AMERICAN FEDERAL INLAID MAHOGANY TALL CASE CLOCK
Probably Maryland c. 1795-1810, over fine splayed French feet
Falseplate impressed "OWEN", works impressed and inscribed "Roskell, Liverpool"
Item # 1401CWP18PF
This fine example of early nineteenth century workmanship is highly impressive in proportions and workmanship. Measuring in at 104" in height, it is a piece that absolutely defines a home, setting the pace for the furnishings that may accompany it. Crafted of solid mahogany and mahogany veneers on the primary surfaces, yellow pine and poplar secondary woods on the secondary surfaces, the composition of colors is impressive and well planned. A bright and vibrant mahogany makes up the majority of the body, the door veneers slightly darker in tone to frame the bold and fiery mahogany veneer medallion in the center of the door.
The hood is elongated with a stretched brow above the glazed-panel arched door, this retaining it's original hand blown glass within the tenon-mortise joined frame of the door. A thin molding frames the arch of the door over flanking tapered columns with fine bead turnings at the top. A projecting cove molding squares the top of the hood, running across the top and rising in a broken-arch scrolling pediment flanking a large vasiform finial with an acorn top. The effect is absolutely flawless, allowing the length of the clock to reach this imposing height while still maintaining perfect adherence to proportions that the eye comfortably judges as aesthetically pleasing.
The white painted iron dial features a moon-phase with a ship scene and a rural cabin scene over two faded globes at the edge of the Arabic numeral minute and hour ring circling the pierced iron hands over a calendar dial. The spandrels are handsomely painted floral scenes. The face is free of any clockmaker signature and even on close examination it appears to have never had a maker signature. The eight-day brass works appear in every way to be complete, the back of the moon-phase inscribed illegibly with a long flowing signature and scratch-inscribed "Roskell, Liverpool" - likewise, the back brass pallet is impressed "Roskell, Liverpool" in the lower left corner. The iron false plate (plate between the works and the dial) is impressed "OWEN", the English firm that founded the works and shipped them to the States for assembly in this clock. The seat board is pine, almost certainly yellow pine beneath the very dark brown oxidization, retaining a business card outlining some servicing that was done on the clock works at one point. Overall the works are very clean with somewhat recent cords.
The long shaft is divided with a rectangular door, opening to reveal the weights and pendulum on it's original hinges and original lock (no key). The door is mahogany core covered with thick mahogany veneers around a flame mahogany medallion. The whole is flanked by long chamfered columns that stretch from the hood to the waist. The clock rests over absolutely delightful thin splayed French feet, entirely original and untouched with all original blocking, these flanking a scroll cut apron.
The back of the clock is one solid board of poplar through the center with the sides in the base and in the hood affixed with cut iron nails. The back feet supports dovetail into the facings from behind, creating a level of strength in these delicate feet that is necessary and highly effective. The closest examples to this clock are most commonly of Maryland origin, one clock of great similarity documented in Maryland Clockmakers (Whisker, Hartzler, Petrucelli - p. 178, Arthur Johnston of Hagerstown, MD).
In every way an outstanding work of art, this investment grade tall case clock will certainly be the most treasured piece of your collection.
Measurements: 104" high
Condition Report: Refinished, minor nicks and dings here and there. [SHAFT/BASE] Backboard with a long vertical crack; hinges and lock original, key not included and lock untested; several screws in hinges are replaced; original feet and all blocking original. Chip loss to edge of front right foot. [HOOD] Original untouched finial; the handblown glass panel appears to be original; tiny triangle corner of crown molding replaced in two places; tiny patch to left broken-arch pediment scroll. [DIAL/WORKS] Moon-phase heavily inpainted in all four scenes, at least 20-30%; calendar dial inpainted somewhat; face in excellent condition with only very minor inpainting (all visible in the images under UV); light craquelure throughout; pendulum keeper slightly bent; works are untested - while they seem to be complete, you should plan on having the works serviced by a professional upon arrival of the clock.
Period American Furniture, French Furnishings, Fine Nineteenth Century Art and Sculpture
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