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Clocks as art.

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    Posted 4 years ago

    groveland
    (25 items)

    In the current Age of the Disposable, it is hard to recall how what were considered relatively inexpensive items made for the "hoy polloi" involved much wonderful handwork and artistry. Of course, those were times when people were paid little for their labors.

    I am posting a clock which was mass produced but where the decoration was produced by hand. It was created by the firm of Langston and Jones. They were CT clockmakers who were in business together briefly from 1831 to 1835. They produced "wooden works" clocks. That is, the works that had gears, pinions, arbors, plates and so on made from locally available woods.

    The style of case of the clock is often referred to by modern day collectors as "1/2 pillar and splat" clocks.

    The turned 1/2 columns and splat retain their original stenciling. The stenciling is reminiscent of the "Hitchcock" furniture also produced in CT around the same time.

    The dial is white enameled wood with what I think is wonderful hand painted floral spandrel decoration. The spandrels are the areas in the corners of the dial. Raised gilt gesso is also used. Remember, this was considered a "cheap" clock for the masses. What artistry, then, went into creating that dial.

    The "price of admission" to me is the reverse painted tablet. The young beauty portrayed is actually a lithograph applied to the glass and hand colored from the reverse. This lithograph may have been produced by Kellogg in Hartford, CT. This was not an unusual method of decorating a clock tablet. The wonderfully detailed draperies are hand painted in reverse on the glass. Note how the border of the drapes matches the color of her dress. But it doesn't end there. Note the exceptional stenciling used for the border and the bottom of the tablet. In total, this clock uses free hand and stenciled decoration. In my opinion, it is a tour de force and a veritable compendium of the decorative techniques used in that time period.

    For a more complete discussion of this clock and how these tablets were produced with links to additional info, please visit the Message Board of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC). Here is a link to a full discussion of this clock and more pictures that I have posted there: https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/aint-she-pretty.151652/ . You will have to cut and paste this URL into your navigation bar.

    The Message Board of the NAWCC is a wonderful source of information about clocks and watches. Once registered, one can not only view the full postings, but post questions for participants as well. One does not need to join the NAWCC to register for and participate in the Message Board. However, if one does join the NAWCC, there are other benefits including on-line access to the Bulletin and a lot of information.

    Groveland.

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