This is a fine Federal Massachusetts timepiece or "Banjo clock" made in Concord, Massachusetts by Lemuel Curtis.

This is a wonderful crisp and clean example. The case is constructed in mahogany and features gilt frames that are decorated with rope turnings. The gilding appears to be original and is for the most part in excellent condition. Both frames are fitted with reverse painted tablets. The tablets are original to this clock and remain brightly colored. Both tablets depict a number of patriotic themes. Some of these include an American shield, an American eagle and a number of flags. The throat tablet is signed “CURTIS” in the red field of the shield depicted here. The bezel, which is fitted with glass and the side arms are cast in brass. The bezel opens to access the painted iron dial. This dial features large Arabic style hour numerals. It is also signed by the Clockmaker. The signature reads, “WARRANTED / BY / L. Curtis.” The hands are filed form steel are are considered a signature form of this Maker. They are an exhibition of the Clockmaker’s hand skills. These are wonderful. Behind this dial, is a brass geared weight movement that designed to run approximately eight days on a full wind. The movement is set into a Concord style case having a very distinctive cutout in the head. It is mounted to the back of the case with a single screw. The plates are rectangular shaped. The bridge is a butterfly form and the teeth in the gear train are deeply cut. The pendulum features a Concord style key-stone and a brass faced bob. The tie down is also shaped in the form of what one would expect to find in a clock made in Concord. A top of the case stands a carved wooden finial. Much of the original gilding has been worn away over the years. The workmanship in this carving is quite nice.

This clock measures approximately 33.25 inches long overall. It was made circa 1820.

About Lemuel Curtis of Concord, Massachusetts

Lemuel Curtis was born in Roxbury, MA in 1790. He died in New York on June 17, 1857. Lemuel had two brothers who were also involved with clockmaking. He was the nephew of Aaron Willard and probably trained with Simon Willard in Roxbury. He was a terrific clockmaker and the inventor of the Girandole. For and in depth description of his clockmaking activity, please read Paul Foley’s book, “Willard’s Patent Time Pieces.”


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