Elmer Stennes Weymouth MA Carved “Curtis” Lyre Banjo Clock #25, 1971 M.C.I.P.

Elmer O. Stennes

This is one of the clocks by Elmer Stennes made in 1971 during his incarceration at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution Plymouth. Very few Stennes clocks were made in prison C. 1970 – 1973. 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 Quincy MA shipyards from 1940 – 1945. 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 #25 – 71 which signifies that this is the twenty fifth clock made in 1971. 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. 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 glass was painted and signed by Melinda Ahola and you can see here signature on the back of the throat tablet along with the 1971 date. All in all, a very collectible and attractive weight driven timepiece in original estate condition.