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


Object number

RIF6596

Maker

Casemaker Unknown
Clockmaker William Claggett, 1694–1749

Dimensions

86 3/4 18 7/8 10 in. (220.3 47.9 25.4 cm)

Date

1730–1748

Current location

Unknown

Geography

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

Medium

Walnut and walnut veneer (primary); pine (door); yellow poplar (back board)

Marks

"WILL:CLAGGETT NEWP:[T superscript]," engraved, on band below center arbor

Inscriptions

Typescript with history of ownership on interior of waist door

Provenance

James Atkinson (before 1722–1806), Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to his son Capt. John Botkin Atkinson (1776–1847), Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to his son James Atkinson (1804–1879), Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to his daughter Louise F. Atkinson, Newport, Rhode Island; sold about 1930 to a private collection. Consigned to Skinner, Inc., Boston and Marlborough, Massachusetts (sale held Marlborough), November 13–23, 2020, lot 1128

Associated names

James Atkinson
Captain John Botkin Atkinson
James Atkinson
Louisa F. Atkinson
Skinner, Inc.

Construction

The roof of the removable hood now consists of thin boards nailed to the hood sides; the superstructure is gone, but ball-turned finials remain. The single-board hood sides contain arched, glazed portals, whose glass is held in place from within. A framework of three horizontal boards, their ends presumably nailed into the front edges of the hood sides, provides the backing for panels of thin wood scrollwork, to the back of which is fixed colored fabric. The horizontal boards also provide backing for the front portions of the cornice moldings?a cove and a crown?fixed with wood-filled fasteners to the front boards and to the tops of the frieze boards at the sides, which are fixed to the hood sides with cut nails from inside the hood. A small architrave molding is fixed with wood-filled fasteners to the hood sides and with nails through the inside face of the dial mat?s arched upper rail. The stiles of the dial mat are half-lapped to its rails. Its bottom rail is fixed to the front of the hood base?s front rails. The veneered, glazed door appears to be constructed similarly; its three-quarter round colonnettes are integral. The bottom edges of the hood sides are visible beside the bottom faces of the hood-base. Nails in the hood sides indicate a connection to the base rails; an interior strip is glued, presumably, to the inside faces of the hood side bottoms. An interior strip at the inner edge of the hood base?s front rail is half-lapped to the bottom edges of the hood sides. A small molding is fixed with wood-filled fasteners to the outside edges of the hood base. A countersunk nail in the proper right corner of the base?s front rail is part of the door?s swinging mechanism. Tall slender boards, integral with quarter round colonnettes, are nailed to the back edges of the hood sides. A large two-piece, partially veneered beaded cove molding at the top of the base?s waist is solid (lacking interior blocking), and fixed with face-nailed brads and cut nails. The arched, thumb-molded, single-board door, waist-front, and upper base panel are extensively veneered and line-inlaid. The single-piece molding at the transition from waist to base is fixed with face-nailed brads and wood-filled fasteners, as are the moldings above and below the veneered lower base. Examined by P.E. Kane, March 22, 2019; notes compiled T. B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

Donald L. Fennimore and Frank L. Hohmann III, Claggett: Newport's Illustrious Clockmakers (Winterthur, Del.: Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library, 2018), 71–73, fig. 1.60.
The Claggetts of Newport: Master Clockmakers in Colonial America, exh. cat. (Newport, R I.: Redwood Library and Athenaeum, 2019), 24, ill.
"Sand Bottle, Shaker Collection Headline at Skinner," Antiques and the Arts Weekly (December 18, 2020): 27, ill.
"Skinner, Inc., advertisement," Antiques 187, no. 5 (September / October 2020): 31, ill.
"Skinner, Inc., advertisement," Antiques and the Arts Weekly (November 6, 2020): 3C, ill.