Remelee & Burnham of Salem Bridge, Connecticut
Jesse Remelee was born sometime in 1792 and died in sometime in 1860 at the age of 68. Judson William Burnham was born in 1793 the son of Abner Burnham a clockmaker from Sharon, Connecticut. Judson is known to have made Connecticut style mantle clocks. He and Remelee form a partnership and made the "Salem Bridge" variety for a number of years. Although their clocks are now seldom found.
This case is veneered in richly grained mahogany and retains its original finish. The varnish has darkened over the years and the surface is dry. This case is elevated on four feet. The back feet are simply turned in a modified vase vase form. The front two feet are stylistically carved in the form of animal paws. All four are mounted to the bottom board under the case. The front feet transition to the skillfully carved columns. These columns are fully decorated and applied to this case. They are positioned in such a manner that they suggest that they support the cornice molding located at the top of the case. They also flank the large door. It is the use of these columns that one might speculate that the case was manufactured by Charles Platt. (For additional information regarding this please Read the NAWCC Bulletin Supplement No. 313.) This door is veneered in mahogany and fitted with a brass line inlay. This door is visually divided into two sections. The lower section features a reverse paint decorated tablet. This tablet is original to this clock and is in very good original condition. Most of the original putty used to secure it is still in place. The tablet depicts a beautiful woman sitting on a chase lounge. A child kneels on her lap and has her attention. This theme is sometimes found in wall timepieces of the same period. The Burlington, Vermont partnership of Curtis & Dunning produced several examples that feature similar depictions. The colors used in this depiction remain strong and are vibrant. The green background has had some losses but overall, it is in excellent condition. The upper section of this door is fitted with clear glass. The door opens to allow one access to the heavy cast iron weights, brass faced pendulum bob and to access to the painted dial. The dial is painted on iron and measures 13 inches across and just over 11 inches tall. The gilt outer circle that frames the time ring measures approximately 11.25 inches in diameter. The four spandrel areas are colorfully decorated. This dial features a time ring that displays Roman numerals to mark the hours. A subsidiary seconds dial is positioned above the center arbor. Just below this arbor, the clock is signed signed by the Makers. This signature is now somewhat faint but can be read with a little effort. It is believed that these colorful iron dials were painted by Samuel Curtis of Boston. This connection ties in nicely with the possible origin of the reverse painted tablet. The brass works, weight driven, eight day movement is a time and strike design and is in good condition. It features a rack and snail striking system. This is the same set up found in most American tall case clocks. It is designed to strike each hour on a cast iron bell. This is mounted on to the backboard. The plates have been skeletonized as is the custom of most Salem Bridge clock movements.
This clock was made circa 1818. The case measures approximately 29.25 inches tall, 17.75 inches wide and 6.25 inches deep.
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