Daniel Munroe Jr. Boston, Massachusetts tall clock. William Munroe casemaker.

This is a very interesting tall case clock made by Daniel Munroe Jr. of Boston, Massachusetts. In fact, it may be the only Daniel Munroe example known to be signed with the working locations as “Boston.” A second interesting aspect of this example is that the case is stamped by his brother William Munroe. Very few New England tall clock cases are signed by their Maker’s. This is a very unusual combination.

If you collect Munroe clocks, this example has it all.

This wonderful inlaid mahogany cased example features good Concord proportions. The case is signed with a stamped in several interior locations by Daniel’s brother William Munroe. His stamp simply reads, “W*M.” This case illustrates that William was a talented cabinetmaker. The wood selected in the construction of this case is first rate. The veneers are exuberantly figured and the finish highlights the grain patterns. The base stands on four ogee bracket feet that are fitted to a double stepped molding that is applied to the bottom of this case. The base panel is framed with cross banded border. Multiple line inlay patterns define the interior frame. An exuberantly grained selection of crotch veneer is exhibited in the center of this panel. The sides of this waist are fitted with brass stop-fluted quarter columns that terminate in brass quarter capitals. The rectangularly shaped waist door is also cross banded and line inlaid in a pattern that is repeated from the base section. The veneered selected for this location is also quite special. An applied molding frames the outer edge of this door. The bonnet features a traditional New England style fret work. Three line inlaid and paneled finial plinths support the three ball and spiked brass finials. Fully turned and fluted bonnet columns are stopped with rods. Theses terminate in brass capitals. The columns located at the back of the bonnet are neatly fitted into the corners. The tombstone shaped side lights are fitted with glass. The arched bonnet door is veneered, line inlaid and is is fitted with glass. The dial mask is painted black and the interior edge is fitted with brass piping. This opens to allow one access to the skillfully 13 inch painted iron dial.

This iron dial was manufactured and painted in Boston. The artwork is identifiable and is attributed to the Boston Artist Spencer Nolen. The artwork is well executed and this dial is signed in the arch ““Daniel Munroe / Boston.” The four corner areas are decorated with a lacy patterns that are raised off the surface of the dial with gesso. This decoration is then highlighted with gilt paint. A medallion featuring a flower is centered in each pattern. The time track is formatted with Roman style hour figures. Each of the five minute markers are indicated in an Arabic form. The subsidiary seconds dial and month calendar are located in their traditional locations.

The works or movement is constructed in brass and is good quality. Four turned pillars support the two brass plates. Hardened steel shafts support the polished steel pinions and brass gearing. The winding drums are grooved. The escapement is designed as a recoil format. The movement is weight driven and designed to run eight days on a full wind. It is a two train or a time and strike design having a rack and snail striking system. As a result, it will strike each hour on the hour. This is done on a cast iron bell which is mounted above the movement.

This clock was made circa 1808 and stands 7 feet 10 inches tall to the top of the center finial.

About Daniel Munroe Junior of Concord and Boston, Massachusetts.

Daniel Munroe Jr. was born in Roxbury on July 13, 1775. He learned clockmaking from Simon Willard and served a successful seven year apprenticeship under him. Simon wrote in a letter dated July 13, 1796 that described Daniel as, “ … one of the best workman in America.“ After serving his apprenticeship, Daniel worked for a short time as a journeyman clock maker in Roxbury in Willards shop before moving to Concord, Massachusetts sometime before 1798. Here he kept a shop opposite the Clothing Mill and worked as a clockmaker and silversmith. On November 29, 1804 he married Sarah Dakin in Concord. In 1839, he moved to New York City. He then moves back to Boston in 1841 through 1856. Daniel Died in Boston on October 21, 1859.

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