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JimmyD

The Brasso Scourge

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A  few weeks ago this clock arrived at the clock shop, they had been cleaning it with Brasso, a no-no on gilt clocks.  The fly had a pin broken off, and a few bushes were needed, these French clocks pinions  are rock hard, well diamond hard, so I fitted a brass bush like collar that fixed it up without trying to drill the dam thing.  Anyway back to the Brasso thing, as you see it was a mess and a lot of the gilt was rubbed away, not a bother on a normal French clock that is not worth much, however I could see this was a goody so I did some research on' Valliant a Paris' and this guy was a master clockmaker between 1750's and 1810's. I found a few of his clocks and they sell for big money from 16,000 euro up. When the customer came to pick it up the front desk  gave them a note I had done and they had no idea about who or what it was and then asked him how they should clean it, he came and asked me and I said, tell them "by bringing it back in about 5 years time for a service". Now the clock itself has a flaw, have a look and see if you can pick it.

frenchsilk4.jpg.d4a9b1671309fae740edc22850d02985.jpgfrenchsilk3.jpg.ec7bec5660d7e5a15a7ee1272efd1a03.jpgfrenchsilk1.jpg.098a3d46872c626f2cb68e5f9a4a911a.jpgfrenchsilk6.jpg.cb84cc85488b568216e7ac92ad00b8a7.jpgfrenchsilk11.jpg.bc74e83bdf970cb5b3726336169d8171.jpgfrenchsilk13.jpg.ebab25ceb437cd4afab3ec10b21ee7ba.jpgFlypin1.jpg.4a53710d710b4e7b7e460fe3b38fb2bb.jpg

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I have to agree with the previous speakers it seems this piece have met the floor at some stage and been fixed by a Quick and Dirty method. the left side is all of center with the right from top to toe only the stand is uniform.

Just out of curiousity, how common was it to solder the dial on like that, i understand by the looks of the work it wasn't a very good repair but still was it common practice?

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I was going to say the soldering on the back of the dial looks like something I would of done when I was 13 with my dads electrical soldering iron, and the dial does not look square with the base, but they have both been commented on.

The pendulum rod looks ultra fine too, which I'm guessing is correct,but what diameter rod is used?

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The movement has a silk suspension the pendulum rods are normally thin; it is the square brass block towards the top of the rod that fits into the crutch. Look at photo 3.

This is just showing what is wrong. Someone mentioned the solder, you are correct it is a bad repair.    

frenchsilk3.jpg.ec7bec5660d7e5a15a7ee1272efd1a03.jpg

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    brasso no - no;   i used it for years without knowing is contained abrasive in the formula !  "good for brass buttons, not for clocks".     vin

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Yip the key holes are off and the solder is crap, however when I took it apart there are no extra holes and the chapter ring (what I thought may have been altered) it also did not show any other pins than the one's present? There is also no other holes in the movement other than the mounting holes that it fits onto. The only 2 holes that did not have any use was the 2 that the backing plate bracket that fits the body to the case, however the bracket has the corresponding holes in it and when I looked closer one had the threads had been stripped, therefore someone made 2 new holes on the bracket. I was looking for a reason why the key holes are not right as this was made by a master clockmaker and did not think there is any way that he messed it up, however given the evidence of no other holes I am at a loss to find any other conclusion other than the best marriage I have ever seen. Below is a photo of the back of the movement, it does show the left winding arbour is higher than the right when looking at it from the back, thus the right is higher than the left from the front. You can just see the pinnion hole for the hands shaft which shows the distance is different.

Any other suggestions as it has got me stumped

  frenchsilk15.thumb.jpg.0e6d8bbdbe41985061d63e9db038724f.jpg 

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I have put this photo on a grid in paint, the left winding arbour is an 8th of an inch shorter from the hands shaft than the right arbour is, also an 8th of an inch higher than the right arbour or one is 2 1/2 inches and the other 2 5/8ths from the hands shaft. Maybe someone with more skill than me in using these programs can check this.

Edited by JimmyD
spelling

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It seem's it's not unusual for this maker for the key holes to be out of alignment with one another, it must be to do with the basic geometry of the movements, a good deal of the ones on the web exhibit similar characteristic some to a more alarming degree than this clock.

Edited by wls1971

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It has 'Vaillant a Paria' on the chapter ring I did a search in Goggle and he made high end clocks, one sold for 600,000 at auction and a few others 20,000+ he is also listed in Loomes book. That is why I do not understand the error in the movement. I looked at some of his movements on other clocks and they look the same, however most key holes are in the right place. I think I will contact a high end seller that has one of his clocks for sale to ask if this was one of his, hope I get a reply.

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1 hour ago, JimmyD said:

most key holes are in the right place

Most would suggest that like the clock you serviced not all are so can this be judged a error or simply a quirk of the movement design ?

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They are lovely clocks, but my OCB does not like the winding arbors at different height from each other.

I'm interested to read what you get back from the high end seller.

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13 hours ago, oldhippy said:

Thats great. Has he asked for anything specific. Are you sending him the same photos as you put up here.

I have sent most of the photos on here and a few more of the movement.

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