Brewster & Ingrahams of Bristol, Connecticut. U.S. Fusee 30-hour time, strike and alarm mahogany cased steeple clock. ZZ37

This is a very collectable example of a steeple or “Sharp Gothic” mantel clock. It was made by the Brewster & Ingrahams Clock Company of Bristol, Connecticut.

The case is constructed in mahogany, mahogany veneers and white pine. The shellac finish has been nicely cleaned, highlighting the quality of the wood. Two wooden finials are turned to a taper. The tips of these cones are in very good condition. They are often broken. These exhibit very minor chips at the points. The cones are mounted to the top sides of the case on top of rectangular shaped blocks. The front of the clock is fitted with a door that conforms to the gothic shape of the case. The lower section is fitted with a paint decorated tablet that is original to the clock. This unusual tablet is attributed to the artist William Fenn. The detail work is excellent. The colors are somewhat unusual. The outer framing is painted to look like marble. The base color is black and light lines of white, green and blue are used to simulate the viens one would see in the stone. A large oval is located in the center. This frames a circular detail in the center. This oval section is decorated with various patterns and an additional color of orange is introduced into the design. This section is not fully decorated in that the background has some areas of clear glass and other areas are frosted. This allows one to see the motion of the brass faced pendulum that swings behind it. The upper section of this door is fitted with clear glass. Through this one can view the clock dial.

This dial is painted on tin and exhibits some sublte shaping in the form of a ring. Here you will find the time ring. The hours are formatted with Roman style numerals. The Makers’ signature remains in excellent condition and is signed in script lettering. It reads, “Brewster & Ingrahams.” The working location of “Bristol, Ct U.S.” is written in block lettering and located just below the signature. The hands are steel and are original to this clock.

The brass constructed movement is a time, strike and alarm design. Each train is powered by a coil spring. The springs are designed to run the clock for 30-hours on a full wind. This power train also incorporates fusees. The fusees are a cone shaped wheel that ared esigned to equalizes the power of the springs over the wind. The fusees are fitted into a wooden block mounted to the backboard just below the mechanism. Very few steeple clocks survive with this unsual mechanism. The escapement is a recoil. The strike is actuated by a count-wheel striking system which located between the plates. It is designed to strike each hour on a wire gong which is mounted to the backboard inside the case. This clock also features and alarm. This is set by winding the alarm train and adjusting the brass disk in the center of the clock dial. The gearing is brass and the pinions are steel. The pendulum bob is covered in brass.

The Clockmaker’s label can be found on the inside the case pasted to the backboard. It is in excellent original condition. It reads, “ Patent Spring Equalizing and Power Retaining / Brass Clocks, / Springs warranted not to Fail. / MADE AND SOLD BY / BREWSTER & INGRAHAMS, / BRISTOL, CONN.” The background color of the label is green.

This clock was made circa 1845 and stands approximately 19.75 inches tall, 9.75 inches wide and 4.25 inches deep.

ZZ-37.

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