Antique American Clocks January 2022
L.F. & W.W. Carter “Lewis Calendar No. 8”, 1863-1868. This is a weight-driven shelf clock that is not described in Ly’s book Calendar Clocks, but similar examples can be found in Miller & Miller Survey of American Clocks: Calendar Clocks on page 65. The case is 33 inches tall with an old and slightly crinkled finish over the rosewood veneer. The case is most similar to that shown in Miller & Miller for the No. 8 calendar, but the dials are the same size (rather than a smaller diameter time dial), and there is no cornice. The case is also similar to that made for the spring-driven version of this clock, but those cases only needed to be 21 inches tall. The movement also differs from that shown with the Lewis Calendar No. 8, which had solid plates and a long-drop pendulum with the bob visible through the bottom drop-down door. Here the movement is an unsigned, strap brass movement with a short-drop pendulum. It is possible that either the original movement has been replaced, or the Carters used this movement when they ran out of solid plate movements. Consistent with the latter possibility, the No. 8 case has been simplified by replacing the cornice with a simple trim piece – this clock may have been built toward the end of their 5-year run with “parts available”. In fact, the Carters made several versions of their clocks, including a two-weight, time-only version in a 35-inch case that lacked the bottom door; that clock sold at Schmidt’s last fall for $1600. Consistency was not the Carter’s strong point as they sought a profitable clock manufacturing business but lasted only five years. The dials here are original, behind the original glass; the calendar dial is chipping, the time dial is fly-specked. This clock is running, driven by two standard 8-day weights, and the calendar is advancing. There is a badly worn label on the back of the calendar door and about 60% of a label inside. Sales for this model over the last decade range from $1100-$1600. $800-$1600.