Dating longcase clock hands
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.
Usually he was known only in his own immediate locality, and by the nature of his work he would use whatever plundered pieces he could to make do and mend, and most important of all to keep down the cost.
Customers came to him on account of his lower prices, who might balk at the price charged by a fully professional clockmaker.
Many clocksmiths did not sign their work - and for good reason.
One was to escape detection or prosecution for trading illegally in local market towns.
The ten-inch dial sheet itself (a cartwheel type of casting) has nothing by which we can date it.
Many clocksmiths had fathers who were blacksmiths, but their sons were true 'clockmakers'.The spandrels seem to have been fitted to this dial sheet at the time of its making, that is were put on new at the time. We can deduce therefore that this clock was made about 1750-60 by a rural clocksmith (probably in Rutland where the clock was found), using a new dial sheet made to fit a still-serviceable 1690s lantern movement, an old chapter ring of about 1710 or 1720 (which carried no signature), and new spandrels of the day.The whole clock was housed in a purpose-built rustic oak case.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.