As Acquired Condition
English origin, c. late 1800's. Brass and bronze hybrid flat bed frame design. Hour
strike using rack and snail system with quarter strike using a count wheel. Three legged
gravity escape with jeweled locking pallets. Pendulum, dial, hands, weights currently
missing. Eight day duration. Original movement 27"w x 22"h x 11.25"d.
The first two photos show the bell hammer system and bells as they were originally
fastened. Clearly nothing aligned! The bell hammer rods looked ungainly and their extreme
length entailed the use of very strong springs for striking. This would, in the end,
require a large amount of power from the driving weight. We decided to reconfigure the strike system to make it's use of power more
efficient as well as more visually elegant. The hammer heads look to be temporary wood
models that were fitted at the time I acquired the movement.
The third and fourth photos show the centrally-placed black-painted steel pendulum
support bracket; what I dubbed the "goose neck". This proved to be mechanically
unstable for a swinging pendulum in it's original state. The rigidity was increased in
conjunction with the recreation of the pendulum and
new bell support frames.
The remaining photos show the potential of this movement as reflected in the beautiful
fleur-de-lis frame design and high tooth / pinion counts of the wheel works. The first
photo shows the design of the going train frame. This was used as a basis for the design
of the pendulum rod and dial
hands. At the same time one can see the sad abuse the movement and in particular, the escapement which suffered at the hands of inexperienced
'repair' persons who tried to make this clock run over the years.
Certain indicators such as the lack of pinion wear, serious structural deficiencies as well as the overall lack of the
movement to properly function as found, convinces me that this clock never ran. Several
owners had tried modifications in the past to make this movement function, but none, in
the long run, were successful. The escapement as found
was completely inoperable, even though a former inexperienced repair person had tried to
remake several parts of this system. The pendulum, dial and weights
were missing. The bell support consisting of a single
threaded tube; wholly inadequate, was attached to the same support as that of the pendulum
assuring that the vibrations from the strike function would hinder the accuracy of the
time keeping by interfering with the pendulum. Certain other systems like the strike fly fans found to be inoperable or unsuitable to our
envisioned design; were discarded and recreated. Other systems that employed springs were
redesigned to operate by gravity via balanced counter weight configurations. The hour
snail and motion works wheels were skeletonized. Various unused
holes in the brass frames and cast iron base which were the result of prior
experimentation or outright failures were plugged.