Lemuel Curtis Timepiece Concord, Massachusetts
This is a fine Federal Massachusetts timepiece or “Banjo clock” made in Concord, Massachusetts circa 1820 by Lemuel Curtis.
This is a wonderful example. The case is constructed in mahogany and features rope turned frames. Remnants of the original gilding remain. These frames are fitted with reverse painted tablets. The tablets are original to this clock and are done in very good colors. The lower tablet depicts a woman dressed in white sitting in the country side. The throat tablet is also colorfully painted decorated. It is signed by the Maker in the traditional location. It is signed "L. Curtis." This tablet does have a small crack. This is located one third of the overall distance measured from the top. The bezel, which is fitted with glass and the side arms are brass. The bezel opens to a painted dial that is not signed. The dial is painted on iron and features Arabic numerals and a gold ring. Behind this dial, is a brass movement that is weight driven and is designed to run approximately eight days on a full wind. The movement is set into a Concord style case having a very distinctive cutout in the head. It is mounted to the back of the case with a single screw. The bridge is a butterfly form and the teeth in the gear train are deeply cut. The pendulum features a Concord style key stone and a brass faced bob. The tie down is also the form of what one would expect to find in a clock made in Concord. The teeth in the gear train are deeply cut. This clock measures approximately 33.25 inches long overall.
About Lemuel Curtis of Concord, Massachusetts
Lemuel Curtis was born in Roxbury, MA in 1790. He died in New York on June 17, 1857. Lemuel had two brothers who were also involved with clockmaking. He was the nephew of Aaron Willard and probably trained with Simon Willard in Roxbury. He was a terrific clockmaker and the inventor of the Girandole. For and in depth description of his clockmaking activity, please read Paul Foley’s book, “Willard’s Patent Time Pieces.”
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