Waltham Reproduction Girandole Timepiece.
This is an outstanding example of a reproduction Girandole Timepiece made by Waltham Watch Company of Waltham, Massachusetts. This form was made famous by the Concord, Massachusetts Clockmaker Lemuel Curtis in the 1820’s. This example is one of approximately 14 examples known to us and is the 5th example we have handled.
Lemuel Curtis was an apprentice of the Willards in Boston in 1802.. In 1811, he moved to Concord and set up shop as a Clockmaker who specialized in timepieces. Over the years he made changes to the Simon Willard’s original and patented design. Example include the single screw movement mounting system to the case, changes to the clocks suspension and in this case, the presentation of the form. This would have been the ultimate achievement, the case design change which is now considered America’s most beautiful clock form. However, this was not a financial success. As a result, a small number were originally produced. Most of which are in the collections of the Countries best Museums. Many individuals and some companies have since made reproductions of this form. Some of which include The Waltham Clock Company, Elmer Stennes and Foster Campos. Those individuals that have seen the Burleigh examples often agree that they are the best of the group in terms of fit, finish, proportions and quality. This is a a somewhat faithful copy of the original form.
This example measures approximately forty-six inches long. The case is constructed in mahogany. The frames, bezel, carved eagle finial and lower bracket are wonderfully gilded in gold leaf. The condition of the gilding is excellent with the exception of several of the gilt balls on the lower door which show stress cracks. The reverse painted tablets are outstanding and done on convex or bowed glass. The throat tablet features an intricate somewhat traditional theme. The center is left blank of the painted decoration and a thermometer is fitted in this location from the back. Below it, the banner reads ‘PATENT." The bottom circular tablet features a reverse painted scene that depicts “Aurora.” This is the Roman personification of the dawn. Two winged horses are pulling a chariot across the sky. The coloring and detailing are first rate.
The dial is painted on metal and features the traditional Concord gold ring on the inside of the time track. Roman style figures are used to mark the hours. The center hole in the dial is decorated with a geometric design. This clock is signed "WALTHAM" below the hour of twelve. The hands are a traditional Curtis form having concentric circles and barbed pointers.
Waltham made movements are excellent quality. The brass movement is mounted to the clock with screws that attach to a brass plate that is secured to the back of 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 large brass 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. The brass faced pendulum bob features a presentation engraving. It reads: Presented to / John H Almy / With Affectionate Regard / From / New England Managers. / Dec. 16 1943."
This very attractive clock measures approximately 49 inches long and 12 inches wide. This clock is inventory number 216068. Wouldn’t this look nice in your formal dinning room?
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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