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


Object number

RIF5322

Maker

Casemaker Unknown
Clockmaker Thomas Claggett, ca. 1730?1797

Dimensions

Height: 98 1/8 in. (249.24 cm)

Date

1770–90

Current location

Unknown

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany

Marks

"T: Claggett Newport," engraved, on nameplate on dial below center arbor

Inscriptions

Unknown

Style

Chippendale

Construction

The roof of the removable hood consists of two thin boards shaped to align with the arched entablature in front and the arched backboard, and fixed with nails to both from above and from within to a transverse batten notched into the backboard. Three partially fluted urnform finials with corkscrew flames sit atop the hood?the flanking ones on small, simple plinths, the central one above a simple, ressaulted keystone. The entablature?s single-piece cornice molding (backed by a triangular block) is held on with face-nailed brads; the architrave molding is fixed by invisible means. The front and sides of the hood entablature meet in dovetail joints, each having a large single pin. The hood backboard has an arched, rabbeted skirt, and is fixed to the hood sides with an assortment of nails. The four-part hood sides are fixed with rosehead nails to the backs of the entablature board and contain rectangular portals with glass secured by exterior quarter-round moldings and interior putty. The hood sides? back edges are rabbeted to fit over the case back and their bottom edges sit in grooves in the hood-base side rails. The rails of the dial mat are tenoned and nailed to its stiles; the glazed door?s stiles are tenoned into its rails. Half-colonnettes at the back of the hood consists of separate abaci, capitals, column shafts, bases and plinths; at each top and bottom the three elements are joined by glue in thin vertical strips screwed into the entablature above and the back edge of the base?s side rails below. Full colonnettes occupy the hood?s front corners. The front rail of the hood base is tenoned into the side rails, each of which contains ten cut nails on its underside, indicating connections to the hood sides, front colonnettes, and the front rails. A small, single-piece molding is face-nailed with brads to the outside of the hood-base rails. A large-beaded cove molding at the top of the waist is face-nailed with brads. The rails of the waist are tenoned without pins to the stiles. Within the case are numerous vertical chamfered corner glue blocks, some later. The arched thumb-molded waist door is a single board with an integral, raised, molded panel and an applied carved shell. The ogee molding at the transition from waist to base is fixed with face-nailed brads and wood-filled fasteners. There is a narrow strip of inlay near the bottom of the base front. The base molding is attached by means of wood-filled fasteners. Examined by P.E. Kane, March 22, 2019; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

Richard L. Champlin, "Thomas Claggett: Silversmith, Swordsman, Clockmaker," Newport History: Bulletin of the Newport Historical Society 49, no. 3 (Summer 1976): 64–65, 67, fig. 6–7.
Richard L. Champlin, "Thomas Claggett: Silversmith, Swordsman, Clockmaker," Bulletin of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc. 21, no. 2 (April 1979): 176–177, fig. 6–7.
Donald L. Fennimore and Frank L. Hohmann III, Claggett: Newport's Illustrious Clockmakers (Winterthur, Del.: Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library, 2018), 111, 119–20, 155, 230–31, 247, no. 26, TC-8, fig. 3.4, 3.11.