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Photo: Courtesy of Gary R. Sullivan, photo by David Hansen
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Tall case clock

Object number



Casemaker Unknown
Maker, formerly attributed to Benjamin Baker, 1734 or 1735–1822
Clockmaker Thomas Claggett, ca. 1730–1797


94 20 3/8 10 1/4 in. (238.76 51.75 26.04 cm) Height (without finials): 87 3/4 in. (222.89 cm)



Current location

Private collection


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


Mahogany (primary); yellow poplar (back boards, back of hood, dial mat); chestnut (waist glue blocks); walnut or butternut (roof of hood)


"THOMAS CLAGGET NEPORT," engraved, on clock face


"This Clock was bought at a sale / of furniture at Benjn B. Dyer's auction sale, March [?]d 1847, then no. / 8 Weybosset Street Providence, R.I. / Its history has been sought, but not / found. It was placed in the dining- / room of the Gov. Jones House (so called) / on Westminster Street where I first / commenced "house-keeping" in October / 1833. Elisha Dyer. / Joab Mathewson repaired the Mar. 14th 1847 as pr bill here(?) paid.," written on paper in ink, affixed to interior backboard of clock; "[illegible] / 200 / Hon. Elisha Dyer No. 24 Westminster St / T.G. Daggett & son / Watch & clock Makers - No 70 Point St. / Providence. R.I. / Dece 31 = 1858 / March 8 = 1864 / H. A. Ockel / July 7 / 1881 / December 13 / 1892 by Ockel," in graphite, on inside case door; "GIVEN TO / ELISHA DYER / BY HIS FATHER / JUNE 1928," engraved on a brass plaque, tacked to inside of case door; "GIVEN TO / ELISHA DYER, JR. / BY HIS FATHER / APRIL 1942," engraved on a brass plaque, tacked to inside of case door; "[?]550 / [H?]on. Elisha Dyer, Jr. No. 11 [illegible] / Dec 31 1858 Cleaned [illegible] / [s?]et up in office No. 24 [Westminster St.?] / January 10 1861 / [March 8?] 1864," in graphite, on underside of hood; [illegible] / Thomas G. Daggett & son / No. 70 Point St. Providence, R.I. / Watch & Clock Makers / [illegible] 1858," in graphite, on underside of hood


Benjamin Bruce Dyer (1819–1881), Providence, Rhode Island; sold to Elisha Dyer (1811–1890), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent in the Dyer family to Elisha Dyer (1904–1992), Brookville, New York; by descent in the Dyer family

Associated names

Benjamin Bruce Dyer
Elisha Dyer
Elisha Dyer


The roof of the removable hood consists of a variety of boards, including, at the top, three transverse boards, the central one flat, and flanking thicker boards with quarter-round sides. The flanking boards are rabbeted to accept the edges of thinner boards, shaped to align with the pediment in front and with the backboard, to which they are nailed with brads. The lateral ends of the shaped boards are thicker, fitting into grooves provided by the side boards of the entablature. The hood backboard has a rabbeted skirt with a very slightly incurvate midsection, and is fixed with nails to the rabbeted back edges of the entablature sides. A single-piece crown molding is fixed with wood-filled fasteners to the entablature and scrolls upward across the front, ending in turned rosettes flanking a tapering fluted keystone fixed with wood-filled fasteners. The end of the proper right scrolling portion of crown molding includes an old repair. The entablature front meets its sides in half-blind dovetail joints having large, finely cut pins of slightly varying configuration. A small architrave molding is face-nailed to the skirt of the entablature. Three plain rectangular plinths support turned urnform finials, the central one different from those flanking. The single-board hood sides have rabbeted bottoms and back edges and are set into grooves in the lateral boards of the hood base. The stiles of the glazed, hinged door are tenoned and wood-pinned to the rails. Multi-part colonnettes are fixed with screws through the bottom of the hood base?s lateral boards. The front boards are tenoned and fixed with brads to the lateral boards. A small cove molding is fixed with brads and wood-filled fasteners in such a way as to allow the hood to slide over the molding at the top of the case?s waist. The single-board thumb-molded door has a serpentine top. The rails of the waist are tenoned to their stiles without wood pins. The molding at the transition between waist and base is fixed with brads and wood-filled fasteners. Portions of the base appear to be of later date. Examined by P.E. Kane, November 19, 2013 and 2019 March 22, 2019; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

See also


Richard L. Champlin, "Thomas Claggett: Silversmith, Swordsman, Clockmaker," Bulletin of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc. 21, no. 2 (April 1979): 171.
Donald L. Fennimore and Frank L. Hohmann III, Claggett: Newport's Illustrious Clockmakers (Winterthur, Del.: Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library, 2018), 248, TC-14.
The Claggetts of Newport: Master Clockmakers in Colonial America, exh. cat. (Newport, R I.: Redwood Library and Athenaeum, 2019), 32, ill.