Swindled! Hoaxed! Bamboozled!

Alas eBay, you have let me down. I knew the world was full of cheats and liars but it’s so sad to find evidence that it’s true. 😦 Dear Readers, pity me in my misery as I struggle through this discovery of the baseness of human nature. But to do so, you must first understand the racket which I unfortunately fell victim to.

When I saw the clock shown in the featured image I said, “Wow, steeple, nice!” Obviously I only said that because I didn’t know the term “sharp gothic” yet, but regardless, I was excited. So I paid up, $10 + $7.15 for shipping.

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“Look at those roman numerals!” I said. “It’s just a little scratched up in a few places!” I said. “I can cover that up easily!” I said.

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Note the scratches at the tip and on the left steeply bit. Also note the discolored paper. I can confirm that the paper made reassuring crackly noises as I removed the movement as if saying “Be careful, I’m old!”.

“I can totally cover those scratches, probably, maybe,” I said to myself, talk aloud as usual.

“Maybe you shouldn’t,” said my mother is a burst of clairvoyance. “People sometimes age things on purpose.”

Always listen to your mother.

Caught up in the mystery of it all, I tracked and traced. I even went so far as to search for clock maker’s paper labels with outlines that match the bit of ripped label visible on my version, below.

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I figured the unique thick-squiggle-thin-squiggle would solve the mystery. Maybe the original paper label said something illuminating about clock maintenance. (I can tell you now with certainty what it says  but that’s coming later)

Hours, days, months, years…. well okay, hours I spent searching for the specific type of sharp gothic this clock could be. The pointy bits were too pointy to be Jerome & Co. Not unique enough to be Ansonia. Too straight to be Chauncey Jerome. Not stubby enough to be Brewster & Ingraham, though that was a close match. Dear Readers, I compared slopes of steeples of a myriad of clocks. I ultimately decided that the closest match was the one and only Silas B. Terry, later of the New Haven Clock Co. See below for one for a Google Image of one of his sharp gothic clocks. Aren’t those impressively pointy steeples? And quite a good match to mine?

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But… why doesn’t my clock have a door? And that, Dear Reader, began the path down the wormhole. See below for my clock, sans Endura Alarm Clock.

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Mine doesn’t have a door, you see. Yet no matter whose sharp gothic I looked at, they all had doors. I show below the first line of a Google search for “sharp gothic clock”.

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Door, Door, Door… All with a door? But, mine had no door… in fact, mine was a little odd, now that I was thinking about it. If the horizontal wood weren’t glued across the paper and the clock weren’t present, the wood panel with the paper on it would just fall straight out. See below.

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But, surely not? The paper on the back of my was so perfectly aged off! But back to the internet…

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There was no mistaking that thick-squiggle-thin-squiggle.

As my hopes and dreams crumbled before me (okay not really, I spent $17 on this clock, but still) I found image after image of eBay sellers and auctioneers selling off identical copies.

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Lest I jump to conclusions, I messaged both my eBay seller and eBay seller gtreadwell123, both of whom have excellent records on eBay.

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Hmmm…

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I, along with countless others, have been hoodwinked. Thankfully I seem to have gotten off fairly easily because for $17.15 including shipping I learned nearly everything there is to know about sharp gothic clocks, made a few friendly eBay contacts, went on a wild but exciting internet goose chase, and did, after all, get a pretty cute clock out of it. I mean, it’s still a mostly-functioning clock. Fully functioning if you give me another day.

Despite the knavery, I feel fairly accomplished. I have contacted the eBay sellers who I can find who are currently listing this item, and I have hopefully prevented other potential buyers from being shaken-down. There will be no more trickery here if I can help it. I thank eBay sellers bribri148 and gtreadwell123 for their assistance is stopping this devilish double-dealing.

Eternally yours in the fight against shady dealing,

Margaret

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