A fantastic tall case clock that is wonderfully decorated with inlays. This case was most likely made in Central, Massachusetts, possibly Sutton. 219096

This very nicely proportioned tall case clock is constructed primarily in cherry and New England white pine is used as a secondary wood. The woods used in constructing the inlays consist of various grades of mahogany, birch and maple. The case features an appropriate orange shellac finish that promotes the texture, contrast in color and the grain exhibited in the woods. This finish is currently 50 plus years old and has mellowed nicely over that time.

This case is elevated on four boldly formed ogee bracket feet. The form exhibits excellent height and a long spur or return is incorporated in the design. The feet are delicate and it is remarkable that they have survived. They are applied to a molding which is secured to the base. The base panel is framed with a narrow cross-banded mahogany border. A line of string inlay frames the interior of this banding. Each of the four corners are fitted with a quarter fans. The five individual blades used vary in their shading. In the center of the base panel is a full patera. This is formatted like the quarter fans in terms of its coloring. The waist section is long and is fitted with a tomb-stone shaped waist door. This door features the same cross-banded border exhibited on the base panel. It is also trimmed with a simple molded edge. The center of the waist door is inlaid with an additional full patera. A inlaid half fan is positioned in the arch of this door. Open the door and one will access the two drive weights and brass faced pendulum bob. The corners of the case are fitted with fluted quarter columns. These terminate at both ends in turned wooden quarter capitals. The bonnet or hood is fitted with an unusual variation of the New England style pierced fretwork pattern. It is unusual in that features a star opening on both sides. This fret work is support by three fluted chimneys or final plinths. Each of these are capped at the top and support a brass finial. Fully turned and fluted bonnet columns or colonnettes visually support the upper bonnet moldings.  These are mounted in brass capitals and are free standing. The sides of the hood are fitted with diamond shaped side lights and they are fitted with glass. The arched bonnet door is also cross-banded and line inlaid. This door is fitted with glass and opens to access the painted iron dial.

This imported English dial is fitted with a false plate. The time track is done in two separate formats. The hours are indicated in large Roman style numerals. The five minute markers are painted in an Arabic form. A subsidiary seconds dial and month calendar can be seen inside the time ring. The four spandrel areas are colorfully decorated with floral patterns. Florals patterns are also painted inside the time ring. In the arch of this dial, one will find a moon phase mechanism or lunar calendar. The lunar calendar or moon phase mechanism is a mechanical almanac. This feature was most likely made on special order due to the extra work involved in producing it. This display would have been valuable to a number of occupations during the colonial era. Farmers were known to track the moon phase so they could anticipate the days that offered the most available moonlight. A bright night would be more beneficial to them in scheduling their tilling and harvesting of their fields. Sailors and merchants track the lunar phases in oder to know when the high tide would allow their ships to sail easily from port or when the fishing might be best. Numerous religious groups had an almost superstitious litany of rituals that were best performed in accordance with lunar events. The actual lunar month represents an inconvenient interval of 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.8 seconds. A tall clocks lunar calendar is set constant at 29.5 days which represents a full cycle. As a result, a 9 hour setback is required at the end of a single year in order to keep the lunar display current. The areas that are traditionally formatted with depictions of the hemispheres are painted decorated with pastoral settings.

This fine movement is constructed in brass and is good quality.  Four turned pillars support the two brass plates. The plates are a full rectangle. These pillars are an unusual form in that they incorporate a cone design in their structure. Hardened steel shafts support the polished steel pinions and brass gearing. The winding drums are grooved. The escapement is designed as a recoil format. The movement is weight driven and designed to run eight days on a full wind.  It is a two train or a time and strike design having a rack and snail striking system.  As a result, it will strike each hour on the hour.  This is done on a cast iron bell which is mounted above the movement. 

This clock was made circa 1800. It stands approximately 7 feet 8 inches tall or 92 inches tall to the top of the center finial. At the upper bonnet molding, this case is 20.5 inches wide and 11 inches deep.

219096

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