• The NAWCC Museum and Library & Research Center are currently open. Please check the Visiting Schedule for Days and Hours at the bottom of the Visit Page.

American tall case?

Richard Holbrook

New Member
Mar 15, 2012
1
0
0
We have a very similar clock in Boston in a much plainer case, but same face. We have been unable to date precisely, but believe the case was made in America, either Massachusetts or Rhode Island, between 1792 and 1805. Like you, we are trying to get more details. Any help graciously accepted!
 

Attachments

Andy Dervan

Registered User
Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Oct 23, 2002
2,800
106
63
Country
Region
Hello Richard,

I looked up John (Jn) Bell in Tom Spittler's new book on American Clock and Watch makers; three were listed, but none fit the period to the clock- either much earlier or much later. I suspect dial is English or Scotish probably from 1790's - simple engraved silver brass was competing with painted steel dials. Where is Hexham in England or Scotland? It is interesting the inscription in the boss "Time Flies" that was typically not used until many years into 20th century.

Unfortunately the case photographs do not provide much details - flash overwhelms some areas and dark other areas; it would easier to view with images in correct position rather than turned 90 degrees. Could post some better photographs - sorry..

Andy Dervan
 

harold bain

Registered User
NAWCC Member
Deceased
Nov 4, 2002
40,853
172
63
72
Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
Baillie's Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World lists a John Bell, Hexham, 1790-1827.
Hexham, 19 miles west of Newcastle, England.
 

Rob P.

Registered User
Dec 19, 2011
1,916
136
63
California
Country
Region
The case appears to be very similar to some cases used by Silas Hoadley and other tall clock makers. Hoadley, if I recall correctly, had his cases manufactured for him (as did others) so this may be a similar situation. This case has the same basic proportions and trimwork of cases from Hoadley's era. The crown is different from others I have seen but that could just be a makers specification. In any event the case appears to be similar to cases I've seen dating from the early 1800's rather than late 1700's. The arched face is what gives me this impression as earlier faces tended to be square in my observations. The metal dial face and lack of a moon dial says to me that it is in the earlier 1800's. I'd think probably before, say, 1820. The fact that the dial is metal rather than wood could mean it's more likely made post 1800. Better pictures of the case trimwork, feet, movement, and other details may also help date the timeframe.