This fine Federal Vermont timepiece or "Banjo clock" was made in Burlington, Vermont circa 1825 by Lemuel Curtis & Joseph N. Dunning.

The partnership of Curtis & Dunning was comprised of Lemuel Curtis and Joseph N. Dunning. It was formed in 1820 in Concord, Massachusetts and moved to Burlington, Vermont in 1821. They worked together until 1832. I Burlington, they are listed as clockmakers, silversmiths and jewelers. Over the last 40 plus years of being in business, we have bought and sold numerous examples of their work. They produced several forms of the timepiece which include banjo clocks, tavern clocks, the girandole, lyre wall clocks, regulators and even shelf models.

This is an excellent example that is constructed in mahogany. The finial, both of the frames and the presentation bracket are treated with a gilded finish. The detailing is quite nice. Please note the pineapple drop finial under the bracket, the 9 turned balls and the rope moldings that are fitted into the frames. These details are time consuming to make and are indication of this being a special model. The frames are fitted with reverse painted tablets. The tablets are very colorful and feature traditional themes. They are original to this clock and have undergone some minor restoration. The lower tablet depicts a nautical scene. As many as five sailing ships are depicted. One of which is flying an American flag from its’ stern. This is appropriate for this partnership since the city of Burlington, Vermont is located on the eastern shore of Lake Chaplain. The center of the throat design features a decorative floral pattern. Both tablets exhibit a vey high level of artistic skill and are framed in a similar border. The bezel and the pierced side arms are cast in brass. The bezel is fitted with a clear piece of glass and opens to a paper dial that is signed by the clockmakers.

This paper dial is applied to an iron backing. It is wonderfully signed by the clockmakers. It reads, “WARRANTED / By / Curtis & Dunning.” A place location is not given. This partnership used paper dials for a number of years shortly after moving from Concord to Burlington. Because these dials are paper, they often have discolored slightly showing evidence of being approximately 190 years old. A small number of these survive today. This dial is in outstanding condition. The time track is formatted with large Roman style hour numerals. The minute ring is closed. The original “moon” form hands, a form typical of Curtis and Dunning clocks are steel and lightly hand filed. They mounted to the center arbor.

Behind the dial, is a brass movement that is weight driven and is designed to run approximately eight days on a full wind. The movement is mounted to the back of the case with a single screw. The pendulum features a “Concord” style keystone and a brass faced bob.

This clock was made circa 1825 and measures approximately 41 inches long overall. It remains in very good original condition.

Lemuel Curtis was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts on July 3rd, 1790. He died in New York on June 17th, 1857. Lemuel had two brothers who were also involved with clockmaking. He was the nephew of Aaron Willard and probably trained with Simon Willard in Roxbury. In 1811, he advertised working on his owned in Concord. He was a terrific clockmaker and the inventor of the Girandole form..

Joseph Dunning was born in Brunswick, Maine on January 2nd, 1795 and died in Burlington, Vermont on December 14th, 1841. He was first a journeyman working for Curtis in Concord before their partnership in 1820. After this arrangement dissolved in 1832, he continued to work on his own and died bankrupt at the age of 46.

For and in depth description of their clockmaking activity, please read Paul Foley’s book, “Willard’s Patent Time Pieces.”

About Lemuel Curtis and Joseph N. Dunning Curtis & Dunning, of Burlington, Vermont.

The partnership of Curtis & Dunning was comprised of Lemuel Curtis and Joseph N. Dunning. It was formed in 1820 in Concord, Massachusetts and moved to Burlington, Vermont in 1821. They worked together until 1832. They are listed as clockmakers, silversmiths and jewelers. Over the last 40 plus years of being in business, we have bought and sold numerous examples of their work. They produced several forms of the timepiece which include banjo clocks, tavern clocks, the girandole, lyre wall clocks, regulators and even shelf models.

Lemuel Curtis was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts on July 3rd, 1790. He died in New York on June 17th, 1857. Lemuel had two brothers who were also involved with clockmaking. He was the nephew of Aaron Willard and probably trained with Simon Willard in Roxbury. In 1811, he advertised working on his owned in Concord. He was a terrific clockmaker and the inventor of the Girandole form..

Joseph Dunning was born in Brunswick, Maine on January 2nd, 1795 and died in Burlington, Vermont on December 14th, 1841. He was first a journeyman working for Curtis in Concord before their partnership in 1820. After this arrangement dissolved in 1832, he continued to work on his own and died bankrupt at the age of 46.

For and in depth description of their clockmaking activity, please read Paul Foley’s book, “Willard’s Patent Time Pieces.”

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