French Comtoise clock

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  • #48647
    gerene
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 16
    • Total Posts: 377

    As I already mentioned before, I am restoring a French Comtoise clock. These clocks are quite common in France and also in Belgium, although to a lesser extend. According to documentation i have, I would estimate the clock from around 1820.
    It is a clock with a verge escapement and a specific striking train for those clocks. The clock has a bell on top and strikes the hour twice (on the hour and a few minutes later again, in case you missed the first one) and on the half hour.
    I am currently dismanteling the clock and cleaning as well. There is quite some rust and sometimes it is hard to loosen the screws, but I am getting there.

    I do have a question about the hammer striking the bell. Here is a picture:
    As you can see, the hammer has a special shape and I wonder if there was a piece of metal (messing?) between the 2 “lips” on the front. Can anyone confirm this and eventually give me an idea of the shape it should have?

    Thanks,

    Jan

    #53741
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1553

    Hi Jan,
    I’m just guessing as I don’t have anything with me here to reference but it looks like the slot for a leather head to fit into. I don’t know if that period Comtoise used leather in the hammers or not. Maybe another member can help us. Difficult to tell the condition of the slot from the pic but it does look like it’s been altered.

    Bob

    #53742
    gerene
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 16
    • Total Posts: 377

    Tought I give an update on my restoration of this clock.
    I disassembled the clock and cleaned all the parts, gave the pivots a nice shine etc..
    I removed the rust from the frame, treated the frame against rust and repaint it with black mat spray.
    Here is a picture before and after, just to give an idea.
    Now I have to start assembly of the striking train.

    #53743
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Looking very good so far Jan and thanks for taking the time to post up the picks.
    Looking forward to the next stage :)
    Paul.

    #53744
    gerene
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 16
    • Total Posts: 377

    Well, the clock is completely cleaned assembled and oiled. She is running on my test stand for a complete day without dial and hands. Obviously I did not do any regulation yet. Striking mechanism is running fine. The next step is the front with dial, hands and closing the frame with the back and doors.

    I would like to post a picture but, I get the message that the board attachment quota has been reached, therefore I posted the picture on another server.

    Jan

    #53745
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1553

    Beautiful Work Gerene!
    Sorry about the pic. I just upped the quota. I wasn’t aware that it was set so low.
    Thanks for the heads up!

    Bob

    #53746
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    That looks great, I have yet to do a verge movement so I will be coming to you for help when i get one in.
    Thanks for taking the time to post it up too Jan, i know it can be a hassle but I love seeing what people are working on even if I dont comment. I have a customers German mantle clock i have just finished restoring, i am hoping to get the pics up for that later.
    All the best and keep up the good work :)
    Paul.
    p.s. what is next on your list now this is almost done?

    #53747
    gerene
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 16
    • Total Posts: 377

    Thanks Bob and Paul for your kind words.
    Paul: Looking forward to see the pictures of your mantle clock.

    Next on my list is some vacation with my partner :-)

    Jan

    #53748
    gerene
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 16
    • Total Posts: 377

    @Bob Tascione wrote:

    Hi Jan,
    I’m just guessing as I don’t have anything with me here to reference but it looks like the slot for a leather head to fit into. I don’t know if that period Comtoise used leather in the hammers or not. Maybe another member can help us. Difficult to tell the condition of the slot from the pic but it does look like it’s been altered.

    Bob

    I did some more research concerning the hammer and what I found is that Comtoises did not use leather at all. They normally had a full steel hammer. My guess now is that someone modified the hammer to accomodate a piece of leather to soften the sound of the strike. Comtoises are notorious for the amount of noise they make when the bell strikes.

    Jan

    #53749
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1553

    Thanks for the follow up on the hammer Jan.
    That’s good to know!
    Also thanks for posting all of those pics.
    Lookiing forward to your next project. This is a great thread!
    Take care over there,
    Bob

    #53750
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    Hi Jan, great job, you do nice work ;) , cant wait for the final pics, I have not had the opportunity to work on one of these but hopefully some day. I thought I had read somewhere (getting old and forgetful 🙄 ) that some of these hammers had a brass piece on the end, was I dreaming or is that possible? I am currently refurbishing a rather old French clock, came in really bad (world war 2 dust, dirt and gunk), I love it when I work on something like that. I think it is because you can see such a substantial difference in appearance when finished. William
    P.S. I was under the impression horologists didnt get vacations, :D HAVE A WONDERFUL TIME.

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gereneFrench Comtoise clock