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Tall case clock

ca. 1720
Origin: England, London
OH: 99 1/2"; OW: 20 1/2"; OD: 10 3/4"
Walnut veneer, oak, deal, and glass; iron, steel, brass, lead, and silvered brass
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1954-936
Walnut and walnut veneered tall case clock; domed hood with two fretwork friezes and two silvered wooden ball and flame finials (replaced) over a square glazed hood door flanked by columns with silvered wooden bases and capitals; trunk veneered around door with crossbanded walnut veneer; rectangular trunk door with burl walnut veneer and rounded molding over an ogee waist molding, burl walnut veneered base with stepped base moldings.

Cast brass 12” square dial with silvered chapter ring with Roman hour numerals interspersed by diamond half hour marks and Arabic minute numerals. Dial within chapter ring is matted. Silvered seconds chapter ring above the steel hands with Arabic numerals. A silvered oval maker's name plate below hands is engraved "Geo.Graham London". Below that is a square date aperture with silvered calendar dial behind it. Cast brass corner spandrels are fastened via two screws from behind the dial. Bolt and shutter maintaining power lever on right side of dial provides access to time and strike winding arbors (shutter function) while simultaneously engaging the maintaining power (bolt function) on the second wheel of the time train.

Eight-day brass weight-driven time, strike, and calendar movement measuring 7.5” H x 5.8” W. Plate thickness is 0.142”. Clock has a dead beat escapement regulated by a seconds beat pendulum. A rack-and-snail strike sounds the hours on a 4.15” diameter cast bell. The time train has bolt and shutter maintaining power so that the clock continues to run when the weights are being wound. Movement is stamped “705” on the outside lower edge of the back plate. (Graham numbered his tall clock movements from 600 to 744.)

Five brass pillars are riveted into the back plate and secured at the front plate via brass slide hooks that fit in notches in the pillars. The movement is fastened to the seat board by steel fasteners threaded into the bottom pillars of the movement. The seat board is well finished and has a rectangular cutout for the pendulum to pass through as opposed to the traditional rectangular notch. The brass time and strike barrels are grooved for weight cord management. The steel clicks are threaded into the main wheels. The main wheels are 0.167” thick. All time and strike train wheels have four-arm crossings. The conventional motion work is uncrossed. The time second wheel has a tapered steel arbor. All other wheel arbors are straight. The round steel crutch-rod has a right angle bend and passes through a slot in the pendulum. The pendulum bridge base is rectangular shape with tapered edges. It is screwed to the back plate with two screws and two locator pins in line with the screws. The bell stand is screwed to the outside of the back plate and passes under the pendulum bridge. The pendulum bridge has a screwed on plate that supports the rear pivot of the escapement. There is a corresponding larger plate inside the front plate that supports the front pivot of the escapement. The plate is secured by two screws that pass through from the front of the front plate.

The dial mounts directly to the movement (no false plate) via four dial pillars and pins. The weight pulleys are solid brass.

The overall length of the pendulum is 43.25”. The pendulum rod is 0.4” wide flat brass. The bob is lead with a brass face. It is 4.8” diameter and 1.25” thick at its center. The pendulum regulating nut is marked around its circumference and Arabic numbered every 5 marks to enable fine time regulation. The weights are cylindrical cast iron encased in brass shells. They are both 7.75” long. One weight is 2.5” diameter and weights 13 lbs. The other weight is 2.25” diameter and weighs 10 lbs.
Label:George Graham, the maker of this eight-day, striking movement, was one of the most important clockmakers in eighteenth-century London. He was in partnership with Thomas Tompion and together they dominated the London clock making trade during the first quarter of the century. So extensive was this domination that most of the important clocks which survive from this period are by one of them.

This clock's burl walnut veneered case is well made and features a domed hood incorporating fine fretwork friezes. The finials, while of appropriate style, are replacements.
Mark(s):Oval plate on dial: "Geo:Graham/ London"
Center bottom of brass rear backplate is stamped "705". Graham is known to have numbered his movements.