Posted 2 years ago
Greetings to the C.W. Community.
Here I wish to share with you an antique Ingraham Black Mantel "Girl" Clock from circa 1900.
The case features four porcelain panels which depict female cherubs in flight. The porcelain panels, as well as the ornate side ornaments and feet really stand out against a wood case which is finished in basic black enamel paint. In addition, the Cherub "Columns" have foundations and entablatures painted to simulate red marble.
This example has its original, age-appropriate paper dial with Roman Numerals. Note the little horizontal slot right above the center of the dial. This slot is for Ingraham's patented Thumb Wheel Regulator. The Regulator is used to easily adjust the speed of the clock's mechanical 8-day time and strike movement through the dial so that you don't have to open the back of the clock to fiddle with the length of the pendulum bob. The clock can be made to run faster by rotating the wheel to the left or slower by rotating it to the right. This was a patented feature unique only to Ingraham clocks and is one sure way you can identify a clock from this period as an "Ingraham".
The movement is based on very old, pendulum-regulated design. A well maintained example can usually be adjusted to attain an accuracy of somewhere between 1-3 minutes per week. The movement's mainsprings need to be re-wound. In this clock's case, once per week. This certainly doesn't compare with today's cheap, silent, battery-powered, throw-away quartz movements. Some folks prefer that their clocks be seen and not heard, but these antique movements are the heart of the clock. They contribute to the clock's measured presence through a gentle, characteristic "tick-tock" sound and the very audible "striking" announcement of the hour. One strike signals one-o'clock, twelve strikes tells you its noon (or midnight). You'd probably not want to keep a clock like this in your bedroom. However, after a while, you get used to the sound and tend to only really "hear" it when you want to pay attention. The entire clock case serves as a resonator for the gong and each clock, as is the case with musical instruments, has its own unique. sound. Otherwise identical examples of the same model may sound very similar to one another but no two clocks sound exactly the same. The half-hours are signaled with a single, crisp, crystal-clear ringing strike on the brass cup bell.
In my opinion, like any antique, clocks like this really need to be seen and appreciated for what they are, and within the historical context of their date of manufacture.
We hope that you enjoyed meeting our old Gal.
Thanks for stopping by and for your time.