03-06-2011 03-06-2011
Skinner Auctions
Skinner Auctions Boston MA
2538B Boston
March 6, 2011 11:00 AMCalender

Mahogany and Mahogany Veneer Dwarf Clock

Auction: American Furniture & Decorative Arts - 2538B Location: Boston Date / Time: March 06, 2011 11:00AM


Mahogany and Mahogany Veneer Dwarf Clock, Joshua Wilder, Hingham, Massachusetts, case attributed to Abiel White, Weymouth, Massachusetts, c. 1821-24, the removable hood with pierced fret joining plinths with turned, gilt gesso wooden finials, housing a white-painted polychrome and gilt iron dial with a basket of fruit in the arch, urn spandrels, Arabic numerals, inscribed "J Wilder/Hingham," with a brass eight-day weight-powered time and strike movement, the waist with molded door bordered by double-banded inlay and flanking brass mounted quarter columns on conformingly inlaid base and flaring French feet joining a scrolled apron, mellow patina, (minor imperfections), ht. 52 in.

Provenance: Mrs. Robert Morse, Milton, Massachusetts, acquired c. 1928.

Literature: In Harbor & Home, Furniture of Southeastern Massachusetts, Brock Jobe et al., University Press of New England, 2009, plate 105, pp. 325-327, a nearly identical clock is discussed by Gary Sullivan, who writes, "of the twenty known examples of this type, seventeen have cases ascribed to [Abiel] White's shop." Sullivan says that the clock shown in Harbor & Home "exemplifies the finest version of the form."

Note: Other examples of this form include one sold at Christie's sale of the Property from the Collection of Mrs. J. Insley Blair, 21 January 2006, as lot 567. Another is discussed in Albert Sack, The New Fine Points of Furniture, Crown Publishers, New York, 1993, p. 145. In the entry, termed a "masterpiece" by Sack, he writes, "This is the highest level of form achieved in the group of grandmother clocks produced in the Hingham or Hanover area...This will always be recognized as one of the supreme clocks of this rare and desirable group."
Estimate $30,000-50,000

some paint loss to dial, shrinkage crack in front panel of base, finials may well be original, breaks and repairs to fretwork.


Hingham, Gary Sullivan, Massachusetts, Joshua Wilder, Weymouth, Milton, Robert Morse, In Harbor, University Press, Brock Jobe, New England, J. Insley Blair