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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Maker(s):Clay, Daniel
Culture:American (1770-1848)
Title:tall clock
Date Made:1799
Type:Timekeeping; Furniture
Materials:wood: cherry, white pine; base metal: brass; glass, enamel, paint
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Greenfield
Measurements:overall: 97 1/2 x 20 x 10 1/2 in.; 247.65 x 50.8 x 26.67 cm
Accession Number:  HD 69.0265
Credit Line:Mrs. Helen Geier Flynt
1969-265t.jpg

Description:
Tall clock with the cherry case made by Daniel Clay (1770-1848), which was owned by Jerome Ripley (1757-1838) of Greenfield. On the inside of the case is a paper label, on which is written in ink: "My great grand/father, Jerome/Ripley's clock,/on the stairs./Afterward, next/grandfather Frank/lin Ripley had it,/and when my grand/mother died, Frank/Manning bought it of/ the estate, and after/Lotty Manning died/in 1900, and Margaret/M. died in 1911, Frank/gave it to me./Mary D. Greenough." And on a printed label just below the handwritten label: "I'm old and worn, as my face appears,/For I've walked on time for a hundred years/Many have fallen since I begun,/Many may fall ere my race is run;/I've buried the world with its hopes and fears,/In my long, long march of a hundred years,/OLD FASHIONED/HALL CLOCKS,/FOR SALE BY/B.M. BOYCE,/49 Union Street, Boston." Written in ink on an early twentieth-century sticker on the back of the pendulum: "F.H. Manning/356 Beacon St" 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" in 1794 and his printed paper label is affixed to the inside door of the case: "CABINET WORK./DANIEL CLAY,/AT HIS SHOP IN GREEN-/FIELD, /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," and in ink just below: "July [illegible date] 1799" 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 hood has a broken scroll pendiment with leafy sprigs carved on the rosettes, three brass finials, carved swags, and a gothic side window. The waist has fluted quarter columns with stop-fluting and brass terminals on the colonettes and stringing and inlaid fans. The base has the same decoration including scalloping and four bracket feet. The 8-day brass movement is unmarked, but the clock works are composed mostly of English parts that were probably assembled in America. The double-mounted dial is signed by James Wilson of Birmington, England, and decorated with polychrome roses at the top and in the spandrels. The hours are in Roman and the minutes and seconds in Arabic numerals.

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