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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
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Maker(s):Clay, Daniel
Culture:American (1770-1848)
Title:tall clock
Date Made:1794-1800
Type:Timekeeping Device; Furniture
Materials:wood: cherry, white pine; base metal: brass, iron, steel; glass, paint
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Greenfield
Measurements:overall: 95 1/2 x 20 3/4 x 11 in.; 242.57 x 52.705 x 27.94 cm
Accession Number:  HD 1962
1962t.jpg

Description:
Tall clock in cherry that was originally mahoganized, with the case made by Daniel Clay (1770-1848). Born in New London, Conn., Clay probably trained in the Hartford area (or perhaps New York) with a cabinetmaker familiar with New York fashions; he moved to Greenfield, Mass. sometime before Nov. 1794, marrying Lucinda Smead in 1795. In 1794, he advertised in the "Greenfield Gazette" and had a paper label printed that appears on the inside of the back of the case: "CABINET WORK / DANIEL CLAY, / AT HIS SHOP IN GREENFIELD, /MAKES all kinds of Cabinet and Shop Join-/ery Work, and constantly/ keeps an assortment on hand/ which he will sell on reasonable/ terms, for Cash, all kinds of/ Country Produce & Lumber,/ or approved Credit. Every/ favour will be duly acknowl-/edged, by their humble ser-/vant,/ Daniel Clay./ November 4, 1794." He also made Windsors and fancy chairs, pembroke, dressing, and card tables, candlestands, chests, and coffins. He expanded his business to include other ventures, but eventually all failed and he moved to NYC in 1832 to become a druggist. The arched hood has a "whales' tails" cresting that has been restored, three replaced, brass spired ball finials on plinths, smooth round columns with brass caps, and a gothic side window with cut lattice work and a thin curtain that was to allow the bell to be heard more clearly. The waist has chamfered and fluted front corners ending in lamb's tongue figures. The unsigned movement has an 8-day weight-drived mechanism with brass plates and wheels and cut steel pinions. There is a wooded wedge inside the door over the lock to guide the strike weight past. The English double-mounted iron dial is from Osborne's Manufactory, Birmingham. The painted face has Roman hours and Arabic minute and second markings; and polychrome bird and flowers at the top, floral sprays and a swag in the center, and grape clusters in the spandrels. The base has four molded bracket feet. The brackets that hold the bonnet are white pine, and the proper left side of the bonnet is cherry. The brass trimmings have been overcleaned but are original. The lattice work on both sides of the bonnet have been replaced. The wedge on the top of the inside of the lock is typical of Connecticut River Valley furniture. It has been stripped and skinned but otherwise the case is clean. The cornice ornament has been replaced: it is not cherry. All of the feet have been replaced. The lamb's tongues are similar to those made by New London County makers. The case is 85 inches tall, 19 1/2 inches wide, and 9 1/4 inches deep. The bonnet is 25 1/8 inches high, 21 inches wide and 11 inches deep.

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