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Antique American Clocks                     JULY 2024

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128.             $50

Unknown maker “Wide Awake” iron-front, ca. 1866. A small (15 inch) iron-front marketed by several manufacturers in the late 1800’s; there is no label here, and the movement is not marked, so we don’t know who made/marketed this clock (the movement was likely made in Connecticut).  The extensive gilding is faded and the case has been heavily varnished and is glossy.  Note, however, the images of George Washington and the Marquis de La Fayette, heroes of the American Revolution; there is also an American eagle and shield at the top.  How did Lafayette get involved in the Revolutionary War?  It has been suggested that he hated the British for killing his father in the Seven Years’ War when he was 2.  He inherited great wealth and, when he heard of the American Revolution against the British, he purchased a sailing ship and secretly sailed to America.  Lafayette eventually commanded the American forces at the battle of Yorktown, defeating the British in 1781 at the age of 24 and ensuring American independence.  He was an American hero, and you can find a long list of places in the US named after Lafayette. 

The glasses on this clock have probably been replaced, the paper dial is old, as are the hands; the brass bezels have been polished.  The 30-hour, time-and-strike movement is running and the alarm is hooked up; both strike on the iron bell (the alarm is untested).  There is no foundry stamp on the case, and no label, as noted.  Although the Wide Awake is relatively common, I have never seen this decoration on any iron-front.  $50–$250.

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