Nathaniel Shipman of Norwich, Connecticut. A rare Connecticut tall clock clockmaker.
This is a fine chippendale cherry case tall clock with silvered brass dial signed "Shipman Norwich."This cherry case tall clock stand on wonderful Connecticut ogee bracket feet that incorporate a double return into their design. The base is fitted with an applied scalloped detail below the lower waist molding. The waist is long and centers tomb-stone shaped door. Fluted quarter columns that terminate in turned wooden quarter capitals flank the sides of the waist. The hood with a molded arch molding is surmounted with whale’s tail fret and three wonderfully carved flame finials. The bonnet columns are fluted and terminate in turned wooden capitals. The bonnet door is arched in form and glazed opening to a beautifully engraved silvered brass dial.
This dial is inscribed "Shipman Norwich” in the subsidiary seconds dial. A lunar calendar or moon phase mechanism is located in the arch. This is interesting in that the background is painted blue and is decorated with stars. The calendar aperture is quite large which follows the traditional format of many Norwich clocks.
The brass constructed movement is weight powered and designed to run eight days on a full wind. The strike train in actuated by a rack and snail system. This clock is designed to strike each hour on a bell mounted above the movement on a stand.
This clock stands approximately 7 feet 7 inches tall overall. It was made circa 1790.
About Nathaniel Shipman of Norwich, Connecticut.
Nathaniel Shipman was born on May 17th, 1764 in Preston, Connecticut. He was the son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Leffingwell) Shipman. It is reported that in 1777, he was apprenticed to the renowned English born clockmaker, Thomas Harland of Norwich. By 1785, Nathaniel had set up his own shop in Norwich. At that time, his account books suggest that he was active as clockmaker and a silversmith. He made dials for his Master, Thomas Harland. He worked with pewter, glass jewelry and watches. He gave up the trade in 1796 and became a farmer and an investor in the West India Trade. On October 14, 1794, Nathaniel married Abigail Coit of Peston, CT. Nathaniel died on July 14, 1853 in Norwich.
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