The clock is heavy. Dimensions Are height 10 inches with a length of 13 inches and debt of 6 inches
The owner inherited the Clark’s from his deceased aunt who lived in South Carolina. Explain that she was a philanthropist and she spent a lot of time in New York and traveled the world seeking out clocks to add to her antique clocks Collection.
Thank you for sending in your mantel clock to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall try to help you with that today. Special thanks for sending so many high-resolution photos, including the movement, which as you realize is essential for pinpointing ‘the who, where and when’ for this clock.
Victorian Black enameled iron case with incised decoration, two train, spring driven, eight-day time and striking, mantel clock, PALERMO model, made by the Ansonia Clock Company (inspired by similar French black marble cases), New York, made circa 1890s (First year pictured in the Ansonia catalog was 1886).
Case: 15.25inch x 10.25inch enameled black iron mantel clock case with a flat pediment above a square ebonized façade centering the glazed beaded brass bezel and the façade featuring Fleur de Lys in the lower corners with a square gilt incised border enclosing the dial. The dial is flanked to either side by recessed incised pilasters. The gilt incisions are in the form of a star-burst surrounded by a larger diamond-shaped gilt incision. Each side has a concave molding below which leads down to the ogival shaped molding of the broad base with foliate ornamentation and resting on short straight marble bracket feet with apron between the front feet. A round black painted brass door opens to the movement compartment.
Dial: Repousse gilt metal dial with black enameled Arabic hours in circular cartouche form, open minute track to the outside. The dial center has a pink gilt rosette, steel French “Simple Roman” hands and a Brocot aperture above the twelve for altering the speed of the movement. The dial is unsigned.
Movement: A skeletonized brass plate movement with tubular pillars connecting the front and rear plates and secured with screws and nuts. The rear plate is signed Ansonia Clock Company, New York, USA, movement patented June 1882. There is an anchor recoil escapement, butterfly wheel for slowing the striking element and two coiled steel springs which powers the clock for eight days and strikes on a coiled steel gong on the hour and half hour.
Case – Fair with loss of some of the enameling on the base façade and loss of modest amounts of gilt incised decoration.
Dial – Very good to excellent
Movement – The original, genuine and hopefully functioning Ansonia made movement.
This Palermo model was first made in 1886 with a visible escapement on the outside oof the dial. The incised decoration on the sides of the case were large diamond shaped starburst enclosures, but the diamond was intermittently dotted and linear. By the year 1904 a second model of the Palermo was noted in the Ansonia catalog which featured gilt lion head pulls on both sides of the case and the diamond ornament enclosing the starburst was fully linear with no beading or dots. So, your example is likely from the 1890s after the visible escapement disappears on this model.
ANSONIA CLOCK COMPANY HISTORY:
The Ansonia Clock Company’s roots lie in the Ansonia Brass Company, founded by Anson Greene Phelps in 1844. Phelps supplied brass to Connecticut clock manufacturers until 1851, when he joined forces with two powerful clockmakers, Theodore Terry and Franklin C. Andrews, to create a clockmaking company of his own. Terry and Andrews, who had a successful clockmaking business in Bristol, sold half of their business to Phelps in exchange for cheaper brass materials. Thus, the Ansonia Clock Company subsidiary was born.
Many Ansonia clocks are eight-day movements, meaning that they only need to be rewound every eight days. However, in 1875, the company developed a 30-hour, spring-driven illuminated alarm clock with a walnut veneer case. The alarm triggered a match to ignite a wick, which illuminated the clock. Ansonia’s extensive line of clocks included mantel clocks with elaborately painted china cases, beehive shelf clocks, miniature ogee shelf clocks with alarms, shelf clocks with glass domes surrounding the clock’s head, and regulator clocks like the 1886 "General" model, a brass 8-day, weight-driven clock with a cherry case and a dial that counted the seconds. Ansonia was also well-known for its novelty items, such as swinging clocks that featured sculpted figurines. In July 1853, Ansonia showcased its cast-iron clocks, painted and decorated with mother-of-pearl, at the New York World’s Fair. It was one of three Connecticut clockmaking companies to exhibit at the Fair. In the 1870s, the Ansonia Clock Company separated from the Ansonia Brass Company and moved part of its production to New York. Although the company continued to produce clocks in Connecticut, the New York factory, with clockmaker Henry J. Davies at the helm, employed more than twice as many workers—the majority of clocks produced from approximately 1880 on are marked "New York. “The Ansonia Clock Company experienced disaster in 1880 when its New York factory caught fire, causing $750,000 in damages. However, the factory was rebuilt at the same location and reopened the following year. In 1883, the Connecticut factory closed, and by the late 1880s, Ansonia had opened sales offices in New York, London, and Chicago. Production peaked 1914, when Ansonia was turning out 440 different models of clocks, but by 1920, that number had dropped to less than 140, and by 1927, it was under 50. In 1929, Ansonia was sold to Amtorg Trading Corporation, the Soviet Union’s U.S. trading company, but in 1969, the rights to the Ansonia name and trademarks were acquired by Ansonia Clock Co., Inc. of Lynnwood, Washington.
About a quarter century ago the two Palermo models in excellent original condition would sell at auction for a fair market price between $300-$350. Clock prices have crashed since that time and the overall value has dropped by about two-thirds or 66%+/-. Therefore, the fair market value today for an excellent example would range from 100-$125, and that would be on a very good day. With the case issues it has and this being an iron enameled case and not a marble one it might really be as low as $75-$90.
Retail is about twice that. Seeing these superb photos really makes my job a good deal easier in that I do not have to guess.
Thank you for choosing Mearto.com for this appraisal. I hope it has provided you with a better understanding of this clock.