Very odd shaped movement plates, Who knows this maker?

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by P.Hageman, Feb 17, 2019.

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  1. P.Hageman

    P.Hageman Registered User

    Jul 20, 2014
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    Here a movement of an early drop dial clock, narrow wood surround, cast bezel, convex dial and glass. The movement is shaped very odd, I have not seen it before and I wonder if this could be a movement made by a local maker instead of made by the big manufactories of those days. No stamps on the movement, no false plate. The dial is signed L.Thornton, Derry. I think this is Londonderry Ireland? Cannot find anyone by that name?? Help is welcome. And yes, I hate the metal wire that is used :)

    movement 1.JPG movement 2.JPG signature.JPG
     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
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    Yes to Londonderry, no to ever seen it before.

    I agree, unlikely to be a product of the big manufacturers or surely we would have seen it before?

    Ireland very much went its own way with longcase in the century before so perhaps they did with dial clocks too.

    You starting a collection of dial clocks?
     
  3. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

    Jun 1, 2006
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    I can't find him either but you could try A List of Irish Watch and Clockmakers by Fennell. Derry or Londonderry is in Northern Ireland. While you do see the mainspring protruding outside the plates on fusee movements I've never seen one like that.
     
  4. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I just went through a 1910 trade directory for Londonderry and not a single Thornton is listed in any trade.

    It seems quite an un irish name to me, so I imagine it is unusual. The chap can't be that hard to trace.
     
  5. P.Hageman

    P.Hageman Registered User

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    Thanks folks! I looked closely with an UV light and its certainly the right name on the dial. Perhaps he was only a jeweller or so and not a clockmaker. But also a jeweller shop with that name i cannot find? I don't have acces to the Fennel list of Irish clockmakers. Perhaps someone who reads this?
     
  6. P.Hageman

    P.Hageman Registered User

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    Nick, no not at all, but my two daughters don't fancy longcase clocks........................................... but they do like dial clocks, so I tryed to find some good ones for them. Hopefully in the future they start enjoying the longcase as well.
     
  7. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I like dial clocks.
     
  8. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    If you look long term at early 19th c. fusee movements, you'll find quite a few with unusual shaped plates such as this. I suppose that makes them more interesting for us today.
     
  9. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Thornton definitely seems an unusual name in Derry.
     
  10. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Thornton is an English and Scottish name. I recently serviced a tall case 'family' clock for a Thornton family near here. Their clock had unusual plates, but no markings.
    There is (or was) a Thornton jewelry store on High Street with the AA Thornton established 1909 above the 6 on the dial as well as D A Thornton below the 12- perhaps related?
    There is also a Thornton Little Theatre in Lancashire
    perhaps the name on the dial is not the maker of the movement?
    below is a picture of the movement that I serviced with very large cut outs, but I think it is US made not UK

    HourCannon3.JPG
     
  11. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    The history of Northern Ireland is the import of Scottish protestants through the action of James I /VI, so Scottish names would not be a surprise. There just don't seem to be many. It's very likely the name is the retailer, though the quirky design still supports it being a smaller more local movement maker.
     
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  12. P.Hageman

    P.Hageman Registered User

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    Thanks again folks, it seems I won't find anything on this "maker". But the clock, when ready, will look good on the wall of my daugther :)
     
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  13. Hayson

    Hayson Registered User

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    Hi Nick. I have ancestors from Northern Ireland (Armagh) and Meath (inside the Pale) with surnames Bennett and Walmsley. Both as English as you like. It's known that their people had been in Ireland since the Plantation of Ulster in the 17thC.
     
  14. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    As I said, Scottish, and English, names have been in Derry since James I/VI, but Thornton it seems is a very uncommon name in Derry. Families involved in business tend to carry on being in businesses through the generations, albeit not the same businesses. I went through a whole trade directory for Derry and found not one thornton. It is a Derry name, they are there but not in big numbers. One was Mayor in 1642 (probably the first Thornton) one is famous in New Hampshire. You would think with so few though it would be an easy name to track down but it is being very elusive.
     

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