Like the nearby desk and bookcase, this clock was produced by the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. It represents the spread of clockmaking practices of a pluralistic community of Mennonite, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Quaker, German, Swiss, Scots, Irish, and English people. Measured and divided, the clock’s case reflects a robust symmetry of vertical and horizontal components. The results are suggestive of rural cabinetmaking practices of decorative ornamentation through turning and carving.
This clock houses a wooden movement made of local materials. It is also faced with a white-painted dial. Although most white dials were imported from England, the simplicity of this example indicates it may have been made in America – perhaps even by Jacob Danner. Danner arrived in Middletown around 1795, just a year after the town was settled by his future father-in-law, Dr. Peter Senseney. The clockmaker is thought to have also been a talent watercolorist.
Rita Reif, “Not Quite on a Spree, but Getting Acquisitive Again,” The New York Times, Sunday, August 13, 1995, p. 29.
“In the Museum Virginia-Made Side Chairs, Tall Case Clock Purchased by Virginia Museum of Fine Arts” Lady’s Gallery, Dec 1995/Jan 1996, Vol. 3, No. 3, p. 55, ill.
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