22.                   $4500

Joseph Ives “Brooklyn” model shelf clock, ca. 1829.  This is the later model of Ives’ initial multi-leaf spring-powered shelf clocks that he developed in New York between 1825 and 1830.  Earlier models had a different ‘neck’ structure and a different brass movement; here he switched to a strap-brass movement.  The clock stands 28.25 inches tall with mahogany veneer and a crotch mahogany panel in the lower door; other examples have mirrors or painted glasses in this door.  Note the large brass rosettes below the dial, and the four turned feet (probably replacements for paw feet).  The glass in the brass bezel is modern.  The painted dial shows some flaking and light wear; the hands are likely original.  The 8-day time-and-strike movement is unsigned; it is running and striking without problem on a wire gong, driven by the “wagon spring” in the bottom of the case.  Note that these early models did not have a torque converter interposed between the springs and the movement; this was introduced later.  The seatboard has been replaced. There is a good label behind the springs.  These models are not rare; there are half-a-dozen similar examples on LiveAuctioneers. They are, nonetheless, coveted.  The most recent sale was at Cottone’s last year for $5750.  $4500–$5500. 

 UPDATE:  I want to call your attention to two details - one is a penciled number (25) inside the case on the lower left (see photo below); Peter Gosnell tells me that many of these Brooklyns were numbered by Ives.  The second is a lever arm on the right side of the movement that engages a toothed wheel on the main stem; at the outside end of the arm is a hook.  It would appear that the arm was designed to lift the hook slightly as the toothed mainstem gear rotates with the minute hand.  I see no obvious connections for the lever arm hook and no holes in the case that would allow a wire to pass through.  Anybody got a clue what this is?  See the two photos below. 

2nd UPDATE:  Peter credits the late Ed La Fond for noting the numbering.  He says the lowest number he has found is 7 and the highest is 215.  Dale Beske has suggested that the lever may be an early version of a "maintaining power" mechanism. 

3rd UPDATE:  I posted this question on the Facebook group page and Thomas Targett suggested that it is a minute hand "backlash preventer", stopping the minute hand from slipping backward or forward when at 15 min after or 15 min till the hour.  I suspect it may have had a small weight on the distal hook, or possibly a small spring. 

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Antique American Clocks                     JULY 2024

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