New Haven Clock Co. “Belle of Bourbon”, ca. 1889. This advertising clock was made by the New Haven Clock Co., likely for the William Tarr Company of Lexington, KY, or his successors. It is a modified version of New Haven’s “The Bell” novelty clock (see page 421 of Ly’s book on New Haven clocks). The case is cast iron, originally with a brass finish; here it has been painted rather nicely. It stands 12.5 inches tall and holds an 8-day, time-and-strike New Haven Clock Co. signed movement that is running and striking. The cathedral gong stand is loose and will need to be secured. The metal dial shows wear but is original. The bezel will not stay shut, the glass is old. One of the better examples I have seen.
Here in Lexington we take bourbon seriously, as many early distilleries of this whiskey were in Lexington. William Tarr purchased the Ashland Distillery in Lexington in 1871 and was successful with several brands, including “Belle of Marion”. Although Tarr went bankrupt in 1897, his brands were purchased by other Kentucky distillers and Belle of Marion was marketed at least until prohibition. I believe that this clock was made for that bourbon brand.
These clocks are not uncommon, and generally sell for $200-$400.
Antique American Clocks January 2023