I have related the story of this most interesting Ingraham Huron mantel clock in an earlier blog which you can read about here. I purchased it at what I believe was a reasonable price from an older couple near Bridgewater, Nova Scotia who were in the midst of downsizing. It had been in their family for a very long time and although it was cherished for many years it was time to let it go.
Because it is such a unique design you don’t often see this style of clock in any of the antique stores and they rarely come up at the finer online auction houses. The last one I saw on EBay sold for US895.00 a year and a half ago.
The case is actually in very good condition for a 138 year old clock but the movement suffered at the hands of a butcher. The clock will run for about 2-3 days on a full wind and then stop. Nudging the pendulum will get it going again but only for about a couple of hours. To anyone who knows anything about clocks there is an serious power loss in the movement and it is not difficult to determine why once you see the photos. After taking the face off there is little to indicate that there are any issues with this clock.
However, as you can see in the next four photos there are some interesting issues with the movement which undoubtedly contribute to it’s poor running. In the first photo you can see that the escape wheel arbour is at an extreme angle relative to the other arbours. In the next three photos arrows are pointing to solder that was used to “correct” various problems with the movement. The result is that although the clock will operate for a period of time on a full wind, it cannot and will not run the full 8-day cycle.
Is this a repair job or a restoration? I brought it in to a certified horologist nearby who said that in situations such as this if the movement is likely beyond repair he recommends to the customer that the movement be replaced with a period movement correct for the clock. He agrees with me that this movement must stay with the clock to preserve it’s provenance and it’s authenticity, therefore restoration for this antique clock is required.
Why am I not doing this myself? Many of the clocks I have worked on require minimal adjustment/repair to get them to run reliably again and I am still in a learning phase. I have disassembled many clocks, cleaned them and even installed/replaced bushings but this is a job that must be left to someone who is familiar with clocks that have had very poor repairs such as this one.
It will take two or three months but at the end of the day this will be a properly restored timepiece. Once I get it back I will report on the steps it took to restore this clock.
3 thoughts on “Ingraham Huron – off to the shop for restoration!”
What a beautiful and unique clock! I hope that your horologist appreciates what he has in his hands. Sounds like you trust him though! If I were you I would constantly be calling up and asking for updates 🙂 It seems like whoever “fixed” it last had some basic principles down, but just didn’t take the time to really do the work with minimal damage. I wonder why, as you say, it only runs for certain lengths of time. I suppose if the escape wheel is at a strange angle that could cause that? Plus that “repaired” lantern gear looks like it could stop the clock from moving smoothly.
Thanks for your comments. In fact he called me yesterday to explain the repairs that are required. I will report on those in a future post. Our conversation made me think of the folks who repaired clocks in those days and prompted me put my thoughts together in an upcoming post.
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