William Sherwin of Buckland, Massachusetts
This is a very good example of an unusual transitional shelf clock attributed to William Sherwin of Buckland, Massachusetts.
This example is unusual in a number of ways. The case can be described as a short case shelf clock in that is measures approximately 30.5 inches to the top of the finials, 15.5 inches wide and 5.5 inches deep. The primary wood appears to be maple and retains a deep warm cherry finish. This case is supported on four turned feet that feature bold ring tunings. These interesting turning designs are reenforced in the applied columns that flank the sides of the case front and back and the two wooden finials. An applied beaded molding is position just below the access door. This door is visually divided in two by a thin wooden bar. The lower section is fitted with a mercurial mirror. The upper section is fitted with clear glass and is puttied in place. The crest or the fret panel is nicely shaped. It features a whale’s tails pattern This is a very unusual form for this type of clock.
The dial is wood. The spandrel areas and the center section of the dial are decorated with a floral designs. Large Roman hour numerals are used on the time track to indicate the hours. .
This example has a traditional thirty hour time and strike wooden geared movement. It is a "Terry Model 5" which suggests that it was purchased from Eli Terry. It is weight powered and strikes each hour on a cast iron bell which is mounted inside the case on to the backboard. It features solid plates with a five arbor train.
This clock was made circa 1830.
This clock is pictured in Pillar & Scroll. This book was published by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC). An exhibit of Pillar & Scroll clocks was on display at the Museum in November of 2006 through May of 2007. This booklet was put together from the clocks displayed in that exhibit. This clock is pictured on pages 66 and 67.
Inventory number QQ-49.
About William Sherwin of Buckland, Massachusetts
William Sherwin was born in western part of Franklin County in the small town of Ashfield, Massachusetts on October 26, 1787. It is not known when he moved approximately 5 miles north to the town of Buckland. Buckland was organized on April 14th, 1779 from the plantation then called Notown and a part of Charlemont. It is recorded in the town history that he became very active in town affairs serving for a time as the town clerk, an assessor, a school committee member, a selectman, and an overseer of the poor. He was elected multiple times as Buckland’s representative to the General Court of the Massachusetts Legislature. Due to his business of manufacturing and selling clocks, his cutting engine is now in the American Clock & Watch Museum in Bristol, Connecticut, the neighborhood around his home and shop was called “Clock Hollow” by the locals. It is thought that he purchased his cases from a Daniel Warner. A tall case clock attributed to Sherwin and Warner remains in the Wilder Homestead collection in that town. The town of Buckland had an industrious center due to the power provided from the Clesson river. Various wooden wares were made in great quantities. William Sherwin died in 1877.
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