A coastal New England (Massachusetts) tall case clock featuring an automated Rocking Ship dial. XXSL80

This fine example features very long and narrow proportions. The cross-banded veneered case is constructed in mahogany, mahogany veneers and New England white pine is used as a secondary wood. The case exhibits a marvolus finish that highlights the vibrant grain patterns of the veneers.

This case stands on four applied French bracket feet. The feet exhibit good form and a subtle flaring at the bottom. They are applied to an unusually formed base molding. This molding is reeded. The design incorporates four long linear rows of reeding that is positioned in a horizontal format. This is a neat design element. The base panel is framed with a cross-banded figured mahogany veneer banding. The center panel is vibrantly grained. A crotch mahogany pattern runs up the center of this panel. This formatting is repeated in the very long rectangular shaped waist door. This door is also trimmed with an applied reeded molding along the perimeter. This door fills the waist section and opens to access the interior of the case. The sides of the waist are fitted with finely reeded quarter columns that terminate in brass quarter capitals. The bonnet is fitted with a pierced an open fretwork pattern. This decorative design is unusual and attractive. It is secured to the top of the hood with three reeded plinths. These are long and narrow and capped at the top. Each supports a brass ball and spire finial. The sides of the hood is fitted with tombstone shaped side lights. These are glazed and allow one to visually inspect the movement without having to remove the hood. Fully turned and decoratively shaped bonnet columns are mounted in brass capitals. They flank the bonnet or hood door. This door is an arched form. The opening is fitted with glass. This door opens to access the dial.

This painted iron dial is a Boston made product. It was painted by Spencer Nolen, a well known ornamental artist. It features a rocking ship mechanism in lunette. This automated display is a very desirable feature and is somewhat difficult to find in the marketplace. The ship moves in a side to side motion driven by the movement of the pendulum. This example depicts an American ship sailing along the coast. This ship is flying an American flag in its rigging. Gilt designs, some of which are elevated on applied gesso decorations are positioned in each of the four spandrel areas. The time ring is formatted with roman numeral hour markers. Arabic numerals are used to mark each of the five minute positions. Wonderfully brass made hands are used to display the time. The hands are hand filed with a high level of skill. A subsidiary seconds dial and the month calendar day can be viewed inside the time ring in their traditional locations. This dial is not signed by the Clockmaker.

This fine 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 format. 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 which is mounted above the movement. The strike hammer is returned to the ready position via a coil spring. This clock retains its original tin cans weights and pendulum.

This fine clock stands approximately 7 feet 8.5 inches tall. It is 20 inches wide and 10.5 inches deep. This clock was made circa 1810.



For more information about this clock click  here .