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Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Bequest of Mrs. Allen Aldrich in memory of Allen Aldrich, 25.135; photo by Erik Gould
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Tall case clock

Object number



Clockmaker Caleb Wheaton, American, 1757–1827
Casemaker Unknown


96 13/16 21 11 in. (245.9 53.34 27.94 cm)



Current location

Rhode Island School of Design Museum


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


Mahogany (primary); pine and chestnut (secondary)


"Caleb Wheaton / Providence," engraved on dial arch


"AB HOC MOMENTO PENDET AETERNITAS," engraved on dial arch; “Water line Sept. 28, 1815,” in graphite, on interior case back


Esek Aldrich (1753–1830), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to his son, Esek Aldrich, Jr. (1798–1869), Providence; by descent to his son, Allen Aldrich (1845–1914), Providence; by descent to his widow, Mary Dyer Ladd; bequeathed to the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, 1925

Associated names

Esek Aldrich
Esek Aldrich, Jr.
Allen Aldrich
Mary Dyer Ladd Aldrich


The moldings of the removable hood ? the small nose and cove at the platform above the cornice, the cornice and the architrave ? are applied with brads and wood-filled fasteners. The friezeboards meet the scrollboard in dovetail joints, having large, finely cut pins with necks of varying sizes. The scrollboard bears a compass-drawn scribe line just above the arched architrave molding. The stiles of the arched, molded, glazed hinged door, which opens to a silvered dial and brass works, are tenoned without wood pins to the stiles. The hood sides consist of four boards, centering a rectangular portal whose glass is held in by quarter round molding. The single-piece molding at the bottom of the hood is attached with brads and wood-filled fasteners. Within the case?s waist are vertical chamfered glue blocks in the rear corners and continuous blocking in the front corners, the latter serving as support for the attachment of stop-fluted quarter columns outside. The upper rail is tenoned and single-wood-pinned to the stiles. The arched waist door appears to be a single piece, thumb-molded and convex-blocked, to which is applied a convex-carved shell. On the back of the door are horizontal and compass-drawn segmental scribe lines. The large ogee molding between the waist and base is applied with brads and wood-filled fasteners. The single-board base sides are face-nailed at the top with brads. The base front consists of mitered stiles and rails centering a flat single-board thumb-molded panel. The base molding is applied with brads and wood-filled fasteners. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, June 23, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.


Hedy B. Landman, "The Pendleton House at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design," Antiques 107, no. 5 (May 1975): 930.
Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr., The Arts and Crafts of Newport, Rhode Island, 1640–1820 (Newport, R.I.: Preservation Society of Newport County, 1954), 57–58, no. 32, ill.
Christopher P. Monkhouse and Thomas S. Michie, American Furniture in Pendleton House (Providence: Rhode Island School of Design Museum, 1986), 89–90, no. 34, ill.
William H. Distin and Robert Bishop, The American Clock: A Comprehensive Pictorial Survey, 1723–1900: With a Listing of 6153 Clockmakers (New York: E. P. Dutton and Company, 1976), 33–34, fig. 50.
"European and American Furniture and Decorative Arts on June 20: Bonhams and Butterfield Sale to Include Chippendale Tall Case Clock from Goddard-Townsend Workshops," Antiques and the Arts Weekly (June 17, 2005): 25, ill.
Bonhams and Butterfields, San Francisco, Fine European and American Furniture and Decorative Arts, sale cat. (June 20, 2005), 25, 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), 111n4, 112n37.