Eli Terry Pillar & Scroll mantel clock with an outside escapement.

This is a very nice example of a very desirable Pillar & Scroll shelf clock made by Eli Terry of Plymouth, Connecticut circa 1819.

The production of this model is believed to have been started as early as 1817-1818. The factory-produced movement is constructed in wood having wooden gearing and solid wooden plates. It is driven by weights and is designed to run thirty hours on a full wind. This clock retains its original tin covered weights that incorporate a pulley in the design. This clock will also strike each hour on a bell that is mounted inside the case. This movement has been categorized by Kenneth D. Roberts in his book, Eli Terry and the Connecticut Shelf Clock as the Model 3 Production movement. Some of the features that date this clock include the mounting of the movement. It is attached directly to the dial and the dial is secured directly to the case. The positioning of the verge, pendulum and escape wheel is outside of the movement, in front of the wooden dial. Hence the term, outside escapement. The count wheel striking system is mounted in between the plates of the movement. Terry received a patent for this design on May 26, 1823. It is interesting to note that this movement may have been made or used as late as 1821. In 1821 the five pillar design was introduced and became the standard for the next 16 years. The Maker’s label is pasted onto the inside of the backboard and is in very good condition. It is believed to be the latter form having the word “INVENTED” inserted below PATENT. The case is mahogany and retains an older finish. The scroll work or horns are original to this clock. The finials are brass and appear to be original to the clock. The feet on this clock are also original. The reverse painted tablet is excellent. It is so difficult to find this model with an original tablet. The painted scene is traditional in its formatThe dial is painted on wood and features Arabic hour numerals and Arabic quarter hour markers are positioned inside the hour ring. The spandrel areas feature colorful florals and are framed with gilt patterns. This dial is also original to this clock and is untouched.

This clock measures approximately 30 inches tall and is 17.5 inches wide and 4.5 inches deep.

Overall this is an excellent example of a rare Connecticut Pillar & Scroll mantel clock made by the Inventor of the form. For further in formation, please read the book written by Kenneth D. Roberts, Eli Terry and the Connecticut Shelf Clock.

Eli Terry was born in East Windsor on April 13, 1772. He was the son of Samuel and Huldah (Burnham) Terry. He served his apprenticeship to Daniel Burnap until 1792. In 1815 he developed this Pillar and Scroll design and Patented it June 12,1816.


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