English Astronomical Longcase Clock C 1780
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  1. #1
    Member T5aus's Avatar
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    English Astronomical Longcase Clock C 1780

    I thought this might interest a few clock people. I picked it up at auction here in Brisbane a few months ago, quite a find, just finished getting it working again. It has a complicated moon feature and the curved slides in the top arch to the right and left I think give the daily sun rise and set times. The whole of the back blue area is the night sky on a big disc which does a daily rotation. Set within that disk is the smaller moon disk which also rotates independently, giving the daily changes in the moon phases. Below in the main dial can be seen a brass date hand as well as the hour and minute hands. The two smaller central dials are interesting too. The bottom one indicates the months and the top one indicates when the sun is "faster" and when it is "slower" and includes a load of odd numbers which I believe indicate the equation of time and described here from wikipedia " The equation of time was used historically to set clocks. Between the invention of accurate clocks in 1656 and the advent of commercial time distribution services around 1900, one of two common land-based ways to set clocks was by observing the passage of the sun across the local meridian at noon. The moment the sun passed overhead, the clock was set to noon, offset by the number of minutes given by the equation of time for that date. (The second method did not use the equation of time; instead, it used stellar observations to give sidereal time, in combination with the relation between sidereal time and solar time.) The equation of time values for each day of the year, compiled by astronomical observatories, were widely listed in almanacs and ephemerides" This has certainly had us all in the clock collecting fraternity here scratching our heads, any Astronomer types or otherwise out there care to comment
    Thanks
    Phil
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  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: English Astronomical Longcase Clock C 1780

    Wow. This is a gem of a post! Thanks!!!

    I have never really tried to figure out the Equation of Time. This is the first reference that makes me curious. I'll see if some of the more scientifically oriented folks are interested.

    As to the clock... an interesting piece of work. Much like wristwatches, the market seems to value the casing. Here is is in excellent shape - complete as far as I can see. But the mechanism is a thing of beauty and a joy forever, even if it lacks twirly things like wristwatches.

    How did you date it? Aside from cleaning and oiling, were there any challenges in getting it working again?

    Many thanks for posting!
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  3. #3
    Member T5aus's Avatar
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    Re: English Astronomical Longcase Clock C 1780

    Hi Eeeb, thanks for your interest. A clock repairer friend of mine serviced it and said it was in very good condition, just needed a clean, new gut lines and a wee drop of oil. The moon phase seems to rotate correctly and the slides seem to function too. The equation hand also moves as does the calendar hand but it's early days yet and I am doing photo's of it over a period of months just to see at what pace they all move. I notice the calendar hand does miss on a couple of dates, ie gets stuck which could be just a worn pin or tooth. I dated it from case and dial style as well as getting his working dates from the Baillies reference book
    Cheers Phil

  4. #4
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: English Astronomical Longcase Clock C 1780

    The crew in HAQ is discussing this general topic in this thread on Astronomy Clocks...
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  5. #5
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    Re: English Astronomical Longcase Clock C 1780

    Congrats nice Longcase clock.There's a vintage clock shop in town and he has a few older longcase clocks made about the time yours was all ways good to look at.I would of bought one but I have no room in the house for it.
    T5aus likes this.

  6. #6
    Member T5aus's Avatar
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    Re: English Astronomical Longcase Clock C 1780

    Just letting everyone know, I have sadly decided to move this magical piece of horological history along, just not a good place for it to be on a surf beach in Queensland. I am not sure if I am able to say where it's listed so in covert speak, it's on the bay. (please delete mods if I am out of line)

  7. #7
    Member compressornew's Avatar
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    Re: English Astronomical Longcase Clock C 1780

    Quote Originally Posted by T5aus View Post
    I thought this might interest a few clock people. I picked it up at auction here in Brisbane a few months ago, quite a find, just finished getting it working again. It has a complicated moon feature and the curved slides in the top arch to the right and left I think give the daily sun rise and set times. The whole of the back blue area is the night sky on a big disc which does a daily rotation. Set within that disk is the smaller moon disk which also rotates independently, giving the daily changes in the moon phases. Below in the main dial can be seen a brass date hand as well as the hour and minute hands. The two smaller central dials are interesting too. The bottom one indicates the months and the top one indicates when the sun is "faster" and when it is "slower" and includes a load of odd numbers which I believe indicate the equation of time and described here from wikipedia " The equation of time was used historically to set clocks. Between the invention of accurate clocks in 1656 and the advent of commercial time distribution services around 1900, one of two common land-based ways to set clocks was by observing the passage of the sun across the local meridian at noon. The moment the sun passed overhead, the clock was set to noon, offset by the number of minutes given by the equation of time for that date. (The second method did not use the equation of time; instead, it used stellar observations to give sidereal time, in combination with the relation between sidereal time and solar time.) The equation of time values for each day of the year, compiled by astronomical observatories, were widely listed in almanacs and ephemerides" This has certainly had us all in the clock collecting fraternity here scratching our heads, any Astronomer types or otherwise out there care to comment
    Thanks
    Phil
    I like this watch.Thanks for sharing rare moments with us.

  8. #8
    Member T5aus's Avatar
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    Re: English Astronomical Longcase Clock C 1780

    Wow, 2 years later and I only just spotted your comment, thanks and sorry to take so long in replying

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