Tiffany & Co. Makers Tall Case Clock. New York.
Tiffany & Company is New York's and indeed America's first great jeweler. This firm is forever linked to the city's rise as an international capital of glamour and sophistication. The Tiffany & Co store on 5th Ave is among New York City's most storied and romantic destinations.
The present clock is recorded in the manuscript Order Book kept by the Clock Department of Tiffany & Company from 1879 to 1918 and is now currently in the collection of the New York Historical Society.
The order was for a chime movement for a Hall clock case. The case ordered with "Green Glass."
This clock movement is numbered 512. This is recorded in the form of a die stamp located on the back plate. In addition to this, "TIFFANY & CO MAKERS" and "PATENTED NOV. 7TH 1882" is also recorded here. According to the order book, this clock was made for stock and was completed on August 31, 1888. Other entries in the ledger indicate that the movement was to be a chime movement. The strike train designed by Joseph Lindauer and the two eight movement to be fitted with a mercury compensating pendulum at a $15 dollar added charge. The pendulum included an additional $4.90 worth of mercury. The dial was ordered engraved at $1.50 and silvered $4. This movement and dial cost $227.49 in materials and labor to construct.
This fine movement is constructed in brass and is very good quality. Four turned pillars support the two heavy brass plates. Hardened steel shafts support the polished steel pinions and brass gearing. The winding drums are turned smooth. This movement is constructed with retaining or maintaining power. The escapement is as a Graham deadbeat. The pendulum rod is a single length of steel that is supported by a brass mount located on the back board. The rod suspends a mercury filled two jar arrangement. The mercury is used for compensation for changes in temperature. (Currently the mercury is not with this clock.) The movement is weight driven and designed to run eight days on a full wind. Both weights are constructed are lead and covered in decorative brass casings. The strike train was designed and patented by Joseph Lindauer. He was the supervisor of the clock department of Tiffany & Co. He designed and patented on November 7th 1882, a strike train that allowed the clock to strike the hours and the quarter hours through a single train that is powered by the single weight. The striking is performed on a set of five wire coil shaped gongs that are mounted inside the case and are suspended from the top board. This clock strikes the Westminster sequence on the quarter hours and the hour on each hour. The quarter striking feature can be turned on or off by moving a lever located on the left side of the dial. when this is turned off, the clock will strike each hour on the hour.
This carved mahogany case is wonderful. It is elevated off the floor on four pad feet. The base section is composed of two components. The lower section is very simple and constructed with a slight taper. The corners begin to chamfer. This design element widens as you move you the case. The second section, making the transition through traditional moldings, continues the tapering theme. The canted corners become more prominent and are decorated with waterfall carvings. The three sides of the base are decorated with raise panel. The one located in the front is the most dynamic in that the upper corners are more fancifully designed. The waist section resembles a column. It is divided into five sections that are separated by narrow fluted wooden columns that terminate in turned wooden capitals. Each is fitted with glass. The two located at the back of the case are fitted with clear glass having beveled edges. The front three panels each feature 30 or more panels of green or blue green glass. The glass is textured or modeled. and held together in a lead frame work. This hand work is very attractive. This was constructed as requested in the original order. The center section is a door and opens to allow one access to the interior of the case. This is where one would access the two brass covered weights and pendulum. The bonnet features several different carving motifs. The first is located in each of the lower corners. The face of Father Time aides the transition from the waist to hood. Above the dial aperture is a carved ribbon motif. The crest is carved with a floral theme. The three hood doors are fitted with beveled glass panels. Carved parallel lines are incorporated into the design of the door. The top of the case is fitted with a crest. The front carries a floral theme. The two sides are decorated with repeating "Cs." Overall, this example makes a wonderful statement.
The dial is constructed in brass and the front surface has been treated with a silver wash. It is a circular form measuring 13.5 inches in diameter and features concentric rings which are molded into the form. The time closed time ring uses dots as minute indicators. The hour numerals are a calligraphic form and are applied to the surface of the dial. The subsidiary seconds dial is located in the traditional position below the hour 12. This dial is signed TIFFANY & CO. / MAKERS below the center arbor. The hands are three dimensionally formed and are in very good condition.
The case dimensions are as follows: Approximately 96 inches tall, 22 inches wide and 13.5 inches deep. This clock was made in August of 1888.
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