SETH THOMAS PILLAR & SCROLL SHELF CLOCK
INDEX # : 054-C-1092
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CLOCK STYLE Conn. Shelf CLOCK NAME Pillar & Scroll
Seth Thomas, Plymouth, Conn.
Seth Thomas (1785-1859)
William Day (1809-1899), cabinet maker, employee of Seth Thomas in Plymouth Hollow making clock cases. Left Seth Thomas in 1841 and moved to Bristol, Conn. and continued making cases for another clockmaker until he retired due to ill health in 1880.
CASE MODEL # N/A
Type 1.511, Wood movement, 30-hour, weight driven, T&S, movement made by Seth Thomas. Movement has been re-bushed with ivory and brass bushings. CASE SIZE & CONSTRUCTION
Base = 17 ¼", Height = 31 ¼", Depth = 4 ½"
Original label in excellent condition.
"Patent Clocks / made and sold / by Seth Thomas / Plymouth, Conn. / Warranted, if well used"
The light area on the label is where an over pasted label once was, it has fallen off sometime in the past leaving the area lighter than the surrounding label.
Original wood dial (12 1/2" x 11 3/4"), hand painted with black Arabic numerals. Terry type minute and hour hands. 10 ½" chapter ring. The dial glass is original, and measures 11" x 11", and is held in place with what appears to be the original putty. There are six jeweler's marks that I can make out penciled in on the back of the dial.
1. "Put in order / G. Humphrey July 9,1847 / August 29, ???? / January 14, ????"
2. "Ivory sockets inserted by ????? / Clock and Watch Maker . Phoenix, NY / July 25, 1857"
3. "Brass Bushings inserted / by Wm. H. Burke / Auburn, NY."
4. "CFC 1943 / c.c."
5. "10-9-52 / 12036"
6. "WBT / 2-9-80"
MISC. FEATURES Brass finials, rosewood veneer on case. ACQUIRED FROM Antique clock auction at "Whalen Auction Building" in Neapolis, Ohio.
CONDITION WHEN ACQUIRED
Clock not running. Reverse glass painting on lower tablet is an early reproduction, and appropriate picture for this clock. The tablet measures 11" x 7 1/4", and is held in place with putty. Left upper scroll was broken and glued back in place, minor veneer repair has been done on door near key hole. Brass finials are replacements. Dial in very good condition. RESTORATION November 1992 - Adjusted movement, cleaned case and set clock to running.
Seth Thomas's Case Factory c. 1885 in Thomaston, Conn.
Clock was formerly part of the collection of Mr. & Mrs. Mel Anderson.
Seth Thomas (1785-1859) apprenticed to Eli Terry. He along with Silas Hoadley worked for Terry from around 1807-1810 making wood tall case movements. This was the point in history were the mass production of clock movements started. Terry contracted to make 4,000 movements in three years, a feat which had never been accomplished before. Terry had introduced a method of using interchangeable parts to make these movements, an idea he had gotten from Eli Whitney. After the contract was fulfilled, he sold the business to Thomas and Hoadley who continued manufacturing the wood tall case movements. Thomas eventually bought out Hoadley's interest in the business, and began producing shelf clocks with Eli Terry's patented wood 30 hour shelf clock movement. Seth Thomas had an elaborate career making wood and brass movement shelf clocks, and his company became the most well known name in the clock business. In 1853 his company became the Seth Thomas Clock Co., and operated under this name until 1931 when it became a division of General Time Instrument Co. (Seth Thomas's Great Grandson was chairman of the board until he died in 1932). In 1949, The company became a division of General Time Corp. In 1970, became a division of Tally Industries, who still produces clocks with the Seth Thomas Trademark. The town of Plymouth Hollow, Conn. changed it's name to Thomaston in 1866 to honor the clock maker.
This clock is a standard Seth Thomas pillar and Scroll. "Patent Clocks" on the paper label suggests this clock was made between 1826 and 1829. After this date, Thomas started using labels that stated "Invented by Eli Terry". This change in wording is believed to have occurred due to a lawsuit that Terry had filed against Thomas for patent infringements. The lawsuit was settled out of court in 1829.
REFERENCES 1. "Seth Thomas Clocks and Movements - A Guide to Identification and Prices" by Tran Duy Ly, 1985, page 97.
2. "Seth Thomas Clocks and Movements - A Guide to Identification and Prices" by Tran Duy Ly, 1996, movement on page 264, figure 940, clock on page 264, figure 941.
3. "Eli Terry and the Connecticut Shelf Clock", by Kenneth Roberts and Snowden Taylor, 1994.
NOTES Truly one of my favorite clocks in our collection. I have to admit, my heart was racing while we were bidding on this clock.
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