Unknown maker small American steeple clock

woodnbrass

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My first posting to your forum, so trust all is clear. This attractive small American steeple clock came to me from UK. I haven't been able to find a maker's mark anywhere on it, although I have not inspected the rear of the time/alarm movement. I removed the alarm bell prior to photographing the interior, revealing the unusual label, as it depicts a strange bird (naive Eagle?) clutching a world globe. Clock is 15 inch high x 8 inch x 4 inch. Any information would be much appreciated down here in the Antipodes.

01.JPG 04.JPG 05.JPG
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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My first posting to your forum, so trust all is clear. This attractive small American steeple clock came to me from UK. I haven't been able to find a maker's mark anywhere on it, although I have not inspected the rear of the time/alarm movement. I removed the alarm bell prior to photographing the interior, revealing the unusual label, as it depicts a strange bird (naive Eagle?) clutching a world globe. Clock is 15 inch high x 8 inch x 4 inch. Any information would be much appreciated down here in the Antipodes.

View attachment 658146 View attachment 658147 View attachment 658148
I suspect that your clock is of German origin.

In the latter 1/4 of the 19th century, German makers adopted the American factory system for mass producing clocks. Many of the clocks thus produced very closely resembled American products which were popular in Europe at that time. That is true of the cases and even the movements. One of the labels had an American style eagle and said "E Pluribus Unum"! This one? Looks more like an angry goose with a turkey neck.

A good look at the secondary woods will help. I suspect rather than finding American white pine, you will find a European soft wood or fir.

There is a good article about cottage clocks and movements which includes some foreign examples. You may find your movement in there.

317_709a.pdf (nawcc.org)

RM
 
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Steven Thornberry

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The alarm disc certainly us not of the German style. A German alarm disc would be more like the one shown below.

FML Cottage Alarm.JPG

Well, perhaps it's been replaced. Nonetheless, I think that both movement and timepiece are by New Haven. Below is a picture from Tran Duy Ly's book on New Haven clocks of a time and alarm movement from a cottage clock with New Haven's Jerome & Co. label. It looks like the one shown above.

Jerome & Co. Cottage Mvmt.JPG

Also from Tran's New Haven book are a couple of pictures of the Small Gothic (1886 catalogue). Very like the timepiece shown in the first post. Note the door glass on the first one shown.

Small Gothic 1.JPG Small Gothic 2.JPG

Still and all, that is a very unusual label with an unusual bird. Antipodes Island parakeet?:chuckling:
 

woodnbrass

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The alarm disc certainly us not of the German style. A German alarm disc would be more like the one shown below.

View attachment 658170

Well, perhaps it's been replaced. Nonetheless, I think that both movement and timepiece are by New Haven. Below is a picture from Tran Duy Ly's book on New Haven clocks of a time and alarm movement from a cottage clock with New Haven's Jerome & Co. label. It looks like the one shown above.

View attachment 658173

Also from Tran's New Haven book are a couple of pictures of the Small Gothic (1886 catalogue). Very like the timepiece shown in the first post. Note the door glass on the first one shown.

View attachment 658171 View attachment 658172

Still and all, that is a very unusual label with an unusual bird. Antipodes Island parakeet?:chuckling:
I really appreciate your responses, seems that we have opened up a can of worms. I fully expected my clock to be a well known copy or re-label of an American clock sold in UK. On the suggestion by RM that it may well be a European copy, I will take some construction detail pics, as the clock appears very original and not messed with. Searching on-line I found a small New Haven /Jerome & Co. look-alike clock , sold by Hess Fine Art (unsure of sale date), pics attached . if my clock is in fact a New Haven product, the mystery to me is the label, and If a European copy, how could it be marketed (circa 1880?) price-wise against the very affordable American imports? The label is most intriguing, and sdding to RM's comment, maybe the bird is a fictitious European Carnivorous Goose?),

Jerome.jpg Label.jpg
 

Steven Thornberry

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If a European copy, how could it be marketed (circa 1880?) price-wise against the very affordable American imports?
The Germans certainly made a concerted effort to recapture the English and No. European market that the American manufacturers had grabbed in the first half/three-quarters of the 19th century. That entailed clocks and clock movements that were made in the American style (nach dem Amerikanischen Stil), and I would expect that they were priced competitively.
 

woodnbrass

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I really appreciate your responses, seems that we have opened up a can of worms. I fully expected my clock to be a well known copy or re-label of an American clock sold in UK. On the suggestion by RM that it may well be a European copy, I will take some construction detail pics, as the clock appears very original and not messed with. Searching on-line I found a small New Haven /Jerome & Co. look-alike clock , sold by Hess Fine Art (unsure of sale date), pics attached . if my clock is in fact a New Haven product, the mystery to me is the label, and If a European copy, how could it be marketed (circa 1880?) price-wise against the very affordable American imports? The label is most intriguing, and sdding to RM's comment, maybe the bird is a fictitious European Carnivorous Goose?),

View attachment 658195 View attachment 658196
I have had a closer look at the my clock and took a few additional pics. At this stage I have it as a "probable" European knock-off of the Jerome & Co. Sharp Gothic Steeple Clock. I noted that the veneer used is almost paper-thin, and that to me the rear board looks like Baltic pine, although most pines probably have a similar appearance. The bottom is attached with rather large nails with checkered heads (original, or added?). The finials are much finer turnings than the Jerome & Co, clock, but both the bell (with impact lump) and the moulded door knob appear exactly as per the Jerome & Co. clock. The label will remain a mystery.

Bottom.JPG Rear.JPG Finial.JPG Bell.JPG
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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I have had a closer look at the my clock and took a few additional pics. At this stage I have it as a "probable" European knock-off of the Jerome & Co. Sharp Gothic Steeple Clock. I noted that the veneer used is almost paper-thin, and that to me the rear board looks like Baltic pine, although most pines probably have a similar appearance. The bottom is attached with rather large nails with checkered heads (original, or added?). The finials are much finer turnings than the Jerome & Co, clock, but both the bell (with impact lump) and the moulded door knob appear exactly as per the Jerome & Co. clock. The label will remain a mystery.

View attachment 658291 View attachment 658292 View attachment 658293 View attachment 658294
A European softwood or fir would be "knotty" and have a wider grain. If you have an American clock, you can do a side by side comparison of the wood. It would demonstrate the difference. Those finials are not typical of NH?

Looking at the woods used in construction, including secondary woods, may be a helpful and an important consideration in determining place of origin and is often overlooked by clock collectors and especially on the Forums. In certain instances, it can make a big difference in value. Some early furniture, for example, if proven to be American on this basis, can mean a difference of $1,000's. As a result, sometimes small samples of primary and secondary woods are sent to special laboratories where the wood is examined microscopically to determine the species. Not here. It's just a nice cute clock of nominal value regardless of where it's from.

I have seen those nails (I call then "waffle" nails) in European products. They look original.

Inscribed on the outer back board, "Dyer" and a date 1880 something? An owner or repair person.

Maybe the bird is the "funky chicken".

Just enjoy the clock.

RM
 
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woodnbrass

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A European softwood or fir would be "knotty" and have a wider grain. If you have an American clock, you can do a side by side comparison of the wood. It would demonstrate the difference. Those finials are not typical of NH?

Looking at the woods used in construction, including secondary woods, may be a helpful and an important consideration in determining place of origin and is often overlooked by clock collectors and especially on the Forums. In certain instances, it can make a big difference in value. Some early furniture, for example, if proven to be American on this basis, can mean a difference of $1,000's. As a result, sometimes small samples of primary and secondary woods are sent to special laboratories where the wood is examined microscopically to determine the species. Not here. It's just a nice cute clock of nominal value regardless of where it's from.

I have seen those nails (I call then "waffle" nails) in European products. They look original.

Inscribed on the outer back board, "Dyer" and a date 1880 something? An owner or repair person.

Maybe the bird is the "funky chicken".

Just enjoy the clock.

RM
I'm sure I have seen some American clock labels depicting an "Eagle on globe", which may have instigated a European replica label. The attached pics may be of interest.

Roman Coin, Emperor Trajan  98-117 A.D..jpg Black Forest Cuckoo Clock.jpg European  Vulture.jpg
 

JimmyOz

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I have seen those nails (I call then "waffle" nails) in European products. They look original.
Not sure about being original, Those type of nails are for carpentary work not cabinetmaking. Also being hammered into the bottom they would be holding into the end grain of the sides, thus no real holding power, can't see this being done when the case was made.
 

Steven Thornberry

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Not sure about being original, Those type of nails are for carpentary work not cabinetmaking. Also being hammered into the bottom they would be holding into the end grain of the sides, thus no real holding power, can't see this being done when the case was made.
And I have a couple of steeples with nails on the bottom.

On this Brewster & Ingrahams steeple

B&I Steeple Bottom Nails.JPG

And this Ansonia Brass & Copper Small Gothic, similar to woodnbrass's steeple.

ABC Small Gothic Bottom Nails.JPG

They are not, of course, the "waffle" nails, but they are old and, I think, original.

So far as the finials are concerned, is it certain they are original? These items are easily broken and often replaced with whatever is handy.
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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I'm sure I have seen some American clock labels depicting an "Eagle on globe", which may have instigated a European replica label. The attached pics may be of interest.

View attachment 658434 View attachment 658435 View attachment 658436
Yes. The eagle on a globe definitely used in the US. As an example, I have posted on the Forums a stenciled splat with that motif.

Actually, I think the bird on your label looks more like the vulture!! Take a look.

Finials do get replaced. However, look at the surface, color, if there are shadows implying that the finials are replaced, etc. They sure look old and original to me, but that's just based upon photos (which, by the way, are good!). They remind me of the finials on the German versions of a "Vienna" regulator.

Not sure about being original, Those type of nails are for carpentary work not cabinetmaking. Also being hammered into the bottom they would be holding into the end grain of the sides, thus no real holding power, can't see this being done when the case was made.
Well, I've seen them in other things too, though I wouldn't argue against their primary use in carpentry.

Just enjoy the clock!

RM

The bottom line is the preponderance of evidence. If the case is a European softwood, well...
 

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