Adam Brant of New Hanover, Pennsylvania. A walnut case tall clock.
This is a fine chippendale walnut tall case clock. It retains a finish that has been on the case for many years. This is a very clean form that incorporates a number of construction details that a cabinetmaker would enjoy. This case is supported or raised up off the floor by four applied bracket feet. The front feet are joined at the corners by dovetailed joinery and the fingers or the tails are left exposed for one to review. The base molding is secured to the base with wooden pins. This use of wooden pins can also been seen in the fastening of the base panel, the waist frame and in the construction of the hood door. The waist section is fitted with a long narrow door that is arched at he top. Through this one can gain access to the interior of the case. The bonnet is fitted with an overhanging cornice molding, an arched door that is fitted with glass, and four free standing wooden columns that are decoratively turned. Please note the use of dovetail construction in the front corners of the hood. The sides have six tails visible. The case sides have been cut in an early accommodation for pendulum swing, and are capped with brass plates on the outside.
This style of dial predates the painted dial. It is composed of a brass base sheet that is decorated with applied cast brass spandrels and chapter rings. The chapter ring, name boss and calendar dial are finished in a silver wash for contrast. In the arch of this dial is the Maker's name boss. This three dimensional detail is skillfully engraved with the Maker's name and working location. The large chapter ring is also applied to the dial. This ring displays the hours in a Roman numeral format. The five minute markers are indicated in each of the hour positions with Arabic style numerals. The center of this section is nicely matted. This was most likely done to aide in ones ability to located the hands while reading the dial. A brass dial will tarnish making it somewhat difficult to read in a room lit by candles. This dial also features an applied subsidiary seconds dial which is engraved and silvered. The calendar day is located in the aperture below the center arbor. The steel hands are wonderfully made.
His movement work suggests that he practiced the German school of clockmaking. His clocks are typically heavily constructed in brass. The cast brass plates are supported by smoothly turned brass posts. The gearing is brass and the pinions are steel. The movement is weight driven and designed to run eight days on a full wind. This clock strikes the hour on a bell. The strike train is actuated by a German design rack and snail striking system. The winding barrels grooved. The movement is supported by a seaboard.
This is a fine example made by a well known Pennsylvania Clockmaker circa 1770. This example stands 7 feet 4.5 inches tall overall. It is approximately 19.25 inches wide and 10.75 inches deep.Inventory number UU-82.
About Adam Brant of New Hanover, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
Adam Brant’s birth date is not currently known. It is recorded that he arrived in Montgomery County in 1763 when he purchased a 22 acre farm in New Hanover Township. This farm was located on the road between Philadelphia and Reading. This deed descibed him as a clock and watchmaker. Many tall case clocks have been found to date. His work sugests that he practiced the German school of clockmaking. His clocks are robustly made. We know that he was married to an Abigail. They had children and Adam trained two grandchildren as clockmakers. In 1800, Adam changed his occupation from clockmaker to farmer. He died in 1804. For a more a complete listing of this maker, please read Clockmakers of Montgomery County 1740-1850, written by Bruce Ross Foreman.
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