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A Clock I Know Nothing About

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Clocks976 of 2158Rare Black Forest Musical Carillion Clock 6 tunes on 11 Bells C. 1820Lador Switzerland
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Posted 2 years ago

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spif001
(3 items)

Hi. I received this clock recently but have no knowledge of what it is. Any information on age, origin, history and alue would be greatly appreciated!!

Mystery Solved

Comments

  1. spif001, 2 years ago
    How about that...I found it. It's an Astonia Mercury. The paint is fantastic compared to what I found. Unfortunately it is missing a helmet wing and an urn on top of the clock...
  2. Bruce99 Bruce99, 2 years ago
    Hi spifoo1,
    Welcome to Collector's Weekly.
    Your clock is an "Ansonia" figural clock called "Mercury". It's from circa 1894 and in mint, original condition they can sell for quite a bit of money.

    Loss of one or both of the wings on Mercury's helmet is a common issue. Loss of the Clock tower urn is less common. You can purchase a reproduction from http://www.timesavers.com but you would have to try to finish/paint it to match the rest of your clock.

    Go to http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=ansonia+mercury+statue+clock&_sacat=0&_odkw=ansonia+mercury&_ipg=50&_sadis=200&_adv=1&_sop=12&LH_SALE_CURRENCY=0&_osacat=0&_dmd=1&LH_Complete=1
    to see what some Ansonia Mercury Statue Clocks have recently sold for on eBay.

    Again, welcome to C.W. and thanks for sharing your Mercury with us!

    Regards,

    Bruce
  3. spif001, 2 years ago
    Thanks Bruce. Would you happen to know where a wing might be had?
  4. Bruce99 Bruce99, 2 years ago
    Hi spifoo1,

    Sorry, no. These statuettes are cast from a metal called "Spelter", which is a zinc alloy. Some folks call it white metal, or pot metal. It has a relatively low melting point and was easier to work with than bronze. Unfortunately it is fragile and should almost be treated like glass. Some folks specialize in repairing/soldering/restoring Spelter pieces, but they are far and few in between. They usually charge accordingly. It's probably going to cost you almost as much as the clock is worth, if not more.

    See this link for practical guidelines:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/tips/metalsculpture.html


    You can also try contacting the business listed below for guidance. I don't have any personal experience with, or interest in this company. I found them listed in the NAWCC.org's business directory under Spelter Repair.

    Deja Vue Antiques and Antique Clock Repair
    Contact Name: Brian Boots
    Deja Vue Antiques and Antique Clock Repair
    Phone: 618-736-2724
    20618 East Ina Road
    Belle Rive IL
    62810-3406

    Sometimes, intact statues from these clocks come up on eBay. There's always a chance that you can acquire a "parts" Mercury clock to complete this one. You can set up a Search-bot on eBay to e-mail you when a listing matching your search words is posted. Even if you get a good replacement part, it is not going to match your clock and you'll have to consider refinishing it. Forget about having it re-plated. That will probably cost you twice as much as the clock is worth...depending upon the surface condition of the parts and if you can even find someone willing to do it for you.

    Some folks also use J B Weld products, which are metal filled epoxy putties, to fabricate small, non-stress bearing parts. You're basically using something like "SteelStik" and molding it in place to a rough match of the missing piece. Once it sets, you then sand it down and paint it to match the rest of the statue.

    You get mixed results though and if the putty doesn't really have anything to mechanically "grab on to", the bond will likely fail at some time in the future as the materials(epoxy and Spelter) expand and contract at different rates with temperature changes.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards,

    Bruce
  5. spif001, 2 years ago
    Bruce! That's a wonderful technique! Since this was my mom's, I'll probably never sell it, but I believe with a little of the JB Weld and a dremel, Ican probably get a new wing close. I've also ordered the replacement urn...thanks so much for the link. This is turning out to be a fun little project.
  6. spif001, 2 years ago
    Thanks Bellin68! I've seen them online that have been poorly painted. I'm very lucky that this one still has it's beautiful finish.
  7. Bruce99 Bruce99, 2 years ago
    Hi spifoo1,

    If you use Steelstik, you'll have to work pretty fast. You can cool it down in the refrigerator before mixing it. That will give you a little more time. If you have room and a very small drill, you can also drill a small hole in the area of the breaks and use a stiff piece of wire or two (something like a paper clip) to help reinforce the repair and give it more to adhere to. It that makes you a little nervous, try your restoration without drilling first. You can always try using the technique later if needed.

    Let me know if you have any more questions. Good luck and have fun. It's a nice clock that has found a good home! :)

    Regards,

    Bruce

  8. Bruce99 Bruce99, 2 years ago
    Here are some links to photos of Mercury Statuettes that should help you form a good picture in your mind as to how you want it to looks when you're finished:
    http://p2.la-img.com/430/14475/4576035_1_l.jpg

    http://p1.la-img.com/430/14475/4576035_2_l.jpg

    http://p2.la-img.com/456/2798/1239848_1_l.jpg

    This model is called "Hermes" but it uses the same statue:

    http://p2.la-img.com/171/22836/8004932_1_l.jpg
  9. spif001, 2 years ago
    Thanks again. Apparently the wing that I have left is incomplete. I had hoped to use that one as a guide. Guess I'll have to 'wing' it....
  10. Bruce99 Bruce99, 2 years ago
    Groan! Good one! :D

    I've taken a couple of close ups of our Mercury's helmet with a ruler next to the wings in some view to help get you 'off the ground'...

    See: http://s1237.photobucket.com/albums/ff473/Quietstorm78/

    If there's anything else I can do to help, let me know.

    Regards,

    Bruce
  11. spif001, 2 years ago
    Hi guys. Just a quick update. I bought the JB Weld and have made a mold out of what I have left of the helmet wing. I'm hoping to press some more JB Weld into it and then manually reverse the wing to fit the right side...

    If anyone knows anythng about lamps, I posted this on this site with no response... http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/60147-sculpture-lamp?in=192

    I believe it is also made out of pot metal. European?

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