34.                  $250

Birge, Peck & Co. “Extra Eight Day Brass Clock”, 1849-1859.  As you may recognize, there are two common case styles for 8-day, weight-driven brass clocks: the style used here was common before 1850 and is characterized by a carved or gesso splat and a fixed center section with a glass or mirror, and doors above and below.  After 1850 or so the style changed to one with a stepped OG cornice and two doors, the upper door with two glasses, and no fixed center section; the lower third had curved corbels on the sides and is sometimes referred to as a “sleigh front” or a column & cornice.  John Birge worked throughout this period and his earlier firms (Birge, Mallory and Birge, Fuller) made clocks in the style shown here.  His last firm, Birge, Peck switched to the column & cornice style, which had become popular and did not look dated.  Of five Birge, Peck clocks that I have in my database, this is the only one that reverts to the earlier style with a fixed center section.  Perhaps it was one of the first assembled by this final John Birge firm, using a case from an earlier business.  The refinished case is 34.5-inches tall, veneered in mahogany with no losses. The top corner pieces (chimneys) look like modern replacements, but it may just be the finish; the gesso fruit basket on the splat has also been varnished to seal it.  All three glasses are period/original, with an original center tablet in good condition and an old, possibly original lower Fenn glass.  The column gilding has been touched up with gold paint and varnished, the tortoise shell patterns may be original.  Note the gold ball feet in front and the carved feet in back.  The dial was repainted by Hunter Kurtz in the original style, and antiqued; the hands are period and typical of Birge clocks.  The typical strap-brass movement is unsigned and will run with slight adjustment to the crutch; it strikes on a wire gong.  There is a good but darkened label inside and two proper period weights.  This is perhaps the nicest example of this style of triple decker that I have had to offer.  $250–$400.

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Antique American Clocks                     JULY 2024

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