A Peripatetic Clock

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by rmarkowitz1_cee4a1, Nov 11, 2017 at 7:48 PM.

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  1. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    #1 rmarkowitz1_cee4a1, Nov 11, 2017 at 7:48 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2017 at 4:00 PM
    Thought I would post another clock with a Torrington movement by Rodney Brace.

    For a recent posting of another Brace clock, see this thread:

    Brace yourselves...

    In that post, I also mention and link to some references about Brace and other makers who used Torrington works.* Also see my Norris North thread for additional references including some links to info about Torrington works clocks.

    The case is mahogany and mahogany veneer on pine:

    [ rodney brace 1.JPG

    I especially like the well carved splat:

    rodney brace 2.JPG

    Note the 1/2 columns are flatter than those found on typical CT cases and do not quite fill the space:

    rodney brace 3.JPG

    These columns are characteristic of those used by Brace on these cases of his making. Remember, Brace was primarily a case maker so this is probably his unique creation. Brace made some rather interesting cases.

    One the many things I like about this clock is the use of a star punched background on the upper portion of the columns:

    rodney brace 4.JPG

    In the older literature, the use of a star punched background might have led some people to proclaim "Salem, MA" and more specifically, "McIntire" (no, not Tom McIntire). Nope. I've owned CT clocks where that was used, too. More likely a motif used on Federal furniture but not specifically by McIntire.

    I also find the use of the cross-hatching on the upper portions of the columns interesting. Furniture from New Bedford, MA, another city on the S. Shore of MA , used what was referred to as a "fish net" or "quilted" pattern on their furniture and clocks. See this work stand that I have researched and attribute to New Bedford:

    New Bedford stand.JPG

    Note the carving on the legs. This type of pattern is documented on tall case clocks and other furniture from New Bedford.

    I noticed evidence of gilt highlights on the turned parts and most notable on the center of the carved paw feet:

    rodney brace 5.JPG

    It's under layers of old surface. Original?? Maybe??

    The glass is a nice Moberg signed replacement. Appropriate style done on old glass. Me likes.

    IMCO, rather attractive enameled wood dial with raised gilt gesso and polychrome decoration:

    rodney brace 6.JPG

    A very nice label on the inner back board:

    rodney brace 7.JPG

    Here's the printer's credit:

    [ rodney brace 8.JPG

    A type 6 movement with type A mounting, both as per Lanzo and Brown:

    rodney brace 9.JPG

    Note the "make do" repair to the escape wheel bridge. Someone used a brass piece from a movement with a detached fusee. Here's a detail:

    rodney brace 10.JPG

    Now, why did I call this clock peripatetic??

    Well, it this very clock that was included in Lanzo and Brown, page 80. Note that make-do repair.

    When included in that wonderful publication, it was in Lindy Larson's collection.

    See this link:

    Cottone Auctions

    It was lot # 31 when Cottone's liquidated the Larson collection in 2007. Oh my, the prices that clocks brought in the day!!

    Why do I say it is a peripatetic clock?

    It then shows up (not in order) at a Horton's Auction (the south), a Midwestern on-line auction (Aspire) and finally at Cowan's (Ohio) where I recognized it and snagged it.

    Finally returned to MA. Not quite back to it's place of origin, but closer.

    Of course, now the superfluous.

    On my recent posts, I included miniature portraits on panel of comely young women.

    Well, such imagery has also been used for many years to market all sorts of products.

    Here's a chromolithographed cigarette advertisement from the early 20th century that takes advantage of such imagery:

    Egyptienne luxury cigarettes 1.JPG

    Hard to see on the first picture, but it's the original frame with the embossed name of the product:

    Egyptienne luxury cigarettes 2.JPG

    Bright colors, unusually large size for this particular image.

    As a chromolithograph, a separate stone had to be used for each color and they had to align perfectly. They don't make stuff like his anymore. Too labor intensive.

    Not sure what a blond in a Dutch outfit has to do with Egypt? Part of it's charm I suppose.

    RM

    *Sadly, this is another thread bereft of pictures. A shame. It documents an unusual rarely seen style of full sized case with CONVEX columns of figured maple or birch. I was going to repost the pictures but I decided not to. I'm told the pix are not lost (apparently now a 4 letter word on the MB when applied to missing images) and the experts are diligently working on it and I need to be patient. Okay. I will patiently wait for them to be recovered. And I won't hold my breath whilst I do so. The lack of pix seriously diminishes the value of the MB as a resource. View attachment 362453
     
  2. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    You mention the "flat" columns and the Brace carved splats and the like. Here is what I believe to be a Brace case I recently acquired. It has been badly cut up to fit an entirely wrong 8 day brass movement, the backboard and label and the like removed etc. Case top cut up to fit pulleys etc. A remarkable case deserving a better fate.

    20171112_063510.jpg 20171112_063538.jpg 20171112_063729.jpg
     
  3. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Very interesting!

    One other thing that caught my eye about the columns on your clock is what appears to be "pineapples" at the tops of the columns share the same cross hatching and star punched embellishments as do the tops of the columns on my clock.

    But there's more! Go to that wonderful reference, Lanzo and Brown, page 78 and the figures therein. You will see a Torrington movement clock by Rodney Brace with basically the same case as yours!! The clock in L&B has an eagle splat. The columns are somewhat different but note how the acanthus leaf carving on the columns is handled on both clocks. AND, check out the feet on the example in L&B....look familiar??

    I would say that you hit the proverbial nail squarely on the head.

    RM
     
  4. David 62

    David 62 Registered User
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    Nice that you brought the Brace back home to Mass.I attended that Cottone auction in '2007.I believe that auction was the top of the market peek for wood works clocks and they have been in a slump ever since.
    Dave
     
  5. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Thanks.

    Lindy had an impeccable sense of timing. He sold his collection at the absolute peak with it falling over the edge of the precipice shortly thereafter.

    Very strong prices were achieved at that auction. To be sure, a great deal of that had to do with the fact that he had put together a wonderful collection. People had been trying to buy many of those items for years. Its dispersal was much anticipated.

    RM
     
  6. Jim DuBois

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    I generally have not paid a lot of attention to Torrington clocks, don't know why but they never really got me excited. But I really like this case and the carved sunflower splat is of interest too as it is different. Between the carved columns, the feet, and the splat this case is eye catching IMO. And to be a 30 hr. wood works originally is a surprise, but what remains of the original case shows the earmarks of the conventional Torrington movement.
     
  7. David 62

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    Looking on the bright side Jim,you only need wind that Ives movement once/week vs every day if it had the Torrington movement.
     
  8. Jim DuBois

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    Not too many people know that is an Ives movement. Not a very common version. And there are a very few C. & N. Jeromes with the same movement. It doesn't run anyhow in its current state, I may have to find a repair person?
     
  9. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    #9 rmarkowitz1_cee4a1, Nov 13, 2017 at 12:26 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2017 at 10:44 PM
    Agreed.

    If you have Lanzo and Brown handy, see the clock I referred to. Basically same case.

    I do think some of the Torrington cases are interesting. Brace, the cabinet maker, I think made some especially interesting sometimes down right "funky" ones. I will admit as interesting as some of his case designs were, they were not influential. You generally didn't see other makers copying them.

    For me, there's the added dimension that some Torrington clocks are products of MA. Furthermore, they are from an area of MA, southeast of Boston, near where I once resided and most of its locally produced furniture and clocks have previously tended to get somewhat short shrift IMCO. For example, everyone knows about Willard clocks. However, Joseph Gooding of Dighton, MA (near Tauton, MA) made some wonderful ones. Okay, maybe not as prolific but given the quality of his work, should be better known. Everyone knows about Salem and Newburyport furniture. How about New Bedford (please, that city desperately needs some positive "press")?

    Again, I will put in a plug for the book "Harbor and Home: Furniture of Southeastern MA" by Jobe, Sullivan and O'Brien. I mentioned it once before in another thread.

    RM
     
  10. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    #10 Jim DuBois, Nov 13, 2017 at 12:53 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2017 at 10:45 PM
    I don't have Lanzo and Brown, but I do have 2039 photos (take that number literally) that were taken of the Brown collection in preparation for the publication, if that counts. And "Harbor and Home:Furniture of Southeastern MA" by Jobe, Sullivan and O'Brien is an outstanding book that I highly recommend to any and all who have any interest in South Shore clocks and or furniture.

    As you suggest RM there are some of the players that are well known in the Boston area who did no better work than these South Shore folks. I have always favored the lesser known makers as they did a lot of work that ventured off the beaten path. Recent discovery of a brass dial Mass shelf clock by Isaac Walker from Longplain, and one tall clock and 2 loose partial TC movements by Ezekiel Reed, brass dial wood works rack and snail strike, Bridgewater, are both Mass finds that suggest looking outwards from the known big city makers may yield some things of interest, yet today. I keep finding unknown clocks and previously unknown makers and interesting stuff....
     
  11. David 62

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    #11 David 62, Nov 13, 2017 at 6:49 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2017 at 10:46 PM
    It is interesting that the carving done in MA had its own regional flavor.The Connecticut carved clocks I believe are pretty similar,but some are better executed.I think that Hopkins & Alfred used a very skilled carver.
    Dave
     
  12. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Yes.

    Some of the fully carved cases of any number of makers have some great carvings.

    My personal favorite is Riley Whiting. Not only can the carving be wonderful, but he used some wonderful hand painted tablets. Permit me to hijack my own thread by posting this pair for consideration:

    Riley Whiting 1.JPG

    RM
     
  13. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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  14. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Thanks!

    RM
     
  15. David 62

    David 62 Registered User
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    I agree that Whiting had a great carver.I have seen rope turnings on other Whiting clocks.I think the rope turnings were not that common.Jeromes & Darrow may have also used them.The tablets on the Whiting clocks are very nice.The one on the left reminds me of a MA type glass & the clock glass on the right a bit like a period mirror tablet.I have seen very well done portrait tablets and depictions of a residence house that had me wonder if it was the residence of the original owner of the clock.Great Americana.
    Dave
     
  16. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    #16 Jim DuBois, Nov 14, 2017 at 1:21 PM
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 1:30 PM
    So here is a Jeromes and Darrow with a bit of rope turning. The 2nd clock is a John Birge in a nicely carved case, from the shop of Elias Ingraham. Who is carver was is unknown but the clock would date to about 1830-1831. The Jeromes and Darrow could be as early as 1824, just to attempt to date some of this work. Whiting went into business working for Luther Hoadley in 1807. Hoadley died in 1813. Whiting was producing clocks under his own name in 1819 and continued making shelf clocks until his death in 1835. He stopped making wooden works by about 1830 so RM's clock would seem to date between 1819 and 1830?

    Regarding rope turnings JC pointed out to me some times we will have clocks with left and right hand rope turnings, but with both RM's clock and mine the rope portion of the columns are the same on both sides of the clock. I think JC suggested when we see them in book matched pairs they are much more likely to be hand worked cabinetry than when like these...and since both Darrow and Ingraham were turning out a few hundred cases a month they had production lines, not a bunch of jointers and carvers single handedly building clock cases.

    Jeromes and Darrow.JPG 20171006_190438.jpg
     
  17. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Thanks and I agree. Sometimes the structures depicted are real ones, both American and foreign.

    I also agree great Americana!

    Very nice clocks.

    Look closely at the double cornucopia splat of my Whiting and the Birge. Rather similar?

    Also note in both the use of that cross hatching and star punched background.

    I wonder if the carving might have come from the same shop or even the same hand?

    Remember, that many carvers were journeyman, going from shop to shop (they were peripatetic like some clocks, I guess) wherever they could find work. It's why sometimes for example furniture that is attributable say to 1 shop may have similar carving to that of another.

    RM
     
  18. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    It appears that Elias Ingraham was in the middle of the design of carved cases for nearly 10 years for several "clockmakers". I would think he employed or bought from 3rd parties the carvings used on his clock cases. He may have supplied case or at least case parts to a fair number of clock makers; It is interesting to note that Mr. Ingraham made the cases himself EXCEPT FOR THE CARVINGS.

    The following are excerpts and paraphrases from primarily the work of Ken Roberts who was certainly key to a lot of information we have today regarding this period of clockmaking.

    "Elias Ingraham worked for George Mitchell at case making a little more than two
    years, and during the first year, 1827 [1828], he invented what was called the carved
    case with carved mahogany columns, carved lion paw feet and corner blocks over the
    columns in which there was a turned rosette, a fret urn on each block and a basket of
    fruit carved between the blocks. Some of these cases were bronze columns and tips
    instead of carvings. Mr. Ingraham made this style of case, except for the carvings, for
    over two years for Mr. Mitchell, turning out some eight or nine hundred the second
    year, doing the work mostly himself."

    "When employed by C. & L. C. Ives, Elias Ingraham invented a new style of case ... fluted
    pilasters on the base, two whole columns in the center and half columns each side of
    the dial. The columns were finished in various ways; some were rich plain wood,
    highly polished; some carved mahogany; some were gilded. Each different type had a
    top to match, gilded or carved. "

    "The company made an excellent eight day weight clock. The leading
    style of case with the Ives Co. was the three decker column case, half pillars on base,
    whole columns in the center and half columns on either side of the dial, the top being
    gilded or carved with various designs, eagles and horns of plenty. Subsequently an
    improvement was made by using whole columns veneered with rich mahogany, lion's
    feet, gilded and burnished columns and gilded eagles, horns of plenty and fruit
    pieces for the top"

    "Mr. Ingraham entered into his employ, and soon had accomplished
    his design, the result being a very handsome case, consisting of carved columns, with lion's paw
    bases, and fret work heads. Mr. Mitchell purchased his movements of Ephraim Downs"

    "advertisement started its run on October 25, 1827,29 indicating that
    the "Bristol type" carved case clock was developed at least that early. There has been a difference
    in opinion on whether Elias Ingraham came to Bristol in 1827 or 1828. The senior author has
    previously favored the later date, but the authors now favor the 1827 date, as we continue to
    believe that Elias Ingraham designed the "Bristol type" carved case."
     
  19. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    This is a piece of a larger potentially interesting puzzle that has tended to receive relatively little attention for this type of clock. That is, who were the men and women whom in the early years of CT mass clock production produced the cases, carvings, stenciling, dials and tablets that we now so admire? Obviously here I'm not referring to some of the more studied contributors to the decorative aspects of clocks like the Seymours or Doggett or Spencer and Nolan.

    Some are known. For example Brace, Ingraham (whom I believe was also responsible for the "steeple" or "sharp gothic" case design) were case makers. Norris North's wife signed the reverse of at least 1 of his "Oswego" clock dials. We know about Fenn's work. There have been postings on the MB about signed glasses, e.g., the work of Harriet Pond. Lanzo and Brown has 2 Brace clocks where the spectacular tablets are signed "Cantrell" (or maybe Cattrell; I don't have access to the book now).

    Otherwise we know precious little about these prolific artists and craftspeople who to this day bring us joy.

    Might be an interesting area of research for someone with the time to do it? I also believe that many of those people will remain forever anonymous. At least their legacy of a body of work survives and why we need to appropriately conserve and sensitively restore it rather than doing things like scraping it off

    RM
     
  20. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    This is quite nice RM

    rodney-brace-4-jpg.jpg


    Rob
     
  21. David 62

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    I believe some case makers and possibly carvers are named in Hodges book as transcribed from Hodge's account book.There may be information surviving in Hopkins and Alfred's account book as well.
     
  22. Jim DuBois

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    Erastus Hodges speaks to having Moses Waugh, a wagon maker, as the carver (engaged in July 1831) of pineapples in mahogany and after Dec 1832 he was making pillars, scrolls, and carved feet. He was paid $.10 per pair of finials and a whole set of carvings, finials, pillars, splat, and feet he was paid $1.00.

    And I very highly recommend the book on Erastus Hodges for details, names, places, and relationships not found in other publications. While he was in Torrington it appears more and more the clockmakers, case makers, parts suppliers in the general area, which includes Bristol, all had interdependencies and relationships and partnerships well mixed. Far more connected than I realized until the recent past.
     
  23. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Thanks

    Thanks for this info. I do believe I have the book Jim mentions. Will have to look at it again.

    RM
     
  24. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    The book is a hard read, sort of like reading the phone directory and remembering what you read. But, it has a very large amount of information in it including names, places, money paid for labor, costs of housing, different providers of parts and pieces, values of same, working for part money but for some period of time workers might be paid 1/2 in goods they were making. Hard to eat 1/2 finished clock cases at the end of the month?

    Also I find things like being paid a $1 a day but then charging the worker $1 a week for room and board, while providing all the flour they might need for themselves during this time, to be of interest. And one boarding house of the period was claiming to only allow 6 people per bed:???::???: And that was a benefit as it was claimed....
     
  25. David 62

    David 62 Registered User
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    The Hodges book is like window into the past.It is nice that the account books survived and that the author published the information.
     
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