E. Terry & Sons of Plymouth, Connecticut. 8-Day Wood

The firm E. Terry & Sons was established in 1823 and lasted until 1831. Eli Terry Senior formed a partnership with his sons Eli Jr. and Henry. This firm was a large producer of wooden geared clocks.

This clock is often called or referred to as a “Carved Column and Splat Shelf Clock.” It retains it’s original manufactures’ label which is pasted inside the case. It reads in part “EIGHT DAY CLOCKS INVENTED BY ELI TERRY, MADE AND SOLD AT PLYMOUTH, CONNECTICUT, ELI TERRY & SONS, WARRANTED…” This Clockmaker’s label is in good original condition and can be found pasted inside the case onto the backboard. This case is veneered in mahogany. The veneers are in very good original condition having only small areas of loss. The wood retains and older finish that is in very good condition. The shellac has crazed in some areas. This texturing suggests that is is original to the clock. This example sits up on carved paw feet. The carved column examples almost always did. The sides of this case are fitted with turned columns that are wonderfully formatted alternating between smoothly turned designs and carved decorations. The case is surmounted with a gallery. Two plinths center a deeply carved basket of fruit that is set in a cluster of leaves. This splat has excellent height and is original to this clock. The lower section of the door is decorated with a reverse painted tablet. This original reverse painted tablet is in very good original condition having only small areas of paint loss. The subject matter features traditional themes. Please note the opening in the center of this glass. It purpose is to enable one to see the motion of the brass pendulum bob when this clock is operating. The middle of the door retains it’s original mirror. The use of mirrors in clocks was very popular during the period in which this clock was made. The upper door is fitted with clear glass. Through this one can view the dial. One needs to open this door in order to access the dial, weights, pendulum and clockmakers label.

The dial is painted on wood and features gilt decorations in the spandrel areas and Roman numerals are used to mark each of the twelve hours on the time track. Please also note the subsidiary seconds dial located below the hour numeral twelve.

The movement is constructed in wood. This wooden works movement is weight driven and is designed to run 8 days on a full wind. It is also designed to strike each hour on a cast iron bell. The bell is mounted to the backboard below the movement. Eight day wood movement clocks are somewhat difficult to find in today’s marketplace. The weight required to run this clock on the time side alone is in the vicinity of 8 pounds. This can exert a lot of stress on the craved wooden teeth in the time train. When one finds an example such as this one, it is easy to imagine that the original owners did not use this clock very often and that this clock must have bee replaced in service with a clock that had brass works very early on in it’s ownership. As a result, it most likely ended up in someone’s back room as an after thought. Today, these are eagerly sought out by collectors making this fine example worthy of ones collection.

This fine example stands approximately 38.5 inches tall and was made circa 1830.

This clock is inventory number QQ-37.


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