Allen Kelley of Sandwich, Massachusetts
This is a diminutive inlaid mahogany case measuring 7 feet 4 inches tall and exhibiting very delicate proportions. This case is built on a scale that should fit in many of New England's height challenged homes. The proportions are excellent. This case stands on four wonderfully developed flared French feet. These transition to a single sweeping apron that swoops down from the center of the base. The front base panel features a narrow inlaid border. The wood used is in this location is interestingly enough, ash. Inside this is a thin line inlay of maple that repeats the form of the base. The combination of these two details nicely frame the base panel. The waist is long and narrow. This section is fitted with a rectangular waist door that is trimmed with delicate applied molding. This door is also line inlaid and exhibits an interesting selection of veneer. The quarter columns are fluted and terminate in brass quarter capitals. The columns are supported on plinths that are also veneered in ash wood. The bonnet features a traditional New England style the fretwork. Three ash veneered finial plinths support the three ball and spike brass finials. The bonnet columns are fully turned and fluted. These are free standing and terminate in brass quarter capitals. The line inlaid bonnet door is arched and fitted with glass. It opens to access the very colorful painted dial. This dial is of Boston origin. It was manufactured by the Nolen & Curtis firm. They specialized as ornamental painters and painted numerous clock dials for the trade as well as egloimise' tablets for looking glasses. Their work is very distinctive and it is nice to note that this dial is an American made product. The front of the dial is signed across the middle "Allen Kelley, Sandwich.” In the arch of the dial is a colorfully painted decorated ornament. This is surrounded by raised fanciful gesso decorations that are highlighted in guilding. This theme is repeated in the spandrel areas. The time ring is formatted with large Arabic hour numerals. Smaller Arabic numerals mark each of the five minute markers. A subsidiary seconds dial and a separate calendar dial can be found in their traditional locations. The time and strike movement is of good quality. This movement features fully skelatonized plates. This is a process were the extra brass in the plates of the movement is removed., It is thought that the removed sections of brass were then used in the construction of an additional project. This is a true New England Yankee practice. This movement is powered by weights and designed to run for an eight-day duration. It is also designed to strike each hour on a cast iron bell. This bell is mounted above the movement.This clock was made circa 1815.
About Allen Kelley
Allen Kelley of Sandwich, Massachusetts.
Allen Kelley was born in Yarmouth, Massachusetts on November 14th, 1791. He was a Quaker and served his apprenticeship under the Quaker clockmaker Joshua Wilder of Hingham. By 1813 Kelley is recorded to be on his own and working as a clockmaker of Sandwich, Massachusetts. From here he moved to several other locations in the Southeastern Massachusetts region. Some of the towns include Provincetown in 1819 – 1820, Nantucket in 1825, New Bedford in 1834 and back to Sandwich in 1852. He died there on October 13th, 1876. He was 84 years young. Allen Kelley is listed as a clockmaker, watchmaker, silversmith and a jeweler. Tall clocks and Massachusetts Shelf clocks are known.
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