John Samuel Krause, Bethlehem
Cherry Chippendale Tall Case Clock from the Lehigh Valley PA C. 1800 made by John Samuel Krause, Bethlehem. There are very few signed 8-day Bethlehem clocks! I can tell you from experience having lived in Bethlehem for 3 1/2 years and chased every Pennypacker auction on weekends (BSEE 1973 Lehigh University, Bethlehem PA) !
This clock also has the unique combination of 4 hands off the center shaft together with three gear trains: Center; time train, Right; 1/4 hour ting-tang, Left; hour strike. Since we are talking about Pennsylvania Dutch country, lets call it a "Poor Man's Musical" tall clock ! The quarter hour ting -tang plays two musical notes that are a fifth apart on the musical scale. This is only the second one of these that I have seen, the other signed "John J. Krause, Northampton" with a closely related 3-train movement housed in a Sheraton case.
The case is pure Lehigh Valley with bold scroll moldings that taper along with the tombstone shaped waist door with carved shell treatment at the top. The proportions of this case clearly were designed to house an oversized clock movement. The stock used to construct the sides, base, and backboard are unusually thick as well as this movement is significantly larger and heavier than a normal 8 day set of works. The case is completely original with the only restoration being the finish and a set of appropriate set of turned wooden finials. Remarkable is the fact that the bottom board and feet are original. The third weight increases the likelihood of a crash through the bottom by 50% yet, the bottom board is still in the clock and it is dovetailed into the sides as well ! All in all a great piece of PA folk art ! The clock stands at 94" tall. The works have been painstakingly overhauled by the premier clockmaker in the Lehigh Valley and the clock runs and strikes great. The pendulum and the three cast iron weights are original.
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