AUCTION : 0519

Lots 158 - 169: Shortt Syncrhonome and Reifler Clocks from the Arthur Bjornestad Collection

Lot#: 158

DESCRIPTION: The Synchronome Co., Ltd., London, for Dykes Bros. Glasgow, London, a rare Shortt-Synchronome astronomical regulator with Shortt's inertia escapement, mahogany case with molded cornice and base, the glazed door with rectangular beveled glass, the upper section with round dial glass and carved spandrels, case sides with short, glazed, rectangular openings beneath the cornice, the signed, silvered astronomical dial with blued steel hands, dial movement with four wheel train and narrow, rectangular brass plates, case back with very heavy triangular cast iron suspension support for pendulum, having two invar compensation rods connecting it to the bottom mounted movement and supporting the beat scale, the movement with snailed brass backplate and agate tipped gravity arm, the arm electrically reset every second, and interacting with a wheel mounted to a carriage at the bottom of the pendulum rod, providing impulse at every vibration, invar rod with steel suspension and cylindrical lead bob
CONDITION: case with minor dings and scratches, some door joints with minor separation, case sides with holes for wiring, door lock in place, but will not retain catch, escutcheon loose, turn catch added at bottom of door, filled hole where a similar upper catch was fitted, movement retains it's original lacquer, movement with minor oxide on steel components, pendulum retaining sleeve with screws in addition to the retaining pin, weight tray in old lacquer, bob with minor scratches, dents and dings, impulse wheel carriage with replaced unlocking jewel, the replacement made of nylon, beat scale a bit dirty. Frank Hope- Jones met William Hamilton Shortt in 1910, and soon thereafter, Shortt had analyzed the Synchronome pendulum impulse, and also became involved in improvements to the existing master clock design, thus beginning a journey which would ultimately result in the Shortt- Synchronome Free Pendulum Clock. The Inertia Escapement was meant to maintain constant amplitude through changes in barometric pressure or other disturbance, delivering impulse dependent on the pendulum arc- shorter for high amplitude, and longer for low. The pendulum receives impulse on every swing, the gravity arm released when the jewel at the bottom of the impulse wheel carriage contacts the release lever, dropping the gravity arm. The arm is then electrically reset, and is ready to provide impulse at the next swing. The invar rods connecting the pendulum suspension expand and contract with the invar pendulum rod, maintaining the relationship between the release jewel (at bottom of pendulum) and the release lever (mounted to movement) Hope- Jones presented a lecture to the British Astronomical Society in November of 1911, and one month later to the Royal Astronomical Society promoting the new regulator. Timekeeping was not much better than that of the the existing Synchronome master, and problems related to locking and unlocking of the gravity arm, as well as disturbances caused by impulsing at every swing prompted the abandonment of the design. Of the approximately twelve inertia escapement clocks believed to have been made, three are known; this example, one in the Science Museum in London, the other in a private collection.
ESTIMATE: $8000 - $12000
PRICE SOLD: $20000
CIRCA: 1911
DIMENSIONS: 56.5 in x 14in x 8.5in

Show All Images

Lot#: 159

DESCRIPTION: The Synchronome Co., Ltd., London, a rare double pendulum, free pendulum hanging regulator, the rectilinear, dark oak case with glazed door, silvered, roman numeral astronomical dial signed "Synchronome Patent No. 32611/ 1935, the seconds hand making one complete revolution in thirty seconds, and with sector aperture below 12:00, with fast- slow scales engraved 0- 30 to the left and right of center, the indication marked by three hands, weight driven, electrically rewound movement with heavy iron backplate, deadbeat escapement with adjustable steel Vulliamy style pallets, the rewinding mechanism mounted at the top, left, above the counter weighted control for the central, rack driven sector hand, the free, meter pendulum mounted at the right, and half seconds pendulum mounted directly behind the movement, with celluloid beat scale.
CONDITION: case in an old finish, dirty, and with minor scratches, bumps and dings, door with joint separation at upper right, door lock missing, dial good, with minor dirt and tarnish, one dial screw replaced, one missing, minute and seconds hands missing, movement will run, but missing a few key components which allow the hit and miss synchronizer and the sector hands to operate, lacking gravity arm for free pendulum, both slave and free pendulum rods replaced, free pendulum lacking upper portion of suspension, pendulum bobs absent, pulley replaced. This example is one of a very few known to exist, one being in the collection of the Science Museum, London. That example is also incomplete, lacking both pendulums and weight, and is also manually wound. Another is pictured in Robert H.W. Miles book, "Synchronome Masters of Electrical Timekeeping, page193, the design of which differs significantly from this example. The sector dial was used for monitoring changes in the frequency of alternating electric current. See "Electrical Timekeeping" by Frank Hope Jones, pages 231 - 232, for a description and diagram of the mechanism. This clock was sold at Christies, London, November 25, 1997, lot 29.
ESTIMATE: $3000 - $5000
PRICE SOLD: $7500
DIMENSIONS: 53.25in x 14.5in x 7.5in

Show All Images

Lot#: 160

DESCRIPTION: The Synchronome Co., Ltd., London, a very rare prototype magnetic free pendulum clock, stained oak, pediment style case with glazed door, roman numeral silvered dial with subsidiary dead seconds having "6 dots" display, and also signed "Synchronome Patent No. 26170 1930", japanned cast iron "A" frame with gravity arm release armature in place of the count wheel, and magnetic contact sending pulses at one second intervals to the seconds dial movement, pendulum rod with weight tray, and cylindrical, cast iron bob, serial #C488
CONDITION: case with minor bumps and dings, holes in case back for securing case to wall, dial and hands good, tube covering magnetic contact missing, the release armature appears to be a replacement, and the part it presumably replaced is included with the clock, pendulum rod with spots of oxidation, magnet on pendulum rod replaced, but the original U shaped magnet is also included, weight tray replaced, condition of circuitry unknown. See Robert H. A. Miles "Synchronome Masters of Electrical Timekeeping", pages 188- 191 for a description of this prototype, and photographs of the movement. See lot 159 for another prototype magnetic free pendulum clock.
ESTIMATE: $3000 - $5000
PRICE SOLD: $8500
CIRCA: 1930
DIMENSIONS: 62.5in x 12in x 6.75in

Show All Images

Lot#: 161

DESCRIPTION: The Synchronome Co., Ltd., London, a very rare prototype magnetic free pendulum clock, stained, rectilinear hardwood case with molded top and bottom, and glazed door, roman numeral silvered dial with subsidiary dead seconds, and also signed "Synchronome Patent No. 26170 1930", black painted Synchronome hands, early cast iron "A" frame with gravity arm release armature in a horizontal position, and magnetic contact sending pulses at one second intervals to the seconds dial movement, pendulum rod with weight tray, magnet, and cylindrical bob, serial #34
CONDITION: case with scrapes, bumps and dings, door above dial with a few short splits, case bottom with old, poor quality repair at right front, door repaired at upper latch, underside of top with glue residue, dial with small spot near center, hands good, dial movements gummy, movement complete, pendulum rod and attachments good, condition of circuitry unknown. See Robert H. A. Miles "Synchronome Masters of Electrical Timekeeping", pages 188- 191 for a description of this prototype, and photographs of the movement. See lot 158 for another prototype magnetic free pendulum clock.
ESTIMATE: $3000 - $5000
PRICE SOLD: $6000
CIRCA: 1930
DIMENSIONS: 50.5in x 12.5in x 6in

Show All Images

Lot#: 162

DESCRIPTION: The Synchronome Co., Ltd., London, a rare hanging regulator with Shortt's triangle movement, the mahogany case with molded top and pediment, molded base, and glazed door, roman numeral, white painted dial marked "Synchronome Electric London", cast iron backplate with triangular movement, pendulum rod with pivoting crutch linkage, cylindrical bob with slightly tapered top, and silvered beat scale mounted to an angled wooden block, serial #74
CONDITION: case with minor scratches and dings, small, localized losses to finish, door glass with scratches, front plate of triangular movement polished, movement complete, pendulum rod with minor oxidation, bottom of threaded portion broken off, crutch linkage replaced, suspension broken, bob with minor oxidation, beat scale with minor scratches and tarnish, wood block with gouging at screw hole. See Robert H. A. Miles "Synchronome Masters of Electrical Timekeeping", pages 79- 81 for a description of the movement, and explanatory diagram. This movement was patented in 1915, in an attempt to simplify the adjustments required during setup of previous models. It became available circa 1919, but was found to have introduced other difficulties including increased friction, and so was abandoned circa 1920 - 21. It is believed that less than 200 were made, some of which were never cased.
ESTIMATE: $1800 - $2500
PRICE SOLD: $1500
CIRCA: 1926
DIMENSIONS: 52in x 12in x 7in

Show All Images

Lot#: 163

DESCRIPTION: The Synchronome Co., Ltd., London, an early, 3/4 seconds beating master clock, mahogany case with glazed door and ogee molded cornice, silvered roman numeral dial with black painted Synchronome hands, dial movement with terminals and double locking, main movement with black painted "A" frame and lacquered brass components, latch with triangular agate catch for gravity arm, pendulum with weight tray and cylindrical lead bob, and silvered beat scale, serial #100
CONDITION: case in an old finish, base moldings missing, case with minor bumps and dings, left side cornice molding loose, front cornice molding with chip at left corner, right side cornice molding with chip at front corner, upper door rail with shrinkage and minor gaps, dial with minor scratches, hands good, dial movement good, main movement with minor dirt and oxidation, pendulum rod with minor oxidation, gathering jewel and wire replaced, and with numerous bends, threaded portion of rod with bends, pendulum bob with scrapes and gouges
ESTIMATE: $1500 - $2000
PRICE SOLD: $2600
CIRCA: 1910
DIMENSIONS: 31.5 in x 10.25in x 5.75in

Show All Images

Lot#: 164

DESCRIPTION: The Synchronome Co., Ltd., London, a seconds beating Synchronome master clock, the blond oak case with rounded corners and glazed door, round, roman numeral silvered dial with Synchronome hands, signed "Synchronome Electric", and with seconds bit at 12:00, movement with black crinkle finished iron plate, and small seconds switch, pendulum with weight tray and toggle for activation of seconds switch, black painted cylindrical bob, and celluloid beat scale mounted to an angled wooden block, serial #5798
CONDITION: case very good with minor dings, bumps and scratches, upper door rail with shrinkage and minor gaps, dial and hands very good, dial movements good and advancing freely, main movement also good, the various components in their original lacquer, pendulum rod with minor oxidation, pendulum bob with losses to paint
ESTIMATE: $800 - $1200
PRICE SOLD: $1700
CIRCA: 1955
DIMENSIONS: 49.5 in x 10.5in x 5.5in

Show All Images

Lot#: 165

DESCRIPTION: The Synchronome Co., Ltd., London, an early electromechanical master clock, simple, rectilinear mahogany case with glazed door having carved quarter fans at the upper corners, inside of case with brass tag bearing the early synchronome logo, brass movement with deadbeat escapement and adjustable, Vulliamy style pallets, eccentric bush at pallet arbor, and electromagnetic remontoire, periodically resetting the gravity arm, all mounted to an arched back plate, cylindrical wooden pendulum rod with japanned, rounded shoulder cylindrical bob
CONDITION: case with minor bumps and dings, surface cleaned, escutcheon and hook on right side added, lock missing, hanger replaced, movement complete and mechanically sound, condition of circuitry unknown, arched back plate replaced, pendulum good, with a few minor dents. This clock shows no evidence of ever having had a dial. See Robert H.W. Miles "Synchronome Masters of Electrical Timekeeping" page 44 for images of this style movement.
ESTIMATE: $500 - $800
PRICE SOLD: $5000
DIMENSIONS: 50in x x

Show All Images

Lot#: 166

DESCRIPTION: The Synchronome Co., Ltd., London, an early Synchronome seconds beating master clock, the oak case with ogee, dentil, and cavetto and astragal molding, glazed door, and top with full pediment, roman numeral silvered dial marked "Synchronome Electric London", black painted Synchronome hands, dial movement with double locking, main movement with japanned iron "A" frame backplate and lacquered brass components, pendulum with nickel weight tray and cylindrical bob, movement unnumbered
CONDITION: in an early and possibly original finish, case with scrapes and losses to finish on left side, small loss to upper ogee molding and one dentil on top, right side, lower right side cavetto molding with significantly loss, ogee molding with small loss, front, bottom right, upper door rail with shrinkage and some minor splits, dial with marks and scratches from hands, dial movement no longer fixed to back of dial, hands with minor bends and losses to paint, dial movement dirty but complete, top of "A" frame lacking one threaded rod and pendulum clamp, wingnuts missing, advance / retard wire and guide missing, gathering jewel missing, main movement components very dirty, pendulum rod with oxidation, upper portion of suspension block missing, threaded rod with bends, pendulum bob tarnished
ESTIMATE: $400 - $600
PRICE SOLD: $225
CIRCA: 1910
DIMENSIONS: 55.75 in x 12 in x 7.25in

Show All Images

Lot#: 167

DESCRIPTION: Synchronome Co. Ltd., London, a Shortt- Synchronome sidereal free pendulum master clock with slave, the master with invar pendulum rod, cylindrical bob and brass compensation sleeve, housed in a cylindrical copper vacuum tank with integral mounting brackets, evacuation valve at the base, and instrument cluster for monitoring temperature and pressure inside the tank, the top with heavy bell jar, plate glass bottom allowing viewing of the beat scale attached to the bottom of the pendulum, heavy cast brass four legged frame suspending the pendulum and movement, the movement with damascened, lacquered brass plates and bridges, receiving electrical impulse from the slave, which in turn drops a gravity arm to periodically impulse the pendulum, the slave with rectangular mahogany case having a molded top and base, silvered astronomical dial signed "Synchronome London", the movement with " hit and miss synchronizer", cast backplate and lacquered brass components, pendulum rod with cylindrical bob, and beat scale mounted to a canted oak block, together with original factory nameplates, vacuum sealing grease, and fine regulation weights. Purchased by the consignor at Dunning's Auction, Elgin Illinois, Collection of Clifford Haumiller, 11/1/87, lot 117.
CONDITION: Master and slave functioning at time of consignment, copper tank with tarnish, bottom glass with minor chips, movement, impulse wheel carriage and suspension block in old lacquer, four legged frame polished and in newer lacquer, front left leg with abrasion, thermometer and barometer good, beat scale and mirror good, pendulum with letter S crudely punched into bottom of bob, suspension spring replaced, and not in the Shortt style, master pendulum impulse wheel with minor flat, two screws replaced and one missing in each of the pendulum safety mounts, slave case moldings with separation at joints, shrinkage has left a gap in the case top, door and left side with warp, door with gap when closed, two catches added to left side to secure door, upper lock latch plate detached but present, minor losses to finish, pendulum bob with minor abrasions, gathering wire replaced, gathering jewel made from a piece of plastic wire insulation. The Shortt free pendulum clock was the standard for precision timekeeping from the early 1920's until about 1950, when it was surpassed by the quartz oscillator. In 1926, the clock confirmed tiny seasonal changes in the rotation of the earth, and was the first timekeeper more accurate than earth itself. A Shortt clock at the U.S. Naval Observatory was studied in the mid 1980's, using modern equipment to measure it's accuracy; the clock was found to be stable to within .002 seconds per day, the equivalent of one second in twelve years. The study also confirmed that the clock was sensitive enough to detect changes in gravity due to tidal distortion of the earth caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon.
ESTIMATE: $60000 - $80000
PRICE SOLD: $90000
CIRCA: 1928--1950
DIMENSIONS: 55.25in x 16in x 8in

Show All Images

Lot#: 168

DESCRIPTION: Clemens Riefler, Nesselwang, a rare observatory tank regulator with electric remontoire, the type A3 movement with knife edge suspension resting on polished agate pads, gravity escapement with jeweled, two arm impulse levers, movement fitted with a 60 tooth wheel on the escape arbor with jewelled switch for sending signals at one second intervals, signed, silvered astronomical dial engraved "Clemens Riefler Nesselwang No. 712 1947", blued steel hands, J1 SCH seconds beating pendulum with invar rod and cylindrical bob, serial #1071, the movement mounting frame with with microscope for reading beat scale, all contained within a copper cylinder and under a heavy glass bell jar, the tank suspended by a heavy cast iron bracket, together with low voltage power supply, solenoid, switch board for controlling the various components related to the time recorder, and panel with vernier tape reading device accurate to within .005 seconds
CONDITION: running at time of consignment, recording equipment was not in use, and so functionality is unknown, movement dirty, would benefit from service, dial good, dial mounting holes slightly enlarged, hands good, microscope with minor marks and scratches, optics good, movement mounting frame with residue from bell jar sealant, pendulum with minor marks and scratches, bell jar good, tank with two small dents and some deep scratches, mounting bracket repainted, switch board and drive for recorder very dirty, reading device cover with missing hook, solenoid mounting board with split. Sigmund Riefler (8/9/1849 - 10/21/1912) was the son of Clemens and Magdalena Riefler, and was responsible for the advancements that brought the Riefler firm to the forefront of precision timekeeping. His innovations include his spring impulse escapement, which isolated the pendulum from direct contact with the escapement, and provided a more equal impulse, a scientific and mathematical approach to the improvement of compensated pendulums, which reduced the reliance on an empirical, and inexact approach to the refinement of design, and finally, his electric remontoire, which eliminated the need for much of the wheelwork, with a resultant reduction in friction and irregularities in power transmission to the escapement. His patented gravity escapement, seen in this lot and lot 169, was employed in situations where vibration was a significant concern, and in cases where sufficiently skilled labor was unavailable to install and adjust the spring impulse timekeeper and it's pendulum. Riefler's late 19th century regulators significantly improved the accuracy of the pendulum clock, and became the standard for observatory use until surpassed by the Shortt - Synchronome free pendulum clock, c1920.
ESTIMATE: $40000 - $60000
PRICE SOLD: $85000
CIRCA: 1947
DIMENSIONS: 56in x 16in x

Show All Images

Lot#: 169

DESCRIPTION: Clemens Riefler, Nesselwang, type A3 astronomical regulator with barometric compensation and electric remontoire, glazed oak case with cast iron, rear mounted movement mounting and levelling bracket, silvered arabic numeral astronomical dial with blued steel hands, signed "Clemens Riefler Nesselwang No. 740 1958", jeweled movement with knife edge suspension resting on polished agate pads, gravity escapement with jewelled, single arm impulse levers, and also fitted with a wheel on the escape arbor with jewelled switch for sending signals at one second intervals, J type seconds beating pendulum with barometric compensation, weight tray and six weights for fine regulation, serial #3456, and adjustable beat scale, including an additional, purpose made plexiglass dial, to allow viewing of the front plate and remontoire
CONDITION: rear side of case back with losses to veneer, case with a few minor bumps and dings, dial with minor marks and scratches, minute hand with minor abrasion, movement dirty, oily, needs service, pendulum bob with minor dents at right edge, back of bob with minor scratches and dings, pendulum rod good, barometric auxiliary good, tray with minor distortion, plexiglass dial with scratches. Sigmund Riefler (8/9/1849 - 10/21/1912) was the son of Clemens and Magdalena Riefler, and was responsible for the advancements that brought the Riefler firm to the forefront of precision timekeeping. His innovations include his spring impulse escapement, which isolated the pendulum from direct contact with the escapement, and provided a more equal impulse, a scientific and mathematical approach to the improvement of compensated pendulums, which reduced the reliance on an empirical, and inexact approach to the refinement of design, and finally, his electric remontoire, which eliminated the need for much of the wheelwork, with a resultant reduction in friction and irregularities in power transmission to the escapement. His patented gravity escapement, seen in this lot and lot 169, was employed in situations where vibration was a significant concern, and in cases where sufficiently skilled labor was unavailable to install and adjust the spring impulse timekeeper and it's pendulum. Riefler's late 19th century regulators significantly improved the accuracy of the pendulum clock, and became the standard for observatory use until surpassed by the Shortt - Synchronome free pendulum clock, c1920.
ESTIMATE: $25000 - $35000
PRICE SOLD: $14000
CIRCA: 1958
DIMENSIONS: 61in x 19in x 9in

Show All Images

All Images Copyright © 2019, Schmitt Horan & Co. May 18 &19, 2019