PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF H.V. WILLIAMS, JR.
Retains a dark rich possibly original surface. Front of dial inscribed Time! OH! - HOW PRECIOUS 1788. Back of dial inscribed Made by Nathaniel Dominy / of East Hampton Long Island / Where, oh! Where shall I be when this clock / is worn out? Label on reverse inscribed Di Sete D`Ogni Sorte or Thirst of Every Kind.
No early history survives for this clock and no indication of its original owner is given in the Dominy papers according to Charles Hummel.
Asa O. Jones, Newport News, Virginia;
Amos Clinton McKay, Newport News, Virginia;
Henry de V. Williams, Jr., Long Island
This Dominy clock is a masterpiece of his workshop and is the first known alarm clock that he made. A numeral in each of the corners of the dial forms the date 1788. The minute hand is made of a series of arches and the hour hand is similar, but not identical, to one used on a clock made in 1787 (no. 205 in With Hammer in Hand). An unusual feature of the hour hand shown here is the pointer inside the void which serves as an indicator for the alarm dial. The dial was moved until the pointer and the hour desired for the alarm to sound were aligned. When the hour hand came around to the same position the alarm sounded. Attached to the back of the day-of-the-week wheel are seven pins that fit into the notch of the long arm lever which pushes on them once each day.
The hood rests on heavy half-round, hollow, and quarter-round moldings. At the far left of the works is a weight drum and crown wheel which provided motion for the double-arm hammer alarm strike. Because of the added alarm mechanism, the calendar wheel had to be of a smaller diameter and therefore occupies a smaller space at the front of the plate than on other Dominy clocks.
Additional detail images are available at Sothebys.com.
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