William Huston Philadelphia
William Huston Philadelphia Walnut Chippendale tall case clock, with a finely engraved composite brass dial with name boss inscribed “William Huston Philadelphia No. 20”. William Huston was a Colonial Philadelphia Clock & Watchmaker at work before the Revolutionary War. According to Eckhardt: Pennsylvania Clocks & Clockmakers he built a house on Front St. South of Chestnut that was bequeathed in the will of John Wood Jr. The broken arch scroll top bonnet with finely carved rosette terminals along with flamed finials resting on chimney blocks with fluted facings. A pair of block and turned columns flank the arched bonnet door. The waist section with tombstone shaped waist door attached with original cast brass “strap hinges” continuing to a base section with applied panel all resting on straight bracket feet. The overall dimensions of the clock are 94 X 19 1/2 X 10 inches with a 12 X 16 1/2 inch dial, 9 3/4 inch time track and 1 1/4 inch Roman numerals. Examples by William Huston are in major museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The inner surface of the backboard along with the back of the waist door bear numerous documented repairs including early 19th C chalk signatures by John Pittman a Philadelphia clock & watchmaker at work C. 1818. I have owned many early Delaware Valley tall case clocks over the years with chalk repair notes by Pittman inside the case.
Condition: This is an original clock: dial, works and case with the following repairs and conservation. The dial has been cleaned and very gently silvered. The works have been completely overhauled and the clock runs, strikes and indexes very nicely. The case has been refinished and at some point in its history during the late 19th Century (based upon pencil repair dates/pencil inscriptions on the back of the door) an expert cabinetmaker replaced/restored the waist door. Upon close inspection you will see an additional slot in the left case stile where the original door lock engaged along with a slot that captures the present door lock. The backboard is original and has not been cut. The bonnet glass is old and wavy with fresh putty holding it in the frame. Original lead filled brass shell weights, pendulum winding key. All in all a nice example of an early signed & numbered Philadelphia Chippendale Tall Case Clock.