Monday, June 20, 2016

A Wonderful Find - Period Finial

Over the weekend, I went to a flea market with a friend of mine and I made three purchases. One was a small antique mirror, another was a No.1 burner and chimney for one of my oil lamps, and the third was this wonderful antique clock finial.

This is likely a banjo clock finial, but it could also be a longcase clock finial. It's a decent size at around 5 5/8" tall (not counting the stem), 2 1/4" wide in the centre, and 3 1/8" spanning the wings.

I spotted this sitting in a basket, and I immediately grabbed it. The price was right, and I paid for it immediately.

For those who might not be too excited about this finial, or who have never had the misfortune to shop for "just the right hardware", I can tell you that this isn't something you stumble upon too often. Period reproduction brasses tend to cost an arm and a leg, and they're only available by mail order, so shipping must be added to the price. Regular spun brass (cheap) longcase clock finials can't be found for less than 20-30$ each, and the really nice ones are more in the neighbourhood of 150$ each. The same is true for quality locks, knobs, handles, and hinges. This particular finial is not a pattern I've ever encountered before, which makes it even more rare and unusual. The eagle matches many found on banjo clocks, but the urn portion is very different.

The Greek Key trim is an unusual feature, but very much appropriate for the period. I estimate that this finial is from around 1830, possibly a bit earlier. It's hard to tell for certain.

The back of the finial confirmed that this is not a modern reproduction, since it has stress cracks and casting flaws. You can see how the Greek Key banding is made from a separate strip of brass.

The hollow finial is made up of several components which are held together with a central stem. The stem is threaded into the base of the eagle, and fits into the turned base.

I will likely fit this to a reproduction clock case at some point. More than likely a banjo clock.

1 comment:

  1. My guess is a banjo clock finial as well. Anxious to see what it looks like once you have located the appropriate mate. Nice find!