Seth Thomas of Plymouth, Connecticut. A transitional shelf clock.
This is a clean example of a transitional shelf clock made by Seth Thomas in Plymouth, Connecticut. Inside the case is the Clockmakers label that reads “Patent Clock invented by Eli Terry. Made and Sold in Plymouth, Connecticut by Seth Thomas…” This label is pasted onto the backboard. It does have some areas of loss. This transitional mahogany case clock stands on carved front feet. The sides are fitted with turned wooden half columns that are applied to the case. Both of these and the splat located at the top of the case are nicely decorated with stencils. This bonze finish is original to the clock and is in very good original condition. The center of the case is fitted with a large door that is veneered in mahogany and divided into two sections. The upper section retains its original glass that was puttied in place. The lower section is fitted with a reverse panted tablet. It is also original to this clock. It does have some small areas of loss and a small crack is located in the lower right corner. The painted wooden dial is decorated with gilt designs. The time ring is formatted with Arabic numerals. The wooden geared movement is weight driven and runs for thirty hours on a full wind. It will also strike each hour on a cast iron bell mounted to the backboard of this clock.
This clock stands approximately 32.75 inches tall, 17 inches wide and 4.75 inches deep. This clock was made circa 1830.
This transitional shelf clock is inventory number LL-66.
About Seth Thomas
Thomas was born in Wolcott, Connecticut, in 1785. He was apprenticed as a carpenter and joiner, and worked building houses and barns. He started in the clock business in 1807, working for clockmaker Eli Terry. Thomas formed a clock-making partnership in Plymouth, Connecticut with Eli Terry and Silas Hoadley as Terry, Thomas & Hoadley.
In 1810, he bought Terry’s clock business, making tall clocks with wooden movements, though chose to sell his partnership in 1812, moving in 1813 to Plymouth Hollow, Connecticut, where he set up a factory to make metal-movement clocks. In 1817, he added shelf and mantel clocks. By the mid-1840s, he changed over to brass from wooden movements. He made the clock that is used in Fireman’s Hall. He died in 1859, whereupon the company was taken over by his son, Aaron, who added many styles and improvements after his father’s death. The company went out of business in the 1980s.
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