Silas Hoadley of Plymouth, Connecticut. Tall clock.

This is a very good example of a wooden works tall clock made by Silas Hoadley of Plymouth, Connecticut.

The construction of this wooden geared tall clock movement is typical of the standard form that one would expect from this prolific Clockmaker. The plates used in the construction of this movement are made from oak. The movement is standard two train design. Both of which are powered by weights. The weights are raised by pulling on cords inside the case. Because the movement is designed to run for approximately 30 hours, this should be done once a day. The strike train features a count wheel striking system. The count wheel is located on the back plate. This clock will strike each hour on a cast iron bell which is mounted above the movement.

The arched wooden dial is nicely paint decorated. It is a standard size. All of the various decorations are framed in raised gesso patterns that are highlighted in gilt paint. The spandrels are decorated with colorful floral themes. In the arch is the E. Pluribus Unum symbol of the American Eagle with outstretched wings, clutching a number of arrows and the olive branches in its’s claws. The American shield is in front of the eagle’s breast. The thirteen stars, one star for each of the states, are surrounding the bird’s head. This is very powerful symbolism for our new Nation. It is a symbol of unity. The hours are marked with Roman hour numerals. This dial also displays the seconds and calendar day via subsidiary hands and dials located with in the time track.

The case is constructed in New England white pine. It is paint decorated in black and red. The paint pattern used simulates the grain of mahogany. This is in very good original condition. There is some areas of minor loss. These are somewhat confined to the lower right side of the hood. A coat of shellac that was applied over the paint has now nicely textured into a surface that is reminiscent of an alligator’s skin in some areas. This case stands on a simple bracket base that features simply shaped cutout feet. The waist is long and narrow featuring a rectangular shaped waist door. The door provides access to the interior of the clock. This clock is wound from this location. The bonnet features a New England style fretwork pattern that is in the form of arches. It is supported by three wooden finial plinths or chimneys. The bonnet door is fitted with glass. This door is flanked by smoothly turned bonnet columns that are free standing.

This example stands approximately 86 or 7 feet 2 inches tall to the top of the arches. At the lower bonnet molding, exhibiting the largest dimensions of the case is 18.75 inches wide and 10 inches deep. This clock was made circa 1815.

About Silas Hoadley of Plymouth, Connecticut.

Silas Hoadley was born in 1786 and died in Plymouth, CT in 1870. He first apprenticed to his uncle Samuel and was making clocks in 1808. Along with Seth Thomas, he was hired by Eli Terry at the age of 21 to set up and work at Terry’s Ireland factory. Shortly after Terry’s Porter Contract was satisfied he and Seth Thomas bought the factory from Terry and then eventually purchased Thomas’s shares of the business. Silas Hoadley became known for using movements of his own design like the “Upside down” style used in his shelf clock. In1849 he retired a wealthy man.


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