John Bull. A blinking eye novelty clock.
The majority of these early American cast iron figural clocks cases were made by the firm Bradley and Hubbard of Meriden, Connecticut. It is known that they used a number of different movements in the various case styles they offered. The movement in this example was made by Chauncey Jerome.
This figure is often referred to as John Bull. Some horological reference books call this the Squire model. The figure John Bull is a personification of his English country and was very popular during the 19th century. The John Bull character originated in John Arbuthnot's "The History of John Bull (1712)" He became widely known from his use in cartoons published in the British humor magazine "Punch." These cartoons were written by Sir John Tenniel. In print, John Bull was portrayed as an honest, solid farmer figure often accompanied by his bulldog. His popularity started to taper after the Second World War. He is described as the British version of Americas' Uncle Sam.
This example is in good original condition. This cast iron case retains the vast majority of its original paint, having some minor chips, flaking and corner wear. It is thought that these cases were originally painted by local women who were paid per the piece. John Bull is mounted on a stepped base. This example has a very interesting casting that is located under the base of this clock that reads, "T. Kennedy, Patent, Applied, For 1856." Further study is needed in order to fully understand this connection. to the Bardley & Hubbard firm. John Bull is portrayed here as well dressed gentleman, wearing a reddish / orange coat with tails, a yellow petty coat, fancy patent leather shoes and a classic style top hat. The paper dial has been replaced. It is somewhat difficult to find this form with an original dial. They are more often than not replaced. The eyes are also original to this example. They are designed to move in a blinking or winking motion. It does this via a wire that is attached to the balance wheel and verge. The movement is brass and designed to run 30 hours on a full wind. It is spring driven and wound with a key through the dial. This movement is die-stamped by the movement maker, "C. JEROME."
This clock measures approximately 16.5 inches tall and is 8.5 inches wide and 6 inches deep. It was made circa 1865.
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