Master Work Tall Case Clock

“Impressive!” may be the first word that comes to mind when one sees this clock for the first time. Made out of beautiful mahogany, the clock has a glow and warmth that draws one in. Starting from the top, the bonnet is incredible. The plinths are inlaid in broad stripes that continue below the molded broken arch. The center plinth curves down into the molding above the door and ends in a fine point.  The rosettes at the top of the broken arch are inlaid stars. On either side of the face are two columns which are fluted. The columns feature stop fluting that is inlaid to match the work stemming from the plinths. The visual effect of the bonnet is amazing. In addition, the face is sweet and features flowers.


The waist of the clock features a stunning veneered door with inlay and mahogany accents that rival the bonnet. Here again, the full columns are fluted and feature stop fluting. This continues the effect from the bonnet to the waist and brings a symmetry to the clock that is delightful.

The base has a triple row of inlay in the shape of a circle. Furthermore, it has splayed Hepplewhite feet, or French bracket feet. Finally, the bottom has a swag apron. This effect helps give the clock a “lightness” that makes this clock almost float.

If this was all there was to the clock, it would be a great one. However, this clock has a surprise that cannot be seen except…when the works are out of the case. The works are a “pinwheel” movement.  What is that? A pinwheel movement was made by a master clockmaker. Usually, works like this were made for a clockmaker only and were wall clocks. It keeps very precise time and would be the clock all other clocks or watches are set from. In other words, there would be a single Master works movement hanging in the shop. To find one in a grandfather clock is shocking. Why shocking? One would never “need” a set of works like this in a home. My best guess is this was a clockmakers personal clock or it was made for a client who really, really wanted an exact time. For the record, This is the only one we have ever owned!

Standing just shy of 8’ 3”, this clock is dazzling to the eye. It is 10” deep and 20 ½” wide. Based on the style and quality of the case, the clock was probably made in New York City, or upper New Jersey.  Everything appears to be original except for the finials. It has been refinished as some point. Circa 1790-1800.

Price: $12,950

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