Clocks, Watches/Grandfather Clock

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Clock
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Markings
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My mother recently pasted away in Oct. of last year and I have been trying to sort out some of her antiques. My parents were antique collectors as far back as I can remember. I have a Oak Grandfather Clock that I cannot seem to find any information on. I am sending a picture of the clock  and also the baseplate behind the working parts of the top of the clock. I could only find a black plate that had the letters A K in a circle. The clock seems in good condition and would appreciate any information you have on it ......thank you!

Answer
Dianne, your German tall case clock was a very popular clock manufactured somewhere around 1915 through 1935.  I have referred to it as being made during a cultural "austere" era, as these clocks had very little ornamentation.  They are generally known as from the Art Deco period.  All the movements in these clocks are rather similar and almost all have the 12" round brass dial with Arabic numerals.  I had forgotten the logo reference that is shown on the chime rod block in the second photo, so I checked with my Internet Clocksmiths members and was reminded that the AJK was the logo of the AJ Kieninger Company.  Kieninger, now owned by Howard Miller of Zeeland, Michigan, is the oldest clock movement company still in business.

The photo shows the chime block as being JAK.  So the chime assembly is Kieninger. It has 4 (possibly 5, but I think 4) chime rod holes, but there is only one chime rod installed.  I would suggest that some time you have an additional tuned chime rod installed for better sound.  These clocks had a unusually deep and beautiful sound.  The movement has 2 hammers, which would be either a single strike (with both hammers striking simultaneously) for each hour, or a Bim-Bam strike which would give a bim, bam sound for each hour (each hammer striking individually).  The companies that made these clocks seemed to possibly have a standard between them, as I have seen quite a few that have movements that were not original to the case and appeared to have the original seat board on which the movement sits.  Therefore, a movement build for one clock could be slipped into another case.

So, here is what I can tell from your photos.

1.  The chime block looks original to the case.  At first I thought that there were only two screws holding it, but after closer examination, I think there are four.  If there are no more holes in the case other than the ones that match the chime block, it is safe to say that it is original to the case.

2.  Now for the movement.  Two hammers are shown.  If there are only two original to the movement, there would be a two rod chime block installed.  If the movement originally had four hammers and two hammers are not shown or if two had been cut off (unfortunately, I have seen this happen), there would be four rods installed.  If there were only two hammers originally, then the movement probably came from another case.  There are only two weights so the clock would be a striking movement only, and not a chime and strike type.

3.  A case with four chime rods could be a strike only, having four hammers striking at the same time.  That type of clock would have two weights, one to power the time and one for the strike.  Or it could be a chime and strike movement, using four hammers to play the chime tune and striking out the hour, using the same four rods.  These clocks would have three weights, one weight for the time, one for the chime and one for the strike.

You have a nice clock there.  When the components of clocks are swapped around, we call that a "marriage" of different clock components.  Generally, this will devalue the clock somewhat, depending on how varied or different the parts are.  However, in your case, if they are different parts, I don't see too much of a devaluation of your clock.  As described in my Allexperts personal bio, I do not give out valuations or appraisals over the Internet, but if you want to contact me at my shop email address below, I can get a little more information from you and give you some sources for determining a general value of your clock.

John Newman
THE VILLAGE CLOCKSMITH
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

klokdok@juno.com

Note concerning questions not related to Allexperts:  Because of my commitment to answering Allexperts questions within a prescribed time limit and the large backlog of clock work at my shop, I regret that I cannot answer personal email questions on a timely basis, other than Allexperts follow up questions.  I will try to answer these emails as soon as I can. Thank you for your patience.  

Clocks, Watches

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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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