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Clocks And Watches (J) - Encyclopedia Of Antiques

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Jack: Originally a man struck the CANONICAL HOURS on a bell when a small ALARM warned him to do so. Then a mechanical man (AUTOMATON) was invented to strike the bell, one of the earliest known being called 'Jacquemard' (Jack o' the clock), in 1517 records of the 1383 clock of Dijon, France. This became contracted to 'Jack' in England, as with JACK BLANDIFER.

Jack Blandifer: Name of fourteenth century mechanical figure or JACK that sits above an arch inside Wells Cathedral. He strikes the hours on a bell with a hammer in one hand, nods his head, and sounds the quarters by kicking other bells with his heels. See Wells Clock.

Jack the Smiter Clock: JACK at Southwold, Suffolk, in fifteenth century 'armour', now operated by a rope.

Japanese Clock: Dutch traders took VERGE and FOLIOT clocks to Japan in 1600. The Japanese copied these, but did not follow European trends. Instead, they adapted clocks to show Japanese hours. Until as late as 1873, a day was divided into six night hours and six day hours. Since periods of daylight altered through the year, so did the lengths of both day and night hours. Clocks were therefore made to go one RATE in the day and another at night, by using two foliots. Hour divisions could be adjusted by hand, or dials replaced by others at each month. Each six hour period was numbered backwards 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, and 4, starting from 12 noon and midnight. Striking followed suit. Clocks of the period striking half hours sound them alternatively with single and double blows. So a Japanese clock of the period strikes 9 at 12 noon; 1 at 12.30 p.m.; 8 at 1 p.m.; 2 at 1.30 p.m.; 7 at 2 p.m.; 1 at 2.30 p.m., and so on. Collectors divide old Japanese clocks into three varieties: 'LANTERN', 'BRACKET' (introduced in the nineteenth century), and 'pillar', a type not found elsewhere. On a pillar clock a pointer indicates the time on a straight, vertical scale, which is changed monthly.

Japanese Horological Industry: The modern industry in Japan has grown rapidly since the Second World War and produces many forms of clock and watch, including JEWELLED LEVERS. Its watch output is about 4 % of the world total, and it was one of the first to produce a QUARTZ CRYSTAL domestic clock. American companies have a stake in the industry.

Japy, Frederic (1749-1812): Swiss inventor of the earliest machine tools for making watches, particularly of LEPINE CALIBRE design. Pioneer of the FRENCH HOROLOGICAL INDUSTRY.

Jeanrichard, Daniel: Went to Le Locle in Switzerland in 1700 and, with his five sons, became a pioneer of watchmaking in the Neuchatel area, particularly by factory methods. There is a statue of him in Le Locle.

Jens Olsen's Clock: Magnificent ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK, which is probably the most accurate ever made. Erected in Copenhagen City Hall, made by Jens Olsen during 1944-55, and subscribed to by every member of the Danish nation as a symbol of delivery from the German occupation.

Jesuit Clocks: Striking clocks introduced into China by Jesuit missionaries after 1585.

Jewel: Clock or watch bearing made of synthetic ruby, comprising a ring (the 'hole') with a SINK for oil. Invented in 1704 by Nicholas Facio, and Peter and Jacob Debaufre, who used pierced natural rubies. Many other gemstones have been used including garnet (which is too soft) and diamond. Now synthetic ruby or sapphire is universal. Also an END STONE to take the end thrust of a pivot, an IMPULSE PIN, and a PALLET made of synthetic ruby for watches or agate for clocks. Jewels reduce friction and wear. Making them is a highly specialized separate industry. A court case in 1962 established that it is illegal in the U.K. to advertise or sell watches by 'jewels' that are not truly functional. A non-AUTOMATIC WATCH with 15 jewels is considered fully jewelled. Large numbers, particularly as high as 41, 56, and 77, should be suspect.

Jewelled Lever: A watch of better quality, with a LEVER ESCAPEMENT which has jewelled PALLETS, not PIN PALLETS.

Jockele Clock: Small BLACK FOREST CLOCK, named after those about 3 in. high made c. 1780 by 'Jockele' Herbstrieth.

Journeyman: After seven years, an APPRENTICE clockmaker had to work as a journeyman for two years, before he was allowed to submit his MASTERPIECE to the CLOCKMAKER'S COMPANY. If the masterpiece was approved, he was granted Freedom of the Company and could become a MASTER clockmaker. Apprentices lived on the premises but journeymen could live out, i.e. they 'journeyed' to work.

Jumping Dial: Clock or watch dial with DIGITAL RECORDING on which the numerals are seen through apertures, the hours 'jumping' or changing every hour and the minutes every minute. Such watches go in and out of fashion. Also employed in small public clocks. A variation is the TICKET CLOCK.