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Posted 6 years ago

(5 items)

CAn anyone tell me the age of this Ansonia Kitchen CLock? I bought it off ebay this summer and the guy who sold it told me it belonged to his great granny, and she would have been born sometime in the 1880's. It was handed down through the family. It is really nice, with great patina. It is oak, and unfortunately some of the paint design on the door has been cleaned off. It runs great, and I love the soft gong of the chime. Also, does anyone know where I could get the missing design repainted?


  1. Bruce99 Bruce99, 6 years ago
    You have an Ansonia Wood Mantel Clock called the "Kirkwood" from their "K" Assortment. It was listed in their 1901 catalog but of course you clocks may have been manufactured a couple of years before, or after that date. This particular model originally retailed for around $5.00 which would have been about $135 in 2011-12. Here is an example that recently sold at auction for $60: http://p2.la-img.com/289/22072/7640624_1_m.jpg
    Prices for these "Gingerbread" or "Kitchen" Clocks have been down with the economy but they are very nice clocks and may regain value when the economy improves. Regarding the glass stenciling, looks like someone started to kill the clock with kindness, eh? That definitely lowers the value of the clock to another collector. You might just want to leave it alone for now. If you want to get some quotes take good, high resolution photos from both sides of the glass. I'd recommend you contact Linda Abrams for an opinion or advice. lindabrams@yahoo.com. She does excellent restorative work for serious collectors so her time isn't cheap but her advice would be priceless.

    You might also consider re-stenciling the original glass. Some clock supply houses offer stock stencils or stenciled glass in various reproductions. See: http://www.merritts.com/clock_parts/public/productlist.aspx?SearchText=stencil&x=0&y=0 for an example.

    Another possible option would be to check with local print shops, like Kinkos, to see if they can make transfer decal/stencils. Half of your glass tablet is still intact, so with the right software, it should be easy to create the whole image from a digital copy. That would give you an exact reproduction stencil with which you could attempt to fill in the missing paint (assuming you could match the original well enough to pull it off), that would be the best option. Otherwise you could remove all of the old and repaint the glass. If it comes to that you might consider etching instead of paint.

    It's a beautiful antique and the more conservative you can be in restoring it, the better!

    Hope this helps.
  2. wilbere123, 6 years ago
    Thanks a million, Bruce, for all the information! I really love the clock and like to know as much about an item I purchase as I can. I will definately contact Linda to get her advice, but I will also look into the Kinkos idea. I'm not much of an artist, but if I can get an exact stencil, maybe I could find someone willing to do the job for me.
  3. Bruce99 Bruce99, 6 years ago
    You're very welcome wilbere123! Please let us know if Kinko's or some other local print shop can help. I've never tried it before, but I'm pretty sure that printers do make transfers or decals, if not stencils. Of course, you would have to "carefully" remove the glass tablet in order for them to get a good copy. Good luck! :)
  4. Bruce99 Bruce99, 6 years ago
    P.S., regarding removal of the glass...maybe not. If you go that route, I'd talk to the printer before I did anything. No sense in removing the glass if they can get a clean copy while it's still in the door. You would have to remove the door of course but that should be a breeze. I'd also be very interested in what Ms. Abrams recommends. I hear that She's quite an Artist and that she does fabulous restorations of reverse hand-painted glass tablets.
  5. toolate2 toolate2, 6 years ago
    timesavers.com has a nice selection of transfers for "kitchen" clocks... Here's the page from their online catalog: http://www.clock-keys.com/pdf/wholecatalog/index.pdf Just click on the page number....
  6. toolate2 toolate2, 6 years ago
    If you'd like to repair that old shellac finish here's a link: http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/how-to-restore-wooden-furniture-finish1.htm
  7. Bruce99 Bruce99, 6 years ago
    Thanks Nathan. I see that Timesavers.com has their web catalog back up tonight. They were having problems last night and I couldn't pull up any of their cataloged items. http://www.timesavers.com/findbydesc/SearchCatalogMain.asp?ProdDesc=kitchen. The only thing I don't like about their transfers (or Merrits for that matter) is that their stock patterns usually look nothing like the original. Even those attributed to a specific manufacturer like Seth Thomas.

    I'd also be very careful about trying to amalgamate this case. There's a lot of carved/pressed detail in the wood of this clock. That will complicate the process. I'd also caution Wilbere123 about the use of 4-0 steel wool on softened finishes. Make sure it's completely re-hardened otherwise you'll be embedding steel fibers into the softened shellac which pretty much guarantees the need to strip and refinish.

    There are a couple of schools of thought as far as antiques are concerned. At the extremes are the "Restore until it's LIKE NEW". These folks can easily end up with a new clock made from very old wood. Then there's the "Less is more" approach. I often fall somewhere in the middle. If the finish no longer protects the wood, I'm inclined to smooth and add to it while trying very hard to conserve as much as possible. It should be STRESSED that it's possible to get a vast improvement in appearance with a thorough cleaning just to remove decades of dirt and wax buildup. That's something that should be done FIRST, then re-evaluate the finish. A little hand rubbing (which is a conservative process in and of itself...one much easier to control than amalgamation) with a couple of coats of paste wax will also go a long way towards restoring the finish and protecting the wood without stripping or ruining the original finish. Remember, someone simply trying to clean the glass is what started the restorative problems with this clock in the first place.

    Just remember that whatever you do to restore the clock will have an impact on its value. Try to keep it as original as possible. If not for the monetary value, just for the pure enjoyment of a century-old clock.
  8. wilbere123, 6 years ago
    Thanks again to all the helpful comments on my clock. I'm glad there's a web site like this where I can glean insights into my beloved antiques. Bruce99, I am of the same opinion - less is more. I am a traditionalist, which is why I love antiques. They represent something simple yet elegant from days gone by. They are handmade pieces of history manufactured by Americans with American products. As such, I try to leave my antiques as original as I possibly can. In the case of my clock, I love the added patina of the aged shellac and the fading that comes from years of use. The only thing I would change is that upper right corner. I guess if it came down to choices, I would leave it as is rather than scrubbing the entire stencil off and re-rubbing a new one on. I too looked at the recommended site, and although they have a tremendous line of great products related to all kinds of antiques, I did not see any stencils that looked even closely like mine. So I will contact Linda and see what she recommends.
  9. toolate2 toolate2, 6 years ago
    Here's another great link: http://mb.nawcc.org/forumdisplay.php?32-Clock-Case-Restoration-and-Repair The NAWCC forum is a fantastic resource for all things clock and watch related. Be sure and look around!
  10. Bruce99 Bruce99, 6 years ago
    Nice...that's probably the best advice yet Nathan. Here's a forum specifically addressing your glass issue Wilbere123: http://mb.nawcc.org/forumdisplay.php?40-Reverse-Glass-and-Dial-Painting. You often find these forum threads referenced in Search Engine results and if you can ask questions on the board. For experience and expertise, you may find something equally authoritative, http://www.awci.com/ for example, but you won't find anything better...especially with easy public access.
  11. Bruce99 Bruce99, 6 years ago
    Here's a link that very specifically addresses your original concern:
    I had not seen this before, but the author is suggesting something very similar to what I had originally recommended only he recommends using a digital camera and manipulating the digital image with software to get the correct size. Then using an exact-o knife and a lot of patience, he recommends cutting out a stencil. If you don't have the software (it's probably a little pricey) Kinko's should be able to capture and manipulate an image for you. Using a digital camera image means that you don't have to worry about removing the glass tablet! The print could run off more than enough copies for any "ooops" mistakes. They could probably give you a digital copy of the file so you could print off your own if necessary. I have had a local printer make some paper dial reproductions for me after I cleaned up an image file myself but I've never attempted to restore a glass tablet in this fashion. This thread has been very helpful Wilbere123 because I do have a couple of similar clocks that I hope to restore in the not too distant future. Thanks for sharing your clock and your concerns! :)

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