Elmer Stennes #22 M.C.I.P. 1972
This is one of the clocks by Elmer Stennes made in 1972 during his incarceration at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution Plymouth. Very few Stennes clocks were made in prison C. 1970 – 1972. This is the W #4 Curtis Lyre Clock as designated in Elmer’s trade catalog and he made this example from the late 1940’s up until his death in 1975. The superbly hand carved, 40″ tall, mahogany case is a very fine reproduction of a ca. 1830 Lemuel Curtis Lyre Clock. The 7 1/4″ dial is signed Elmer Stennes, Weymouth, Mass. and has the trademark “bee” outside the chapter ring. The 8 day weight brass movement is powered by one of his early cast lead weights with the #8 in the casting. Stennes was a skilled pattern, mold and toolmaker and received his training while working in the shipyards. All of the “metal” parts: bezel, hinges, tie down, side arms (for banjo & girandole) and weights were made from molds designed and built by Elmer. The case is numbered #22 – 72 which signifies that this is the twenty second clock made in 1972 and since he was paroled in early 1972 it is safe to say that this is one of his last if not THE last clock he made in prison. Note the letters die stamped across the bottom edge of the bracket: M.C.I.P. which documents that this in fact was a clock made while Elmer was serving a prison sentence. #22 is die stamped into the back of the throat frame, the bottom of the case and etched into the bezel hinge and throat frame flange plate as well. The eight day weight driven brass timepiece is signed on the front plate “Elmer Stennes, Weymouth, MA” and this movement was made by Howard. It mounts to the backboard from the behind with a single, center bolt. The throat glass is reverse painted and gilded and the heavy iron dial is hand painted and NOT silk screened like the later examples. Note the casting impressions on the back of the pendulum bob: “E S” and the “S” on the back of the bezel. All in all, a very collectible and attractive weight driven timepiece in original estate condition. The works have been professionally serviced and the clock runs great.