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Photo: Courtesy Christie's, New York
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Tall case clock


Object number

RIF3789

Maker

Clockmaker Squire Millerd, 1749?1820
Alternate name(s): Squire Millard
Casemaker Unknown

Dimensions

90 1/2 × 17 × 8 3/4 in. (229.87 × 43.18 × 22.23 cm)

Date

probably 1785

Current location


Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); chestnut (backboard, back of hood, saddle board); maple (base of hood); pine (top of hood, saddle board support, filler for molding at top of case); maple (floor board); cherry (dial mat)

Inscriptions

Incised compass arcs and horizontal line visible on interior backboard when wait door is open

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

John S. Walton, Inc., New York, 1964; sold to a midwest family; consigned to Christie's, New York, January 19, 2018, lot 162 (unsold)

Associated names

John S. Walton, Inc.
Christie's

Construction

The removable hood has a roof of three boards, shaped to align with its arched façade and nailed with brads to its frieze board at the front and to the top of its arched backboard, which is nailed from behind to the back edges of the hood sides. The single-piece cornice molding at the arched center of which is a ressaulted keystone above a fluted panel, is nailed with brads to the frieze board. Three simple plinths sit upon the hood, each having a rectangular cap and supporting a spherical fluted finial with corkscrew flame. The central, removable plinth includes an integral tenon which locks it into a mortise behind the keystone. The hood?s single-piece architrave molding is face-nailed with brads to the frieze board. The single-board hood sides are fixed with rosehead nails to the back of the frieze boards and sit in grooves in the top of the transverse boards of the hood base. The backs of these hood sides have a deep rabbet, at the top of which is a triangular insert. A thin, arched dial mat is nailed with brads from inside the hood to the front frieze board. Below are narrow vertical and horizontal boards which form a frame against which the (missing) door rests. Tall, narrow blocking is nailed with brads to the back of the frame. The transverse boards of the hood base are joined and fixed with cut nails into its longitudinal front board. They are similarly nailed from below into the bottoms of the hood sides. Half-colonnettes at the back of the hood are nailed into rabbets in the hood base?s transverse boards below and in the frieze boards above. Full colonnettes in front are fixed with screws through the underside of the longitudinal board. A single-piece molding fixed to the hood base forms a rabbet which allows the hood to fit over the case. The stiles of the frame which surrounds the brass dial and works are tenoned without wood pins to the rails above and below. The hood fits over blocking nailed to the tops of the case sides and rests upon a two-part beaded cove molding (face-nailed to the case sides) and its triangular blocking. The case back is a continuous vertical board (with filler strips at the hood and base), set into rabbets in the case sides, and nailed to interior blocking between the waist and base, and to the back edge of the case bottom. Backboard filler strips below are nailed into blocking below the two-part molding atop the base, and into the case bottom. These strips, with old repairs, end in simple diagonal brackets and comprise the backs of the rear feet. The arched and molded, convex-blocked and shell-carved waist door sits within a frame of rails tenoned without wood pins to stiles joined to the case sides with wood-filled fasteners. The front of the base is similarly constructed. The upper portion of the two-part base molding is toe-nailed from behind through the case sides; the lower portion is fixed with wood-filled fasteners. The feet consist of shaped vertical blocks flanked by horizontal blocks, the whole faced with ogee brackets. Examined by P.E. Kane and J.N. Johnson, and J.S. Gordon, January 17, 2018; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

Notes

The joints in the top of the hood are lined with pieces of newspaper from the Providence Gazette and Country Journal, January 29, 1785, page 3.

Bibliography

Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, and Silver, sale cat. (January 19, 2018), 88–89, lot 162, ill.