Waltham Clock Company of Waltham, Massachusetts. A wall timepiece / banjo clock. The Wasp and the Reindeer.

This is a fine Federal Massachusetts Improved Timepiece or “Banjo clock” made by the Waltham Clock Company of Waltham, Massachusetts. This is an early example having a movement that is signed or die stamped “Waltham Clock Co. U.S.A.” and numbered “3262.” This serial number suggests that this clock was made sometime before 1906.

This is a fine example. The brass movement is mounted to the clock with wood screws that attach the back plate to the case. The movement is weight driven and is designed to run for eight days on a full wind. The quality is outstanding. It features damascene plates, maintaining power and a Geneva Stop winding mechanism. (The Geneva Stop has been removed.) The front plate is die-stamped with the Maker’s name in the upper right corner. It is also numbered 3262 on the left.

The case is mahogany with flat mahogany frames and a presentation bracket, case lot 42. The finish appears to be original to this clock. The tablets are hand painted in color and depict Patriotic themes. The throat features an American Eagle and an American shield. The lower tablet depicts a navel battle that took place during the War of 1812. The tablet is titled at the top, “Wasp and Reindeer.”

This engagement took place on June 28th 1814. The USS Wasp was an American Sloop. It engaged the H.M.S. Reindeer in the English Channel. The Wasp was fitted with heavier guns and a larger crew. It took the Reindeer in a reported 19 minutes of heavy fighting. The Wasp is depicted on the left.

The top of this case is surmounted by a large brass eagle finial. The sidearms and bezel are also brass. The bezel opens to a flat painted iron dial that features Roman numerals and a gilt inner ring. This clock measures approximately 43 inches long.

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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