Colonial of Zeeland 5 chime grandfather clock with a rotating sun (day) and moon (night) feature. Chimes every 15 minutes. 75 inches tall, 18 inches wide. The face is 11 x 11 inches. Needs repair to the pendulum attachment. Cabinet in very good condition.
Thank you for sending in this Colonial five tube grandfather clock to mearto.com for an appraisal.
Hardwood (possibly cherrywood or mahogany) with burl walnut highlights, five tubular chimes, three pull-up link chain weights, eight day time, strike and quarterly chiming Hall clock, Model unidentified, Serial number 7705478, with imported German movement, made and sold by the colonial Manufacturing Company, Zeeland, Michigan, circa 1977.
Case: 75 inches tall, 18 inches wide, this is a hardwood Hall clock in what appears to be a cherrywood case with a concave moulded broken arch or swan-neck pediment centering a wooden plinth with a brass eagle finial (replacement). The arch terminals have applied wooden pinwheels. The tympanum has a shaped panel of burl type wood, likely burl walnut applied and following the general shape of the tympanum. An arched cornice at the base of the tympanum is above the arched glazed dial door. The door is divided into two parts: the smaller arched upper glass overlies the dial while the larger section of rectilinear beveled glass allows one to view the chiming tubes, the descent of the three brass canister weights and the arc of the pendulum as it swings inside the case. The three quarter length door is flanked by half reeded columns to either side (these are reeded and not fluted). The columns have wooden capitals and bases and ends at the base of the door. Below is the base section with a horizontally aligned burl walnut panel with concave cut corners and the base panel is flanked by vertically placed burl panels with concave cut corners. The case rests on stepped block wooden feet. The sides of the hood have carved wooden open fretwork in a gothic style back by cloth in order to allow the chimes to be better heard within the room. The trunk section of the case sides are glazed panels. Inside the door is a brass colored label (colonial first applied these labels in the early 1960s) which has the company name and the serial number 7705478, indicating that the clock was made in the year 1977 (the first two digits).
Dial: This is a brass alloy arched dial, 11” in diameter, with a brass Arabic hour chapter in circular cartouche form with closed bar minute track to the outside and cubist markers placed at every five minute marker. (Note the four Phillips head screws holding the dial in lace. Such screws were first created in 1932, indicating this is a clock made after that date.) The dial center and the four corner spandrels are decorated with repousse floral and foliate designs and there are steel machine stamped Chippendale style hands. The lunette contains a rotating moon dial with the moon painted in shade of grey (post 1960), a lunar month is marked above the moon dial (a lunar month is 29 ½ days long), and there are two stylized hemisphere maps below with the name, Colonial, between them.
Movement: Not shown but this would be an imported German made movement, possibly made by Jauch or Urgos or Kieninger Clock Companies for use by Colonial. The movement would be a rectangular shaped solid brass plate movement with the front and rear plates connected by steel tubular pillars and screwed together with nuts and screws to secure the gearing between the plates. There would be and anchor escapement, fly wheel rack and snail striking and three sprocket gears to take up the link chain from each of the three brass canister weights. The weights drive the clock movement for eight days, quarterly chiming on a set of five silvered brass tubular bell chimes and full striking and chiming on the hour. The most likely tune would be Westminster chimes although some of these clocks offered a selection of Westminster, Whittington and St. Michael’s chimes. The levers for controlling the chimes and the chime/silent feature are not on the dial but located along the side of the case and is not seen in these photos. The pendulum rod hangs from a spring suspension on the back plate of the movement. Some of these round brass bobs had gridiron pendulum rods and also brass lyre shaped ornaments added to the rod just above the bob.
Case: remains in very nice condition with no major breakage and the glass panels are intact. Replaced finial which should be made of wood.
Dial: The dial remains in very fine condition with no problems.
Movement: Original to this case and genuine but is not currently functional. The pendulum attachment needs to be properly repaired following which the movement should become functional.
HISTORY OF THE COLONIAL MANUFACTURING COMPANY:
The Colonial Manufacturing Company was founded in 1899 by John Spyker. In 1906, the original company went bankrupt, and was reorganized by five Zeeland, Michigan businessmen. To my knowledge the complete history of the company has never been published, so the following information has been gathered from a number of sources and pieced together. The Colonial Company from its inception, manufactured furniture, first in a small shop in Zeeland and then in two large factories, one in Zeeland and another in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They remained in operation until 1985. Initially, they used American made clock movements, primarily made by the Herschede Clock Company of Cincinnati, Ohio. Their early products are large Hall clocks with three brass weights, beveled glass doors and imported English tubular chimes, made with five, seven, nine and 12 tubular chimes. The desire for the Hall clocks waned and ended prior to WWl. Thereafter, the grandfather type clocks (generally called Hall clocks) usually had brass dials, brass weights and metal rod chimes where hammers struck on a series of rods placed behind the movement. Following this they began to produce clocks driven by coiled springs rather than weights, also striking on rods called "Bim-Bam" chimes. After circa 1920 they began to import their movements from Europe (mainly Germany) where they were able to buy quality movements at a fraction of the cost of the American product. Most movements were purchased from Germany, although they also used English products which were a bit more expensive. After 1967 the serial numbers would indicate the date of manufacture because the first two digits indicated the year. Those clocks made prior to 1967 are more difficult to pin down in terms of date of production. By the late 1970's there were close to 200 employees producing 30,000 grandfather (Hall) clocks annually for sale in the USA and Canada. Their dials were a combination of production from their own factory, as well as European imports. All movements were then imported from Germany, while all the cases were made by Colonial.
~https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/68830498_grandfather-clock (sold for $175 in 2019)
~https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/78490059_colonial-mahogany-5-tubular-grandfather-clock (Failed to reach minimum of $400 in 2019)
~https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/72626774_colonial-mahogany-5-tubular-grandfather-clock (sold for $200 in 2019)
~https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/68910688_colonial-manufacturing-co-tall-case-clock (sold for $200 in 2019)
~https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/colonial-mfg-co-5-tube-tall-case-clock-yGFr4tE6a (A Colonial five tube example from the 1920s sold for $650 in 2017)
Looking at comparables of these third quarter of the 20th century five tube Hall clocks over these past few years indicate that the weight driven examples like yours, sell a bit higher than those that are spring driven. On the other hand the Colonial name is one of the best of the companies in that era. The overall condition of yours is very good condition and that leads me to believe that the fair market value for your example in today’s very weakened clock market would range from $200-$250 with a retail value of about twice that. Understand that such clocks were made in the USA, England and Germany in the tens of thousands, and as small homes have become more popular the demand for such clocks has literally fallen off a cliff.
I hope that has provided some help to you in placing this clock in its proper time and place.
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