Massachusetts origin tall case clock. Unsigned painted dial.
This is a very interesting unsigned country tall case clock of Massachusetts origin. The case wood is cherry and retains it's original finish. Clock cases of this period were originally protected with a shellac based finish. The shellac used on this example was originally applied in a very heavy coat. This suggested that the finisher used multiple coats. Over time, it has moved and shrunk forming richly textured surface that is similar to the skin of an alligator. This process is consistent over the entire surface of the case. The result is quite nice and now provides an interesting presentation.
This cherry case stands on four original applied bracket feet. They are glued to the bottom of the lower molding which is attached to the lower section of the base. The waist is long and narrow centering tombstone shaped door. This door is trimmed with a simple molded edge. The hood features a simple molded arch molding that is surmounted with three reeded or fluted finial plinths. These are original to this clock and exhibit a nice variation on the traditional theme. A brass finial is positioned on each plinth. The bonnet columns are smoothly turned and terminate in brass capitals. The bonnet door is arched in form and fitted with glass. Behind the glass, one can view the painted iron dial.
This thin sheet iron dial is wonderfully painted decorated. The decoration is distinctive and must have been performed by a local artisan. The style of the decoration is less structured and more reserved than the artwork traditionally found on the more common production dials of English origin. The presentation is charming. The four spandrel areas each feature a small grouping of brilliant red berries. These are depicted on stems or branches that retain their leaves. The arch of the dial is also decorated with long flora patterns that center a scene in the center section. Interestingly, this dial lacks the raised gesso worked that is traditional found on imported dials from this period. This gesso work is often incorporated in the borders of the spandrel areas and in the decoration found in the arch. The time ring features Roman hour numerals and Arabic five minute markers are positioned above each hour. The time is indicated by the clock's two hands which are cut from steel. These hands are hand filed into a lovely pattern. This dial displays the seconds and calendar day in the traditional locations. The dial is mounted directly to a steel false plate which in turn mounts to the movement with traditional style posts. The movement is brass and designed to run eight days on a full wind. It is weight powered and strikes each hour on a cast iron bell. The bell is mounted above the movement on a post. This movement is good quality
This clock stands approximately 7 feet 1 inches tall to the top of the center final. It was made circa 1795.
This clock is inventory number 210085.
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