Seth Thomas Chime No 57 Sonora Chime

Presented for your consideration is this Antique Seth Thomas Chime Clock No. 57, circa 1914

This clock is is in excellent, working condition.  It has been completely serviced and restored. 

The nearly century old case retains it's original rich brown mahogany color and stain. Far beyond the normal alligatoring that comes with age, the original shellac coating was deeply cracked and discolored with deep blotching.

Restoration of the case included the following:

  • Disassembly and thorough cleaning inside and out.
  • Amalgamation of the original shellac coat
  • Application of several coats of French Polish
  • Hand application of several coats of quality furniture paste wax
  • Cast brass bezel was polished and lacquered.
  • Silvered, lightly worn 5 inch dial was gently cleaned and lacquered

The chime movement is a 90J and the time movement is an 89AG.  Both were:

  • Completely disassembled and closely inspected
  • Ultrasonically cleaned twice in a specially formulated clock cleaning solution
  • Plates were rebushed where needed, and pegged
  • Pivots were lathe polished
  • Movement 90J's mainspring was replaced with a new, high quality steel mainspring. (These large springs costs 2-3 times as much as most mainsprings, but the Sonora Chime Movement requires a lot of power to run for a full week. The old mainspring was tested and just wasn't up to the task)
  • Movement 89AG's time train mainspring was also weak and was replaced with a quality steel mainspring.
  • The strike train mainspring tested well and was cleaned, inspected, lubricated and put back into service.
  • Reassembled and lubricated with the highest quality synthetic clock oils and grease
  • Reinstalled in the restored case and successfully tested for a month of uninterupted operation.

This is an excellent example of the Seth Thomas Chime No 57 which has been prepared to beautifully provide years of accurate, distinctive and lyrical time-keeping

The cast bronze bezel snaps shut with virtually no hinge droop as does the case door. The bezel has what appears to be the original convex beveled glass which is free from chips, scratches or cracks. The hands retain their original factory blue steel color. It is a very nice clock that would make great addition to your collection or a gift for that special someone.

With its fine grained, rich brown mahogany case which combines the classic shapes of the doric arch and the tambour, Seth Thomas produced a clock that was truly made for a large mantel, but which still fits within a bookcase, shelf or on any large sturdy piece of furniture.

Seth Thomas Sonora Chime Advertisement


The name "Sonora" comes from the Sonora Chime Company.William Hoschke of New York, New York applied for his patent on this design on April 16, 1907, and the patent was granted on April 18, 1908. Hoschke apparently had a background with music box engineering that he utilized in his design of the Sonora configuration. Seth Thomas purchased the rights to Hoschke's bell chime mechanism and resonators patent around 1912, changed the movements to suit their own manufacturing techniques, cut the price substantially, and successfully marketed a full line of Sonora clocks with numerous models and configurations. The unique, rich, resonant sound of Sonora bell chimes comes from the wooden expansive sound chamber in which the cup bells are mounted. They are struck with leather-tipped hammers. These movements were made with as many as eight bells playing two different tunes, some even alternating between tunes each hour! (Reference:

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<P><FONT color=#000000><FONT color=#009300>Please look over our description, photos and the video carefully and let us know if you have any questions or want additional photos</FONT>.  We check our Ebay messages at least twice a day when we have active listings and will try to get back to you in as timely a manner as possible but please do not wait until the last minute.  We'll try but we may not be able to get back to you before the auction ends if you do.</FONT></P>
<P><FONT color=#0000ff>If you decide to bid with us this time, good luck.  In any case, <STRONG>we thank you </STRONG>for your time and consideration!</FONT></P>
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Click on images for a larger view

Front View of Clock Back view of Clock
Front ViewBack View
Left View Right View
Left ViewRight View
Top View Bottom View
Top ViewBottom View
Close up of Dial Manufacturer's Tradmarks
Close up of DialTrademarks
Movement ready to reassemble Movement being bench tested
Movement ready to reassembleMovement being tested

To see and hear the time and strike functions of this clock, play the video. You can view the healthy pendulum swing and hear the beautiful Sonora Bells Chime Westminster and Strike the Hour on a four-bell chord.

We want you to be happy with your purchase. We guarantee this clock to be as described and to run trouble free for one year from the date of receipt.  We offer an unconditional return policy within one week for a full refund of the purchase price.  Shipping, handling and insurance costs will not be refunded in cases of "Buyer's remorse".  If you find that the clock is not as described, you'll have one full week to return it for a full refund (all S/H & Ins. charges included).  If you experience any problems with this clock not operating properly, just safely ship it back to us for an evaluation.  If we determine that the problem was caused by materials we used or our workmanship, we will repair the clock free of charge, return it to you at our cost and we will reimburse you for your shipping charges.  If we determine that the problem was due to something completely beyond our control we will contact you with an estimate of any necessary repairs and return shipping charges. Return shipping and handling must be performed in the same manner with the same quality and quantity of packing materials as used in the original shipping. Unless it is damaged, it is best to keep the original box to pack the clock when it is being shipped or even just moved from one house to another. Shipping insurance is highly recommended.

Test of Time Clocks
224 Broadway
Hanover, PA 17331
(717) 633-6295