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


Object number

RIF15

Maker

Casemaker Unknown
Clockmaker Stillman family

Dimensions

218.44 x 54.29 x 28.89 cm (86 x 21 3/8 x 11 3/8 in.)

Date

ca. 1795

Current location

Private collection

Geography

Probably made in Westerly, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)

Medium

Maple (primary); maple (exterior board of hood backboard); butternut(?) (interior board of hood backboard); sycamore (molding); yellow poplar (backboard and blocks of case interior); chestnut (top of hood)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

“B [later?],” incised on the interior waist door at bottom

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Skinner, Boston and Bolton, Massachusetts (sale held Bolton), October 27, 1990, lot 64; sold to Nathan Liverant and Son, Colchester, Connecticut; sold to private collection. Nathan Liverant and Son, Colchester, Connecticut, 2005; sold to private collection

Associated names

Skinner, Inc.
Nathan Liverant and Son

Construction

The roof of the removable hood is two transverse boards shaped to align with its arched fašade and fixed with rosehead nails to the top of the arched hood backboard and to the top of blocking behind the hood?s single-piece crown molding, whose mitered front corners are wood-pinned. Glued to the back of the arched crown are flanking portions of solid scrolling crest, centering and flanked by rectangular, capped, fluted plinths supporting one small (center) and two larger (flanking) one-piece finials with turned bases and corkscrew-carved flames. Small triangular blocks are glued to the back of the scrolling crests and to the sides of the central plinth. The hood back consists of two boards, joined by brads and a rosehead nail through the inside. The boards? skirts form a rabbet which allows the hood to fit over the arched case back. The joints between the back and sides are concealed by vertical backboards, nailed to the blocking behind the crown molding and to the hood?s bottom boards. The crown molding dies into these vertical boards. The single-board hood sides are nailed to blocking behind the crown and tenoned through the transverse boards of the hood base. Each side centers a glazed portal, rectangular on the inside and arched and thumb-molded on the outside. Small molding in the corners between the hood sides and the vertical backboard and hood base is held in with brads in the vertical portion and glue in the horizontal. The stiles and rails of the arched and molded dial mat are tenoned together without wood pins. The rails of the glazed door itself are tenoned and wood-pinned to their stiles. The front and transverse rails of the base are tenoned and wood-pinned together. The underside of the rails exhibit numerous wood pins, including those for the joints with the hood sides above. At each front corner of the upper face of the hood base is a separate rectangular patch and wood pin, just behind the colonnette. Also included are nails at the outside corner which join the bottom of the turned and fluted colonnettes to the base. A single-piece molding at the bottom of the hood base is nailed at its mitered corners. The hood slides onto the case over a two-piece beaded cove molding fixed with brads and wood-filled fasteners to the case?s waist. The top of the molding is wood-pinned at its joints, which are half-lapped, not mitered. The rails of the waist front are tenoned to the stiles without wood pins. Its stiles are half-lapped to the single-board case sides. The arched, thumb-molded, single-piece, shell-carved waist door includes a round glazed portal. In the rear corners of the case are multiple pieces of cove molding used as glue blocks. The three-part beaded cove molding marking the transition from waist to base is attached with brads and wood-filled fasteners. The single-board base front centers an applied carved shell within a molded frame, both face-nailed with brads, and meets its single-board sides in half-blind dovetail joints, having finely cut pins of varying configurations. The base molding is applied with brads and wood-filled fasteners. The case back is a single board glued into rabbets in the base sides and waist sides. The backs of the rear feet are straight-profiled narrow triangular brackets. Examined by P. E. Kane, Eric Litke and J. N. Johnson, April 3, 2015; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

Notes

Movement: 8-day skeletonized brass time and strike, with automaton dial

See also


Bibliography

Skinner, Inc., Boston and Bolton, Mass., Americana, sale cat. (October 27, 1990), lot 64, ill.
"Nathan Liverant and Son advertisement," Antiques 139, no. 5 (May 1991): 822, ill.
"Nathan Liverant and Son advertisement," Antiques 167, no. 5 (May 2005): 19, ill.
Lita Solis-Cohen, "The Philadelphia Antiques Show," Maine Antique Digest (July 2005): 3-D, 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), 108, 367–68, no. 78, fig. 1–2.