A Rocking Ship automated tall case clock of Rhode Island origin
This fine mahogany case tall clock is of Rhode Island origin. Inside the case is a hand written note. It states that this clock was originally purchased by Nathan Allen of North Kingston in 1815. He traded two head of cattle for the clock valued at $60. In 1828, this clock was then given to N. A. Arnold. It appears in the inventory in 1833 having a value of $8.00. Thomas Arnold purchased this clock for $25 in 1833 It was then given to Howard V. Allen in 1924.
This fine example features very long and narrow proportions. The line inlaid case is constructed in mahogany incorporating New England white pine as a secondary wood. The case retains an older finish which has mellowed in to a pleasing patina.
This case stands on it's four applied ogee bracket feet. These feet are a traditional Rhode Island form being a little smaller in scale as compared to feet made in Massachusetts during the same time period. The base panel features a long sweeping vertical grain pattern. A delicate line inlay pattern is a wonderful subtle detail. This format is repeated in the very long rectangular waist door. This door is trimmed with a cock beaded molding along the outer edge. Applying a molding in this manner is another construction detail often found in Rhode Island made cases. This door fills the waist section. The sides of the waist are fitted with fluted quarter columns that terminate in brass quarter capitals. The bonnet is the traditional fretwork style and is surmounted by three brass finials. Each finial is mounted on a fluted plinth. The frets and the finials appear to be original to this example. The fully turned and fluted bonnet columns are mounted in brass capitals and flank the bonnet door. This door is an arched form. The opening is fitted with glass. This door opens to access the dial.
This dial features a rocking ship mechanism in it's arch. This automated display is somewhat difficult to find in the marketplace. It is a very desirable feature. The ship moves side to side with the motion of the pendulum. This example depicts an American ship sailing along the coast line. Colorful floral decorations are positioned in each of the four spandrel areas. This dial is not signed by the Clockmaker. The time ring is formatted with roman numeral hour markers. Arabic numerals are used to mark the five minute positions. A subsidiary seconds dial can be viewed inside the time ring in it's traditional location.
The movement is brass and of good quality. It is weight powered and designed to run eight days on a full wind. It will also strike each hour on the hour on a cast iron bell. This bell is mounted above the movement. It is good quality.
This fine clock stands approximately 7 feet 11 inches tall. It is inventory number 28014.
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