Daniel Burnap of East Windsor, Connecticut. A cherry case tall clock.

This important cherry case tall clock has a engraved dial signed by the clockmaker Daniel Burnap of East Windsor, Connecticut. Interestingly, the movement is engraved by his apprentice Daniel Porter. The engraving reads, “D. Porter No. 3.”

This fine cherry case retains an older finish. It stands on a molding that rests flat to the floor. The waist section is proportionally long. It is fitted with a shaped door that is trimmed with a molded edge. Spirally carved quarter columns that terminate in turned wooden quarter capitals are inset into the front corners of the case. There are four two bonnet columns which visually support the arch of the bonnet. These are also carved in a twisted pattern. Above the arch molding this case features a pagoda top that is decorated with a pierced an open fret work pattern, finial plinths and turned wooden finials. The bonnet door is an arched form and fitted with glass. It opens to access the engraved brass dial.

Burnap’s dials are of unusually fine workmanship. He was a skillful engraver. This a fine representation of his work. The time ring is formatted with Roman numeral hour markers 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 large and of the traditional form. This is positioned above the hour numeral six. This dial is signed by the Maker in the arch. It reads, “ Daniel Burnap / E. Windsor.”

The movement is brass and designed to run eight-days on a full wind. The front plate of this example bears a light engraving that reads, “D. Porter No 3.” It is easy to speculate that this suggests that Porter worked on this clock as Burnap’s apprentice. What a wonderful nugget of history. The plates are supported with four traditionally shaped pillars or posts that are associated with the Harland / Burnap school of clockmaking. 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 88. 5 inches (7 feet 4.5 inches) tall to the top of the center finial. It is 20 inches wide and 11 inches deep measured at the hood molding.

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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