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Tall Case Clock
1785-1800
Clockmaker:Clock works by Daniel Burnap , American, 1759 - 1838
Furniture Maker:Made by Unknown
Case: Cherry primary wood, pine secondary wood. Dial: Brass. Works: Cast brass and steel.
Primary Dimensions (overall height x width x depth): 92 x 20 x 10 1/2in. (233.7 x 50.8 x 26.7cm)
Credit Line: Bequest of Charles S. Bissell
Description: Tall case clock in the Chippendale, or rococo, style, with a cherry case, a fretwork, pagoda-shaped pediment at the top of the arched hood, a brass clock movement that plays six different songs, and a brass dial that is engraved "Daniel Burnap/ E. Windsor". The tall case clock consists of three major components: the removable hood, the removable dial and clock works, and the clock case. The dial and works sit on a horizontal board at the top of the clock case; the pendulum (separated from the clock) and weights (separated and possibly missing) that drive the works would be suspended in the trunk, or narrow body, of the case. The hood slides over the works and sits at the top of the case. At the top of the arched hood are three finials, each consisting of a slender cone with a ring atop a ball. Each finial sits at the top of a reeded plinth. The side plinths form the outside edges of the pagoda-shaped pediment. Between the center plinth and each side plinth is a solid, squared panel of wood that slopes down to the side plinth. The top edge of each of these panels is decorated with fretwork, or a pierced board, in the shape of "X"s and scrolls. The front of the hood has a glass door that is arched and recessed, with a brass lock escutcheon at the left side. The door is flanked by a fluted, free-standing column. Each side of the hood has a rectangular glass window with a rounded top. The trunk of the clock case has deep cove, or recessed quarter-circle, molding at the top and bottom; a tall rectangular door on the front; and fluted quarter columns at each front corner. The top edge of the door is shaped with a cyma curve, or S-curve, and reverse cyma curve. All four sides of the door are edged with ovolo, or thumbnail, molding. The rectangular base of the clock case has two tiers of base molding at the front and sides, over ogee bracket feet that project beyond the front and sides of the base (the feet are shortened). Construction Details: A single, vertically-oriented backboard with squared top corners extends the full height of the hood and case. The hood does not have a back; it slides over the clock works to rest on the cove molding at the top of the trunk. At each side of the hood, the top is tenoned into a panel that projects beyond the top of each side of the hood; the board that forms each side of the hood is nailed to the interior of this projecting panel. All ornament is nailed or glued to the top or sides of the hood: the plinths, the pediment, the arched projecting molding at the front, and the projecting molding at the sides. The fretwork at the top of the pediment is supported by small glue blocks at the back lower edge. The sides of the hood attach to a horizontal, three-sided frame with molding at the outside edges. Each free-standing column extends between the projecting molding at the top of the hood and the horizontal, three-sided frame at the bottom. The door is constructed of a four-sided frame that is tenoned at each corner. The door pivots on a pair of brass hinges at the top right and bottom right corner. The backboard is nailed into a rabbet on each back corner of the sides of the trunk. The boards that form the sides of the trunk extend several inches above the bottom of the hood. The clock works rest on a seat board, or horizontal board immediately behind the dial. The seat board rests on the top edge of each side of the trunk. The cove molding is nailed to the front and sides of the top and bottom of the trunk. There is a rail above and below the door, and a vertical post at each front corner of the trunk that forms the carved quarter columns. The door is constructed of a single board that is joined to the trunk with two brass hinges at the right side; there is a lock escutcheon at the center left side. The sides of the trunk extend down to the top of the base. The front and sides of the base are joined with a nailed but joint at the front corners. The base molding is nailed to the front and sides of the base. The bottom board of the base is nailed to the underside of the base sides. Each ogee bracket foot is constructed of facing that is nailed to the underside of the base molding. Dial: The engraved, brass dial is square with an arched top. The center of the dial arch is engraved with a fan that has a scalloped edge. Above the fan are the names of six songs: "AIR BY/ HANDEL", "THE/ RAPIUR", "Maid of The/ MILL", "Over the Wat/ er to Charley", "FRENCH KING's/ MINUIT", and "MINUIT BY/ T. OLMSTED". At the bottom of the fan is a projecting arbor, or axle, around which a hand (possibly replaced) pivots to indicate which song the clock will play. The top of the dial arch is engraved with leaf and scroll designs that extend down onto the top corners of the square dial plate. The middle of the dial plate is engraved with a chapter ring, consisting of a ring of Roman numerals, inside a ring of minute gradations, inside a ring of Arabic numbers from one to sixty in increments of five. In the center of the chapter ring is an arbor around which the hour and minute hands pivot. To either side of the main arbor is a winding arbor, to wind the clock. A recessed, round seconds dial is located above the main arbor. A recessed, arched calendar dial is below the main arbor; a plate rotates behind the arch to indicate the day of the month. The center of the chapter ring is engraved with "Daniel Burnap/ E. Windsor" and with additional leaves, scrolls, and vines. Each lower corner of the dial plate is also engraved with leaves, scrolls, and vines. Clock Works Movement: weight powered Duration: eight day Materials: case brass Strike: count wheel Escapement: dead-beat The dial is screwed on. The works are designed to chime every three hours. The movement is fitted with a chiming mechanism that plays six different tunes. The posts are bulbous. The seat board is original. The works are accompanied by two rectangular cast iron weights, two cylindrical cast iron weights, one brass bell, a rod of small wooden pads for between the bells, and one steel rod. Condition: The lower back corner of the left side of the trunk is repaired. The feet are shortened. The glass in the window on the right side of the hood is held in place with duct tape at each top corner. The lower left screw on the front of the dial plate is replaced. The music hand is possibly replaced. Two bells in the works are replaced or have been spun to tune them. The pads between the bells are replaced. The pendulum is separated from the clock works. The recantular cast iron weights, cylindrical cast iron weights, one brass bell, pads for between the bells, and one rod from the works are separated from the works. The key to open the trunk door does not work.
Inscription: "Daniel Burnap/E. Windsor" is engraved on the dial plate. The top of the dial arch is engraved with the names of six songs: "AIR BY/ HANDEL", "THE/ RAPIUR", "Maid of The/ MILL", "Over the Wat/ er to Charley", "FRENCH KING's/ MINUIT", and "MINUIT BY/ T. OLMSTED".
Object Number: 1970.1.0
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