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48.                   $1200

Joseph Ives 30-day candlestick double-steeple with wagon-spring movement, 1850-1856.  During this period Ives developed and produced one-month wagon spring movements which were sold in wall clocks and shelf clocks by Irenus Atkins, and a limited number were placed in double-steeple clocks sold under his own name.  AAC sold one such clock a year ago for $2500.  The case is 25.5 inches tall in mahogany with some roughness to the upper door veneer; the dial and middle glass are period, the lower glass appears to be modern.  Both Fenn tablets have been repainted.  The dial and hands are missing.  The movement is signed Joseph Ives, Bristol, Conn USA; it is a 30-day double-wind, time-only and I cannot get it running.  The wagon spring is certainly period and functional. Look carefully at the label.  It is identical to a Birge & Fuller label, but the makers’ name seems to be cut out and replaced with “Joseph Ives”.  It would appear that this is a Birge & Fuller case with an Ives 30-day movement.  But is the movement original to this case?  Perhaps, based on the old cut-outs in the peak of the case to accommodate the movement.  The seat board is a bit suspect and the j-hooks to secure the movement to the board are missing.  However, I do not see any indication of there having been another movement in this case, and there is no evidence of a wire gong mount that would have been present in a clock with a Birge & Fuller time-and-strike movement.  I see no evidence that the backboard has been replaced.  One possibility is that Birge & Fuller obtained this movement from Ives and used it in one of their cases.  Later, someone thought they should fix that by “repairing” the label with a proper name to match the movement.  Alternatively, perhaps Ives got this case from Birge & Fuller and placed his movement in it, without changing the label.  For me, the absence of a hole in the backboard for a gong mount is strong evidence that this clock never had a standard time-and-strike movement in it.  This exact clock sold in 2017 at Schmidt’s Antiques for $2800; at that time it had a dial.  $1200–$2500.

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Antique American Clocks                     JULY 2024

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