Dating longcase clock hands
However it has retained the feet and finials and lantern-clock bell strap, though its top finial has been removed to allow easier clearance of the case hood.
Even with this top finial removed the clock movement stands much higher than a regular longcase thirty-hour movement would, because of its high-positioned bell, and this is the reason for that deeper hood area above the dial, to allow room for the unusually high movement bell.
Clocksmiths were located primarily in less well-to-do rural areas, though they might take their products to local town markets to sell - even on occasion in towns where local bylaws banned outsiders from trading.
Many clocksmiths had fathers who were blacksmiths, but their sons were true 'clockmakers'.
To the inexperienced such a clock can look like a 'marriage', that is a clock made up, usually in modern times, from old bits and pieces, often done deliberately to deceive the naïve.
In a certain sense such a clock is a marriage, in that an old part or parts are re-used and added to certain new parts.
We can see it was purpose-built because of the high front section above the dial, built unusually high to clear the lantern clock bell. I always find this surprising, as it must have been tempting to have left some claim to craftsmanship by the maker.
The dial was dismantled to see, just out of interest, whether the maker had left his name or any other information such as a date or a place scratched, however crudely, somewhere out of sight - behind the chapter ring, on the back of the dial .. If I were to make a clock, I would want it to be known by any future enquirer, who I was and when I made it.
This chapter ring was probably from some long-dismantled (ten-inch, single-handed) clock, and just happened to be the size required for our clocksmith's purpose. The clock it came from perhaps was signed by its original maker on a plaque, or within an engraved dial centre.But he could also make parts for his new clocks using robbed pieces of old ones, and we sometimes see a wheel made from a piece of brass which has engraving on, and was once a part of an old dial. The movement of the anonymous clocksmith clock can be seen to be a true lantern clock movement of about 1690, built with anchor escapement. A canny clockmaker might decide to make a new dial and case whilst re-using an existing old movement.This is not very often met with, though I have seen it a number of times.This clock is at first sight a typical rustic thirty-hour oak-cased single-handed longcase clock.
The primitive oak case has a deeper than usual area beneath the top-mould indicating a lack of sophistication in style (but also indicating something else we shall see shortly), has no opening door to the hood (which means the hood must be removed to adjust the setting of the hand), has an absence of pillars to the hood, and a peg-fastening trunk door, which was cheaper than a lock or turnbuckle.
If our clocksmith had been capable of engraving, or willing to pay another to do it for him, he could have had his name added along its base - but, for whatever reason, he didn't.