Review by LARRY RAPPAPORT Cutchogue, New York
The updated reprint in colorful hard cover is a beauty and a must in every clock collector's library. I am happy that it is being introduced in this bright hard cover edition because I used my soft cover version so often that the cover and pages are badly frayed.
As a major collector of American regulator clocks, I could not function without this valuable guide. This beautifully illustrated volume is arranged in logical, easy to follow, alphabetical order, and features nineteen clock companies including Ansonia, Chelsea, Gilbert, Howard, Ingraham, Ithaca, Kroeber, New Haven, Seth Thomas, Waltham, Waterbury, and Welch. The section, Important Tips, has been expanded from five to sixteen pages. This section is a valuable tool for all beginning collectors and serves the advanced collector well by keeping him up-to-date on changes in the clock marketplace. There is also a carefully prepared index that serves as an outstanding guide to find what you need in a hurry.
In addition, an historical essay on each company prepared by Chris Bailey, a leading authority on American clock history of the American Clock & Watch Museum at Bristol, Connecticut is provided as well as an on target price guide which was compiled by a national panel of 32 antique clock experts.
If you need to identify a specific clock for completeness and authenticity, this is your one stop shopping center. The large type, as well as the quality of illustrations, leaves nothing to chance. Over the years, Tran Duy Ly has become the master of clock identification and price guide books. This new edition of American Clocks is another example of Mr. Ly's expertise. This improved example is an important addition to the clock collector's library and will serve as a source of information for years to come.
The fact that an up-to-date price guide is available makes this American Clocks Volume 1 even more indispensable to clock collectors. Our hat is off to Tran Duy Ly and the continuing outstanding job he does in contacting clock experts everyday for clock information and price trends. The clock community owes him a huge debt of gratitude.
Review of 1st edition by HENRY B. FRIED
While there are many miscellaneous clock catalogues available, for the most part, these show products of a particular manufacturer at some specific period in that maker’s productive history. Others, which include a greater selection of clocks encompassing most of the clocks made during the productive years of that factory, specialize in just one brand name. This new volume, in its 320 pages, is a handy encyclopedic reference which includes the products of nineteen manufacturers. The volume commences with an interesting history of the Ansonia Clock Co., written by Chris Bailey, a foremost authority on American clock history and former curator of the American Clock Museum at Bristol. He also supplies backgrounds for each of the other eighteen factories, these following in alphabetical order.
Thus, in one book are shown thousands of different clocks in various styles, movements, novelty cases and appearance. The experience of the editor, Tran Duy Ly, is evident in the expert development of the format in which each company’s clocks are displayed. Furthermore, he has arranged the volume in a logical sequence so that random searching is not necessary, and finding a particular clock is made quite simple.
All clocks of similar type and appearance of each manufacturer are grouped together. In most other reproduced catalogues, a current value is printed adjacent to the pictured item. Immediately, this ages the volume as a price reference and can present misleading values in this era of inflation and ascending prices. In this book, each item has the date of the original catalogue in which each clock’s illustration originally appeared. Prices are listed in a separate price list compiled by a national panel of experts and will be updated yearly.
The practical advantages and versatility of this volume on American clockmakers serve many purposes. First, it is a quick and ready reference of all manufacturers. Second, with its detailed index and cross references, it facilitates identification of specific clocks. Further, it provides facsimile reproductions from original factory catalogue art and not from old, faded photographs. Factory art confers a genuine reference of documentary value, a reliable reference with which to determine the originality of the offered clock and the ability to determine whether the timepiece has suffered alterations. Illustrations are sharp and clear, with precisely defined details, so much desired and sought after by expert restorers.
Mr. Ly notes also that catalogues from small companies such as Parker & Whipple, Warren Telechron, Russell & Jones, New York Standard Watch Company, and Tiffany Electric are generally printed in pamphlet form and easily become frayed and worn, misplaced or lost. This volume however, is presented in a securely bound edition and will be readily available and useful for many years.
Mr. Ly has also included an invaluable section addressing "IMPORTANT TIPS" which contains expert and useful advice and instructions regarding buying, selling investing, collecting, speculation and auctions. The novice collector as well as the more experienced clockmaker, dealer, restorer, and research historian will find this a valuable addition to the clock connoisseur’s library.
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