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Photo: Courtesy Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., New York
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Tall case clock

Object number



Casemaker Unknown
Maker, formerly attributed to Job Townsend, Sr., 1699–1765
(dial) James Wilson, British, active 1777, died 1809
Clockmaker Unknown


87 3/4 19 1/2 10 1/2 in. (222.885 49.53 26.67 cm)



Current location



Probably made in Providence, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Mahogany (primary); mahogany (dial surround); chestnut (backboard, top of hood, and waist blocks at back of case); pine (bottom board, glue blocks at front corners of waist, and back of hood)


"WILSON," cast into plate behind dial




Dr. William S. Serri (1911–1995), Merchantville and Swedesboro, New Jersey; by descent to his son, William S. Serri, Jr.; consigned to Christie's, New York, May 29, 2002, lot 134; sold to Bernard and S. Dean Levy, New York. Unknown estate, Ohio; consigned to Christie's, New York, January 21, 2011, lot 77. Bernard and S. Dean Levy, New York, Inc., 2020

Associated names

Dr. William S. Serri
Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc.


The removable hood is crowned with plinthes and finials on fret-carved bases and a molded scrolling pediment ending in stylized rosettes, centering a two-part carved keystone over an arched molding above an arched, molded, and glazed door opening to a painted dial and works, flanked by solid panels and supported on two round and two half-round turned and fluted colonettes. The dovetails which join the front and sides of the upper hood are visible at the front corners of the hood sides. The hood backboard is dovetailed to the upper single-board sides. The single-board hood top is nailed to the hood sides with brads. The case below contains an arched, convex block and shell-carved door, tenoned and mitred at the corners, and flanked by stop-fluted quarter columns with separate turned capitals and bases. The base has chamfered front corners ending in carved "lamb's tongues" and a molded flat front panel. The bottom board of the case, once held to the single-board case sides with dovetails, is largely missing. The feet consist of shaped vertical blocks to which are attached shape horizontal blocks, the whole faced with mahogany ogee brackets in the front and at the outside of the rear feet. The backs of the rear feet are simple angled brackets set into grooves in the vertical blocking and the mahogany facing of the rear feet. Examined by P.E. Kane, J.S. Gordon, January 19, 2011; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

See also


Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr., "Quaker Baroque: How Political and Religious Freedom Inspired a Dynasty of American Cabinet-Makers," Christie's Magazine (May–June 2002): 112, ill.
"Christie's Important American Furniture, Silver, Prints, and Folk Art," Antiques and the Arts Weekly (July 12, 2002): 56.
Helen Comstock, "The Collection of Dr. William S. Serri," Antiques 71, no. 3 (March 1957): 259, fig. 20.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, English Pottery, Rugs, and Prints, sale cat. (January 21, 2011), 68–69, lot 77, ill.