Seth Thomas Regulator No. 14. A floor standing tall clock.  214115

This very impressive clock is cataloged as the “Regulator No. 14.” It first appeared in the 1886 Seth Thomas Clock Catalog and was listed until 1906. This floor standing regulator stands a full 100 inches tall to the top of the center finial. It is considered by many to be Seth Thomas’ most desirable model.

This example is constructed in walnut wood and features burl walnut veneers. It stands up on pad feet. The lower molding is decorated with a keyhole design. The base section is fully paneled. Three panels are located on the front section of the base. There is also a panel located on each of the two sides. The construction features a raised center that is veneered in burl walnut. This decorative element is inset into the base and is trimmed with multiple moldings. The center panel is hinged as a door and opens to access the interior of the base. This area can easily be used as a very nice storage area. The upper section of this clock is fitted with five glass panels. There are two located on each side of the case. These allow visual access to the movement and also let light into the interior section of the case. The large glass panel located in the front of the case is fitted into a large door frame. This opens to allow one access to the clock mechanism, pendulum, weight and dial. The framing for this door is decoratively formatted. The corners are fitted with square blocks that feature carved leaves. There are also two of these decorative blocks positioned in the center section of the rails. The framing is veneered on the front surfaces with burl veneer. The top of the case is surmounted with a decorative pediment. Three carved finials surmount the case. These are all nicely detailed. Other decorative areas worth noting on this clock are the molded arches located above the door which also feature the repeating keyhole detail found in the lower base molding, the mask board that surrounds the dial is decoratively shaped and features a figured veneered selection of walnut and the backboard facing the interior of the case is formatted with raised paneling. It is interesting to note that this case is die-stamped with the number “5” in two locations. The first is on the back side of the upper crest. The second location is on the top of the arch on top of the case. It is also dated in paint on the backboard ?1888.

This brass made dial measures 14 inches in diameter. It has been silvered and is trimmed with a nickeled ring. The engraved time ring features Roman hour figures and the Maker’s name signed in a script format. Three steel hands are mounted to the center arbor. The third hand is a sweep second hand which is counter balanced.

The movement in this model No. 14 is among the finest that the Seth Thomas Clock Company produced. The two large brass plates are in the shape of a trapezoid. The back plate is die stamped with the Maker’s initials, “ST” and the manufacturing date of “April 9th, 1888.” This movement is also numbered “148.” The four turned pillars are robust. The steel pinions are finely cut. The escapement is a Graham dead beat format that is fitted with jeweled pallets. This clock is also fitted with maintaining power. The vernier is fitted with a beat adjustment. The movement is mounted on a large iron bracket which is secured to the backboard. It is powered by a cylindrical weight that is nickeled and hangs from a decorative pulley. It is designed to run eight days on a full wind. The pendulum is also hung from the iron bracket mounted to the backboard. The rod is steel and supports stirrups that retain their original gilding. These stirrups hold the decorative cut glass jar. This jar is filled with mercury for the compensation of changes in temperature.

This fine clock was made in 1888 and stands 8 feet 4 inches tall. It is really an imposing and impressive piece.

We have owned number “150” which was made on September 7th, 1888. This suggests that one other clock was made in the five months between the manufacture of these two examples. It also suggests that due to the date on the back of the case, that the movements were made on speculation. The cases to order.


About Seth Thomas of Plymouth and later Thomaston, Connecticut.

Thomas was born in Wolcott, Connecticut, in 1785. He was apprenticed as a carpenter and joiner, and worked building houses and barns. He started in the clock business in 1807, working for clockmaker Eli Terry. Thomas formed a clock-making partnership in Plymouth, Connecticut with Eli Terry and Silas Hoadley as Terry, Thomas & Hoadley.

In 1810, he bought Terry’s clock business, making tall clocks with wooden movements, though chose to sell his partnership in 1812, moving in 1813 to Plymouth Hollow, Connecticut, where he set up a factory to make metal-movement clocks. In 1817, he added shelf and mantel clocks. By the mid-1840s, he changed over to brass from wooden movements. He made the clock that is used in Fireman’s Hall. He died in 1859, whereupon the company was taken over by his son, Aaron, who added many styles and improvements after his father’s death. The company went out of business in the 1980s.


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