Purchased on EBay
555 Shanghai Clock Co mantle clock
Sold as “Deco Mantle Clock”
$9.99 + $25.00 shipping
Research: the only English on the clock are a few numbers and the word Shanghai. 555 seems to be the name of the clock mfg co. Online says that it became popular in Communist China, either mass produced for offices or given to newly married couples, the Internet can’t seem to agree. Everyone agree it was under the new Chairman Mao and that there was difficulty manufacturing them. Lost the reference links… drat.
Observations: has key but missing pendulum bob. Pendulum is hidden anyway. Clock face glass has an ugly rim (tin painted gold?) and hinge on it need to be replaced. Mechanism itself is great. It has one mainspring running the clock and another to chime the half hour and hours. Not running. After taking the back door off and taking out the mechanism and inspecting it intact, I think all the gears are working and lined up. I cleaned the escapement a little. Functioning gears is proven by removing the pendulum arm holding onto the escapement. Five very loud and exciting minutes later, it was unwound and easier to test. The pendulum is secured to the escapement trap by a pin (hairpin? Linchpin? Not sure) which should make the escapement trap move with the pendulum, but it’s slipping and allowing the pendulum to move without the escapement. I hope getting that secured with a new pin while make a working clock.
8/13 UUGH this clock is driving me MAD. None of the pins I got at Home Depot worked so I used super glue (bah humbug) but the escapement still won’t swing right! I spent maybe 2-3 hours adjusting the positioning of the escapement trap and it just WON’T keep swinging. It comes loose and spins like mad or it won’t spin at all. I get that the weight distribution has to be right so I have tried adding things of various weights to no avail. Plus I don’t have a ton of random small metal things (heavier than coins) lying around.
Next up: look for a new escapement to replace this one?