Clock (Tall clock)

  • Category:

    Clocks, Watches, and Scientific Instruments

  • Creator (Role):

    Gawen Brown (Artist)

  • Place of Origin:

    Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, New England, United States, North America

  • Date:


  • Materials:

    Pine, white; Tulip poplar; Paint; Gesso; Gilt; Brass

  • Museum Object Number:


  • Complete Details

Object Number


Object Name

Clock (Tall clock)


Clocks, Watches, and Scientific Instruments

Credit Line/Donor

Museum purchase

Creator (Role)

Gawen Brown (Artist)

Place of Origin

Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, New England, United States, North America



Mark or Signature or Inscription or Label

1. Signature; Engraved on chapter ring; "Brown Boston"


Pine, white; Tulip poplar; Paint; Gesso; Gilt; Brass

Dimensions (inches)

94.5 (H) , 22.125 (W) , 10.625 (D)

Dimensions (centimeters)

240.03 (H) , 56.198 (W) , 26.988 (D)

Measurement Notes

OD and OW are at pediment.

Object Description

Web - 01/23/2019

Tall case clock with sarcophagus top, three finials, arched hood and door, waist with arched door and base on shaped, bracket feet. Hood: sarcophagus top with broad cove, fillet and rounded base. Three gilt, urn-shaped finials with leaf carving, one at center on plinth with scrolled brackets, two at sides atop square plinths. Narrow applied molding below, projecting, arched, cavetto molding at front and sides. Conforming scrolled fretwork and molding below. Hinged, arched door with glass pane and Doric colonettes at either side, split spindle columns at back, door opens to reveal dial plate with wooden, arched surround with gilt, rounded inner edge. Vertical, rectangular panel with arched head and glass pane at either side. Dial: Round-arch headed brass plate, dial arch painted with a ship rocking in the ocean and a lighthouse. Cast brass fretwork with classical urns, spread-winged eagles and other abstract elements with punching and cross-hatching in each spandrel. Seconds dial with Arabic numerals, two winding arbors and square calendar on rough ground, chapter ring with engraved Roman and Arabic numerals and bright-cut diamonds. Two pierced hour and minute hands, small second hand, narrow ovolo, fillet and cevetto base molding. Waist: Top with broad cavetto and applied bead molding, hinged door with arched head and applied, molded edges. Base: Broad cove and quarter-round bead molding at top, stepped and molded at bottom with flattened-top arched side skirts, front skirt with round pendant drop flanked by similar arches at front, bracket feet. Works: Eight-day movement, anchor-recoil escapement, rack and snail striking system. Japanned decoration: raised flowers, animals, figures, trees, boats and architectural elements molded in gesso and gilt at front, all against a background of red and black paint-simulated tortoiseshell, abstract, foliate stencil background designs. Waist door with brass lock, escutcheon and partial strap hinges inside. Condition: Waist door molding cracked and repaired. Hood door hole for lock filled with yellowish-white material. Finish abraded, some paint and gesso losses. Base heavily abraded and dented. Gouging at top waist molding and at base. The finials and arch fret of the hood are replacements. The original center plinth, scrolled brackets, and finial of the top are missing. Backboard is new. Three hands are probably original. Interior painted reddish brown. Waist and hood door hinges replaced. Hood door lock and bottom board missing.

Bibliography and Bibliographic Notes

[Book] Cooper, Wendy A. 2002 An American Vision: Henry Francis du Pont's Winterthur Museum.
Published: cat. no. 3, pp. 58-59.
[Article] Miller, Alan. 1993 Roman Gusto in New England Furniture. American Furniture.
Published: fig. 39, pp. 184-85 & 187.
[Thesis] LaFond, Edward Francis. 06//1965 "The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum Collection of American Clocks". M.A. University of Delaware Winterthur Program in Early American Culture
Published: pl. VIII, pp. 96-100.
[Article] Cain, Lynda A. & Carlisle, Nancy. Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture. International View. 49-51.
Published: pp. 49-51