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Tall Case Clock Movement

1815-1820
Origin: America, South Carolina, Chester
OH: 18 1/2": OW: 15 1/16"; OD: 6"
Yellow pine, iron, steel, and brass
Museum Purchase, The Sara and Fred Hoyt Furniture Fund
Acc. No. 2010-64,B
Clock movement attached to a yellow pine seat board.
Dial:
White painted metal arched dial measuring 18 5/8”H x 13 1/8”W. Dial is 0.1” thick. Arch contains moon phase fronted by labeled hemispheric globes. Top of Arch has Arabic numbers from 1 through 29 ½ in increments of five with all numbers marked with hatches. Hours are marked with Roman numerals, minutes are Arabic in fifteen minute intervals with each minute marked by a dot. Arabic seconds dial with ten second intervals and all seconds marked with dots. Arched date aperture immediately below hour and minute hands. “John Mc. Kee.” In cursive and “CHESTER S.C. No. 19” in block caps immediately below date aperture. Dial outlined with three dimensional gold beads; painted spandrel ornaments of peaches, berries and leaves in four corners. Both ending holes are grommeted.

Movement description:
Eight-day brass time, strike, and calendar weight-driven movement measuring 6 1/4” H x 5 1/8” W. Plate thickness is 0.140” and clearance between front and back plates is 2.4”. Clock has an anchor-recoil escapement regulated by a seconds beat pendulum. A rack-and-snail strike sounds the hours on a 4.4” diameter cast bell.

Four highly polished brass pillars are riveted into the back plate and pinned at the front plate. The movement is fastened to the seat board in an unusual method. Steel hooks usually hook over the bottom movement pillars and are fastened under the seat board by nuts. In this case they hook into holes at the bottom center of the front and back plates. The brass time and strike barrels are grooved for the weight cords. All time and strike train wheels and motion work have four-arm crossings. The round steel crutch-rod has a closed-end fork. The pendulum bridge base is an inverted trapezoid shape. It is fastened to the back plate with two screws and two locator pins. The bell stand is screwed to the outside of the back plate to the left of the pendulum bridge.

There are standard cast-brass pulleys with riveted steel stirrups. The overall length of the pendulum is 43”. The pendulum rod is 0.15” diameter steel. The bob is cast iron with a brass face. It is 4.6” diameter and 0.85” thick at its center. The pendulum adjustment nut is hexagonal brass. The weights are cylindrical cast iron with cast in metal hooks. They are both 12 ¼” long and weigh 15 pounds each. One is 2 3/8” diameter. The other is 2 ½” diameter.
Provenance:This clock descended in the Pheifer-Quinn family of Charlotte, North Carolina. According to the last owner, William Pfeifer Quinn Jr., "The clock...was in the Pheifer House in Charlotte, North Carolina during the Civil War. When my paternal grandfather married Minnie Phifer, thru the years they came in to possession of both [the clock and the silverware].... In 1928 my Grandfather Quinn gave the clock to me... During the Civil War, Jefferson Davis, first and only President of the Confederacy, held his last meeting of his full cabinet in the Pheifer House in Charlotte, N.C....In those hectic days, the Pheifers loaded their furniture aboard horse drawn wagons and fled to the hills to prevent the furniture from falling into the hands of Federal troops. During the trip, the load shifted on the wagon which contained the clock and the clock was rubbed by a wheel. The evidence still shows on the left side, about eye height, a curving scratch. In the same area on the front left moulding of the door frame are some nicks." (copy of original dated 3/26/2008, in object file.)
Mark(s):On white painted dial: "John McKee/ CHESTER, S.C. No. 19"