Antique Clocks/French Mantel Clock
I have a marble base French clock: Fd Cervais, Paris x# 2314, Vincenti & Cie, 1855.
This clock was purchased by my parents on their wedding in 1954.
It needs a key and pendulum which have disappeared. Any ideas? Also, I'm curious what this clock may be worth for insurance purposes.
Any help would be appreciated.
Gil de Laat
The two vendors I use for clock parts are Merritts (www.merritts.com) and Timesavers (www.timesavers.com). Both of these companies have keys and pendulums of all descriptions. There are a number of pendulum suspensions available. One of the major problems in identifying the pendulum is getting the correct length. It is probably best to get one a bit too long as you can always shorten it if the clock will not run fast enough. You will have to know the dimensions of the winding arbors in order to order the correct key. You will probably want to remove the movement and oil the clock anyway. This is best measured with an electronic caliper such as is sold at Harbor Freight. Or you can use conventional micrometers. I believe the dimensions given in the tables are in millimeters so any inch measurements will have to be converted.
The clock probably need to be lubricated. I have found sewing machine oils to work well. However, if I were you, I would order some clock oil while you are ordering the pendulum and key.
I always have difficulty putting a price on a clock as there are so many different factors to consider. Merritts has reference books which, I believe, include French clocks. So many variables influence the price. Those built in the 19th century will command a price of $150 to $200. Merritts sells older clocks for between $100 and $200 in operating condition.
I checked google and they had some Vincenti clocks on sale for between $2000 and $3000. These were marble based like yours so you can see there is quite a range of prices for clocks built in the mid 1800's. Vincenti appears to have done a lot of custom and one of a kind making of clocks. This, of course, makes them very rare and causes them to command top dollar. I would insure it somewhere in the $2000/$3000 range. You might also check with your insurance agent to see what his opinion is.