Clocks, Watches/Ansonia Clock - NY

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Question
QUESTION: Hello Mr. John Newman

I recently acquired a beautiful Ansonia mantel clock. It  kept time perfectly, but would strike fthe hour and half hour correctly but five minutes late. I read your reply to another inquiry and it was so clear I was able to correct it exactly.

Now I am not able to keep it ticking  for more than thirty seconds at a time. Any suggestions?

Sharon

ANSWER: Sharon, there were many models and types of Ansonia clocks manufactured over the years, and the company history had them located in three different areas, New York, Russia and Washington State.  If you can give me a description of the clock I can probably help you better.  One indicator is the number of winding holes in the face of the clock.  Are there two or three?  Let me know and I will get back with you.


John Newman
THE VILLAGE CLOCKSMITH
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: This one was made in NY and has three winding holes, one bottom left for chimes, one bottom right for time and one at the top (on the12) smaller than the other two, for Fast/Slow. There is a name La Mini or La Mimi visible in raised porcelain on the back lower. Maybe that is the model name. And a stamp Royal, Bonn, Germany.

Hope this helps.

Sharon

Answer
Sharon, I have seen and worked on these Royal Bonn Ansonia porcelain clocks and they are beautiful. Just for a point of reference, Your clock has two winding holes, the one on the right is for the time and the one on the left is for the strike.  The small one at the top is for regulating the clock for fast or slow.  Your key should be a double ended key, the larger end for the winding of the mainsprings and the smaller one for regulating the time.  One of the problems with these types of clocks is the way the movements are mounted.  The movement is mounted in a round hole.  It is held with two straps attached to the rear cover.  If a little loose, the movement will slightly rotate in the case when winding. This affects the level of the movement in relation to the pendulum swinging and it will go "out of beat".  To be "in beat" it should go, tick....tock....tick....tock.  When it gets out of beat it will go, tick..tock.....tick..tock.  These types of clocks are rather sensitive and the beat has to be right on.  One way of correcting this, as with other clocks, is to raise and shim up one side of the clock until it is back in beat.  Of course you can rotate the movement back and tighten the straps a little more, but I am reluctant to advise a customer to do this, as the porcelain clocks are rather delicate.  

As far as the alignment of the strike on the hour, this type of clock (turn of the century, 1900) does not have a minute hand bushing that can be adjusted.  Therefore, a trip mechanism inside the movement has to be adjusted.  This usually requires the movement to be dismantled to make this adjustment.  I have seen many clocks from this era with broken minute hands because someone tried to form the hands to match the hour.  The only advice I have would be to have an experienced clockmaker look at it.  Sorry I could not help you more, but if you have any more questions or if I can help you find a clockmaker in your area, I do have a list of our Internet Clocksmiths Group and other clockmakers I have run across.



John Newman
THE VILLAGE CLOCKSMITH
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

klokdok@juno.com

Due to the number of Allexperts questions and
the workload I have at my clock shop, I regret
that I cannot answer personal email questions
on a timely basis other than Allexperts follow ups.


Just one further note, I received what looked like a duplicate of your previous answer.  It could be that you hit the send button twice.  I did reject it, as I have a limited number of questions allowed on Allexperts per day and this will free up the Allexperts question queue.  If you do have any further question, feel free to contact me at my shop email address after my signature above.  Thanks, John  

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John Newman

Expertise

As much as I would like to offer values of clocks, I am not a certified appraiser and will not venture into giving an unresearched guess. There is very little published information on what I consider to be the value of "modern production clocks". Considerations are what the clock originally sold for, the condition of the case and movement, and particularly the area in which you live, the demand and the economy. ALSO, WATCHES ARE NOT MY FIELD. However, I can advise the clock owner on proper maintenance of a clock to keep it running, small corrections and adjustments and how to move a clock without damaging it. I can also advise on obtaining parts for clocks. It helps if you can send any information on the clock movement which is usually found on the back plate of the movement. I have been a clockmaker for about 35 years and was plant engineer in the mid 90's and later operations and engineering consultant at Emperor Clock Company in Fairhope, Alabama. I now have my own clock shop.

Experience

One of my greatest accomplishments was traveling to China to assist a clock factory in building clocks to the standards which we required. With the proper specifications and quality control, some beautiful clock cases were built. The factory people from the wood carvers to the plant manager were very congenial, friendly and I left a lot of wonderful friends when I returned from my trips.

Organizations
NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors) 30 years Prattville, Alabama Chamber of Commerce

Publications
Horological Times, a publication of the American Watch and Clockmakers Instute. Collaberated column author, with Photos and ideas for clock movement conversion article.

Education/Credentials
Associate of Science Mechanical Engineering Technology Emperor Introductory Clock Repair (Eventually taught a portion of the class after becoming employee)

Awards and Honors
Small Business of the Quarter (Prattville, Alabama) Leadership Class of 2009 (Autauga County, Alabama)

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