Elmer Stennes, 1972 MCIP
It’s amazing the fascination that so many collectors have for the clocks made by the late Elmer Stennes of Weymouth Massachusetts. By now his story is well known to collectors and the tragic events in his life and the lives of his family members. I am presenting this clock for the purposes of information as it is a 100% original clock. You have to understand that the Estate of Elmer Stennes was sold at Public Auction in Cape Cod by Richard Bourne in 1976. At that sale, Foster Campos purchased the “patterns” and molds to continue the tradition of making these reproductions, Jim Loew of Plaistow NH bought the semi-finished clocks including 6 Girandole clocks that were completed with convex dials, carved gilded wooden eagles, and the most amazing gilded frames that I have ever seen. Finally, Dick Swan bought all of the parts and odds and ends and to this day Ebay is filled with these parts and pieces and so on. As Elmer was in prison in 1972 this clock was made while he was incarcerated at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute Plymouth, hence the M.C.I.P. case stamp along the edge of the bottom board. Some of the features that define his work during the early 1970’s include the use of the E. Howard & Co. #5 movement die stamped Elmer Stennes, the cast lead weight with the Stennes die stamp, cast lead pendulum bob with the “reverse” ES initials, and the brass hinge inscribed with the case # (3). The glue blocks in the lower block are die stamped “3” on the left side and 72 on the right side identifying this clock as the third clock made in 1972. All of the beautiful cast brass hardware and finial all made from patterns fabricated by Elmer, and you may not realize that he was a “pattern” maker in the 1940’s and worked in the coastal shipyards and learned this trade at that time. . You can also witness he numbered frames designating the number of the clock and the year it was produced. The dial pan is a heavy iron plate with silk screen decoration and the geometric glasses were painted, signed and dated by Anne Bannister. Anne M. Bannister was one of the outstanding artists in New England and she worked with the Burleigh’s and Linda Abrams as well at the Gilder’s Workshop. Note the initials AMB71 on the back of both glasses. A special thank you to Linda Abrams who helped identify the artist who painted these glasses!