Rocking ship Tall Clock of Quebec, Canada origin

This unusual case form is attributed to a number of casemakers that worked in Quebec province of Canada. There have been a small number of other examples that share this interesting tapering waist design and overall construction characteristics have been found with dials signed by Clockmakers known to have worked in Montreal and in Quebec City. The most prominent features of this “Quebec style” are the rounded top hood surmounted with carved frets and finials, the tapering shape of the waist section and the conforming shape of the tapering waist door, quarter columns inset into the waist section, and a scroll pattern cut at the bottom of the base panel that forms the feet. Other known examples have been found in cases constructed in woods such as pine and mahogany.

This example is made of pine. It’s surface has been fully restored with a red coat of paint that is very colorful. It stands on it’s original cutout bracket feet. The scroll work design is quite typical for the form. The feet are visually separated from the base by a molding that is applied to the case. The base panel is also fitted with a molding that forms a faux panel. As one would expect form a clock case of this origin, the waist section tapers over it’s entire length. This is also true of the waist door which is fitted with an applied molding. The sides of this case feature inset concentric ring turned quarter columns. The arched bonnet features a carved fret work pattern that is a traditional designed and believed to be original to this clock. It is supported by three chimney plinths that are fitted with decorative brass finials. The bonnet molding is a simple design. The bonnet door is tombstone shaped and fitted with glass. Fully turned free standing bonnet columns are nicely shaped and support the upper bonnet molding.

The arched dial is colorfully painted on wood. It is an usual dial in that it features an automated rocking ship in the arch section. This ship moves with the motion of the pendulum. It moves in a side to side pattern as if it is sailing in the waves on the open sea. The spandrel areas of this dial are decorated with colorful florals. The time ring features Roman numerals and a seconds dial. This dial is not signed.

The movement is also unusual. It is wooden geared and has been attributed to Asa Hopkins of Connecticut. It was a fairly common practice to use movements from other manufactures in Canada. Asa Hopkins built wooden movements just outside of Torrington in the town of Fluteville. This weight driven example is key wound and designed to run eight days on a full wind. Eight wooden geared tall clocks were not made in significant numbers. Today, they seldom show up in the marketplace. This movement will also strike each hour on a cast iron bell which is mounted above the movement plates. It is good quality.

The overall height of this example is 7 feet 3 inches tall.

Inventory number JJ-187.


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