here’s a dial i picked up on eBay for $80… c1750. i don’t know about you, but that positively delights me. 270-some years old and gorgeous… not to mention informative.
note that there is one hand. also note that there are four marks between the numbers, instead of five. why?
from 1658 to the early 1700s the majority of clock were produced with no minute hands because they just weren’t that accurate… until the advent of the pendulum.
single-hand clocks have four marks between the minute markers because those marks represent quarter hours and not minutes (!). the cast brass pieces in the four corners are called ‘spandrels’. the hand on this one is a reproduction. note the blueing, which is done by heating the metal hands while closely watching the heat change the color until right, at which point the heated hand is dumped into oil to lock in the color and cool it down. i bought the hand from another clock nut (nick, in england) who has several single-hand clocks.
here’s a cool factoid: if you see a grandfather clock that has both minute markers on the outer chapter ring AND quarter hour markers on the inner ring then it was almost certainly made between 1690 and 1720… although some makers persisted with dual marked faces up until 1740.
this one has no movement… it’s just hanging on the wall as the piece of art it is.