Isaac Randall & Co. of St. Albans, Vermont. Wall Time Piece or Banjo clock. 221019

This fine mahogany cased time piece was made by Isaac Randall & Co., of St. Albans, Vermont. Very few Vermont made clocks come to the marketplace. This is a very nice better than average example.

This case is constructed mahogany and New England white pine. In fact, the structure for the head is compaosed of a pine substructure that is finished with an exterior surface of mahogany veneer. This construction technique was also used by several other Makers of Vermont origin. This case features an old world finish that has mellowed into a wonderful aged patina. The mahogany veneer selected for the throat and also the lower panel is very richly figured and applied to pine. The panels are set in flat mahogany frames. The corner blocks are slight proud of the linear runs. In the center of the lower panel is an oval aperture that is fitted with glass. This allows one to view the brass faced pendulum bob. This is a helpful aid in determining if the clock is running. It also serves double duty by attracting ones attention to the clock as the bob reflects the light in the room with its warm glow. The presentation bracket is a later addition to this otherwise all original example. The construction and the color matches the case extermly well. At the bottom of the bracket is an acorn shaped drop finial. Three carved flutes decorate the bracket. Eight turned mahogany balls are fitted to the upper section of this feature. At the top of the case is a turned wooden final that is treated with a gilt finish. This is supported by a simple mahogany finial plinth. The decoartive sidearms and bezel are cast in brass and well formed. The dial bezel is fitted with glass and is hinged to access the dial.

The painted iron dial is somewhat soiled. The earthly shade compliments that color of the mahogany wood. The dial is formatted with a closed minute ring and large Roman style hour numerals. The Maker’s name is signed in script lettering, “I. Randall & Co. / St. Albans.” This signature is in good original condition. Two open moon style steel hands indicated the time.

The weight driven movement and is designed to run eight-days on a full wind and is a time only design. It is powered by a lead weight which travels down the center of the case. The works are secured to the back of the case with a single screw from the back. The pendulum is mounted on the front of the movement. The keystone is notched in the lower right corner. The steel rod supports a brass faced pendulum bob.

This very pretty clock measures approximately 42.5 inches long overall. It was made circa 1830.

221019.

About Issac Randall of St Albans, Vermont, lower Canada and Newark, New Jersey.

Isaac Randall was born in Easton, Massachusetts on April 1, 1795. In February of 1816, he married Jerusha Blodgett. She is listed on the various websites as being born in Greenwich, MA and also in St. Albans, VT. If she was born in St. Albans, then we know one of the reasons why Issac moved there. Issac is record in the village of St. Albans, Vermont by 1817. Paul Foley in his book, “Willard’s Patent Time Pieces” lists that Isaac’s first son was born in this year. Today, most of what we know of Isaac Randall and his clockmaking career is taken from advertisements he placed in local Vermont newspapers. In December of 1827, he purchased the business of Curtis Wilkinson. In 1829, the firm Isaac Randall & Co., was located across from the courthouse at 5 Exchange Row in St. Albans, VT. Here he advertised as clock and watchmakers, jewelers and silver smiths. There is also a mentioned that this firm kept in inventory, eight-day brass clocks and timepieces of their own manufacture as well as numerous house hold goods such as spoons, jewelry, spectacles, flutes, hair combs, etc. On October 30 of 1834, Isaac Randall begins to advertise alone. He is then refereed as working in Lower Canada and later in Newark, NJ. His name appears on the 1850 census of Newark where he is listed as a watchmaker. Isaac died in Newark on June 4, 1863. Several timepieces or banjo clocks as well as the New Hampshire mirror clock form have been found signed by this maker. A watchpaper advertising Randall & Co. St Albans, VT is in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, MA.

Isaac must have been attracted to North Western, VT due to the positive and vibrant economic climate. In fact, during the period of 1770 through the about 1825, Vermont enjoyed an unprecedented population growth. The town of St. Albans, a farming community is located in Franklin County. Franklin County is bordered to the West by Lake Champlain and to the North by Lower Canada. Due to its proximity of the lake, a brisk commerce developed with New York and Canada. This area of Vermont was rich in vast stands of timber and potash. As a results, roads were built from the South and in 1808, a stage route was establish between Boston, Massachusetts and Burlington, Vermont. This journey took just three and one half days to complete and traveled as often as twice a week. Between 1791 an 1810, the population of Franklin County grew fifteen hundred percent.

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