Daniel Burnap of East Windsor, Connecticut. An important tall case clock.

This is an important cherry case tall clock made by Daniel Burnap of East Windsor, Connecticut.

This is a very unusual cherry case that retains an older finish. It is closely related to a group of cases that are thought to have been made by Timothy and Samuel Loomis. Both cabinetmakers worked in Windsor. This case is not your standard form. It has more of a furniture appeal due to the boldly shape of the moldings and other decorative elements. This case stands on an applied bracket base molding which rests flat to the floor. This molding is applied directly to the base panel and is reminiscent of an early pre-Revolutionary form. The waist section is quite long. It is fitted a tombstone shaped door. This door is very narrow and was never fitted with a lock. This is flanked on both sides by inset spiral turned columns which are reminiscent of strands of rope. They are fully formed and slightly trimmed in order to fit into the sides of the case. These areas are fitted with a cock-beaded housing or framing. This design is thought to be unique to this region. The bonnet is a swan’s neck pediment form. The nicely formed moldings terminate in spiral carved rosettes. There are four fluted bonnet columns which visually support the arch. Two flank the bonnet door which is an arched form and fitted with glass. Three turned wooden finials surmount this case. Daniel Burnap’s dials were of unusually fine workmanship. He was a skillful engraver and was responsible for teaching others the trade. This is an excellent representation of his work. This brass dial retains an old silver wash. The time ring is formatted with Roman style numeral hour figures and Arabic style five minute markers. A subsidiary seconds dial is inset and positioned below the hour numeral twelve. The date of the month aperture is of the traditional form. It is positioned above the numeral six. This dial is signed by the Makers in the arch. It reads “ Dan’ll Burnap / East Windsor.” The movement is brass and designed to run eight-day on a full wind. It features the traditionally shaped pillars or posts. This clock is designed to strike the hour on a cast iron bell. It is excellent quality.

This clock was made circa 1785 and stands 7 feet 4 inches tall to the top of the center finial.

About Daniel Burnap of East Windsor, Connecticut.

Daniel Burnap was the son of Captain Abraham and Susan (Wright) Burnap. He was born in Coventry, Connecticut on November 1, 1759. In 1774, he is listed as an apprentice of Thomas Harland’s. Harland was a very talented English born clockmaker who settled in Norwich in 1773. It is thought that here, he learned not only the skill of clockmaking but also engraving, silversmithing, watch repairing and other related skills. As a journeyman, Burnap settled in the town of East Windsor sometime before 1779. By 1805, he built the homestead which he continued to occupy during the remainder of his life. It is in this town that he was most active making clocks and training apprentices of his own. This includes one of Connecticut’s most famous clockmakers, Eli Terry. Other apprentices that are thought to have trained under Burnap include Daniel Kellogg, Harvey Sadd, Abel Bliss, Lewis Curtis, Nathaniel Olmsted, Levi Pitkin, Flavel Bingham, Ela Burnap and Thomas Lyman. Daniel was an active and respected citizen. He was for many years a Justice of the Peace and held court in a spacious room on the first floor of this house. In his latter years, probably before 1815, he gave up his shop and fitted up a room in the attic of the house where he could keep busy at the less arduous kinds of work such as engraving and repairing watches. He died in 1838 at the age of seventy-eight, a prosperous and respected citizen.


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