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Photo: Courtesy private collection; photo by Christopher Gardner
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Tall case clock


Object number

RIF1855

Maker

Casemaker Stephen Goddard, 1764–1804
Clockmaker Charles Robbins

Dimensions

218.44 x 48.578 x 26.035 cm (86 x 19 1/8 x 10 1/4 in.)

Date

1795–1805

Current location

Private collection

Geography

Made in Newport, Rhode Island, Made in Pawtucket, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)

Medium

Mahogany (primary); mahogany (blocks under saddleboard); chestnut (backboard); pine (backboard of hood, front to back brace under hood, blocks at case front, molding on interior of waist door, saddleboard, and core of proper-right and center moldings at top of case); cherry (dial mat); yellow poplar (top of hood)

Marks

“Steph’n Goddard of his manf,” in chalk, on interior backboard; “Charles Robbins / Pawtucket,” engraved on pendulum bob; “Wilson,” cast into back of face plate

Inscriptions

“Hannah W. Rhodes / June 1893 / from Abby G. R. Slater,” written in ink on a paper label glued to inside of door; “This clock is to be given / to my nephew / Bill Wright / from Abby Rhodes Moore. / September 23rd 1922,” written in ink on a paper label glued to inside of door

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Samuel Slater (1768–1835), Pawtucket, Rhode Island; by descent to his son, Horatio Nelson Slater (1808–1888); by descent to his daughter, Hanna Wilkinson Slater Rhodes (1837–1921); by descent to her daughter, Abby Goodwin Rhodes Moore (1873–1941); by descent to her nephew, Woodley Leith Wright (1908–1980); by descent to Barbara Jean Wright (active 1940) and Esther Elizabeth Wright (active 1946); consigned to Christie's, New York, October 21, 1989, lot 400; private collection

Associated names

Samuel Slater
Horatio Nelson Slater
Hanna Wilkinson Slater Rhodes
Abby Goodwin Rhodes Moore
Woodley Leith Wright
Barbara Jean Wright
Esther Elizabeth Wright
Christie's

Construction

The removable hood has a roof of three boards, shaped to align with its arched fašade and nailed with brads to its frieze board in front and backboard behind. The hood?s backboard is arched and rabbeted at its bottom edge to fit against the case?s backboard and is joined to the hood sides with half-blind dovetail joints, having large, thick-necked pins, with half-pins below. The single-piece cornice molding is face-nailed to the hood with brads. The hood supports two plain rectangular plinths, upon which sit spherical fluted finials with corkscrew flames. The frieze boards at the sides of the hood are half-blind dovetailed to the central, arched frieze board. The single-piece architrave molding below is face-nailed with brads to the frieze boards at the front and sides. A thin, arched board inside the hood is nailed with brads to the front board of the entablature. The hood sides, which are solid, are fixed with rosehead nails to the side frieze boards, are rabbeted at the back, and sit in grooves in the transverse boards of the hood base. Those transverse boards are rabbeted also; they have applied to their outside faces a separate, single-piece molding. A full-height, chamfered reinforcing strip is nailed to the back of each single-piece, half-round, fluted colonette. The arched, hinged, molded, glazed door opens to a white-painted dial and brass works. The hood slides into place over guides nailed with brads to the case sides, and rests upon a single-piece beaded cove molding and its triangular blocking. Inside the front corners of the case are vertical chamfered glue blocks, some of which support the brass hinges fixed with screws and rosehead nails to the case stiles and door stiles. The outside face of the waist door is convex-blocked, shell-carved, lipped and thumb-molded. The shell and the blocked panel are applied. The blocked panel is fixed by countersunk fasteners through a molding inside the stiles and rails on the back of the door. The tenons of the upper and lower rails are visible through the rails? outside faces. A single piece molding which marks the transition from waist to base is face-nailed to the case. The stiles and rails of the case?s base are solid, surrounding a rectangular, thumb-molded panel. A base molding is applied with wood-filled fasteners. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, June 27, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

Christie's, New York, Fine American Furniture, Silver, Folk Art, and Decorative Arts, sale cat. (October 21, 1989), 216–217, lot 400, ill.
Patricia E. Kane et al., Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2016), 2, 106–107, fig. 10.