image of object
From: Frank L. Hohmann III et al., Timeless: Masterpiece American Brass Dial Clocks (New York: Hohmann Holdings, 2009), 298, no. 92
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Tall case clock

Object number



Clockmaker Edward Spalding, American, 1732–1785
Casemaker Unknown


92 1/2 × 22 1/2 × 11 in. (234.95 × 57.15 × 27.94 cm) Width, dial: 12 in. (30.48 cm)



Current location

Private Collection


Made in Providence, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Walnut (primary); yellow poplar (backboard of hood and original glue blocks of case interior); pine (back board, top of hood, bottom board, blocks of feet, and brackets of rear feet); yellow pine(?) (side extensions of back board); chestnut (saddle board)


"Ed ["d" superscript with an underscore] w Spalding" [in script] / "PROVIDENCE," [Roman] on applied silvered boss in arch




Flayderman and Kaufman, Boston; sold to Colston Leigh, about 1930. John S. Walton, New York, 1953; sold to Ruth Hopwood Sayres (1906–1997) and Philip Cooke Sayres (1905–1963), Chappaqua, New York, Old Lyme, Connecticut, and Greenwich, Connecticut; by descent to Barbara Williams (née Sayres), Greenwich, Connecticut, 1997; sold to private collection, 2003

Associated names

John S. Walton, Inc.
Flayderman and Kaufman
Colston Leigh
Philip Cooke Sayres
Ruth Hopwood Sayres
Barbara Williams


The single-board roof of the removable hood is chamfered at the front and is shaped to align with its semi-elliptical arched front and nailed with brads and rosehead nails to its entablature at the front and arched hood-backboard behind. The roof board is also held in place by chamfered transverse boards nailed into the top of the entablature sides. The hood?s backboard is arched at the bottom to fit over the case?s backboard, and fixed to the entablature sides with rosehead nails and half-blind dovetail joints, having large, thick-necked pins, with half-pins above and below. The front end of the frieze board sides are lapped over the ends of the front frieze board. The hood supports three plain rectangular plinths, each fitted with fluted urn-form finials with corkscrew flames. The single-piece cornice and architrave moldings are fixed to the hood with wood-filled fasteners. Within the front of the hood is a half-round arched backer board for the door, consisting of stiles and rails half-lapped and wood-pinned to each other. The hood sides consist of stiles and rails enclosing a rectangular glazed portal held in with an external quarter-round molding. There are filled strips, held on with brads, at the back of the hood sides. The method of attachment of hood side and entablature side is concealed by woven fabric. The hood sides meet the transverse and horizontal boards of the hood base in half-blind dovetail joints, having pins of varying configurations. A single-piece molding, slightly proud of the bottom of the hood base?s underside and fixed to it with wood-filled fasteners, allows the hood to fit over the two-part beaded cove molding at the top of the case?s waist. Half-round fluted colonettes at the back of the case have separate bases and plinths. Filler strips at either side of the top of the case?s backboard are fixed to it with countersunk rosehead nails. Extensions of the side boards (upon which the saddle board sits) are fixed with rosehead nails to the backboard. The arched, molded and glazed door, whose stiles and rails meet in wood-pinned mortise and tenon joints, opens to a brass dial and works. The stiles of the waist portion of the case lap over the two-board sides, and are tenoned and double-wood-pinned to their rails. The waist door consists of a single-piece backboard to which is applied, by invisible means, a single-piece convex-blocked, shell-carved, cove-molded panel. A single-piece molding between the waist and base is fixed to the waist and to blocking within the base with brads and wood-filled fasteners. The case backboard is glued into rabbets in the waist sides; filler strips below are glued into rabbets in the base sides. The single-piece front board of the base laps over the single-piece side boards, which are nailed with brads to the case-back filler boards and to blocking behind the front board. Applied to the front board by invisible means is a single-piece, convex-blocked, triple-shell-carved, cove-molded panel. A base molding is nailed with brads to the base, and a single-board case bottom is fixed with brads, rosehead nails, and wood pins to the base sides and front above. The front feet consist of shaped vertical blocks, attached directly to the case bottom and flanked by shaped horizontal blocks, the whole face with mitered ogee bracket feet. The rear feet are different from the front, and from each other ? on the proper left, a vertical block is flanked by horizontal blocks as at the front feet; on the proper right, horizontal blocks lapped to each other are attached to the baseboard above a short, shaped vertical block. Both back brackets are simple, straight-profiled diagonal boards set into grooves in the side-facing ogee brackets. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, March 7, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

See also


Wendy A. Cooper and Tara L. Gleason, "A Different Rhode Island Block-and-Shell Story: Providence Provenances and Pitch-Pediments," American Furniture (1999): 188, 190, fig. 33.
"John S. Walton advertisement," Antiques 63, no. 4 (April 1953): 304, ill.
Frank L. Hohmann III et al., Timeless: Masterpiece American Brass Dial Clocks (New York: Hohmann Holdings, 2009), 298–299, no. 92, 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), 112n21, 318nn1, 3, 320n4,.