Waltham Clock Company of Waltham, Massachusetts. Presentation timepiece. Banjo clock.
This is an outstanding example of a Federal Massachusetts improved timepiece or “Banjo clock” made by the Waltham Clock Company of Waltham, Massachusetts circa 1925. What makes this example so outstanding is the presentation of the case and the coloring and skill of the reverse painted tablets.
The case is constructed in mahogany. Many of the surfaces retain their original gilding. This includes the outside edge of the backboard, the large cast eagle finial bezel and side arms, the frames, rope decoration and the presentation bracket. Both of the frames are fitted with twisted metal rope and the presentation bracket features eight turned wooden balls. The gilding is in very good original condition.
The reverse painted tablets are hand painted in excellent colors and demonstrate excellent skill. The throat features a traditional theme for this form. It is quite intricate in its design and the color is excellent. The lower tablet depicts a popular view of the Naval battle between the Constitution and Guerriere. This battle took place during the War of 1812. The U.S. Frigate Constitution's Commanding Officer, Isaac Hull engaged and defeated Captain James R. Dacres of the Guerriere off the coast of Halifax Nova Scotia on August 19th, 1812. Also note the American shield that is a pierced format allowing one to see the motion of the pendulum when the clock is running. The Artist name is D. J. Steele. This tablet is signed by the artist in the lower left.
The brass bezel is fitted with convex glass and opens to a painted iron dial featuring Roman hour numerals, a gilt lined inner circle and the Maker’s name printed in small block lettering. It reads, “WALTHAM."
The weight driven movement and is designed eight days on a full wind. As one might expect, the quality is outstanding. It features damascene plates, maintaining power and a Geneva Stop winding mechanism. The front plate is die-stamped with the Maker's name in the upper right corner. It is also numbered "6823" on the left. (Please note that this clock was photographed before we serviced the movement.) The brass movement is mounted with steel screws that attach to a metal mounting bracket.
This very pretty clock measures approximately 42.5 inches long overall.
About Waltham Clock Company of Waltham, Massachusetts.
The various forms of the Waltham Clock and Waltham Watch Companies enjoyed a solid reputation for making quality clocks. It was first established in Waltham, Massachusetts in January of 1897 as the Waltham Clock Company in Waltham, Massachusetts. Their products were excellent quality, first selling primarily hall clocks, shelf clocks and then wall clocks. In 1913 they sold out to the watch making giant Waltham Watch but continued to make clocks under the Waltham Clock name until 1923 when the name was changed to the Waltham Watch and Clock Company. In 1925 the name was again changed, this time to the Waltham Watch Co. It is reported that pendulum clock production ended sometime around 1930.
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