This Gallery will be of special interest to serious collectors of
100% Canadian-made Pequegnat mantel clocks.
There were almost one hundred different catalogued models of mantel, wall, and hall (grandfather) clocks produced by The Arthur Pequegnat Clock Company between 1904 and 1941 in Berlin / 1916 / Kitchener, Ontario. Some are more common today than others, and their current values reflect that uneven distribution.
No company production records have ever been found - sadly, in fact, there is very good evidence that they were intentionally destroyed around the day of the final disposal auction in 1964. "Marcel Pequegnat, nominally the last company President, ordered that all company records be taken to the dump. Which was done."
But there is one extremely rare model that collectors are looking for: the PREMIER mantel clock listed only in the first catalogue in 1904. All other Pequegnat clocks have wood cases. The PREMIER has a black-painted metal (cast iron) case, in the general style of the tens of thousands of black metal-cased mantel clocks made by several American companies in the early 1900s.
Because of the high collector value for the PREMIER model, there has often been a concern about "home-made" (= fake) Premier examples possibly showing up on the market.
As of mid April 2017 we are now aware of THREE different examples of the PREMIER that are in private hands. In each case the owners contacted our museum for identification. And we then consulted Canadian clocks and Pequegnat clocks expert Jim Connell for his opinion.
The first example was reported to us back in 2006 and is in private hands in western Canada.
The second example has two aspects that raised concerns about authenticity. One is that the front feet are a typical Pequegnat style BUT NOT the shape shown in the 1904 catalogue. The other concern is that the slow / fast speed adjust letters are reversed on its dial compared to "normal" early Pequegnat dials. They appear as F S around the dial hole, not the expected S F. However, there now appears to be a plausible explanation for this oddity - read on!
The third example, like the first, appears to be a perfect match with the picture in the 1904 catalogue. Note that the owners of this clock do have both lions heads RINGS not shown in some of their pictures.
For each example in the many pictures below, the black painted case and back panel are metal. Only the inside floor that holds the spiral gong is made of wood. There is no paper company label on any of these three clocks.
For examples 1 and 3, at the bottom of the early celluloid plastic dial you see The Arthur Pequegnat Clock Co., Berlin, Canada. There is no company name on the example 2 dial, BUT that is NOT a concern, because many early Pequegnat celluloid dials do not have the company name.
Also, for each clock, the confirmed Pequegnat-design movement does not have the company name, but that is also not uncommon for early Pequegnat mantel clock movements. However, all three have the characteristic shiny, nickel-plated back plates the same as for stamped Pequegnat movements.
CONCLUSIONS - ARE THEY REAL? In this group of three PREMIER clocks, two (the first and third in this discussion) look to be identical to the picture in the Pequegnat 1904 catalogue and they are believed to be all original. The 1904 catalogue description includes: PARLOR CLOCK. Premier. Black Enamelled Iron. Width 14 inches. Height 10 1/2 inches. The dimensions appear to include the feet and lions heads.
I believe that the second example is also real, perhaps made in a later production run when "normal" Pequegnat feet were taken from the stock used for their wood-cased models. The reversed letters around the dial hole for the speed-adjust arbor, F S instead of the usual S F, stand out for sure. BUT the fact that an early COLONIAL model also has the perceived "defective" dial (see the pictures in this Gallery) suggests that the Pequegnat factory workers had simply used a stock of these "defective" dials. OPEN FOR DISCUSSION.
ALL PICTURES in this Gallery were kindly provided to us with our thanks by the different clock owners in 2006 (the first), 2017 (the second, including the Colonial model with the same "wrong" dial), and 2017 (the third).
So we now know about three examples of the rare PREMIER model. Can we now assume that here must me more out there somewhere in Canada? HAPPY HUNTING.
CLICK ON ANY THUMBNAIL IMAGE TO SHOW THEM ALL.
IF YOU HAVE A PREMIER MODEL and wish to confirm its identity, compare yours with these pictures and the catalogue dimensions. And you can contact the museum for advice.