Dating longcase clock cases
ABBOTT – PLACE UNKNOWN – clock dials C1810 or 1820 ADAM, JOSEPH – GLASGOW – clock dials 1837 ALLDRIDGE, EDWARD – 37 DEAN ST., BIRMINGHAM 1833-61 ALLDRIDGE, EDWIN – BIRMINGHAM – clock dials 1833 to 1864 ANDERSON & CO – BIRMINGHAM – clock dials 1790 ASHWIN & CO – BIRMINGHAM – clock dials c1790 to c1800 ASHWIN & BYRNE – BIRMINGHAM 1792-98 BAKER & SON – BIRMINGHAM – clock dials 1846 BAKER, RICHARD – BIRMINGHAM – clock dials 1841 to 1866 BAKER, SAMUEL – BIRMINGHAM – clock dials 1823 to 1850 BAKER, SAMUEL & SON – BIRMINGHAM – clock dials 1858 BAKER, THOMAS – BIRMINGHAM – clock dials & clock maker 1839 to 1850 BAKER, WILLIAM I – BIRMINGHAM – clock dials 1822 to 1831 BAKER, WILLIAM II – BIRMINGHAM – clock dials & clock maker 1854 to 1867 BATKIN, WILLIAM & SON – BIRMINGHAM – printed dials 1803 BEACH, JOSEPH I – BIRMINGHAM – 1849 to 1863 BEACH, JOSEPH II – BIRMINGHAM – 1849 to 1880 BEILBY & HAWTHORNE – NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE – clock dials 1796 – c1817 BEILBY HAWTHORNE & WHITTAKER – HALIFAX & NEWCASTLE – clock dials c1800 BELL & MEUDELL – EDINBURGH – clock dials 1832 to 1849 BELL, P.
From around 1730 (all these figures are approximate all the way through this article) the brass dial clock was made all over England in ever-increasing numbers, and the dials became more ornate as time went on, especially on the eight-day clocks.
These earliest oak cases were simple by intent, partly because London styles (which they copied in simplified form) were themselves still simple, but partly because there was little point in offering a clock in cheaper materials if the sheer extravagance of styling made it into a costly clock anyway.
Fruitwood and solid walnut were sometimes used as alternatives to oak at about the same price, but these woods were very prone to worm, were not too popular, and have far less often survived. An early eight-day longcase in oak, made about 1730 by Stephen Blackburn of Oakham, this one an arched dial clock with imposing caddy top, much in the style of a London walnut clock of the period. The earliest longcase clocks (let's say about the year 1700) were made in eight-day form, but also, as country versions, in thirty-hour form, the latter being about half the price of the eight-day.
Where two dialmakers’ names are stamped there, it is often when one maker took over the unused stock of another and a very useful guide indeed for dating a dial.
For a full understanding, read Brian Loomes’ book “Painted Dial Clocks”.