Ephraim Downs of Bristol, Connecticut. Stenciled Column Stenciled Splat. Large version.

This is a very good example. The form is called a stenciled column and splat shelf clock. It represents the transition in case styles away from the very popular pillar & scroll and transitional shelf clock forms. This mahogany case retains its original finish. The upper door cross member has some losses or wear. The splat is held or is supported by two plinths. The interior edges are have been stressed. The shaped columns and splat retain their original stencil decorations decorations which are in excellent original condition. Quite other this artwork has been worn away. That is not the case in this example. The details can be seen from across the room. The colorful painted tablets are also original to the clock. They are bright and attracted your attention. The woman featured in the lager tablet is depicted with a pleasing smile, a fancy hair style and lovingly holding a cat in her arms. Minor paint loss to the border does not detract from the overall presentation. The wooden dial is excellent condition. The Arabic hour numerals are large and easy to read. The gesso and gilt work feature traditional designs. The time and strike wooden geared 30 hour weight driven movement is in good working order. The Maker’s label is pasted onto the inside of the backboard. This is also in very good overall condition.

This clock was made circa 1830. It is approximately 34.75 inches tall, 5.5 inches deep and 16 inches wide.

About Ephraim Downs of Waterbury, Plymouth and Bristol, Connecticut. Also Cincinnati, Ohio.

Ephraim Downs was born in Wilbraham, Massachusetts on December 20, 1787 and died in Bristol, Connecticut on December 8, 1860. He was the son of David and Mary Chatterton Downs and had a brother Anson who was a Carpenter.

Ephraim becomes in the Connecticut clock industry making wooden geared tall clock movements as early as 1811 in the town of Waterbury. He is making movements for Lemuel Harrison & Co and then later Clark, Cook & Co. In the month of April 1815, he travels to Cincinnati, Ohio and works for Read & Watson and then others. He returned to Connecticut about 1816 to Plymouth, CT. He later works with Silas Hoadley, Eli Terry and Seth Thomas. In 1822 he married Chloe Painter thus becoming the brother in law of Silas Hoadley. He is in business with himself in 1823 and then With George Mitchell in Bristol, CT in 1825. Ephraim became very successful.


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