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Unfortunately I did not think to do a before picture, but will describe clock before restoration.
I bought the clock through eBay. When it arrived, the insides of the case were painted off-white. You can still see some of the remnants of the paint on the label. The internal columns and splat were painted gold and the left hand side of the splat was missing. The missing part of the splat had been replaced with a piece of plywood that had been carved and painted gold to try and match the rest of the splat. The gilted internal columns were also painted gold and were in fair condition with gesso missing and shrinkage cracks running the length of the columns. The dial was poorly hand painted and the brass movement housing was also painted gold. The movement needed cleaned and the lower glass tablet was clear and needed to be replaced. The side movement mirrors were also missing.
I disassembled the case and removed the majority of the gold and off-white paint. The small wooden box that surrounds the movement area was removed and along with the backboard behind the movement was returned to the more appropriate blue color you see now. When I removed the splat and columns I was able to find an area that was not painted off-white and still had its original blue paint and was able to color match what was the original color. I used water color to do this. Someday I hope to remove more of the paint from the label but only about 40% of label remains and I fear trying to remove any additional paint would destroy what is left.
The splat and columns were sent to Nancy Thorn of Gold Leaf Restorations in Portland Oregon to restore. They were able re-form the missing portion of the splat using a plaster type material and gesso which matched the original process. The splat and columns were then water gilded and burnished to match their original design. The columns were turned and burnished to reproduce the stripe banding you see in the image.
The dial was sent to Ms. Martha Smallwood to repaint and she did an outstanding job. The lower tablet was produced by Lee Davis and is a reverse painted lithograph image of the early Capitol Building which is probably period appropriate for this clock.
I cleaned, buffed and lacquered the brass movement housing. The side movement mirrors were replaced and the movement was rebuild by Al Dodson(a Joseph Ives type with a cast iron movement mount - very unusual). A couple small veneer repairs were done to the case corners. The only thing left to do is find an appropriate gong and base. It is a little larger than the ones you find in smaller shelf clocks and should have a brass gong base cover.
Everything was then reassembled and I am happy with the finished project. It is not a perfect restoration, but I believe it was a worthwhile project and a clock deserving of restoration.
A remarkable "up from the ashes" restoration. You did a beautiful job on it.
Thanks for sharing the result!
IHC Member 313
Nice job. If it wasn't for members like yourself most would be in the scrapheap by now. Thankyou
Great job Derek! As Doug mentioned, your efforts are important in preserving historical items that would otherwise be lost.
And the satisfaction level must be pretty good also, seeing that one looking as good as it does.
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