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


Object number

RIF5323

Maker

Casemaker Unknown
Clockmaker Thomas Claggett, ca. 1730?1797

Dimensions

89 1/2 22 11 in. (227.3 55.9 27.9 cm)

Date

1755–75

Current location

Private collection

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (case); mahogany (dial mat); chestnut (backboard, waist glue blocks, back of pediment); yellow poplar (hood guide); maple (base of hood, moldings on inside of door); Spanish cedar (roof of hood)

Marks

"Thomas Claggett," engraved, on the chapter ring between "25" and "35"

Inscriptions

None

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Nicholas Carr (1732–1813), Jamestown, Rhode Island; by descent in the Carr family

Associated names

Nicholas Carr

Construction

The roof of the removable hood consists of thin transverse boards shaped to align with the hood?s backboard and entablature, and nailed with brads to the tops of the backboard and friezeboard, and to a central interior transverse batten. These are two thin irregularly shaped metal patches fixed with nails to the top of the rood at its midpoint. The hood?s backboard has an arched, rabbeted skirt; it meets the hood entablature?s sides in dovetail joints having large pins of varying configuration. Fixed to the entablature?s front and sides with face-nailed brads and wood-filled fasteners are one-piece architrave and cornice moldings. At each half-blind dovetail joint between the entablature front and sides is a very large narrow-necked pin. Plain rectangular capped plinths supporting partially fluted turned finials with corkscrew flames occupy the hood?s front corners. The plinths are fixed to the front hood entablature at their lateral faces. The hood sides are single boards each fixed to the back of the entablature?s sides with nails in a geometric pattern. The sides have rectangular glazed portals, their back edges have deep rabbets, and their bottom edges are set into grooves in the hood base. The stiles of the dial mat are tenoned and nailed with brads to the rails; there are slender rectilinear glue blocks at the joints between the dial mat and hood sides. The lateral rails of the hood base are tenoned and double-wood-pinned to the front rail. In each underside of the lateral rails are brads fixing to the hood side above. The arched and thumb-molded rails of the glazed, hinged door are tenoned, without wood pins, to the stiles. A large beaded-cove molding is fixed to the top of the waist by invisible means. The tops of the waist door?s stiles are tenoned, without wood pins, to the arched top rail; the bottom rail is similarly attached to the bottom of the stiles. A cove molding nailed to the inside of the door with brads secures an arched, thumb-molded door panel. The rails of the case?s waist are tenoned to the stiles without wood pins. In the corners of the case?s waist are vertical chamfered glue blocks. A large ogee molding at the transition from waist to base is attached with wood-filled fasteners. The front board of the plain base is fixed to elements within by wood-filled fasteners; the single-piece base molding below is attached with rosehead nails. 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): 62–64, fig. 3.
Richard L. Champlin, "Thomas Claggett: Silversmith, Swordsman, Clockmaker," Bulletin of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc. 21, no. 2 (April 1979): 172–174, fig. 3.
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), 297n3.
Donald L. Fennimore and Frank L. Hohmann III, Claggett: Newport's Illustrious Clockmakers (Winterthur, Del.: Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library, 2018), 25, 232–33, 247, no. 27, TC-10.