Another truly transitional clock???

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by rmarkowitz1_cee4a1, Oct 15, 2011.

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  1. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Roberts and Taylor in their book Eli Terry and the Connecticut Shelf Clock, second edition, discuss what the criteria are for what they consider a style of shelf clock case that was a truly transitional form between the pillar and scroll and the short pendulum carved and bronze clock. For more about this discussion, see this recent thread:

    https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?t=78841

    Another form of the "transitional" case, by the definition set out by Roberts and Taylor, is discussed in the above reference, page 227. An example by Atkins and Downs of this type is illustrated on page 229, figures 120A and B. The case of this clock has full turned stencilled columns with a carved splat, paw feet, and the internal width of the case is the same as a pillar and scroll.

    Additional examples of this "transitional" case style, ie, fully turned columns flanking the door with pillar and scroll case dimensions, all by Atkins and Downs, are discussed and shown in the book by Gregory and King The Clocks of Irenus Atkins, pages 14-15. See the figures therein. 2 of the clocks have stencilled columns, one with a carved splat the other with a stencilled one. One has gilt gessoed columns and splat. All have carved paw feet. They are all said to be "rare" by the authors. I would concur with that as I have seen few like these.

    Finally, another example by Atkins and Downs with gessoed decorated columns, carved splat and feet is shown in Brown and Oeschle's Good for a Time, page 116.

    Well, the dull appliance bulb sputtered on over my head the other day as I walked past the mantel in my living room and I realized I too have owned one of these "transitional" clocks for years. My example bears the label of Elisha Hotchkiss.

    The case is mahogany veneer on pine with what appear to be the original carved pineapple finials. The stencilling on the columns is at the tops and bottoms, not in between. That seems to be true of the other examples I have found in the literature. The splat is stencilled as well.

    The single divided glazed door has the original glasses. The reverse painted tablet with gold leaf boarder is original.

    The back of the case bears the printed painted label of Elisha Hotchkiss.

    The wooden white painted dial has black Roman numerals and raised gilt gesso decoration.

    My recollection is that the movement is original based upon my inspection at the time of purchase (at a Chapter 8 meeting years ago when real stuff turned up at them) and a subsequent inspection a while ago just out of curiosty. I have no recollection of the type and I ain't taking this one apart.

    This clock has a certain poignance for me. It was purchased from Joe Rodino of Baltic, CT. I haven't seen him in years. I was saddened to see his name listed in the obituary section of this month's Bulletin. Requiescat in pace.

    Sorry about the less than great pictures.

    RM

    PS: the streak in the upper glass is a ripple in the old glass, not a crack.
     

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  2. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Another great clock. Look at the stenciling on the columns- Chris Bailey and others claim that this early stenciling holds up better than the later stuff. I've often seen later stenciling on columns and splats that seems to have just been spirited away on the vapors- not so on these early examples, where the stenciling is most often robust and well preserved.
     
  3. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Thank you for your kind comment.

    Yes, stencilling has held up rather well, though under a bit of a dark finish. Will leave it be.

    What I found a bit interesting was that rather than embellishing the entire front surface of the fully turned columns with stencilling, just the top and bottom 1/4's have some retrained decoration. It's not that previously present decoration has been lost.

    Don't know if this is valid, but in a way, I consider that approach to stencilling a transitional aspect as well.

    When I think of American Federal Period furniture, I think of restraint, geometry, etc. As we move into the late Federal Furniture into the Neoclassical revival, as almost a reaction to the Federal period's cool headedness, you start seeing stencilling all over, fat turnings, big paw feet sometimes like the object is going to get up and walk, colorful floral dials, colorful glasses, etc. The approach on this clock sorta straddles and anticipates what's coming. The previous "truly transitional" clock I posted, except for the base and feet, is already there. Cracking bright bold stencilling, that undulating top. It's restless.

    As another example of this, look at how the banjo timepiece and then the "lyre" clock morphed over time. The early banjos were cool, serene, tasteful geometric glasses in pastel colors (I personally think banjo timepieces are subliminally Masonic in their design...as are Willard Lighthouse clocks; would be happy to expound my nutso theories at another time) to gilded cases, colorful glasses, etc.

    RM
     
  4. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Has anyone caught the error in my description I posted with my clock??

    "The wooden white painted dial has black Roman numerals and raised gilt gesso decoration."

    It has arabic numerals.

    I'm sure it just slipped by, as it did for me. However, it does raise a serious questiosn: does anyone do more than look at the pictures? I and others purposely provide text with what is believed to be good information and references for further reading. I also do it as a conscious rejection of that "pictures only" thing on that seems pervasive on the message board.

    RM
     
  5. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    RM, I read what you post, and did miss your error. Perhaps, not seeing the picture at the same time I'm reading, just accepted your text as being accurate.
     
  6. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    Well, they were the Roman variety of Arabic numerals.:D A lengthy text does run the risk of being skimmed rather than thoroughly read, and in any event such errors can be easily glossed over. Perhaps less is more? That is, a more concise text supplemented by pictures, which, despite your statement, are an integral part of many posts and discussion. Just musing.
     
  7. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    I agree.

    I too skim the longer ones...especially (yawn) my own.

    Lotsa hot air.

    RM
     
  8. Jerome collector

    Jerome collector Registered User
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    As one who has been known to make a short story long, I will say that it's up to the reader to determine how much information he/she is willing to process or spend time on. If the full story is presented, at least a subset of readers will learn something. But if only the condensed, Reader's Digest version is given, no one will have the opportunity to learn the fuller details.
     
  9. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Good points.

    I'm enthusiastic about what I've learned about something and it's shared with the hope that someone else with similar enthusiasm will find it interesting, too.

    And remember, it takes more time to research and prepare the postings than it does to read.

    RM
     
  10. David 62

    David 62 Registered User
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    Another great example.Nice.
     
  11. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Thanks!

    RM
     

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