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Hello- we purchased a grandfather clock for $100 at an auction several years ago and would like to figure out its age. Once we got it home we discovered that the numbers look to be plastic which makes us think it probably isn't very old- maybe made in the 70's??  It's a nice looking clock and does appear to be solid wood except for the back.  The finish on the wood reminds me of a lot of the "Early American" style furniture that was popular in the 70's.  Do you have any info that could help us figure out its approximate age?  The sticker on the inside of the bottom door is printed in red ink on white paper and reads King Arthur Clock Company, 107 South Section Street, Post Office Drawer KA, Fairhope, Alabama36532.

Answer
Dawn, I am putting my status on "Vacation" for a couple of days.  I don't know what happened, but I send an answer and the status shows as still pending.  So, my answer is that, if I remember correctly, King Arthur started around the 1970's and went out of business in the 90's.  On the back of the movement (if it was manufactured for King Arthur by Hermle) there should be a bit of information on the lower right hand corner if you look from the back.  The first line would be 2 numbers like "82", which would mean it was manufactured in 1982.  They changed the coding in 1988 to alpha characters, so if it is an "A", it would have been manufactured in 1988, "B" would be 1989, etc.  If I find anything else about the history when I get back to my shop on Wednesday, I will get back with you.

John Newman
The Village Clocksmith
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

klokdok@juno.com

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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