intelligent fellow members? aaaIMG953247001.jpg
 

new2clocks

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Hello. I purchased this lovely tall case clock with a clear inscription on the face of "John Turnbull, Philadelphia", but I can't find any such clockmaker anywhere in the States. Any insight from my savvy, intelligent fellow members? View attachment 362184
Jamie,

You should change the spelling of the person's last name in the title from "Turnbell" to "Turnbull" for future reference.

If you can not, maybe an administrator can.

At first, I attributed the name to the artist who painted the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but his name was John Trumbull. So, I have no other clues, unfortunately. Others may have more information.

Regards.
 

novicetimekeeper

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Jul 26, 2015
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There is the original Philadelphia, near Newcastle, but no sign of him there either.
 

Jamie Samana

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I find a John Turnbull of Hawick...same? Hawick is near Philadelphia. The former in Scotland, the latter in England, but close to each other.:???:?
 

Les harland

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Loomes Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World lists:-
Turnbull John, Collingwood Street Newcastle Upon Tyne 1877 (& son) Grey Street Newcastle 1884
According to a routefinder Philadephia and Newcastle are about thirteen miles apart
That is assuming it is the British Philadelphia
 

Chris Radano

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There is the original Philadelphia, near Newcastle, but no sign of him there either.
The original Philadelphia was established in 189 B.C. by King Eumenes II of Pergamon (197–160 BC).

Alaşehir - Wikipedia

There is also a Newcastle, Delaware, in close proximity to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. So, here in the USA the conversation regarding towns and distance would be similarly accurate. Kind of confusing. I'm sure a lot of people would think this is a USA clock, if not for this forum.
 

jmclaugh

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It is a pity John Turnbull hasn't been identified but the dial style at least from a British perspective looks unlikely to be much later than the early 1800s. Out of interest the UK Philadelphia post dates the one in the US.
 

Les harland

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It is a pity John Turnbull hasn't been identified but the dial style at least from a British perspective looks unlikely to be much later than the early 1800s. Out of interest the UK Philadelphia post dates the one in the US.
It is also about five miles from Washington UK

Is there anyting inside the clock that could give a clue?
 

Chris Radano

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Is there anyting inside the clock that could give a clue?
This is what the message board means when it asks for photos, including the case. Not so simple to make an ID from one photo.

It probably is a Scottish clock.

But even the John Turnbull listed in Baltimore (another location in reasonable proximity to Phila., PA) at 1798 may match the time period.
 

Joeydeluxed

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If you can post some good photos and description of the case I can give you an opinion whether the clock is American or British as the cases both have distinctive features.

QUOTE="Jamie Samana, post: 1150993, member: 81650"]Hello. I purchased this lovely tall case clock with a clear inscription on the face of "John Turnbull, Philadelphia", but I can't find any such clockmaker anywhere in the States. Any insight from my savvy, intelligent fellow members? View attachment 362184 [/QUOTE]
 
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novicetimekeeper

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Identifying the case as American doesn't necessarily identify the clock as American.
 

Jim DuBois

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John Turnbull is a listed American watch and clock maker who died in 1813. He is listed as active in Georgetown DC 1788-1791. He was working in Baltimore MD1792-1813. A John Turnbull clock can be found today in the home of Jefferson Davis in Biloxi Mississippi, and it lists Georgetown as the makers place of business. I would suspect this to be the same John Turnbull, it is not a common name, the profession is correct, as is the period of the clock from what we can see in the photo. Why Philadelphia? Who knows but Philadelphia was the center of government previously so having worked in Philadelphia and then moving to the DC area would not be an uncommon move in those days.
 

L. Klassert

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Jamie,

You should change the spelling of the person's last name in the title from "Turnbell" to "Turnbull" for future reference.

If you can not, maybe an administrator can.

At first, I attributed the name to the artist who painted the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but his name was John Trumbull. So, I have no other clues, unfortunately. Others may have more information.

Regards.


Hi, I also found this on the back of my tall case clock. But the date is 6/3/25 so maybe his son was a clock maker as well?
I also have the main clock but unfortunately missing the bonnet. Any assistance in replacing is a long shot but I thought I’d through it out there.

3CABA428-8D39-48F8-9DF2-05B53E41E9D3.jpeg F5FEA9FA-25A9-4A7F-B943-B26ADF61D2C4.png
 
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