image of object
From: Frank L. Hohmann III and contributors Kirtland L. Crump, Donald L. Fennimore, Morrison H. Heckscher; Martha H. Willoughby, and David F. Wood, Timeless: Masterpiece American Brass Dial Clocks (New York: Hohmann Holdings LLC, 2009), 96, 307
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Tall case clock

Object number



Clockmaker Caleb Wheaton, American, 1757–1827
Casemaker Unknown


87 × 19 × 12 in. (220.98 × 48.26 × 30.48 cm)



Current location

Private Collection


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


Mahogany (primary); chestnut (backboard, extension of sides below saddle board); cherry (dial mat, front base of hood); maple (side bases of hood)


"Caleb Wheaton / Providence," engraved on dial


"Ab hoc momento pendet aeternitas," inscribed on dial; "J," / "Jabez," / "Jabez [illegible, possibly "3" and "1"]," in graphite, on interior backboard; "T. A. P., / cleaned 4/60 / new chime," on outer surface of proper left extension of side below saddle board; "THE OLD CLOCK," typeset, poem on paper label glued to interior backboard; "PHONE NO. BARNSTEAD 5-2," printed, / "4166 June 1937," in ink / "H. M. HIll / Fine Watch, French and Hall Clock Repairi [torn]," printed, on card nailed to proper left side of saddle board


Gary R. Sullivan Antiques, Inc., Sharon, Massachusetts; sold to Leigh Keno American Antiques, New York; sold to private collection

Associated names

Gary R. Sullivan Antiques, Inc.
Leigh Keno American Antiques


The roof of the removable hood consists of four boards shaped to align with the hood?s shallow arched top and fixed with brads to the arched top of the hood backboard, to the top of the friezeboards, and to the scrollboard in front. The hood backboard is nailed with brads to the top of the hood sides, which are set into grooves in the transverse boards of the hood base. The hood sides have rectangular portals inset with lattice panels over glass, held in with brads. The friezeboards and scrollboard are held on by nails inside the hood ? at the top of the hood sides and in the arched panel above the door. Into each of the three single-piece molded rectangular plinths is set a single piece spherical, stop-fluted finial with turned base and corkscrew flame. A single-piece cornice molding is fixed to the friezeboards and scrollboard with wood-filled fasteners, and the carved rosettes of the scrolling pediment are further adhered by screws through the back of the scrollboard above the roof. A single-piece architrave molding is fixed with brads to the bottom of the hood entablature. In the underside of the hood base?s transverse boards are brads nailed into the bottom of its case sides. At the front of the case are fluted colonnettes with separate turned bases and capitals. In the front of the proper right colonnette capital is a small nail. At the back are fluted half-colonnettes with small tenons above and below set into grooves in the hood entablature and base, respectively. The end of each tenon is nailed with a brad into the hood or base; the tenon?s shaft is screwed in the back of the colonnette?s two-part base or capital assembly, which fits around the tenon. A single-piece ogee molding projects below the hood base, allowing the hood to fit over the case below. The engraved silvered dial is surrounded by an arched, molded dial mat whose stiles are tenoned, with wood pins, to its rails. The stiles of the arched, molded glazed door are tenoned and nailed to their rails. The hood sits on a beaded cove molding at the top to the case?s waist, nailed with brads to its triangular blocking and to the case?s single-board sides. The upper rail of the waist is through-tenoned, without wood pins, to its stiles. The single-piece waist door is arched, molded, convex-blocked and shell-carved. The transitional molding between waist and base is held on with face-nailed brads. The stiles and rails of the base front meet in mitered joints, center a rectangular molded panel and are flanked by single-piece vertical corner panels with integral moldings above and integral lamb?s tongues termini below. The lower base molding is fixed with wood-filled fasteners. There are brads in the forward face of the proper right front foot?s ogee bracket. Examined by P. E. Kane, April 6, 2015; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.


The latin inscription on the dial can be translated as "on this moment hangs eternity."


Frank L. Hohmann III et al., Timeless: Masterpiece American Brass Dial Clocks (New York: Hohmann Holdings, 2009), 306–307, no. 96, 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, 297n5.
Gary R. Sullivan and Kate Van Winkle Keller, Musical Clocks of Early America, 1730–1830: A Catalogue Raisonné (North Grafton, Mass.: Willard House and Clock Museum, 2017), 323–24, fig. 159, 159A–B.