Seth Thomas Office Calendar No. 8 in walnut. This is a double dial calendar wall clock. 220066

This model is considered by many to be the pinnacle of the calendar clock models offered by the Seth Thomas Clock Company. The case is one of the largest and certainly the most graceful of the models offered. This model is easy to identify by the pagoda top ornament that is positioned at the top of the case. This very unusual decorative detail is unique to this model. Because of the fragility of this decoration, it is often replaced. This is not the case here. This pagoda is original to this example. This case is constructed in walnut and retains an original finish that is smooth and for the most part consistent. The raised decorative panels are veneered with burl walnut. Each selection features a vibrant and lively grain pattern. Other decorative design elements include turned wooden bezels that are fitted with brass rings, fully turned decorative columns that are positioned on the canted front corners of the case, wooden finials positioned on the upper corners, shaped moldings, a bracket base, a lower door and window allowing one to view and to access the brass faced pendulum bob and paneled sides. The Maker’s directions for operation blue label can be found pasted inside the case to the back of the door.

The two dials measure 14 inches in diameter. They are painted on zinc. The upper dial has been repainted some 50 plus years ago. It is very well done and exhibits a minor color mismatch to the lower dial which has most likely developed over time. The black Roman hour numerals, closed minute time ring, sub seconds dial and ST trademark are presented in black. The spade hands are original to this clock. The lower 14 inch diameter calendar dial is in excellent original condition. This zinc dial is decorated with the date numerals 1 – 31 painted in black around the perimeter. Two rectangular shaped apertures are cut open to allow one to view the month and day cylinders. These rolls are covered in their original paper. These cylinders are part of the perpetual calendar mechanism. This mechanism will automatically track the variation in the lengths of the months and when set up correctly, leap year. The 8-day brass weight driven movement is a time only design. The trapezoidal shaped plates support the steel shafts that the gearing is fitted to. The front plate is die-stamped with the Seth Thomas trade mark and also the number 8. The movement features a Graham deadbeat escapement. This escapement is seconds beating. The movement also has maintaining or retaining power, a lead drive weight which travels along the right side of the case and long wood pendulum stick that supports a damascened brass covered bob.

This fine example measures approximate 67 inches long. It is 24 inches wide and 8.5 inches deep.

Interestingly, this clock was originally installed in the San Diego, California branch of the Bank of Italy. This branch was originally located on 4994 Newport Street in San Diego. This San Diego branch opened in 1927. The Bank of Italy was founded in San Francisco, California on October 17, 1904 by Amadeo P. Giannini. This financial institution grew by a branch banking strategy. It became the Bank of America in 1930 when Giannini changed the name “Bank of Italy” to “Bank of America”. The past owners of this clock have told me that their Grandfather was employed at this branch and was given the clock when they moved. It has been in their family for the last 90 years.

About Seth Thomas of Plymouth and later Thomaston, Connecticut.

Thomas was born in Wolcott, Connecticut, in 1785. He was apprenticed as a carpenter and joiner, and worked building houses and barns. He started in the clock business in 1807, working for clockmaker Eli Terry. Thomas formed a clock-making partnership in Plymouth, Connecticut with Eli Terry and Silas Hoadley as Terry, Thomas & Hoadley.

In 1810, he bought Terry’s clock business, making tall clocks with wooden movements, though chose to sell his partnership in 1812, moving in 1813 to Plymouth Hollow, Connecticut, where he set up a factory to make metal-movement clocks. In 1817, he added shelf and mantel clocks. By the mid-1840s, he changed over to brass from wooden movements. He made the clock that is used in Fireman’s Hall. He died in 1859, whereupon the company was taken over by his son, Aaron, who added many styles and improvements after his father’s death. The company went out of business in the 1980s.

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