17” x 9” x 5"
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Dark mahogany cabinet, spring driven, eight day time and hour/half hour cathedral gong, tambour type mantel clock, “tambour # 12” model, S.T. 89 movement, made and sold by Seth Thomas, Thomaston, Connecticut, USA, Circa 1922. [Tran Duy Ly’s book “Seth Thomas Clocks and Movements, Third Edition, Volume 3” shows this clock is called “Tambour 12”, 1922 version.]
Case: Measuring 17” x 9” x5” this is a solid mahogany cabinet clock made in the Tambour manner, ‘tambour 12-1922’ model. Others refer to this shape clock as a Napoleon Hat mantel clock. The smooth dome-shaped top extends laterally into a gradual concave slope down to the ends of the handsome case, and from there it is only a single step down to the narrow horizontally aligned base moulding resting on suppressed ball feet. There are no adornments on the façade of the case, while the back reveals a hinged arched wooden door which appears to be painted black and therefor lacks the usual instruction sheet that is usually attached to the inside of the door or the back of the case.
Dial: A glazed brass bezel opens to this round silvered brass dial with enameled black upright
Arabic hour chapter ring, open dotted minute ring with Cubist markers placed every five minutes with Arabic minute markers placed every quarter hour, Continental type steel spade hands, spring winding apertures @ 21 and 30 minute markers. The dial has a Brocot aperture for making the movement faster and slower below the center canon pipe holding the hands. The dial is marked, ‘Seth Thomas’ in the upper dial center and ‘Made in the USA’ at the base of the dial.
Movement: This is a fenestrated rectangular brass plate movement with elongated feet at the base. The front and back plates are connected by tubular pillars and screwed together with nuts and screws at the front plate. The escape wheel and anchor recoil escapement are located between the front and back plates. The S.T. logo in a diamond shaped figure within a circle is located in the upper left hand corner of the front plate. The left foot extension of the front plate carries the number 89 although I can only see the eight. The pendulum rod is suspended from the pendulum spring suspension at the top of the front plate, and passes through the brass crutch extending down from the anchor (part of the escapement) and is steel with a round bob at the bottom (not shown). Two coiled steel springs power the clock for a duration of approximately eight days and cause striking on a coiled metal cathedral gong which extends outward from the base of the gong which sits on a metal pole screwed into the baseboard of the cabinet. The heavy wire gong (often called Cathedral gong) gives a very rich tone. Condition: Case – The mahogany case is in very good condition with the exception of some scratches and scuffs on the back door. Dial – Fair to good condition with extensive key scratching around the winding arbors. The scratch marks reach up to the beginning of the upper half of the dial. Movement – In very nice complete condition. Appears clean and perhaps in running condition. Overall in good condition.
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/120866721_mahogany-seth-thomas-tambour-mantle-clock (This example sold in 2022 for $30)
History (EARLY-1930): Seth Thomas (1785-1859) began life as a "joiner" of cases for Eli Terry in Plymouth Hollow, Ct., and helped to develop the mass produced shelf clock made from interchangeable parts. He was not an innovator, rather he was a diligent worker who copied other clockmaker's models, and did so very well. He began making wooden works clocks by about 1816 and switched to brass movements about 1845, later than most of his colleagues in the industry. All were weight driven until 1850, and then spring driven clocks were used primarily. Thomas organized the Seth Thomas Clock Company in 1853, and employed roughly 900 workers. After his death in 1859 the Seth Thomas Company continued on under the direction of his two sons. In 1865 the town of Plymouth, where Seth Thomas had labored for almost half a century, was renamed Thomaston in his honor. The company flourished and developed all sorts of new clocks. Seth Thomas Clock Co. Plymouth Hollow from 1853-1865=== Seth Thomas Clock Co. Thomaston, Ct. from 1866-1930 === Seth Thomas was absorbed by General Time Instrument Co. 1930.
A very nice example of this 1922 example, not often seen as some of the other models and not listed in all the clock books and catalogs. It remains in good condition and should have a fair market value in the $40-$60 range. A fine example of an old clock of classic design that should be reliable for many years.
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