Terryville Manufacturing Co. octagon timepiece with torsion escapement, 1853-1860. Silas B. Terry formed this company specifically to manufacture clocks with his newly patented torsion spring suspension, including candlestick clocks and marine clocks such as this one. The octagon case is 9.5 inches across with rosewood veneer and an old finish; there is a label behind plastic on the back. The glass is modern, the dial has been repainted and is chipping, the hands are period. The 30-hour time-only movement bears the patent date of ‘Oct 5th 1852’. In this example this movement has a long suspension spring that runs from the top of the movement to the bottom of the case, with a two-ball rotating pendulum anchored about halfway in-between. There is a standard escape wheel and verge at the top of the movement with the crutch attached to the two-ball pendulum rod, and each release of the impulse pallet causes the pendulum to rotate half a turn; it then swings back, driven by the long suspension spring, just as a vertical pendulum is driven back by gravity. But here the clock can run in any position, as does a lever spring movement. Indeed, other variations of this movement use a coiled lever spring to regulate a four-ball pendulum. Although this one is running to beat the band, these clocks did not revolutionize the clockmaking industry; Silas B. left the firm after a few years, and it went out of business by 1860. Four sales on Antique Clocks Identification and Price Guide, most recently at RO Schmitt in 2016 for $275; that was this clock. $250-$500.
Antique American Clocks January 2023