Samuel Martin of New York, New York. An inlaid mahogany cased tall case clock. TT55

This is a beautifully figured mahogany and inlaid case tall clock of New York City origin. This intricate case design is typical of some of the finest New York cases in the neo-classical period. Note the exceptional woods used in the construction of this case and the fine quality of the craftsmanship exhibited throughout the complex design.

This example is raised up off the floor on nicely shaped flared French feet. These smoothly transition from one to the next with a sweeping drop apron that hangs from the bottom of the base. The base panel features a circular panel that is trimmed with a lightwood line inlay. This circle is framed with additional mahogany veneer mitered at the corners. The waist section is long and narrow. The corners are fitted with turned quarter columns that are line inlaid with light and dark stringing. These columns terminate at turned wooden capitals. The waist door is shaped at the top. It features an excellent selection of veneer. A large oval is prominently featured. This door is set above an applied Irish panel. This is decorated with an inlaid eagle having the American shield over its breastplate. Above the door is a small section decorated with three separate bookend inlay details. This vertical inlay pattern centers additional oval inlays that display conch shells. The bonnet features a swan’s neck pediment. Both horns terminate in brass rosettes. The center key, three-dimensionally shaped and inlaid in a bookend format, supports a brass ball and spiked finial. Additional bookend details are positioned at the outer corners. The pediment is supported by fully turned columns positioned on either side of the arched bonnet door. These are fitted into brass capitals. The door is glazed and opens to a colorfully painted dial.

This painted dial is signed below the calendar aperture by the Clockmaker, “Samuel Martin / N. York” in bold lettering. Colorful floral details are located in each of the corners of the dial. They are framed with gilt gesso patterns. In the arch are additional gesso decorations. These center a colorful bird. This dial is in excellent original condition.

The weight-driven movement is constructed in brass and is good quality. Four turned pillars support the two brass plates. Hardened steel shafts support the polished steel pinions and brass gearing. The winding drums are grooved. The escapement is designed as a recoil. The movement is weight-driven and designed to run eight days on a full wind. It is a two-train or a time and strike design having a rack and snail striking system. As a result, it will strike each hour on the hour. This is done on a cast iron bell mounted above the movement. This movement may be English-made?

This clock was made circa 1810. Its overall height is 8 feet 2 inches tall. It is 19 inches wide and 10.75 inches deep.

Samuel Martin is listed in “American Clocks Volume 3. American Clockmakers & Watchmakers,” written by Sonya L. & Thomas J. Spitler, and Chris H. Bailey. He worked as a clockmaker in New York, New York, as early as 1801 through 1820. After 1820 he moved to Savannah, Georgia.

We have owned at least four tall case clocks by this Maker.

About Samuel Martin of New York City.

Samuel Martin is listed in “American Clocks Volume 3. American Clockmakers & Watchmakers,” written by Sonya L. & Thomas J. Spitler and Chris H. Bailey. He worked as a clockmaker in New York, New York as early as 1801 through 1820. After 1820 he moved to Savannah, Georgia.

We have owned at least four tall case clock by this Maker.

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