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Early Canadian (Datable) Clock

wspohn

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Feb 3, 2020
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This is a half column 8 day American clock manufactured by Seth Thomas for a Canadian dealer B.B. Bartlett of Augusta.

Usually we can figure out a general period where clocks were made based on style etc. but this one is unusual in that the seller is noted as being in Canada West. In 1841, the areas of Upper Canada and Lower Canada were joined and then divided into Canada West and Canada East, until 1867 when they were renamed at Confederation as Ontario and Quebec. Thus this clock label brackets the clock between those years.

There were a lot of 30 hour versions but I don't see the 8 day version as often. Except for some loss of gilding the clock is amazingly accurate for that period - within less than a minute a week.

01010_cFWf1p7psH2_1200x900.jpg 01010_65tp0az635c_1200x900.jpg
 

Kevin W.

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Apr 11, 2002
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Very nice clock. Very nice find too a 8 day clock. Your label and clock in general is in great shape. I really like Seth Thomas clocks and have a few in my collection.
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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Nov 26, 2009
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There were a lot of 30 hour versions but I don't see the 8 day version as often. Except for some loss of gilding the clock is amazingly accurate for that period - within less than a minute a week.

View attachment 603756 View attachment 603757
Nice clock but I believe that this statement is incorrect.

The "sleigh fronts" found are virtually always 8 day weight clocks.

There were earlier 30 hour weight driven versions of "sleigh front" clocks but they are in fact rare. If I recall correctly, they were made by Forestville.

There are spring driven miniatures, too.

See Lee Davis' excellent Bulletin Supplement # 18, "Greek Revival Influence on American Clock Case Design" for more information about this case style.

Varkaris and Connell's excellent book, "Early Canadian Timekeepers" is sure to have more information about this maker/retailer.

I find it interesting the the upper tablet of your clock is decorated by the decalcomania method with a motif which caters to a Canadian clientele, while the lower appears to be a Fenn stenciled one. The former drove the latter out of the clock tablet business.

RM
 

Jim Hartog

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Jan 6, 2010
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Hello wspohn,

The Varkaris/Connell book entitled "Early Canadian Timekeepers" has an entry on B. B. Bartlett on page 143. From the entry, only a few Bartlett clocks have been found, so yours is not a common clock, but that style made by Seth Thomas is very common. Mine is has the Seth Thomas (Plymouth Hollow) label. Varkaris and Connell give the date range of Bartlett's clock peddling as between 1848 and 1850. The first B. is for Benjamin and Augusta was a township, not a town.

Jim
 

wspohn

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Feb 3, 2020
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Yes, I had noted that Augusta was a township and wondered why the vendor didn't identify with whatever town or village within that township that he happened to reside in. But then maybe you have to live in rural Ontario to understand those distinctions.

The date range for Bartlett narrows the date even further than the Canada West label does!
 

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