Restored Gustav Becker Alarm Clock
This German alarm clock was purchased from Arlington Book Store in 1990, at a National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors Region clock show in Frederick, MD. The finish on the wooded case was 100% gone and in real need of some TLC. See complete story of this restoration.
This German alarm clock was purchased from Arlington Book Store in 1990, at a National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors Region clock show in Frederick, MD. The German clock manufacturer Gustav Becker made the clock in about 1863, as referenced to the clock serial number on the movement’s back plate. The clock's case was constructed of wood and adorned with brass castings and columns. The 30-hour movement's alarm contained a large bell on the inside of the back brass cover, which had a band of hearts on its perimeter. The back cover also contained a manufacturer's logo of an anchor topped with a crown and the letters 'GB". The words "Gesetzl-Geschutzt", which is similar to a U.S. patent pending mark, was stamped on the back. The clock had two attached winding keys on the back and an alarm-setting lever on the dial.
|CONDITION BEFORE RESTORATION
The clock exhibited a lot of wear and neglect. The wooden case's finish was nearly 100% gone, and as a result the wood was very dry showing a dark gray color. All brass castings were in place and in good condition; the top floral finial was slightly bent. Most of the movement's bushings were badly worn and the clock would not run, the pin-pallet escapement showed some wear and was repairable.
All brass castings were removed from the wooden case and polished with a buffer and lacquered to prevent oxidation. The wooden case was sanded with a fine sandpaper to remove the graying outside surface and to expose the true wood grain. The case was then covered with multiple coats of shellac, and rubbed with paste waxed on steel wool and linen cloth. The brass castings were then attached to their respective places on the case. The movement was disassembled, cleaned, worn bushings replaced, adjusted and tested. The end result was a delightful antique alarm clock that was used for several years on the owner’s nightstand.