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Antique Watch & Clock Repair and Restoration, Robert Loomes MBHI FRSA


 Dating painted dial grandfather clocks

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HOW TO DATE YOUR PAINTED DIAL IN FIVE MINUTES
 
It's quite easy to date a painted dial longcase clock. Follow the simple instructions below and you'll soon get the hang of it. Impress your friends!
 
They fall into three distinct types, commonly known as period one(1770-1800), two (1800-1825) and three(1825-1860).
 
PERIOD ONE:
Period one dials date from about 1770 to about 1800 and look more or less like this:

Period one clock

The hour numerals are in Roman lettering (FROM I to XII) and the minute numerals are in arabic (5 to 60) numbered every five minutes (often called five minute numbering).

PERIOD TWO:
Period two dials change in three distinct ways.
Whereas period one corner decoration tends to be simple gold scrollwork OR little flowers, fruit or the occasional bird, period two dials TEND to have either geometric shapes, or shells, or abstract patterns - usually with a little more colour than period one. This dial is typical of about 1800:

Period two dials start to lose the five minute numbering and this is replaced with fifteen minute numbering (15,30,45,60) possibly in slightly smaller size, around the hour numbers.

The Hour numerals are often in arabic rather than roman style.
 
Period two tends to cover the period 1800 to 1825-30
 
PERIOD THREE:
 
Period three dials are from 1830 onwards until the demise of longcase clockmaking about 1850-70.

The minute numbering has disappeared completely and the hour numerals are back as Roman numerals, (I, II, III, IIII, V, VI, etc..) The corner decoration tends to be full colour scenes, often of country scenes, sometimes of the four seasons, countries (England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales) or the four continents. Sometimes there are specific corner or arch paintings to do with trade or commerce or perhaps with a religious or masonic theme.
 

THE DIAL MAKERS -
 
I can't stress strongly enough - these people are NOT CLOCKMAKERS , they are the people who made the dials which the clockmakers used. The clockmaker's name is usually on the dial, but the dialmaker's name is often stamped on the reverse of the dial or cast into the "falseplate".
 
Where two dialmakers' names are stamped there, it is often when one maker took over the unused stock of another and a very useful guide indeed for dating a dial. For a full understanding, read Brian Loomes' book "Painted Dial Clocks".
 
ABBOTT - PLACE UNKNOWN - clock dials C1810 or 1820
ADAM, JOSEPH - GLASGOW - clock dials 1837
ALLDRIDGE, EDWARD - 37 DEAN ST., BIRMINGHAM 1833-61
ALLDRIDGE, EDWIN - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1833 to 1864
ANDERSON & CO - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1790
ASHWIN & CO - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials c1790 to c1800
ASHWIN & BYRNE - BIRMINGHAM 1792-98
BAKER & SON - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1846
BAKER, RICHARD - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1841 to 1866
BAKER, SAMUEL - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1823 to 1850
BAKER, SAMUEL & SON - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1858
BAKER, THOMAS - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials & clock maker 1839 to 1850
BAKER, WILLIAM I - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1822 to 1831
BAKER, WILLIAM II - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials & clock maker 1854 to 1867
BATKIN, WILLIAM & SON - BIRMINGHAM - printed dials 1803
BEACH, JOSEPH I - BIRMINGHAM - 1849 to 1863
BEACH, JOSEPH II - BIRMINGHAM - 1849 to 1880
BEILBY & HAWTHORNE - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE - clock dials 1796 - c1817
BEILBY HAWTHORNE & WHITTAKER - HALIFAX & NEWCASTLE - clock dials c1800
BELL & MEUDELL - EDINBURGH - clock dials 1832 to 1849
BELL, P. - EDINBURGH - clock dials 1832 to 1852
BENNETT, EDWARD - SHEFFIELD - clock dial maker 1816 to 1833
BENNETT, ELIZABETH - SHEFFIELD - clock dial maker 1822
BLOOD, RICHARD - BIRMINGHAM - dial artist & maker 1813 to c1820
BOUCHER, DANIEL - BIRMINGHAM - clock dial painter 1808 to 1812
BROOKE, THOMAS - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials & clock maker 1812
BROWN, WILLIAM - BIRMINGHAM - dial writer 1851
BURGESS, ? - not known - clock dials c1810
BURGUM, JOHN - BIRMINGHAM - apprenticed to Wright, 1839. free FLETCHER, 1846
BURNET, J. - EDINBURGH - japanner 1898
BYRNE, FRANCIS - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials c1791 to c1810 (see Ashwin & Byrne - Thos Ashwin died 1791)
CAMERON, JOHN & Sons - EDINBURGH - japanner 1898
COATS, ANDREW - GLASGOW - clock dials & japanner 1818 to 1820
COHEN, MORRIS - HULL - clock dials 1849 to 1858
COOPER, WILLIAM - BIRMINGHAM - clock dial painter 1808
COX - TAUNTON - clock dials c1810
CRAIG, PETER - GLASGOW - clock dials 1837
CRAWFORD, MAURICE & CO. - EDINBURGH - japanned ware (but probably not dials) 1773
CROW, EDWARD - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1822 to 1839
CROW, THOMAS - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1841 to 1852
DALLAWAY, WILLIAM - EDINBURGH - clock dials 1775 to 1793 & later
DALLAWAY & SON - EDINBURGH - clock dials c1797 to 1812 (&later?)
DENNISTON, JOHN - HALIFAX - clock dials & painter 1834
DREW, JOHN (later SHEARERS) - GLASGOW - clock dials 1835 to 1868
EGGINTON, THOMAS & JAMES - BIRMINGHAM - dials 1841 to 1842
FELTON, ELI, BIRMINGHAM 1808-1818
FINNEMORE, GEORGE - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1846
FINNEMORE, WILLIAM I - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1812 to 1825
FINNEMORE, WILLIAM II - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1849 to 1852
FINNEMORE, WILLIAM & GEORGE - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1839 to 1846
FINNEMORE, WILLIAM & SON - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1828 to 1836
FLETCHER, JOHN WRIGHT - 1846-?
FOSTER, ? - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials c1810 to c1820
FRANCIS, SARAH - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1835 to 1843
FRANCIS, WILLIAM - BIRMINGHAM - clock & watch dials c1810 to c1840
HALLIWELL, JOHN - WERRINGTON - 1780 to 1822
HANNAHAN, WILLIAM - DUBLIN, working in 1820
HAND, SAMUEL - BIRMINGHAM - clock dial writer 1851
HAROLD & HIPKISS - BIRMINGHAM 1797-1811
HAYES, JOSIAH - SNOWHILL, BIRMINGHAM - 1800 to 1831
HAYES, JOSIAH & SON - BIRMINGHAM - 1835 to 1836
HILL, ROBINA - LIVERPOOL- clock dials 1804 to 1832
HIPKISS & HARROLD - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1797 to 1805
HIPKISS, RICHARD - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1808-20
HITCHENS, SAMUEL - BIRMINGHAM - clock dial worker 1861
HOBSON & HODGKINSON - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials c1815 or later
HOBSON, L - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials c1830
HOBSON & TODD - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials c1800
HOBSON, TODD & HODGKINSON - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1808
HUNT, S. - LIVERPOOL - clock dials early 19c.
JOHNSON, ALEXANDER - EDINBURGH - japanner 1898
JONES & CARTER - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials c1810
JUKES, JOHN - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1839 to 1870
JUKES, JOSIAH - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1839 to 1842
KEAT, EDWARD - LONDON - clock dials c1810 to c1820
KEELING, THOMAS - Birmingham, clock dials 1797 - ca 1825.
KEMPSON & FELTON (ELI) - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1812 to c1815
LAING, JOHN - EDINBURGH - japanner 1848
LANDALE & TODD - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials c1790 to c1830
NICHOLAS, CALED - 1787 to 1843
NICHOLAS, WILLIAM - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials & clock makers 1793 to 1825
OSBORNE & WILSON - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1772 to 1777
OSBORNE, THOMAS HADLEY - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1777 to 1779
OSBORNE, ANN (mother of Thomas) - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1779-1812
OSBORNE, JAMES - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1808 to 1813
OWEN, EDWARD - BIRMINGHAM - clock diakls c1801 to 1822 (died 1822)
OWEN & PRICE - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1800 to 1801
PATERSON, JAMES - PERTH - clock dials, japanner & painter c1820 to d.1850
PEMBERTON & COOK - ? - clock dials c1810
PETERKIN, J. - EDINBURGH - japanner 1824
PETERKIN, MRS - EDINBURGH - japanner 1832
PRICE, W.H. - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials c1790 to c1800
PYKE, T. - BRIDGWATER - clock dials c1820 to c1825
RAINER, JAMES - BIRMINGHAM - dial painter 1841 to 1851
REED, J.N. - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials c1850
RUSSELL & BELL - EDINBURGH - japanner 1824
RUSSELL & CLARK - EDINBURGH - dial makers c1835 to c1840
SAINTSBURY, JOHN - LONDON, factor with own falseplates? 1810-75
SANDELL, ISAAC - BRISTOL - clock dials (period unknown)
SCHWANFELDER, JAMES & JOHN - LEEDS - dial painters (& makers ?) 1810 to 1837
SCOTT & CO - GLASGOW - dial makers 1837
SIMPSON, EDWARD - BIRMINGHAM - japanner 1809
SHEARER, D.L. & CO. - GLASGOW - clock dials 1868 to 1888
SINCLAIR, D. - EDINBURGH - japanner/clock dials c1840
SMITH, RICHARD - BIRMINGHAM - dial maker 1777 to 1785
SMITH, T. & STEVENSON - EDINBURGH - clock dials c1815
SMITH, W.H. - BIRMINGHQAM - clock dial maker c1820 to 1830
STANSBIE, ? - BIRMINGHAM - clock dial maker c1805 to 1810
STEWART, J. - EDINBURGH - japanner 1848
SYMONDS, CHARLES - BIRMINGHAM - dial artist with John Jukes 1851 to 1861
TANDERAGEE, IRELAND, 1824
TOTLEY, ELIZABETH - BIRMINGHAM - clock dial worker 1851
TURNER, I. - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials c1830 to 1840
TYNDALL WRIGHT & CO. - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials c1790 to c1800
WALKER & FINNEMORE - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1808 to 1811
WALKER & HUGHES - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials c1811 to 1835
WALKER, JOHN - EDINBURGH - japanner & clock dials 1824? to 1832
WALKER & WATSON - EDINBURGH - japanner 1824
WASBROUGH, HALE & CO - BRISTOL - clock dials c1830 to c1840
WHITTAKER, SARAH - LEEDS - dial painter 1834 to 1837
WHITTAKER, WILLIAM - HALIFAX - clock dials c1803 to c1815
WHITTAKER & SHREEVE - HALIFAX - clock dials (FROM c1800?) 1815 to c1818
WILKES, B. & CO. - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials (period unknown)
WILKES & BAKER - BIRMINGHAM 1815-1820
WILKES, JOHN 1808-1817
WILKES, JOHN & SON (SAM)- BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1820 to 1831
WILKES, SAM. - 1828-1853
WILSON, JAMES - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1777 - d.1809
WINN(e), ? - BIRMINGHAM - dial makers c1840 to 1850
WOOD, ? - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials c1810 to 1820
WOOD & COOKE - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials c1810 to 1820
WRIGHT, B. & CO. - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials c1805 to 1820
WRIGHT & BETHUNE - EDINBURGH - japanners est.1832 to 1898
WRIGHT, CHRISTOPHER - BIRMINGHAM - clock dials 1835 to 1845 (succeeded by JW FLETCHER)
WRIGHT, J. & W. - EDINBURGH - japanners 1848
 
Please note that these are the clock dial makers, not the clockmakers. The signature on the dial is that of the clockmaker; dialmakers would often stamp their details on the rear of the dial or cast them into the falseplate - an iron rectangle approx 8 ins by 5 ins which connects many dials to their movements.
 
If looking for the CLOCKMAKER'S DETAILS then refer to both volumes of WATCHMAKERS & CLOCKMAKERS OF THE WORLD (revised in 2006), which contain details of over 100,000 watch and clock makers in business before 1900 and their known working dates. It is predominantly about British makers but covers most of the well-known makers from the rest of the world.
 
Those books themselves list some of the many county books which give greater detail of clockmakers for individual counties.
 
Please note, this is for quick reference only and there are one or two "red herrings" in the list, so if you copy it for publication, we will know!
 
LAST REVISED 18th Sept 2012

 

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