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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
Clockmaker Thomas Claggett, ca. 1730–1797


94 3/4 21 3/8 11 1/4 in. (240.67 54.29 28.58 cm)



Current location

Private Collection


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


Mahogany (primary); mahogany (dial mat, guides for hood, and waist blocks ); chestnut (back of hood, back board); pine (saddle board); yellow poplar (braces under hood); Spanish cedar (top of hood)


"THOMAS CLAGGETT NEWPORT," engraved in dial arch




Private collection, New York, 2016


The roof of the removable hood consists of four thin transverse boards shaped to align with the arched top of the hood?s backboard and entablature, to which they are nailed with brads. The boards are also nailed to two transverse battens within. These battens are set into grooves in the tops of the inside faces of the backboard and frieze. There is a large fastener on the top of the hood, near its highest point. The battens are also nailed from within the hood into the roof above. The back of the proper left batten is fixed with a brad through the backboard?s outer face. The hood?s backboard, whose rabbeted skirt is slightly incurvate to accommodate the case?s backboard, is fixed with brads into rabbets in the entablature boards and the back edges of the hood?s single-piece side boards, which have rectangular glazed portals. The sides are set into grooves in the tops of the hood base?s lateral boards. Single-piece architrave and cornice moldings are face-nailed to the entablature. Atop the pediment are simple block plinths with incised fronts. They support turned and partially reeded finials; the central one is plain. A fluted keystone is held on with wood-filled fasteners. At the back of the hood, tabs at the tops and bottoms of the fluted half-colonnettes are nailed into channels in the entablature above, glued to the routed backs of the abaci, capitals, bases and plinths, and nailed into channels in the back edges of the hood base. A single piece ogee molding, face-nailed to the base, is also notched to receive the colonnettes? tabs; it is slightly proud of the base?s bottom face, allowing the hood to slide over the case. The dial mat?s stiles are tenoned to the rails. Some joints have wood pins, some include nails, perhaps indicating old repairs. The glazed door?s stiles are tenoned and through-wood-pinned to its rails. The front rail of the hood base is tenoned and wood-pinned to the lateral rails. A large beaded-cove molding is fixed to the top of the waist with wood-filled fasteners. The waist?s rails are tenoned to its stiles without wood pins. The vertical door?s upper rail is tenoned and double-wood-pinned to its rails. Only the upper pin is visible in front. The lower stile is tenoned and single-wood-pinned to its rails; neither pin is visible in front. In the inside face of each rail is a large quarter-round molding, in the proper right lower corner above, and in proper left upper corner below. The panel applied to the door frame is held in place by a quarter round molding fixed with brads. In the front corners of the case?s waist are vertical chamfered glue blocks. Shadows and nail holes on the case back?s inside face indicate the former presence of horizontal battens above and below the waist?s door. The large ogee molding at the transition from waist to base is held on with brads and wood-filled fasteners. The single-piece base molding is similarly attached. Examined by P.E Kane, September 21, 2016; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.


Donald L. Fennimore and Frank L. Hohmann III, Claggett: Newport's Illustrious Clockmakers (Winterthur, Del.: Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library, 2018), 111, 119–20, 152–53, 248, no. 25, TC-13, fig. 3.3, 3.12, 5.31.
The Claggetts of Newport: Master Clockmakers in Colonial America, exh. cat. (Newport, R I.: Redwood Library and Athenaeum, 2019), 38, ill.