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Photo: Courtesy Winterthur Museum and Country Estate, Del., Photo by Laszlo Bodo
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Tall case clock

Object number



Clockmaker William Claggett, 1694–1749
Casemaker Unknown


100 1/4 21 3/8 11 5/8 in. (254.636 54.293 29.528 cm) Width, dial: 11 7/8 in. (30.163 cm)


ca. 1740 movement; ca. 1765 case

Current location

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Virginia


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


Mahogany (primary); chestnut (backboard of case, back of hood, seat block, and base); white pine (interior blocking); aspen (interior blocking)


"Will Claggett/ Newport," engraved on rectangular nameplate on dial


Taken to New Brunswick, Canada, from Newport, Rhode Island, by a Loyalist family during the Revolution; by descent in that family; sold to Harry B. Carleton, Nova Scotia, and East Providence, Rhode Island; sold to The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Virginia, in 1972

Associated names

Henry B. Carleton


The arched, crown-molded, removable hood is surmounted by spherical, fluted finials with corkscrew flames, each on a plain rectangular plinth. Below the central finial is a ressaulted and scroll-carved multi-level keystone, on either side of which is an arched frieze, mounted with scrolling brass fretwork in vegetal motifs. The thumb-molded stiles and rails of the arched and glazed door are tenoned together without wood pins. The door opens to a brass dial and works, and is flanked by brass-stop-fluted colonnettes in front and brass-stop-fluted half-colonnettes in back. In the waist of the case below is a convex-blocked, shell-carved arched door, flanked by stop-fluted quarter columns with brass capitals and bases. The arched, thumb-molded top rail is mitered to its flanking stiles. The carved shell is applied above the convex door panel. At the back of the door is a quarter round applied molding, nailed with brads to the stiles and rails. The base has plain, chamfered corners, ending in lambs? tongues below. Its front face is an applied, thumb-molded panel within a mitered frame. Examined by P. E. Kane, September 2007; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

See also


Barry A. Greenlaw, New England Furniture at Williamsburg (Williamsburg, Va.: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Virginia, 1974), 96–98, no. 83, ill.
William H. Distin and Robert Bishop, The American Clock: A Comprehensive Pictorial Survey, 1723–1900: With a Listing of 6153 Clockmakers (New York: E. P. Dutton and Company, 1976), 24, fig. 29.
Frank L. Hohmann III et al., Timeless: Masterpiece American Brass Dial Clocks (New York: Hohmann Holdings, 2009), 280–281, no. 83, ill.
Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 31, fig. 1.12.
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), 111n19.
Donald L. Fennimore and Frank L. Hohmann III, Claggett: Newport's Illustrious Clockmakers (Winterthur, Del.: Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library, 2018), 74–75, 148–49, 176–79, 242, no. 8, WC-35, fig. 1.67, 5.20.
Tara Gleason Chicirda and Mack Cox, "A Rhode Island Cabinetmaker in Kentucky: Revelations of a Clock Reexamined," American Furniture (2018): 178–79, 183, fig. 13–14, 23.
Tara Gleason Chicirda, "Keeping Time: Tall Clocks at Colonial Williamsburg," Antiques and Fine Art 20, no. 2 (Summer 2021): 73, 77, ill.