Ephraim Downs of Bristol, Connecticut. Stenciled Column Stenciled Splat. Large version.
This is a very good example. The form is called a stenciled column and splat shelf clock. It represents the transition in case styles away from the very popular pillar & scroll and transitional shelf clock forms. This mahogany case retains its original finish. The upper door cross member has some losses or wear. The splat is held or is supported by two plinths. The interior edges are have been stressed. The shaped columns and splat retain their original stencil decorations decorations which are in excellent original condition. Quite other this artwork has been worn away. That is not the case in this example. The details can be seen from across the room. The colorful painted tablets are also original to the clock. They are bright and attracted your attention. The woman featured in the lager tablet is depicted with a pleasing smile, a fancy hair style and lovingly holding a cat in her arms. Minor paint loss to the border does not detract from the overall presentation. The wooden dial is excellent condition. The Arabic hour numerals are large and easy to read. The gesso and gilt work feature traditional designs. The time and strike wooden geared 30 hour weight driven movement is in good working order. The Maker’s label is pasted onto the inside of the backboard. This is also in very good overall condition.
This clock was made circa 1830. It is approximately 34.75 inches tall, 5.5 inches deep and 16 inches wide.
About Ephraim Downs in Wilbraham, Massachusetts.
Ephraim Downs was born in Wilbraham, Massachusetts Dec. 20, 1787. He was the son of David and Mary Chatterton Downs. He married Chloe Painter in 1822 and became the brother in law of Silas Hoadley and Butler Dunbar. Both of whom where in the clock business. Ephraim spent the period of 1825 through 1845 in Bristol with George Mitchell. Here they made tall clock movements, Pillar & Scroll cases and many wood movement shelf clocks. In 1842 he retired due to poor health and died in 1860. Throughout his Clockmaker career, Ephriam worked with or for a number of other Connecticut Clockmakers such as Eli Terry, Luman Watson, Seth Thomas, George Mitchell, Elisa Ingraham and George Atkins.
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