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Tall case clock

Object number



Clockmaker Edward Spalding, American, 1732–1785
Casemaker Unknown


93 1/2 × 21 1/2 × 11 1/4 in. (237.49 × 54.61 × 28.58 cm)



Current location



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


Mahogany (primary); chestnut (backboard and top of hood); yellow poplar (base of hood); pine (saddle board and bottom board)


"Edwad [d superscript] Spalding / PROVIDENCE," engraved on brass dial




Betsy Frieze (née Slade, 1795–1850) and Jacob Frieze (1789–1880), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to their son General Lyman Bowers Frieze (1825–1917) and his wife, Josephine Amelia Frieze (née Gardner, 1833–1901), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to their son Lyman Bowers Frieze, Jr. (1858–1916), and his wife, Mary Savage Frieze (née Crowell, 1862–1942), Staten Island, New York; by descent to their son E. Beach Crowell Frieze (1904–1973) and his wife, Marie E. Frieze (née Gorman, 1915–1991), New York; by descent through the family; consigned to Sotheby's, New York, January 22–23, 2016, lot 1557 (unsold); Sotheby's, New York, January 20–21, 2017, lot 4306

Associated names

Jacob Frieze
General Lyman Bowers Frieze Lyman Bowers Frieze
Lyman Bowers Frieze Jr.
E. Beach Crowell Frieze


The single-board roof of the removable hood is nailed with brads into rabbets in the back faces of the entablature boards and directly to the top of the hood?s narrow back rail, which is half-blind dovetailed to the entablature sides and rabbeted to fit over the top of the case back. The top of the entablature is nailed with brads to a single-piece molding, mitered at the front corners, and dying into the outside of the front scrolling portions of the single-piece frieze molding, fixed with brads to the frieze board. Circular stylized rosettes are attached with screws through the back of the circular upper reaches of the frieze board. At the corners of the upper molding are turned, fluted finials with corkscrew-carved flames. A matching finial sits atop a serpentine and reeded-front keystone. A single-piece architrave molding is fixed with brads and wood-filled fasteners, to the bottom of the entablature, forming a base for the keystone. The single-board hood sides, rabbeted to fit over the case back, are nailed with brads to the inside of the entablature sides, and sit in grooves in the top of the transverse rails of the case bottom to which they are also nailed with brads, from below. The top rail of the dial mat is nailed with brads to the inside face of the entablature front. The mat?s rails are tenoned and nailed to their stiles; the mat sits in rabbets at the front edges of the hood sides. Fluted half-colonettes at the back of the hood consist of separate abaci, capitals, bases and plinths, fixed to the entablature and hood base with wood strips set into grooves in their respective backsides. The transverse rails of the hood base are tenoned into the front rail, and a molding, slightly proud of their underside to allow the hood to slide onto the case, is attached to them with brads and wood-filled fasteners. The hood rests upon a large beaded cove molding fixed to the top of the case waist with brads and wood-filled fasteners and upon transverse cleats fixed with rosehead nails to the upper portions of the waist sides. The single-board case back is nailed with brads into rabbets in the waist and base and into the baseboard and internal blocking. The top and the bottom front corners of the case?s waist each consist of two vertical rectangular blocks, nailed with brads to each other and to the case sides and the front stiles. The stop-fluted quarter columns consist of separate abaci, capitals, shafts, bases, and plinths. The capitals are face-nailed with brads. The waist?s rails are tenoned to their stiles without wood pins and center an arched and thumb-molded single-piece door with integral convex-blocking and an applied carved shell. Within the case are vertical triangular corner glue blocks. A large single-piece ogee molding at the transition from waist to base is fixed to them with brads and wood-filled fasteners. The tops and bottoms of the base?s chamfered corners are separate pieces. The front rails are tenoned to the stiles without wood pins and enclose a single-board thumb-molded rectangular panel. The case bottom is half-blind dovetailed to the base sides, the base molding is attached with brads, and the feet are old replacements. Examined by P.E. Kane, J.N. Johnson, J.S. Gordon, C. Eskridge, T.B Lloyd, January 19, 2016; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.


The clock appears to retain its original finials. The feet are nineteenth-century replacements.


Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana, Furniture, Folk Art, Silver, Prints, Chinese Export Porcelain, and Carpets, sale cat. (January 22–23, 2016), 168–69, lot 1557, ill.
Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana Including Property from the Collection of Joan Oestreich Kend, sale cat. (January 20–21, 2017), lot 4306.