Thursday, February 22, 2018

Quickie Update

Hello fellow readers! This is just a quick message to say that I'm still around, and that yes, I have a ton more content, articles, projects, and photos that I want to post and discuss, but I've been busy. As I'm sure you can realize, the content I post takes a lot of time and effort to assemble, write, and present (and then revise). I recently started a new job in an entirely new field, and it's been taking up all my focus and mental energy. I expect it will take several weeks before I settle into the new job (it's fairly high-skill and challenging), but I will make efforts to make some posts as soon as I'm able.

The clocks from Jim this past summer (https://jcclocks.blogspot.ca/2017/08/an-amazing-visit-11-new-clocks.html) are all coming along nicely. The Sperry & Shaw column clock is now done, and I took a video a while ago. I posted the video in a few places, but I didn't think to post it here...



Likewise, the 8 day Sperry/Forestville ogee has also been cleaned and repaired (and is running nicely). The tablet hasn't been painted yet, but it has a new replica wood dial.

The Ives triple decker is done (aside from fitting an antique mirror). It was repaired and cleaned, but I need a pair of weights for it.

The two door ogee case is repaired (no work done yet on the tablet or movement/dial, etc.)

The Wadsworth pillar & scroll is under restoration (half done?)

I haven't touched the Hotchkiss clock yet, but bought a dial and movement for it.

The Adams case is done, and I have a dial and hands for it. No correct movement yet, but I have a placeholder movement in it for now.

The Jerome column clock with the shiny gold column caps is repaired (case) but not finished yet.

I also did a lot of work on the "Mystery Wooden Works" clock (Elbrige Atkins), and that clock is nearly done, too.

I still need to make a large clock parts order for all these (bobs, hands, keys, and other small parts).

Friday, February 9, 2018

Rosewood Seth Thomas (Thomaston) Ogee Clock - Part 4 - The Completed Restoration

This post is long overdue, but here are some "after" photos of the Seth Thomas Rosewood ogee clock that I restored a while back. This was a garage sale basket case with a rather poor label, a horrible repainted dial, veneer chips, and a broken (likely original) mirror in the base.

P9270185

BEFORE:



To see previous posts about this clock, visit these links:
Original Purchase: https://jcclocks.blogspot.ca/2014/06/clock-haul-4-new-acquisitions.html
Part 1: https://jcclocks.blogspot.ca/2016/02/rosewood-seth-thomas-thomaston-ogee.html
Part 2: https://jcclocks.blogspot.ca/2017/04/rosewood-seth-thomas-thomaston-ogee.html
Part 3: https://jcclocks.blogspot.ca/2017/06/rosewood-seth-thomas-thomaston-ogee.html

Most Seth Thomas clocks have painted glasses, even though this one had a mirror originally. I chose to go with a Fenn style stenciled glass. It's a bit earlier in style than the clock, but it looks rather nice.

P9270186

P9270187

The rosewood veneer on this clock is especially nice.

P9270188

Pendulum bob is new, dial was repainted, hands are new.

P9270189

P9270190

I'm still not entirely happy with the floral dial corners, but they are not too bad. The dial was painted with an off-white (on the grey/beige side), and then antiqued. Some of the line work was rubbed away. I had wanted to fit the clock with the standard Seth Thomas style hands, but the replica hands I received had a centre hole in the minute hand that was much too large, so I couldn't use them.

P9270191

Freshly cleaned and restored movement.

P9270192

P9270193

I hope you all enjoyed this restoration effort. It's not 100% accurate, but considering the condition it was in, and the limitations of stock parts, it turned out looking quite lovely.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Ogee Clocks - Rare and Unusual Models & Types

When it comes to ogee clocks, a lot of collectors will picture something like this:

Alden Atkins OG

A one day rectangular clock in a sort of picture frame style case, with a dial and a decorative glass. This Alden Atkins clock is a particularly nice early example, with a painted wood dial, and a William Fenn type stenciled glass, in a mahogany veneered case. One immediate (and related) variation was the so-called "bevel case" clock. Essentially this is the poor man's ogee clock, built with flat stock. The case design is nearly identical to the standard ogee, but it lacks the distinct "s curved" ogee mouldings that give the clock its name.

Boardman & Wells Bevel Case Ogee 01

The clock shown above is a lovely bevel case by Boardman & Wells. It is an early 1840s example with a Fenn glass, and a painted wooden dial. This clock, however, uses a wooden works movement. Several manufacturers appear to have adopted the new case style (or close to it) to generate sales, but continued to fit them with wooden works movements. By the 1840s, wooden works movements were quickly beginning to become obsolete, in favour of inexpensive brass movements based on Noble Jerome's June 27, 1839 patent.

Ogee clocks were incredibly popular from about 1840 all the way up to the early 1900s. Not many other clock case styles stayed popular for as long as the ogee. A 1904 catalogue from the St. Louis Clock and Silverware Company still had ogee clocks listed for sale in polished rosewood or walnut veneer, and available in 1 day and 8 day, with or without alarms installed. By about 1910, however, they started to disappear from most catalogues. During this nearly 70 years, the basic design was largely the same. The most apparent changes were applied to the production and materials used on the dials and tablets. Despite the overall case remaining the same, there were still quite a few makers who put their own interesting touches on the basic ogee case, and created some very unique clocks. This blog entry will help showcase some of these examples.

GOLD TRIM:

Starting off small, one detail that was added to some ogee clock cases was the addition of a gold moulding.

Ansonia Ogee w Gilt Trim and Early Glass 01

This one is by the Ansonia Clock Co, but I know that Waterbury also offered them with gold bands. It's a small detail, but it makes for quite a difference in appearance.

PAINTED DIAL GLASS:

A feature that is often found on early Jerome ogees is that the upper dial glass was reverse painted with spandrel decorations. These often have brass dials with black numerals, but white dials as well as zinc dials are also found.

Early Jerome 01

While this dial decoration doesn't deviate very much from a standard ogee clock, it's a nice early feature, and only appears on examples prior to around 1845. I suspect that the dial on this example may be incorrect, as the centre holes are normally circular.

RARE MOVEMENTS:

One type of a rare movement can be found in this Forestville clock. In order to avoid patent infringement, Forestville made a version of the Jerome 30 hour movements with the winding squares above the dial centre. These are generally called "upside down" movements.

Rare Bird's Eye Maple Forestville Upside Down Ogee 01

This particular clock is rare for a combination of reasons: It is a two-tone case with bird's eye maple and mahogany, it uses a rare upside down movement, and it has its original dial, hands, and tablet.

Upside down movements are not the only rare movements that can be found in ogee clocks. There are 8 day time only examples, balance wheel examples, 3-train examples with weight driven alarms (in both 30 hour and 8 day movements), as well as a number of other experimental and unusual movements. All make good additions to clock collections.

Here is a collage that illustrates a selection of weight driven ogee movements (some quite rare, some common), but there are many more than just these:

Movements Collage

8 DAY OGEES:

One of the main pitfalls of ogee clocks (and one of the reasons that some collectors avoid them) is that they require daily winding. However, there are a large selection of 8 day examples that can be found. These generally have larger clock cases, and require much heavier 8 day weights to drive them. Regular ogee clock cases generally measure about 26" in height, and 15.5" in width, while 8 day ogee cases tend to be closer to 29" in height, and 17" in width. 30 hour ogees tend to use weights from 3-4lbs each, while 8 day ogees use weights between 7-9lbs each.

Forestville 8 Day Ogee 30in 01

Above is a lovely 8 day ogee clock by Forestville, dating to around the mid 1840s. It features a painted wood dial and a Fenn stenciled glass. Additionally, this Forestville has the "acorn" pattern 8 day movement. Several 8 day ogee clocks feature lyre or "fancy" shaped movements. Plainer clocks simply had movements with rectangular plates. See the collage above for some examples.

SPECIAL DOORS:

Another variation that can be found on ogee clock cases is in the way the doors were constructed, or in the way that hardware was fitted. Most doors use small brass hinges (often nailed in place), while a few used swivel type hinges, which were also nailed in place, but diagonally through the door frame and case moulding like a spike. Wooden knobs are less common than cast zinc or brass, and they are generally found on older clocks (before 1850). Simple latches can often be found made from bent brass wire, while others are cast brass in the shape of keys.

Some makers used two knobs on their taller models. One such maker is Birge & Mallory:

H1101-L116498858

Presumably the two knobs helped the door stay flat and firmly closed (avoiding potential warping issues that are sometimes found on larger doors), but it does look a bit odd. Aside from this small quirk, the clock is just a standard large ogee case with an 8 day strap brass movement. The original painted glass is missing in this example.

Another door variation involves the use of two separate doors, as on this example:

Jerome & Co Eight Day Double Door Ogee 01

Although many 8 day ogee clocks were built with double doors, they were not made for very a very long time. We can assume that it cost more time and money to build them this way, without creating much impact on the overall design. They require building two different sized doors, with twice the hardware (hinges and knobs) as well as the addition of building and fitting a centre dividing bar on the case. This centre bar also makes it more difficult to install and remove the movement because the strike-advance lever and the hammer both block the movement from sliding forward. This particular clock is by Jerome and Co., and features a lovely rosewood veneered case with an original tablet. Approximately 1870s.

One similar idea that was easier to execute was to have a single long door with 3 divisions. Generally these 3-section doors are extremely rare, and I have only come across a small handful of examples, but they are nevertheless interesting.

Chauncey Jerome 8 Day Split Door OG - Birge & Peck Triple Decker 01

This clock is also a Chauncey Jerome product. It is an 8 day example, and while a lot of 3-section doors (on other clocks, by other makers) often feature one panel as a mirror, the two examples I have seen by Jerome both use two painted tablets in the door, with the smaller one being a fairly plain stenciled design.

"SUITCASE" CLOCKS:

This type of ogee is sometimes referred to as a "suitcase" clock, because of the way the door is built. In these clocks, the entire front of the case forms the door, and it is hinged on the side of the case, opening as the name suggests: like a suitcase. This is quite similar to how early 1830s groaner clock cases and New Hampshire mirror clock cases are built. Not many of these suitcase clocks were made, and they are quite desirable.

Chauncey Boardman, Bristol, CT, Oversize OG (39 tall) 01

This clock is by Chauncey Boardman, and it is GIANT at 39" tall. I believe this is an 8 day wooden works with built-in alarm, but I'm not 100% certain.

There are also a few ogee clocks where the ogee moulding is built as part of the door, and it opens within the exterior front banding. These often have a keyed lock with a diamond escutcheon near the outer edge of the ogee moulding. Not many of these exist either, and they tend to date to the early 1840s.

CALENDAR MODELS:

Calendars started to be quite popular towards the 1870s and all sorts of different setups and configurations were added to clocks. A lot of calendars tend to be more frequently found on schoolhouse type wall clocks, store regulators, or even gingerbread clocks, but a few were custom made for ogee clocks. One of these was "Seem's Calendar Dial" Patented in Jan 7, 1868.

Rare ST Calendar Dial Ogee Seem’s Dial Patented Jan 7 1868

This calendar layout is not quite as elegant as a simple centre date hand (those models exist on ogee clocks as well), but it does indicate more than just the date. You get the date, the day of the week, and the month. This one is a Seth Thomas, in a mahogany veneered case, presumably from the late 1860s to early 1870s.

A much more elegant version can be found in this elaborate double dial example:

Double Black Dial OG Calendar Clock 01

This one is by the National Calendar Clock Co. The black and gold dials are especially striking, and not many of these clocks were made in this particular case. Several in fancier cases exist, often with columns and a crown moulding, but much fewer in this simple ogee case.

GESSO FRONT:

Gesso front ogees are perhaps some of the most unusual of all the ogee variations. They were not manufactured in great numbers, and very few of them are identical. They are all normally in 30 hour ogee cases (I don't know of any 8 day versions), and the actual applied gesso decorations tend to vary.

Smith & Bros Gesso Front Ogee

As you can imagine, these are fairly fragile. They are built much the same way as a traditional ogee case, but with gesso and gilding applied to the front mouldings, the same as with traditional picture frames. This example is by Smith & Brothers, and it is fitted with a 30 hour wooden works movement. Early 1840s. It should be noted that most of these will feature mahogany banding combined with the gilt gesso.

DOUBLE OGEE:

Another very interesting variation is the "double" ogee. This is a clock case style that I believe was only ever offered by the Forestville Clock Co.

0623shfore

Because of the widths of the ogee mouldings, these always make rather large cases and are therefore fitted with 8 day brass movements (I don't know of any 30 hour versions). It's sort of an interesting idea, but at the same time, the overall effect is just a bit "off". These clocks are not nearly as rare as some of the others in this post, so if you happen to come across one, it's worth checking out.

IVES:

Joseph Ives came up with this extraordinary case design and movement that is rather hard to describe. Generally I call these an "internal column ogee" but even that isn't a great name or description.

DSC_0136

These clocks were offered by several retailers and companies, which include Joseph Ives, Hills & Goodrich, J.J. Beals (NY), etc. They feature a unique movement, housed within a tin shell, and they also require special lozenge shaped 8 day weights. Around the movement are two gilded and ring-decorated columns, and acanthus foliage over a blue background. All this within an ogee case with a painted tablet. These clocks are highly prized by collectors.

MINIATURES:

Lastly, we have miniatures. While these are slightly different (because the majority of them use spring-driven movements), some still use weight driven movements.

F C Andrews Mini OG

Here is a beautiful rosewood miniature ogee by F. C. Andrews. This one is not only rare because it's a weight driven miniature, but it is also a 3-train example with a weight driven alarm. This clock case also uses the alternative "swivel hinges" on the door that I referenced earlier.

Another reason to look at miniature ogees is that a fair number of them use rare and unusual spring driven movements such as fusee and false fusee movements. They can also frequently be found with 8 day movements, and/or alarms installed.

Smith & Goodrich, 30 hour, fusee TSA Mini Ogee 01

This miniature by Smith & Goodrich has a lovely 30 hour fusee movement (with alarm), a beautiful early Fenn tablet, thin numeral zinc dial, in a plain mahogany case.

It should be noted that generally, ogee clocks shorter than 24" can be considered miniature, and there is no standard size for these clocks. The weight driven examples tend to be a bit larger than spring driven examples, but sizes vary widely. I currently own 4 miniature ogee clocks, and they vary between 17.5" and 19" tall. No two are the same dimensions. Additionally the widths of the bandings and the widths of the ogee mouldings also vary between companies.

I hope you have enjoyed this foray into the world of ogee clocks, and that the next time you see a pile of them at a clock show, or in the back of a barn, or in an antiques shop, you'll take another look at them on the off chance that something special might be hiding there.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Ogee Clocks - Veneer Combinations and Variations

I find it quite common for people to have difficulty identifying various wood species on clocks. I will frequently see collectors confusing mahogany, rosewood, and walnut, as well as other species. While it can often be difficult to identify a particular wood species with just a photo, or under thick and darkened finishes, I wanted to try to illustrate some decent examples of the most frequently found types as well as feature some rare and unusual combinations, or examples with special "cuts" of wood.

Disclaimer: this blog post is meant to illustrate various veneers used on ogee clocks, and as such, it is not intended to be used as an in-depth guide on how to identify specific veneer species. Wood identification takes many years of practice and experience to master, and it's not a topic I can cover in a single blog post, and with only a handful of images. It is my sincere hope that it will still be very useful and informative.

For those of you know know me rather well, you will not be surprised to hear that I adore ogee clocks. I know they are not to everyone's taste, but for me they have a lot of positive features, and few negatives. At the time of this writing I own over a dozen of these clocks, from small miniatures to very large 8 day models. I plan to highlight the rather wide ranging variety of ogee clocks in my next post, but for now, let us focus on wood.

If you are familiar with ogee clocks you will already know that the word "ogee" refers to an "S" shaped curve, which forms the basic moulding on the front of the clock case. The term "O.O.G" may sometimes be found, and this term usually refers to the thin banding that forms the door frame and the outer edge of the case being in concave and convex profiles. The standard ogee cases simply have flat stock on these case pieces.

Typically, all American made ogee cases were built from a pine or poplar secondary wood, and veneered in beautifully selected woods. The most popular two choices being mahogany and rosewood. Both of these woods were popular from the 1840s, right up to the 1910s when the production of ogee clocks started to decline. The veneers on the fronts of the cases were often extremely elaborate and well chosen, while the veneer on the sides of the cases were usually quite plain and rather poorly figured. It is not uncommon to find a non-matching wood species veneered on the case sides. I have seen several examples where birch veneer was used on the sides, giving the sides a rather light orange colour compared with a much darker mahogany (or rosewood) on the front.

It is also important to note that not all ogee clocks had veneer. In very rare cases, some were grain-painted to resemble mahogany or rosewood (I have no examples to share but I have seen a few). It is also fairly common to come across "skinned" ogee cases, where the original veneers have chipped off and been completely removed. These are often refinished with the underlying pine stained dark and varnished. In my opinion, these clocks have lost one of their most important features, and should be considered as parts donors, unless the time and expense to re-veneer the case is deemed appropriate, or the owner appreciates the clock "as-is".

COMMON VENEERS

Let's start with a fairly simple example.

MAHOGANY:

H. Welton and Co. Mahogany Ogee Clock

The clock shown above is a beautiful H. Welton and Co. ogee clock with spectacular mahogany veneer, dating from the early 1840s. The veneer on the banding (door and trim) is plain mahogany while the ogee curves feature crotch mahogany veneers. The crotch figure comes from the joint where the trunk separates into two branches, forming an arch, and often also a flamed figure. Because the wood grain has so much of a pattern, the seams between the sheets of veneer are often visible. Two joints are easy to spot in the top ogee moulding.

Not all mahogany ogees have crotch mahogany. Many of them have very plain veneers or "ribbon stripe" mahogany, but others have very ornate "fancy cut" veneers such as this Seth Thomas. The veneer is just plain mahogany (as far as I can tell), but it has been cut in a certain way to give a repeating spiral or swirl pattern. This veneer treatment can be found on many other clocks including large column clocks and small shelf clocks. For lack of a better name, I have started to refer to this as "S curve" veneer.

S Veneer 30 hour Seth Thomas OG Clock 01

The clock above is a Plymouth Hollow era Seth Thomas (prior to 1865), with the painted tablet missing, but I have seen this veneer cut on clocks as late as 1880. The effect is very similar to crotch mahogany, because of the change in the direction of the grain, but there are no seams in the veneer (or very few), so you get a very nice continuous squiggle.

ROSEWOOD / MAHOGANY:

Adding to the confusion in the identification of wood species is the fact that many manufacturers liked to "mix and match". Since rosewood and mahogany are so similar, they are often used in combination, such as on this ogee clock. On this example, the obvious "stripe" effect on the rosewood banding (and door) are clearly visible, while the ogee mouldings have that same "S curve" veneer in mahogany, but with a less aggressive repeat to it.

Half Rosewood Half Mahogany EN Welch Ogee 01

The ogee clock shown above is an E.N. Welch from the 1860s (also with the tablet missing). The dial is a little worn, but has lovely hand painted floral corners. Many clocks had partial elements in rosewood and mahogany, so it's something to keep an eye on. If you want to see another example of this, have a look at the Seth Thomas column clock (scroll all the way down to the last two photos in the link below). The case is 90% mahogany, with crotch mahogany on the two ogee mouldings, but the door is rosewood. https://jcclocks.blogspot.ca/2014/01/very-rare-seth-thomas-8-day-column_26.html

ROSEWOOD:

Rosewood is one of the trickier woods to identify because it often looks different from clock to clock. It can range from almost uniformly deep red, to black and red stripes, to wild brown and blonde. One characteristic to look out for when trying to identify rosewood is that it is much harder than mahogany, and more brittle. It is a slightly oily tropical wood, and as such it is also much more prone to flaking, lifting, and chipping. The wood itself is also fairly coarse a lot of times, and it can even resemble oak (as far as the grain texture). Because the wood is harder to work with, it also tends to have been cut into thinner veneer to facilitate bending and gluing. Rosewood also tends to be a fairly narrow tree, so there is often a lot of repeating lines in the veneers (usually less than 6 inches before a repeat).

Here's a typical rosewood ogee:

Terhune & Edwards, 48 Courtlandt Street, New York Ogee

This ogee is by Terhune & Edwards, around 1860-70. Note the deep blackish striped areas, as well as the lighter spots leaning ever so slightly to a softer tan colour. Many rosewood clocks tend to be much darker as well, some are nearly black all over.

Here's a much more dramatic rosewood veneer showing the very wide range of colours and striping that can be found in rosewood. The banding on the door and edge are also rosewood, but in a uniform colour. Note that this particular rosewood shows almost no red.

EN Welch Mini Ogee w Dramatic Rosewood Grain (Possibly for Canadian Market) 01

The clock above is a miniature spring-driven clock by E.N. Welch. Approximately 1860.

Here is another rosewood example with a much more subdued grain somewhat resembling oak. You can clearly see the black striping effect often found in rosewood.

JC Brown Rosewood Ogee

This clock is by JC Brown, of Forestville CT. Approximately mid-1860s. I have a Seth Thomas in nearly identical rosewood veneer.

UNCOMMON VENEERS

OAK:

Oak veneer is very rarely found, and the examples I've seen tend to be made by Seth Thomas and for sale in Canada. I'm fairly sure some may also have been sold in the United States, but many of the oak examples have Canadian labels. One exception that I came across is a two-tone example of an 8 day Forestville ogee clock which seems to have white oak crotch veneers on the ogee mouldings, and rosewood banding (no photos, but it is a clock I own and I will photograph it and share it once it's restored).

ST Oak Veneer Ogee 01

The ogee shown here is by Seth Thomas, and it is veneered in what I believe to be white oak. I don't have the label information for this piece, but it appears to be from around the 1860s. The Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg Ontario have in their collection a Seth Thomas column clock in oak veneer with a Vantassel label (Canada).

BIRD'S EYE MAPLE:

Bird's eye and curly maple are found fairly frequently on clocks before 1860, but very rarely afterwards. For whatever reason, bird's eye maple seems to always be combined with a darker wood (as opposed to being used on its own for a whole case).

Sperry OG_0031

Technically this is called a "bevel case" since it lacks the ogee curve, but for our purposes I have chosen to include it because the case style is nearly identical. On this lovely Sperry clock from the 1840s, you can see beautiful bird's eye maple, combined with mahogany on the banding and door. This clock would likely have had a lovely hand painted scenery with trees and a stream in the tablet.

Here is another example:

Union Manfg Co BEM Ogee 01

This clock is also bird's eye maple with mahogany banding, and it's by the Union Manufacturing Co. It dates from the early 1840s. The maple is a bit darker on this one so the effect is less dramatic.

BIRCH:

This next example is the only birch-veneer ogee clock I have ever come across. As previously discussed, birch was quite common as a secondary wood on the sides of cases, but this is the only one I've seen with birch on the front.

Silas Hoadley Two Tone Ogee Shelf Clock

This clock is by Silas Hoadley. Early 1840s with a wooden dial. Not only does this clock feature an unusual veneer on the ogee mouldings, but it's also combined with rosewood banding, which makes it even more unusual. Birch veneer can be very plain, and it can often resemble maple. The veneer on this clock, however, has a bit of curl or "flame" to it, which is quite characteristic of this wood. Flame or curly birch often forms in very wide bands, as opposed to curly maple, which usually forms in very tightly spaced bands.

For comparison, here's an example of a table made from flame birch:

Flame Birch Table

???:

Next we have this unusual ogee. I am unable to identify the wood species on it, but it resembles birch, or a very bleached-out mahogany (possibly sun-damaged), though that's less likely. It's also possible that this is a tropical or domestic fruitwood veneer. I am including it here to show the different veneers used on these clocks.

Light Veneer Seth Thomas Ogee (Plymouth)

The clock above is a Seth Thomas. The dial and tablet suggest that it is a later example, but it has a plymouth label. I would date this to the late 1860s, closer to 1870.

ASH:

Another rare wood occasionally found on ogee clocks is ash. More specifically, white ash. I have only seen a few examples of clocks with this veneer, but enough exist to confirm that they were offered with this wood. Ash is very similar to oak, but it has a very coarse grain, and the light areas in between the growth rings are very pale and uniformly coloured, which gives a rather distinct striped appearance. Ash is frequently found on European Vienna clocks as well.

Sperry & Shaw Two Tone Ogee Clock

Here is an early Sperry & Shaw ogee from the 1840s, with ash ogee mouldings with a rather wild grain pattern, combined with mahogany banding.

This next clock features the opposite treatment:

Two Tone Union Ogee Clock 01

A rare combination of crotch mahogany ogee mouldings, with ash bandings. This one is by the Union Manufacturing Co., as can clearly be seen on the dial. 1840s.

???:

Lastly is a wood veneer that I have yet to identify. I generally refer to it as "knotty veneer" but it is clearly a wood species that was specifically chosen for use as veneer, because I have found at least 6 clocks with this veneer (mostly ogee clocks, but also one steeple clock). All seem to be made by Chauncey Jerome.

Jerom OG Unusual Veneer 01

This particular veneer somewhat resembles knotty alder or aspen, but I've been unable to confirm. The knots are not reddish like pine, and I can confirm that it's a hardwood and not a soft wood (I have an ogee with this veneer).

Stay tuned for another post about ogee clocks where I will discuss the various types of ogees that can be found (miniature, 8 day, gesso-front, calendar, etc.)

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2018!

It seems I'm starting off the new year pretty well! It's only the very first day of 2018 and I've already bought a clock!

P1010140

This is a Seth Thomas (Plymouth Hollow era, pre-1865) 30 hour column clock that is generally referred to as a "Style 1". It's a clock that's been on my wish list for several years now. Seth Thomas made many different column clocks in many sizes and styles (and over many decades), but there are generally 3 main styles that use a standard ogee movement. This one is the earliest and most popular style (thousands of these were made). Bill Stoddard has compiled a lot of useful information on the production dates of Seth Thomas clocks, dials, and movements. I use his information fairly often, and you can check out here: https://clockhistory.com/sethThomas/products/30HourBrassWeight/index.html

This column clock is the smaller (and original) version of this rare 8 day column clock that I also own:
https://jcclocks.blogspot.ca/2014/01/very-rare-seth-thomas-8-day-column_26.html

The columns on these clocks came in different finishes as well (wood, gold, gold with ringed decoration, and tortoise shell). Seth Thomas was not the only maker who offered this case style, but they were the first. I have seen some by Jerome / New Haven, E.N. Welch, and a few others.

That said, this particular clock is in pretty TERRIBLE condition. BUT, pretty much all of of the parts are there, and the seller was only asking 30$ CAD for it. He even dropped it off for me! I can't ask for any better than that! I found the clock in the local online classified ads and it had only been posted for 22 minutes! I e-mailed the seller right away and he dropped it off this afternoon. I'm already itching to work on it, but I have a few other clocks to work on first.

P1010141

Some of the pros:
- Original dial
- Original movement
- Original hands
- Pendulum (small but old and period - not 100% sure if it's original)
- Both weights
- Hardly any veneer chips (only 3 small ones)
- Nice label (99% complete)

Cons:

- The entire bottom board was (poorly) replaced
- No tablet
- The dial is quite flaky
- The finish is very lumpy, thick, alligatored, and covered in paint smears (both white and beige)
- Case parts are loose and the whole thing will need to be reglued/reassembled
- Large chip in the original dial glass
- Alarm movement is missing
- Smells like an ashtray

Overall, pretty good, and I'm very happy with the purchase.

I think this dial might be a good candidate for some fairly elaborate restoration/touch-up work.

P1010142

The alarm setup is confusing me a little. The bell seems quite shiny, but it seems to matche others I've seen on Seth Thomas clocks, and there's a heavy layer of dust on the top part of it. The wood block(s) for the alarm are also very unusual. I haven't found any other examples of Plymouth Hollow era clocks with alarms, let alone alarms held in place with wood blocks. Most ST alarms have projecting brass feet on them for mounting. The key in the photo is not original (and it's covered in solder).

P1010143

The movement is a standard "old" but not super early ST Plymouth movement. The earliest ones have a crescent shaped hammer, while the later ones have screws for the corner posts rather than pins. The label says Steam Press of Elihu Geer 10 State Street, which dates the clock between 1850-1855 which is consistent with the movement.

P1010144

P1010145

The movement is ABSOLUTELY FILTHY, however, I see no botch repairs or solder, and it actually RUNS in this condition. The verge stem seems a bit loose, and there isn't much swing to the pendulum (very narrow arc), but it shouldn't need much more than a regular tune-up (cleaning and maybe a few bushings).

P1010146

This shows the condition of the finish quite clearly. I am very likely going to strip this case and refinish it with shellac. It will basically be a complete top to bottom restoration. Another reason for the refinish is that matching the new bottom board would be very difficult. It's also impossible to see the beautiful mahogany under this mess. This is not at all a rare clock, so I'm not worried about losing value.

P1010148

P1010149

One of the small veneer chips at the door latch. It's so small that I might only do a putty repair here.

P1010150

The large chip in the dial glass. I will try to rotate the glass 180 degrees, and hopefully this will be hidden a bit more by the upper door trim. I will not replace the glass even if it's damaged, since it's the original (nice and wavy). The lower glass is modern and will be removed.

P1010151

The lower moulding is completely loose, and you can see the poorly rebuilt base (not thick enough, and the edge should be squared). This replacement bottom is held in place with screws underneath, so hopefully they didn't use much (or any) glue and it will be easy to remove.

P1010152

P1010153

This corner of the door might need attention. The other corners seem fine.

P1010154