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Tall case clock

Object number



Clockmaker Walter Cornell, American, 1777–after 1855
Casemaker Unknown


84 20 3/4 10 3/4 in. (213.36 52.705 27.305 cm)



Current location



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


Mahogany (primary); pine (backboard, blocks, and bottom board); birch (guides for hood, arch over dial); cherry (sides and bottom of inner arch frame); sycamore(?) (bottom of hood sides)


"Walter Cornell," inscribed, on reverse of enameled dial


"1," in chalk, on interior of hood below each side window; "A," "B," and "C," in graphite, on interior of hood


Kirtland H. Crump, Madison, Connecticut; Marguerite and Arthur Riordan, Stonington, Connecticut; consigned to Christie's, New York, January 18, 2008, lot 544

Associated names

Kirtland H. Crump
Arthur Riordan
Marguerite Riordan


The arched, removable hood is crowned with a single-piece frieze. Its roof consists of several shaped boards nailed with brads to the crown molding and backboard below. The arched, veneered, and glazed door below opens to a conforming frame, whose inner edge is shaped and whose members meet in mortise and tenon joints, exhibiting wood pins. The door is flanked by free-standing fluted colonettes; there are half-round colonettes in back. The half-round colonettes are fitted into the hood frame in dovetail joints, each containing a single rosehead nail. The interior sides of the hood, which have rectangular glazed portals, are joined to the exterior walls with countersunk rosehead nails. Within the hood is a painted iron dial and brass works. The case below contains an arched, lipped, thumb-molded door, whose stiles and rails are assembled without wood pins. A highly figured, arched inset panel is held in with molding nailed with brads on the interior. Scribe lines and compass marks are visible on the door?s front and back. There are vertical chamfered glue blocks within the case, as well as numerous holes in the backboard. The front of the rectangular base has mitered stiles and rails, centering an applied panel within a molded surround with incurvate corners. The front feet consist of vertical rectangular blocks attached to the baseboard, to which are attached, with rosehead nails, horizontal shaped blocks, the whole faced with ogee brackets. The rear feet are configured similarly, except for the back brackets, which are square-edged scrolling brackets set into grooves in the side-facing ogee brackets. Examined by P.E. Kane, January 14, 2008; noted compiled by T.B. Lloyd


Christie's, New York, The Collection of Marguerite and Arthur Riordan, Stonington, Connecticut, sale cat. (January 18, 2008), 20, lot 544, ill.