French Longcase Clock?

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  • #48687
    achipo
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    I’m looking for a Mobier/Comtoise grandfather clock, ideally in northern California. Any leads would be appreciated.

    #53962
    arutha
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    I think if you have tried all the local antique stores your next best bet is to keep an eye out on e-bay. Even then they don’t come up very often. Maybe try a post on the NAWCC forum?
    Good luck,
    Paul.

    #53963
    achipo
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    Thanks. I haven’t started looking in earnest yet. Just putting out feelers. Any recommendations for good clock people in the SF Bay area would be appreciated.

    #53964
    achipo
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    I found a promising candidate and would love to get feedback and advice. It is a mid 19th century clock, and appears to be in great shape. The movement, however, appears too good to be original. Do you agree? What impact to value does a non-original movement have? Any other observations? Does anyone recognize the maker’s name on the dial? What do all the abbreviations mean?

    Thanks,
    Evan

    #53965
    achipo
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    Dial face…

    Sorry for the large images. My editing software isn’t working. Maybe a moderator can resize? Thanks!

    #53966
    achipo
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    Movement…

    #53967
    achipo
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    Finally found some photo editing software that works, but now I can’t edit/delete the earlier post. Oh well…

    #53968
    gerene
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    Nice clock! It has an oval shaped embossed brass front and the fancy embossed brass pendulum which dates it to 1850 or later. The movement does look clean, but I believe it is genuine. If not it is a very good copy, as far as I can see on the pictures! It has an anchor escapement and I guess a slotted suspension spring in a small brass fitting, brass drums for the weight cords and 2 trains all corresponding to morbier movements of that period.
    Unfortunately I can’t see the complete case (and I am not an expert!). You would be lucky if this is an original decorated pine case, because they are rare, certainly in a reasonably good shape.

    Jan

    #53969
    gerene
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    To give you some reference material I added a picture of a similar Morbier movement which is on my desk right now.

    Regards,

    Jan

    #53970
    achipo
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    • Topics Started: 4
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    Jan,
    Thank you! Your picture helps.

    I really like the clock, but I am definitely out of my element. Given that it is not local, and relatively expensive, I am proceeding cautiously. I’ll post a few more pictures I have. It does appear to be a painted wood (I assume pine) case. The seller says it has inlay at the bottom, but to me it just looks painted, which is ok too, as it is very nicely done and in great shape.

    Do you have any idea of the value? I’ve seen clocks like this go for $1k up to well over $5k.

    Do you recognize the dial markings, or could you interpret what the abbreviations mean? My French is not good enough.

    One last question to everyone–how do I move this clock from southern Oregon to the Bay Area (about 6 hours away)? The safest I suppose would be to rent a large van/truck. Could I just hire a professional? And if so, what instructions should I give him? I assume the pendulum and weights need to be removed. Anything else?

    Thanks again!

    Evan




    #53971
    arutha
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    No pictures but just found details of a similar clock with the same abbreviations on the dial that sold for 700 euros.
    http://www.internationalauctioneers.com/#/lot/show/360929/theia/impressum/theia/impressum/
    Hope that helps a little.
    Paul.
    Albi is where in France it was made but not doing well with the abbreviations :(

    #53972
    achipo
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    Paul,
    Thanks. Yes, the values can be all over the map. This seems to be a fancier clock in pretty good condition, but without pics it’s hard to compare to the auction listing. A local clockmaker has one that is not as nice for $2500, but is guaranteed to run.

    The seller claims to have paid $5k for it 8 years ago. He is asking $3k for this,and I think I can get it for $1500 – $2k, but I need to drive about 6 hours each way to pick it up.

    Evan

    #53973
    arutha
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    This might give you an idea – http://www.ebay.fr/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313&_nkw=comtoise&_sacat=0&_from=R40 Its the French e-bay site.

    #53974
    gerene
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    • Topics Started: 16
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    I will start with a disclaimer: I am not an expert on comtoises but I do have some documentation about those interresting clocks.

    Sorry Paul, Albi is the place where the clock was sold. The name and place on the dial of comtoises are those of the shop selling the clock. They where made around Morbier, a place in the French Jura, in the region France Comté. That’s where the name Morbier or Comtoise originates. Resellers had the dials made with their name on it.

    I will have to guess for the abbreviations but I think that it stands for “Première Qualité Guarantie” meaning “first quality guaranteed”.

    The cases were usually made in pine and decoration was painted. Inlay is scarce for Morbier cases. Comtoises were “low cost” clocks and did not (usually) use expensive materials and/or techniques. They were meant to be used in farmhouses.

    I have no idea about price since this depends largely on the state of the clock and case. Cases in immaculate condition are very rare and hard to find. The cases were not build to withstand time given they were usually in lower quality wood. This case looks in a pretty good shape seen from the pictures. The model and decoration correspond with cases of the period (end XIX – beginning XX).

    Jan

    #53975
    gerene
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    I did find a picture of a case resembling the one you are interrested in. Here is a copy of the page from the book “La Grande Horloge, La Comtoise au XIX siècle” by Alain Coudine.

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achipoFrench Longcase Clock?