Eli Terry Model 3 pillar & scroll, ca. 1820. This was the first “production model” pillar and scroll made by Eli Terry and is referred to as the “outside escapement” model. Mounting the movement to the dial proved problematic, as the entire weight of the movement and weights was supported entirely by the dial. Although Model 4 attempted to address this problem by mounting the movement to the backboard, it was not put into production and Model 5, with a five-arbor train, replaced both models by 1822 and became the standard for pillar & scroll shelf clocks (Roberts and Taylor, Eli Terry and the Connecticut Shelf Clock, page 96). Despite the short production run of Model 3, there are a surprising number of these clocks available today; I found at least 12 sales records on LiveAuctioneers alone (granted, some may be resales of the same clock). As you might guess, most of these early clocks have undergone significant restoration, and this one is no exception; as a result, distinguishing old from new can be a challenge. The case itself is 28 inches tall with mahogany veneer in front; I see one repair on the door crosspiece. The finish has been renewed. The brass urn finials are period, with slight seams and square openings on wooden pegs. Both glasses are old; the dial glass appears to be original, the lower glass a likely replacement with a tablet by Tom Moberg. I suspect the scroll top and skirt at the bottom are replacements, although the feet look original. The lack of repairs to the scrolls just seems too hard to believe for a clock from 1820. The dial is original and in good condition, with just light soiling. It is unusual in that it uses Roman numerals, whereas most (10/12) have Arabic numerals. The hands, while early, are not seen on other examples and probably should be open diamond hands. The clock runs and strikes, driven by two smaller cast iron weights; the original lead weights would have had a pulley attached to the top of the weight and are very uncommon. The holes in the case for the weights to fall through are seen in some other examples and extend the run time. The early pendulum bob is not original to the clock. The label is reasonably well preserved and is behind plastic; it is the later label type, as would be expected, with “invented” inside the oval at the top. The most recent sales I can find were in 2018 at $1600, $1600, $1700, and $1700. $1500-$1800.
Antique American Clocks July 2022