Jonathan Winslow A Massachusetts dwarf clock.

This very simple country example is referred to as a “Dwarf clock.” It stands a mere 47 inches tall. The case is cherry and retains an older and possibly an original finish. The four feet are cut out from the base panel an elevate the case up off the floor. The waist is long and narrow. It is fitted with a door that allows one access to the pendulum and the weights. This door is framed with a reeded molding. This reeded detail is also used on the upper and lower bonnet moldings. The hood columns are simply turned. The top of the hood is surmounted with three wooden turned finials and a swans neck pediment.

The rectangular shaped dial is painted onto the back of a piece of glass. As a result, the decoration and details are in excellent condition. One should expect this to be true since the painted decoration is not easily accessible and is very well protected. The time ring is formatted with Roman hour numerals. The lower spandrels are decorated in a geometric fan pattern. The two upper spandrels feature bell flowers. In the arch is a patriotic scene. An American eagle is clutching an American shield in it’s claws. The flag, a drum and a cannon is also depicted. The two hands are left exposed or unprotected. They are steel and finely made. They retain much of their original gilding.

The movement is constructed in wood. The plates and gears appear to be cherry and the pinions are maple. Wooden geared clocks such as this are designed to run thirty hours on a full wind and strike the hour on the cast iron bell which is mounted above the movement. This clock is signed on the seatboard. The die stamp reads, “J. Winslow.” This clock was made circa 1820.

This very clock is pictured and discussed in “American Wooden Movement Tall Clocks“by Philip Morris on page 335. Several other examples are pictured in his book. Additional clocks can be found in “Horology Americana” written by Lester Dworetsky and Robert Dickstein on page 28. Another example can be found pictured in “The American Clock” written by William H. Distin and Robert Bishop on page 82. A third was in the collection of Nina Fletcher Little. Her clock is pictured and discussed in “Little by Little” on page 22.

Inventory number LL-148.

About Jonathan Winslow of New Salem, Worcester, Brookfield, Palmer and Springfield, Massachusetts.

Jonathan Winslow was born in south eastern Massachusetts in the town of Rochester on August 15, 1765. He was the son of Shubael and Azubah (Blogett) Winslow. He is recorded as having moved and worked in several Massachusetts towns including New Salem, Worcester, Brookfield in 1795, Palmer and Springfield. He married Elizabeth Bailey of Worcester on January 1, 1790. Jonathan died in Springfield on July 20, 1847.

It was perviously thought that he served his clockmaking apprenticeship with the Cheneys in East Hartford, Connecticut. This family is now well known for being primarily wooden movement clockmakers. This information is now disputed in Philip Morris’s new book, “American Wooden Movement Tall Clocks 1712 – 1835” due to the lack of similarity in construction styles. We have seen and owned several Winslow dwarf clocks over the last forty-five years. A percentage of these clocks are die-stamp on the seatboard by the Maker. The dwarf clock case form appears to be his most common form. There might be less that a dozen of these dwarf cases pictured in the horological literature.


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