Sunday, October 28, 2012

Midcentury Star

I went to an estate sale in Maplewood, Missouri early Friday morning with a friend.  The sale started at 7:00 a.m. and there was a fairly good-sized crowd, but fortunately my friend had gone to the house the night before and grabbed us line tickets, numbers 1 & 2.

If you've ever been to the first day of an estate sale when it opened, you are familiar with the crowding, pushing and rush to be the first to the bounty that lies within.  It's what I like least about estate sales.

From the pictures of the sale on, I wasn't sure where the item I was looking for was located.  It was either the basement or the large garage in back.  I had bet on the garage and that was my intended target, however after gaining access to the house, we found we couldn't exit the house from the back door and would actually have to go back out the front to get to the garage.  My friend found what he was looking for, records, but I hadn't found my item.  By the way, this post isn't about finding what I was looking for, it was something I saw after going back in the house.  As I was descending the stairs to the basement, I saw hanging on the other side of the handrail a Mid-century starburst clock.  I've been looking for one for quite a while (having given a couple away years ago before I was interested in Mid-century).  Now, I could have stopped on the steps, grabbed the clock and attempted to feed it through the narrow opening  between the ceiling and the handrail, but I thought that would be rude.  Apparently, the person immediately behind me had no such qualms.  She grabbed the clock and without letting go, lifted it off it's hook and carried on the outside of the rail the remainder of the way down the steps.  I was kicking myself.  I followed her for a few minutes around the basement as she examined the clock with the hope she would change her mind, but she wasn't letting go.  Resolved, I continued on looking through other items and trying to find the one I had actually come for.  After not finding anything in the basement, I headed back upstairs to get another look.  Finishing up there, I did my usual second pass and headed back down into the basement.  There in closet, I discovered the young lady who had the clock earlier had set it down.  I snatched it up and took a look at it.  It was pretty rough looking and certainly the reason she had put it back.  But I saw some potential in it and bought it for $12.

At home, I began the cleaning.

As you can see, the face was pretty dirty including some mold.  There is also a spot where the brass finish had worn off.  But with some baking soda, Mr. Clean scrubbing pads, and some brass polish, I plodded on.

The rays detach, so it made for easy cleaning.

The end result

This thing is *huge*.  It measures 38 inches from spire tip to spire tip.  The other nice thing about the clock is it's spring driven, so no wire hanging down the wall detracting from the look.  The clock is made by Forestville in Connecticut, but the movement is marked France.  Inside, I found the manufacture date of October 21st, 1962.

The gears were suprisingly clean considering the exterior's shape.  The clock didn't come with a key, but fortunately, my mantle clock key fit it perfectly.  After winding it, it began ticking away like it hadn't missed a beat.

Oh, and what about the item I had actually come to the sale for?  Well, that's a story for another day.

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