with circular strike silent and chime silent mechanisms , calendar date and seconds registers. Inscribed with the names of the songs "Chiling O Guiry," "Ally Croaker," "Miller of Mansfield," "March," "God Save the King, "Lilebiraro," "Bedford Time," and "Meartune."
Purchased by Ron and Julie Palladino, owners of the Solvang Antiques Center, Solvang, California, for their private collection at a small antiques shop in Arizona, approximately sixteen years ago. Since that time, this clock has not been shown publicly or offered for sale. Please refer to text for additional provenance information.
Monumentally proportioned and masterfully carved, this handsome clock is one of the finest surviving Rococo style tall-case clocks from Colonial Philadelphia. It is in remarkable condition, appearing to retain most of its original components, including its cartouche, finials, rosette terminals, appliqued scrollboard carving, musical movement and ogee bracket feet. The clock may have been displayed at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, the first major World’s Fair in this country which celebrated 100 years of American cultural and industrial progress, by Augustus Krueger, a clockmaker and possible former owner who cleaned the clock in March of 1876 and May of 1878. A letter attached to the inside of the case door indicates the clock may also have been owned at one time by a former minister of the First Presbyterian Church on West Madison Street in Baltimore, Maryland.
The Bernard and Jugiez case
Representing the apex in excellence of design and carving, the case of the clock is clearly the combined effort of an accomplished cabinetmaker and highly-skilled immigrant carvers. Nearly half of the twenty or so known carvers working in Philadelphia between 1750 and 1793 were immigrants and these men executed a majority of the extant highly ornamental carving of the period (Morrison Heckscher and Leslie Bowman, American Rococo, 1750-1775, 1982, p. 182). This clock features carved elements on the cartouche and tympanum that are similar to those found on a group of case pieces with carving attributed to the immigrant carvers Nicholas Bernard and Martin Jugiez (working together circa 1762-1783). A Bernard and Jugiez tall case clock at Chipstone has nearly identical carving on the tympanum board and similar punch-work decorated rosettes on the hood. The dial on the Chipstone example is signed by William Addis of London, and the rocking ship above is engraved Philadelphia Packet. (see illustration and details of carving). Other case pieces with Bernard and Jugiez carving include the Cowell high chest of drawers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a high chest of drawers attributed to the cabinetmaker William Wayne, a high chest of drawers formerly in the collection of Mr. John C. Toland, a high chest at Bayou Bend, and a high chest and en suite dressing table sold at Sotheby’s, Highly Important Americana from the Stanley Paul Sax Collection, January 16-7, 1998, sale 7087, lot 522. For another example of Bernard and Jugiez's work, please refer to the games table offered as lot 418 in this sale.
A tall-case clock with a similarly proportioned case by a different carver and works by Richard Wilson of London is illustrated in an advertisement for Leigh Keno American Antiques, The Magazine Antiques, January 1998, p. 26-7. Additional examples of Philadelphia tall-case clocks with the rare feature of a fully-carved tympanum include one at the Art Institute of Chicago with a movement by John Wood and one at the State Department with works by Bourghelle and an engraved dial by James Poupard. Four other examples display carving attributed to the Garvan Carver: one formerly at the Henry Ford Museum sold at Sotheby’s, January 25, 1992, sale 6269, lot 1069; one illustrated in Sack, Volume VIII, P5594, pp. 2190-1; one in a private collection formerly in the collection of Bob Stuart; and one originally owned by John and Elizabeth Bringhurst sold at Sotheby’s for $442,500 (Highly Important Americana from the Stanley Paul Sax Collection, January 16-7, 1998, sale 7087, lot 519).
Philadelphia tall-case clocks of this quality, rarity, and historical significance seldom come on the marketplace. A Rococo style example with a dial signed, "Jacob Godshalk, Philadelphia," and a case labeled by George Pickering of Philadelphia, was sold at Sotheby's, Masterpieces from the Time Museum, June 19, 2002, sale 7816, lot 139, for $532,000, setting a world auction record for the Philadelphia form (see illustration). That clock had a replaced cartouche, finials, feet and portions of the appliqued carving, and was the focus of an article by Lita Solis-Cohen, "Godshalk Clock in the Pickering Case," Maine Antique Digest, October 2002, 1E.
The exceptionally constructed musical movement of the clock bears the inscription of Paul Rimbault, a maker of highly specialized clocks working in London at 9 Denmark St., St. Giles’s from about 1770 until his death in 1785 (Arthur Ord-Hume, The Musical Clock, Derbyshire, England, 1995, p. 324). A member of a family of clockmakers flourishing in London from about 1700 until the end of the century, Rimbault, like many of his contemporaries, was involved in the export trade. At least one of his clocks was shipped to Peking (now Beijing), China where is exists today in the collection of the Peiping Museum at the Palace Museum complex. The movement of the present clock appears to have been made during the reign of George III for one of the eight melodies in the musical program is ‘God Save the King.’ Other melodies include ‘Chiling O Guiry,’ ‘Ally Croaker,’ ‘Miller of Mansfield,’ ‘March,’ ‘Lilebiraro,’ ‘Bedford Time,’ and ‘Meartune.’
According to the letter attached to the inside of the case door, the movement is inscribed with the names of several clockmakers who cleaned it over the years. Henry Hofner, a watchmaker listed in the Philadelphia city directory at 148 North Front, cleaned the clock on November 13, 1781. Benjamin Monevth (sic) cleaned it on January 6, 1796. Charles Frederick Hugenin, a watch and clockmaker working at 11 North Fifth Street cleaned it in February of 1796. John Child, whose name is inscribed on the slide controlling the chime barrel, worked on the clock in 1807. The names of John Cook and James Huss also appear on the chime barrel. Henry Ebaugh cleaned the clock on January 6, 1820, while employed by C.A. Droz, a Philadelphia clock and watchmaker working at 113 Walnut Street. John Chamberlain and William W. Alexander worked on the clock in February of 1844.
Augustus Krueger, a watchmaker working on North 10th Street in Philadelphia, and Adam Gross cleaned the clock in March of 1876 apparently for the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition. This may be the clock that Krueger displayed under class 323 in the Pennsylvania Education Hall as part of the exhibition on the system of public instruction in Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania and the Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia, 1878). The Catalogue of the Education Exhibit of the State of Pennsylvania (Lancaster, PA, 1876) notes that a “clock, from Mr. A. Krueger, 723 North 10th St. Phil.” was displayed in the kindergarten. Material included in that exhibition was specifically requested, which suggests that Augustus Krueger or Adam Gross may have owned the clock at that time. Krueger’s name is inscribed a second time on the movement with the date May 1878.
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