A fine mahogany cased tall clock that is decorated with fancy inlays and cross-banding. This clock and case was most likely made in Vermont. XX-15

This clock case stands on four flared French feet. The design flares out at the bottom in two directions. The apron is designed with a double drop and several subtle returns. The base panel is framed with a cross-banded mahogany border on three sides. Inlaid quarter fans are positioned in each of the four corners. These fans are comprised of three individual petals. Two darker petals center the lighter petal in the middle of this design. An inlaid six pointed star is centered in the base panel. Each of the six points is designed with a light and a dark shaded selection of wood. These are positioned in a manner that alternates the color as one moves around the star. The contrast is striking. Book matched rectangular shaped veneers form the central base panel. These are split from the same piece of wood. The book matched grain is oriented in a vertical format. Many of the decorative details used in the design of the base are repeated in the design of the rectangular shaped waist door. The edge of the door is fitted with a beaded edge molding. A cross-banded inlay forms an additional frame. Inlaid quarter fans are used in each of the corners. A full inlaid paterae replaces the star pattern found in the base panel. Both above and below this door is an oval detail. This pattern is actually stained into the wood. This has an interesting effect. The sides of the waist are fitted with finely reeded tiger-maple quarter columns. These terminate in ring turned wooden capitals. The bonnet features a swans neck pediment form. The horns exhibit excellent height and terminate in carved pinwheels. They center a nicely shaped plinth. This supports one of the three turned wooden finals that are fitted onto the top of the hood. The frieze exhibits another decorative stained decorative element. This detail is worth examining. The pediment is supported by finely reeded columns which are placed on either side of the bonnet door. They end in brass capitals. The hood door is arched and glazed. It opens to a nicely painted dial.

The iron dial was painted by the Boston ornamental artists Nolen & Curtis. It is a 13 inch dial and features a lunar calendar or moon-phase mechanism in the arch. This mechanical almanac is thought to have been a special order function. It would have been valuable addition a number of people. Farmers would use this calendar display in order to anticipate the nights with the most available moonlight. This would aide them in scheduling their tilling of the fields. Sailors and merchants needed to know when high tide would allow their ships to sail from many of the shallower coastal ports. Many religious groups had an almost superstitious litany of rituals best performed in accordance with lunar events. One other use would be the scheduling of traveling by moonlight at night. A full moon often provides ample light to do so. The lunar month represents an inconvenient interval of 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.8 seconds. A clocks lunar calendar is set at 29.5 days from new moon to new moon, a full cycle. Thus would require a 9 hour setback at the end of a single year. This dial also displays the hours, minutes, seconds and calendar date in the traditional format. The four spandrel ares are decorated with designs that have been described to me as slices of watermelons. These are highlighted with raised gesso designs that are finished in gilt paint. The colors are excellent. The time ring is formatted with Arabic style hour numerals and Arabic style five-minute markers. The hands are filed from steel and have been blued. They are an unusual from and are very nicely made. This dial is not signed.

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 are turned smooth. 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. This design is very reliable and is an excellent time keeper.

This is a very attractive example. It measures approximately 7 feet 11.5 inches or 95.5 inches tall to the top of the center finial, 19.5 inches wide and 11.5 inches deep. The dial is measures 13 inches across.



For more information about this clock click  here .