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Willard?

dgoerner

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Hello All, I was looking through the clocks I purchased about a month ago at the house sale
the person I purchased all the clocks from said that her late husband told her that this Banjo clock was worth more than all of her clocks, I told her I was not a clock collector and did not know.
Anyway I took apart the clock I did not take pictures and now I know I should have.
The only markings on the works is "Willard" almost looks like script.
please let me know how I can know if this is original.
any other details I can look for?

willard.jpg
 

bruce linde

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impossible to tell from that one photo... we would need to see closeups of the dial, interior lower box, weight, pulley, movement, how the movement is mounted, how the side rails are attached, etc.

it's a nice looking banjo clock but doesn't particularly scream 'willard' to me... looks later (just an opinion)
 

JTD

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The only markings on the works is "Willard" almost looks like script.
Maybe I'm missing something but I couldn't see this on any of the pictures you posted. Can you explain where it is?

JTD
 

dgoerner

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I think you guys are right, it looks to new to be a Willard, the screws the plates the gears.
now to find out
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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I think you guys are right, it looks to new to be a Willard, the screws the plates the gears.
now to find out
As suggested by other respondents, it's most definitely a 20th century banjo.

However, it appears to be of good quality with what appear to be hand painted glasses. I've seen clocks like that sell at auction for very good $$.

A number of makers come to mind from Waltham to Chelsea to Derry to Boston and so on. Some research may help you to pin it down.

Take a close look at the back of the eagle finial. If a Waltham, it will be signed "WCC".

Also, look closely at the glasses for a signature. A guy named Steele did nice glasses like yours and signed them. Somewhere on the MB I posted a tabernacle mirror he did. The posting includes info about him.

I would NOT be disappointed. It's a nice collectible clock, regardless of the completely spurious signature scratched onto the works.

RM
 

dgoerner

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I will check thanks, I se the plates have been damascened(I think that's the word)
Herschede, also did that.
 

Joeydeluxed

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I believe your clock is either a Waltham or a Durfee (Waltham made most of the Durfee's).
Very nice clock with a higher than usual quality set of reverse painted glasses.

It is absolutely 100% NOT anything made by any of the Willard family!
 

clocks4u

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I believe your clock is either a Waltham or a Durfee (Waltham made most of the Durfee's).
Very nice clock with a higher than usual quality set of reverse painted glasses.

It is absolutely 100% NOT anything made by any of the Willard family!
Though Durfee used Waltham movements, didn't they die stamp and number all their movements.
 

Joeydeluxed

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Durfee like so many companies who place their name on something they didn't make quite often had the manufacturer leave their name off so as not to be able to identify the maker. Same as (for example) what Sear's did lawn mowers, washing machines, refrigerator, etc. Also, the same with many clocks marked Tiffany. Tiffany quite often did not let the original manufacturer sign the piece and let buyers think they were getting something made by Tiffany. The Durfee's sold at a premium compared to a common Waltham banjo clock. The pendulum bob and grooved rings on the gear on the front of the movement are a giveaway to the maker. (see the additional photo that the original poster added that better shows a movement serial number)

I've had dozens of Walthams and probably about 10 Durfee banjos and am 99% certain that's what this clock is. Durfee banjos did not use stock Waltham glasses but instead used a far higher quality reverse glass painter which is exactly what this clock has.

With all due respect, this not speculation and I stand by my assessment.
 
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rfyans

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I have recently been doing a brief study on early Durfee banjo clocks and came across your thread. Your clock was produced by Walter H. Durfee in Providence, RI. In addition to the characteristics noted by Joeydeluxed, above, another characteristic is the large, gold inner chapter ring on the dial. The lack of a signature on the dial is unusual, but could indicate that Durfee intended to market the clock through a retailer such a Tilden-Thurber. Most of Durfee's movement were supplied by the Waltham Clock Company, as was yours. The serial numbers found on these early style cases ran from about 5500 to 5800. Your low number of 5533 indicates a manufacturing date of about 1906. The early case design is characterized by the squat bracket with seven 7 1/2 inch diameter balls visible The case design was changed to the standard version with a longer bracket and six 6 3/4 inch diameter balls visible from the front.

The glass on your clock is of the highest quality and was most likely supplied by the William Sprague Company or an independent artist. From the date of your clock, it probably wasn't painted by Daniel Steele since he would have been about nineteen at this time. However, most Durfee banjo clocks with the standard version case were painted and signed by Steele.

Your clock has some issues. The movement is missing the club foot gear attached to the winding arbor and the Geneva stop gear. This was a major improvement over the early Willard movements. It is also missing the metal panel that runs down the throat frame to protect the glass from the weight. It is also missing the tie-down that holds the pendulum stick in place whenever the clock is moved, protecting the lower box glass.

Hope this is helpful. If you would like more information, I can be reached by email at richardfyans@gmail.com
 

Andy Dervan

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It appears to be an early original Waltham Clock Co. Willard banjo clock ca 1906. Someone removed the Geneva Stop from the front plate - it often happened as owners or repairers did not know how to properly set it up

I wish you had included photographs of the entire clock for us to see and confirm the case.

This dial is incorrect as it should be flat painted zinc dial with italized arabic numerals and signed Waltham Clock Co. I have several correct Waltham Willard banjo clocks from this early period.

After Waltham Watch Co. purchased Waltham Clock Co. in 1914, it made changes to the clocks. It introduced convex steel dial. This dial was introduced ca 1916 for use on higher end clocks - gold circle inside chapter ring - surprised to see the dial unsigned that is very unusual.

Andy Dervan
 
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Andy Dervan

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Simon Willard did make some deadbeat escapement movements very early that would have required maintaining power, however he quickly switched to recoil escapement as simpler, less temperament to wall placement.

Waltham was the only company making reproduction timepieces in 20th century that had deadbeat escapement requiring maintaining power and geneva stop.

Going forward all makers used recoil escapements. After a very short time - the movements from almost all makers were virtually indistinguishable.


Andy Dervan
 

bruce linde

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Simon Willard did make some deadbeat escapement movements very early that would have required maintaining power, however he quickly switched to recoil escapement as simpler, less temperament to wall placement.
why would deadbeats require maintaining power, but not recoils?

did any of those early deadbeat willards (the escapements, not the family) actually have maintaining power?
 

Jim DuBois

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Simon Willard did make some deadbeat escapement movements very early that would have required maintaining power, however, he quickly switched to recoil escapement as simpler, less temperament to wall placement.
Andy Dervan
Hey Andy,
Some fair numbers of Willard's early work had deadbeat escapements and no maintaining power. His early timepieces were deadbeat. His so-called Grafton wall clocks were deadbeat. His lighthouse clocks were deadbeat. Most of these clocks did not have a suspension spring at all, light bobs hung directly off the crutch connected directly to the verge. They can work very well but I prefer recoil and a suspension spring!

Here are a couple of examples, deadbeat, no maintaining power, no suspension spring.

IMG_0780_Medium.JPG 1164215_view%2005_03.jpg 20170920_191756.jpg
 

Andy Dervan

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Why maintaining power:

When winding a clock it stops momentarily and pallets and escape wheel teeth hit it other with recoil escapements that is ok. However with deadbeat escapements it could cause damage so maintaining power provides very short term power to keep clock running and protecting pallet and escape wheel from damage.

Andy Dervan
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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Hey Andy,
Some fair numbers of Willard's early work had deadbeat escapements and no maintaining power. His early timepieces were deadbeat. His so-called Grafton wall clocks were deadbeat. His lighthouse clocks were deadbeat. Most of these clocks did not have a suspension spring at all, light bobs hung directly off the crutch connected directly to the verge. They can work very well but I prefer recoil and a suspension spring!

Here are a couple of examples, deadbeat, no maintaining power, no suspension spring.

View attachment 588575 View attachment 588576 View attachment 588577
That first movement is interesting. What type of clock was that in?

Reminds me of a type of movement found in Abiel Chandler mirror clocks:

ChandlerMirrorClockMvt.jpg

Also see Parsons, page 200, figure 367.

RM
 
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Jim DuBois

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That first movement is interesting. What type of clock was that in?

Reminds me of a type of movement found in Abiel Chandler mirror clocks:

View attachment 588634

Also see Parsons, page 200, figure 367.

RM
It was found in a coffin clock case which housed the backboard of a Grafton wall clock, So, the correct answer would be it is a Grafton wall clock movement, most likely made by Simon Willard early in his working career, that is when he was still making things himself. Fall off strike on the hour, a strike/silent mechanism/hand, and a hand on the escape wheel arbor to show it was running. No name on the dial but 5 repair dates scratched on the very small "plates" showing repaired by E. Taber all 5 times. That guy missed his calling for spreading graffiti all over. It is indeed sad I never found how to focus a camera 2 times in a row!

IMG_1363_Medium.JPG IMG_1370.JPG IMG_0785_Medium.JPG IMG_0790_Medium.JPG
 
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rfyans

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Hi Andy,

What is the lowest serial number your have found, on an early Willard style banjo clock, with the dial marked "Waltham Clock Co." and the movement signed with the "Waltham Clock Co." stamp. The lowest serial number I found, with these markings, was 5634.

Rich
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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It was found in a coffin clock case which housed the backboard of a Grafton wall clock, So, the correct answer would be it is a Grafton wall clock movement, most likely made by Simon Willard early in his working career, that is when he was still making things himself. Fall off strike on the hour, a strike/silent mechanism/hand, and a hand on the escape wheel arbor to show it was running. No name on the dial but 5 repair dates scratched on the very small "plates" showing repaired by E. Taber all 5 times. That guy missed his calling for spreading graffiti all over. It is indeed sad I never found how to focus a camera 2 times in a row!

View attachment 588640 View attachment 588641 View attachment 588643 View attachment 588644
Thanks.

Rather different movement than he put in some of his other "Grafton" wall and shelf clocks, at least as shown in Robinson & Burt.

Very neat stuff!!

RM
 

Jim DuBois

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Per Gary Sullivan, and he has owned and well researched a few, none of these Grafton wall clocks were built alike. I think there are no suggested makers other than Benjamin Willard, Simon Willard, and Aaron Willard Sr. of these timepieces. And Simon is creditied for most of them. Given the Simon propensity to use dead beat escapements without maintaining power, and pendulum bobs that had no suspension springs but hang on the verge arbor, this one, ever so unlike others, still suggest S.Willard to me. But, I could be wrong. By the way, it is 8-day. These bad photos are from the Willard museum from a very recent visit.


"A related movement is found in a Simon Willard wall clock, Zea and Cheney, Clock Making in New England, 1725-1825, page 30;
Provenance: By descent in the Dudley family of Roxbury." "attributed to Simon Willard, Roxbury"

20190628_125401 (2).jpg 20190628_125457 (2).jpg 20190628_125630 (2).jpg 20190628_130037.jpg 20190628_130055.jpg
 
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Andy Dervan

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rfyans

I don't discuss all my research details, but I have recorded lower numbers and own 2 clocks with lower than 5634.

Andy Dervan
 

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