Seth Thomas "Violin."
This very unusual mantel clock was made by the Seth Thomas Clock Company of Thomaston, Connecticut. Apparently, this form is not listed in any of the known Seth Thomas clock catalogs. It is thought to have been constructed as the result of a special order. Several examples have been found that are dated with the Seth Thomas code. It indicates that they were made circa 1885.
This case is constructed in the form of a violin or more appropriately a viola. This is a three dimensional form being well designed and finished from all points of view. The wood selected for the case construction is walnut and retains an older finish. This walnut features a vibrant grain pattern. The carvings are applied to the front surfaces and are in excellent original condition. This example retains it's original gut strings. These are located on the neck and also under the door. The case is elevated by a plinth or base. This is support by four feet or pads. The center of the form is fitted with a door. The frame is well formed and hinged from the right. This is fitted with glass and protects the clock mechanism and dial. This glass is decorated from the back with a musically formatted stencil. It is in excellent original condition. The 5.5 inch painted tin dial is in good original condition. The time ring is formatted with Roman style hour numerals. The eight-day, coil spring powered, lyre shaped plates stamped S. Thomas Thomaston CT, USA movement features Geneva stops, count wheel strike, recoil escapement, and gong with cast mark of Seth Thomas Clock Co. The pendulum is detachable from the middle of the rod. The lead bob is covered in brass. The Maker's dark blue label is pasted inside the case and reads "MANUFACTUERD BY / Seth Thomas Clock Company / THOMASTON, CONN., / U. S. A."
This case measures 28 7/8 inches tall, 13 5/8 inches wide and 4 3/4 inches deep.
The violin form is pictured in several reference books. Fred Selchow's clock is pictured on plate 272 in The Book of American Clocks written by Brooks Palmer Seventh Printing. Another example is pictured on a full page (page 259) in Brooks Palmer's A Treasury of American Clocks. A third is pictured on page 198 of Distin and Bishop's, The American Clock.
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