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Clock

On view

Clock

Works by: The Seth Thomas Clock Company (active Connecticut, 1813 - 1931)

Case by: Maker unknown

Date: 1885
Medium: Brass, copper, silver plate, other metals, enamel
Dimensions:
Overall: 14 1/2 x 9 3/8 x 5 3/4in. (36.8 x 23.8 x 14.6cm)
Signed: Recto: "ST" within a diamond, within a circle
Markings: "U.S.A." on back of works
Credit Line: Gift of Robert Tuggle
Object number: 2006.19
Label Text
This mantel clock is a stylish example of motifs popular in American in the 1880s, a period referred to as the Aesthetic Movement in the decorative arts and design. The decorative brass framework, which rests on swirled feet, displays a dense floral pattern with intertwined ribbon. The frame encloses silver-plated copper panels with characteristic asymmetrical renderings of flowers and swooping birds, motifs derived from Japanese print sources. While the clockworks are labeled, the maker of the case is not established.

Text Entries

This mantel clock is a stylish example of a popular form. The brass case, which rests on swirled feet, displays a framework of a dense floral pattern with crossed ribbons. The framework encloses silver-plated copper panels with characteristic asymmetrical Japanesque renderings of flowers and swooping birds.100 Variations of this form feature brass frames and copper panels enclosing clocks labeled “The Ansonia Clock Co./New York.”101

 

Related clocks have differently patterned frames. In 1886 John G. Low of J. and J. G. Low Art Tile Works in Chelsea, Massachusetts, patented a clock case with a metal framework featuring a swirled line pattern and Greek key-shaped feet. On the patent drawing, the Low frame encloses tile sides and a tile clock face. Documented examples of the patented clock have J. and J. G. Low art-tile sides and face and works attributed to New Haven Clock Company, which marketed the clock under the name “Albatross.” The firm carried a similar model, the “Hilda,” that featured the same copper panels as are on this clock (2006.19) but used with the frame patented by J. and J. G. Low Art Tile Works.102

 

100. Visual evidence indicates that the copper panels were originally silvered. Metals restorer

Daniel Horwitz, working in consultation with the owners, has re-established a subtle silver finish to allude to the original surface.

 

101. The Ansonia Clock Company (active 1850–1929 or 1930) was incorporated by Anson Phelps, founder of Ansonia Brass and Copper, and two partners. It moved from Ansonia, Conn., to Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1879 but retained the name.

 

102. William Hosley, The Japan Idea: Art and Life in Victorian America (Hartford, Conn.: Wadsworth Atheneum, 1990), 151.