A superb American made bracket clock made by the Providence Rhode Island Clockmaker, Edward Spalding. This example is quarter striking. 220013

This is a rare example of an American bracket clock. It is thought that the vast majority of American signed bracket clocks that share this case form were in fact constructed in England and sold to the retail American market. They were sold by American Clockmakers who would sign their own names on the dials. This example is interesting in that the design and construction of the strike train suggests that Edward Spalding may have actually had a hand in manufacturing a portion of this very fine example.

This classic case form is veneered in mahogany. The veneers are well figured and the orientation of the grain patterns has been strategically positioned for maximum effect. The case elevated on four cast brass feet. They are nicely formed and applied to the bottom of the clock. Other brass fittings include the two cast spandrels that are incorporated into the design of the front door, the four decorative cast brass finials that are mounted on top of the case at each of the four corners and the brass carrying handle. Access doors are located at the front and back of this case. The doors are fitted with glass. The sides are fitted with shaped openings. These are fitted with red silk and serve as protection from dust. The silk also allows one to better hear the striking of the mechanism.

The front door opens to access the arched brass composite dial. Six cast brass rococo spandrels are applied to the brass main sheet. The lower four frame the applied and engraved time ring. This is finished with a silver wash which has slightly oxidized over time. The time ring is laid out from the outside in with Arabic five minute markers, a closed minute ring, large Roman style hour numerals and an interior calendar ring. This clock does not appear to have been fitted with a calendar. The Clockmaker's name and working location are signed on the applied name plaque. This reads, "Spalding / Providence." The center section is matted. The two hands are brass and wonderfully formed. A Strike / Silent switch is located in the arch or lunette. This allows one the ability to turn the striking train on or off by rotating the hand. This ring is also frame with cast spandrels/

The door at the rear of the clock allows one to view the back of the movement. The heavy brass backplate is skillfully and elaborately engraved in a floral theme. The plates are supported by five shouldered posts. The movement is secured to the case with brass mounts. This movement is designed to run eight-days on a full wind and to strike each hour on a bell mounted on a stand that is secure to the backplate. The movement is powered by springs and features fusee cones. You will notice two bells mounted above the works. This clock strikes hours as well as the quarter hours. The striking system is complex and of a unique design suggesting that Spalding made it. The pendulum is constructed with a steel rod and a brass lenticular bob. This is suspended by a steel suspension.

The approximate dimensions are as follows: the height measured with the handle in the up position is 20 inches, measured with the handle down it is 18 inches tall. At the feet, this case is 11 inches wide and is 6.25 inches deep.

This clock was made 1765.

Inventory Number 220013

About Edward Spalding of Providence Rhode Island.

Currently, very little is known about Edward Spalding’s early life. His parents were Stephen and Marry (Lawrence) Spalding and they were living in Plainfield, Connecticut when Edward was born there in 1732. It appears that he moved to Providence at an early age and may have trained as a clockmaker in this city. To whom he served his apprenticeship is not currently known. A clock that he is known to have made while working Providence is dated 1753. This early date suggests that he made this clock shortly after he finished his indenture. As a result, he became one of Providence’s earliest clockmakers. In 1757, Edward married Audrey Safford. Together they had three children including Edward Jr., who was born in 1767. He trained under his father as a clockmaker. Edward (I) did a fair amount of advertising in the Providence Gazette during the period of 1766 – 1776. These adds suggest that he was very involved in clockmaking up until the Revolutionary War where he served as Captain and rose to the rank of Major. After the war he continued to make clocks. He died in Providence in 1785.

Prior to the American Revolution, very few Clockmakers were working in Rhode Island. The most notable of which are the Claggetts from Newport and together they made what is considered a significant number of clocks for the period. Other Clockmakers like James Wady did not fair so well in business. Their out put was much less significant making Spalding the premier clockmaker of his working period in the region.


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