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Maker: Asa Munger (American, 1778-1851; active Herkimer and Auburn, New York, c. 1840)

Date: 1830
Medium: Wood, metal, glass, paint
Overall: 40 x 19 3/4 x 6 1/4in. (101.6 x 50.2 x 15.9cm)
Signed: 'A. Munger / Auburn'
Credit Line: Institute Collection
Object number: 68.1
Label Text
Asa Munger was one of the most prolific American producers of high quality clocks in the first half of the nineteenth century. Clockmakers in the nineteenth century developed innovative clock movements that regularized timekeeping and shrank clockworks into convenient sizes. Munger's design ingeniously conceals its weight-driven movements in the hollow sheet iron columns flanking the clock face.

The clock's base suggests that it would have rested on a shelf, most likely in a sitting room or a dining room-the most formal rooms in a home. The carving and the decoration on the columns playfully reinterprets classical motifs such as ionic columns, acanthus leaves, and rondels in a way that is indebted to the Empire style, but expresses vernacular inspiration.