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Hieroglyphics on a Wehlen & Co clock face

Can anyone identify the markings?

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Sam Stones09/08/2019 00:11:00
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I may have asked this before, but can anyone identify the faint markings about the name of this clock?

Thanking you in anticipation.

img_0377---wehlen-&-co.jpg

img_0376---wehlen-&-co---ed.jpg

img_0382---wehlen-&-co - ed.jpg

img_0384---wehlen-&-co.jpg

By the way, that's not my soldering, although back in the 70's I did glue the marble case back together. Not as good a job as Kirsten or Steve of 'Repair Shop' might have done.

Sam

Bill Phinn09/08/2019 02:26:37
385 forum posts
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Is it possible it's just rubricated (and now somewhat faded) flourishing over the letters, i.e. solely decorative?

Michael Gilligan09/08/2019 07:27:48
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Posted by Sam Stones on 09/08/2019 00:11:00:

I may have asked this before, but can anyone identify the faint markings about the name of this clock?

img_0382---wehlen-&-co - ed.jpg

.

. I thought it looked familiar, Sam ...

Just looked back through my eMails, and found that we discussed it in April 2017

I failed you then, and thus far continue to do so blush

MichaelG.

SillyOldDuffer09/08/2019 08:48:32
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Just a suggestion, but might they have been put on by the dial painter to identify his work? Stone blocks in old ashlar walls often carry mysterious masons marks, partly for posterity, partly for payment, and this may be a feature of old clocks with hand made dials. (Did clockmakers make their own dials or buy them in from specialists?)

The three horizontal lines above each character look decorative, but the symbols underneath may be Hebrew or Yiddish written sideways, possibly spelling out the painters initials.

Fr P Wehlen implies to me the clock may be French, Fr being the abbreviation of Freres, ie Brothers. If the dial is continental the symbols may not be obvious to us Brits.

Dave

Former Member09/08/2019 09:24:28
1329 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Brian H09/08/2019 10:11:46
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Many clocks and watches were made for the Turkish market, could the marks be Turkish (although I don't know how you would find out).

Brian

Nick Thorpe09/08/2019 11:22:39
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Deleted

Edited By Nick Thorpe on 09/08/2019 11:26:29

Brian H09/08/2019 12:51:43
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Posted by Brian H on 09/08/2019 10:11:46:

Many clocks and watches were made for the Turkish market, could the marks be Turkish (although I don't know how you would find out).

Brian

Just remembered; faces intended fr the Turkish market would have had the numerals marked with triangles so maybe the above is wide of the mark!

Brian

AdrianR09/08/2019 12:54:13
488 forum posts
25 photos

Those symbols look so familiar, I am sure I have seen them before, just cant remember where.

I have looked through astrology and elements none of those, very frustrating.

Adrian

Brian Sweeting09/08/2019 13:47:34
449 forum posts
1 photos

They look similar to printers typeface marks, if you look at some of those in the attached link they have the vertical line crossed with several horizontal ones.

**LINK**

old mart09/08/2019 13:53:44
2237 forum posts
165 photos

I know nothing about clocks, but those marks are familiar, spooky, isn't it.

Sam Stones10/08/2019 02:32:04
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To get even closer to the hieroglyphics, I decided to use my Noveflex bellows and a macro lens (Canon EF100mm f/2.8 USM).

Just for fun I turned on the camera flash for the first shot, and was presented with this ...

crw_7365---wehlen-&-co---ed.jpg

Paint contours !!!

Having turned off the flash because the lens was throwing a shadow, I only discovered the contours upon opening the few files in Photoshop CS3.

As for the real purpose of this thread, I'm still working through it.

Meanwhile, thanks for all your replies.

Sam

Thanks Michael. I knew I'd tried before but my memory ain't what it used to be.

Sam Stones10/08/2019 02:40:49
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784 forum posts
308 photos

Here are a couple of the other files via the bellows set up ...

crw_7367---wehlen-&-co---ed.jpg

The clock face is slightly spherical, and with limited DOF, focus isn't the best.

crw_7368---wehlen-&-co---ed.jpg

This last one suggests (to me), that the cross lines and serifs were either the originals, a guide, and/or the black lines were added later.

Do the edges of the black lines suggest they were printed? I can't tell.

Sam

Michael Gilligan10/08/2019 08:26:40
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Posted by Sam Stones on 10/08/2019 02:40:49:

Here are a couple of the other files via the bellows set up ...

[ ... ]

The clock face is slightly spherical, and with limited DOF, focus isn't the best.

[ ... ]

This last one suggests (to me), that the cross lines and serifs were either the originals, a guide, and/or the black lines were added later.

Do the edges of the black lines suggest they were printed? I can't tell.

Sam

.

Excellent 'forensic' images, Sam yes

The DOF could be increased [whilst maintaining high resolution] by stacking several images in 'Zerene'

.... If you can produce the 'slices' I will happily stack them for you.

MichaelG.

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 10/08/2019 08:27:45

Michael Gilligan10/08/2019 09:41:53
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Posted by Sam Stones on 10/08/2019 02:40:49:

.

crw_7367---wehlen-&-co---ed.jpg

.

I don't know what they are called, or whether they conform to a standard, but I'm almost certain that these marks are 'shorthand' to aid the painter when producing the 'signature'

If I'm correct: The cross-bars indicate the height of the capital, and the curves indicate the width.

Printers and Typographers use the terms en and em to describe widths ... note any similarity ?

.

MichaelG.

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 10/08/2019 09:47:15

Sam Stones11/08/2019 03:45:16
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784 forum posts
308 photos

Phew! Who do I thank the most?

Before I go on, I thought it worth mentioning, that other than the tiniest drop of (clock) oil where needed, the clock mechanism received no attention since I inherited it in December 1989. The marble case had been broken in several places, so I pulled that apart before gluing it back together. I can add nothing more as to its history.

Thanks for your insight Bill (Phinn). Having never known or heard of rubrication, I thought it was a typo. The appearance of the characters suggests to me that the person who applied them was not particularly skilful, or applied the characters in a hurry. Then again the letter 'W' is little more than 2.5mm wide.

Dave (SOD) - I like your ideas. A hint of graffiti perhaps? The paint has rubbed off at some stage, and what looks like Fr is actually a capital ‘G’.

34046 - Yes, I found it, thank you. The number of clock and watchmakers is overwhelming.

Thanks Brian (H). Your comments and MichaelG’s ‘revelation’ as to the possible connection with ‘sign-writer’s shorthand’ both come very close to a solution.

Nick - That’s a very helpful insight. I’m sure too, your book will be a valuable addition to anyone’s personal library. I’d love to find and read it. Meanwhile, I searched the public library catalogue, but it didn’t show. Could you guess an age for the clock please?

AdrianR - Thanks for your efforts in searching those categories.

Brian (S) - Thanks for throwing extra light on this challenge. I had a quick shufti through the symbol list of MS Word (>2800). There were tantalising similarities but nothing positive.

Michael G - Many thanks for your ‘stacking’ offer. If only Photoshop CS3 would work. For several broad ranging reasons, I have contemplated buying Zerene or Helicon Focus but … I’ve entered into the process of downsizing most of my stuff, and unlikely to get there.

Also Michael – I googled Signwriter Shorthand and found these …

**LINK**

They are even more alluring than the MS Word list.

Thanks again for your contributions.

Best wishes,

Sam

Edited By Sam Stones on 11/08/2019 03:46:52

SillyOldDuffer11/08/2019 08:24:16
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6469 forum posts
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Sorry to pour cold water on Signwriter Shorthand! Although the symbols look promising, don't they relate to signing as used by deaf people to communicate rather than sign writing as in shop facades and clock faces? They're a 20th century innovation unlikely to be on a 19th century clock.

Like seeing castles in the flames there's always danger of joining the dots wrongly, so I'm not convinced my Hebrew suggestion is right either. Note how I mistook 'G' for 'Fr'! However they do resemble the characters Alef, Kaf, Yod, Pay and Bet turned by 90°. One character is too damaged to guess.

First right way up, then turned as on the clock:

 

hebrew.jpg

Any Hebrew scholars out there?

Dave

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 11/08/2019 08:24:48

Michael Gilligan11/08/2019 08:36:31
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Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 11/08/2019 08:24:16:

Sorry to pour cold water on Signwriter Shorthand! Although the symbols look promising, don't they relate to signing as used by deaf people to communicate rather than sign writing as in shop facades and clock faces?

.

Sam has nicely demonstrated the perils of using a 'machine' to search for a concept

The words we have in our head may not match the words in its algorithm.

[ I too am running-out of plausible search terms ]

MichaelG.

SillyOldDuffer11/08/2019 09:26:16
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I like my idea the clock face has been "signed" by the painter. Sound engineers sometimes scratched personal messages in the blank shiny space on vinyl records just after the final track. I remember one 45 signed 'Porkies Prime Cut'. Perhaps it's instinctive to personalise one's achievements, just as dogs pee on lampposts to mark their territory, but it may not be meaningful unless you're Picasso...

Another theory, Sam asked if the broad strokes on his Latin numerals were printed. The rest of the clock markings look hand painted to me. My guess is the numerals were first outlined by hand, and then something like a rubber stamp was used to add consistent broad strokes to embolden the straight bits. Printed yes, but not by a machine. Comparing the magnified outline of several broad strokes might prove the point because a stamp could have a consistent flaw that's repeated on all of them.

Dave

Michael Gilligan11/08/2019 09:41:43
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Posted by Sam Stones on 09/08/2019 00:11:00:img_0382---wehlen-&-co - ed.jpg

.

Anything's possible, Dave

... but my bet is still on the marks being some sort of shorthand for the size and style of the four capitals.

MichaelG.

.

.

P.S. [slight digression] http://siliconzoo.org is not playing nicely on my iPad, but this is worth a look:

https://www.olympus-lifescience.com/en/microscope-resource/primer/virtual/virtualzoo/

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 11/08/2019 09:53:52

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