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TALL-CASE CLOCK BY WILLIAM FITZ Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Circa 1795
Magnificently constructed case in mahogany and mahogany veneer with eastern white pine secondary woods. Arched bonnet with three brass ball and spire finials on plinths joined by pierced and relief-carved fretwork in a foliate design. Conforming arched frieze above dial door with bone inlay in a design that mirrors the fretwork. Arched glazed dial door flanked by brass-capped fluted full columns with partial brass stop-fluting. Additional brass-capped quarter columns at rear of bonnet. The arched shape of the dial door is echoed in glazed openings at both sides of the bonnet and on the pendulum door. Trunk with brass-capped fluted full columns with partial brass stop-fluting. Applied molding along perimeter of pendulum door and on base panel. Bracket base with scalloped skirt. Brass eight-day weight-driven movement with anchor recoil escapement and rack-and-snail striking mechanism. Painted enamel dial with foliate designs at corners, a Roman numeral hour ring, an ordinal minutes ring, subsidiary seconds and calendar dials, and a moon phase dial in the lunette framed with terrestrial hemisphere maps. Signed on dial "W. Fitz Portsmouth". Branded "S. HAM" on interior of backboard, possibly indicating the clock was owned by merchant Samuel Ham (1770-1813) or clockmaker Supply Ham (1788-1862), both of Portsmouth. Also inscribed "RS" in chalk on the backboard and marked "Osborne Birmingham" on the false plate of the dial. Height 94". Width 20.5". Depth 10". Retains weights and pendulum, all believed to be original.
Provenance:
Samuel Ham or Supply Ham of Portsmouth.
Acquired from a private collection in Portsmouth by Herschel Burt of Exeter, New Hampshire, about 1970.
The Collection of Christopher and Kathleen Roper.
Northeast Auctions, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, August 2004.
Peter Sawyer Antiques, Exeter, New Hampshire.

This clock is illustrated in Portsmouth Furniture Masterworks from the New Hampshire Seacoast edited by Brock Jobe (Hanover, N.H.: Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities/University Press of New England, 1993), p. 201-203. According to the book, William Fitz opened his clockmaking shop in 1791, at age 21. Fitz was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and it's believed he trained there, as it was a clockmaking center at the time. Fitz lived in Portsmouth from only 1791 to 1798, then returned to Newburyport. He also lived in Portland, Maine and Boston before dying in New Orleans in 1827. Significant details on the clock's construction and its condition at the time of publication are described in the book, a copy of which accompanies the lot .
An Important New Hampshire Collection Carefully and Thoughtfully Assembled Over Two Decades by New Hampshire Residents Lawrence and Dorothy Perkins.

Magnificently constructed case in mahogany and mahogany veneer with eastern white pine secondary woods. Arched bonnet with three brass ball and spire finials on plinths joined by pierced and relief-carved fretwork in a foliate design. Conforming arched frieze above dial door with bone inlay in a design that mirrors the fretwork. Arched glazed dial door flanked by brass-capped fluted full columns with partial brass stop-fluting. Additional brass-capped quarter columns at rear of bonnet. The arched shape of the dial door is echoed in glazed openings at both sides of the bonnet and on the pendulum door. Trunk with brass-capped fluted full columns with partial brass stop-fluting. Applied molding along perimeter of pendulum door and on base panel. Bracket base with scalloped skirt. Brass eight-day weight-driven movement with anchor recoil escapement and rack-and-snail striking mechanism. Painted enamel dial with foliate designs at corners, a Roman numeral hour ring, an ordinal minutes ring, subsidiary seconds and calendar dials, and a moon phase dial in the lunette framed with terrestrial hemisphere maps. Signed on dial "W. Fitz Portsmouth". Branded "S. HAM" on interior of backboard, possibly indicating the clock was owned by merchant Samuel Ham (1770-1813) or clockmaker Supply Ham (1788-1862), both of Portsmouth. Also inscribed "RS" in chalk on the backboard and marked "Osborne Birmingham" on the false plate of the dial. Height 94". Width 20.5". Depth 10". Retains weights and pendulum, all believed to be original.
Provenance:
Samuel Ham or Supply Ham of Portsmouth.
Acquired from a private collection in Portsmouth by Herschel Burt of Exeter, New Hampshire, about 1970.
The Collection of Christopher and Kathleen Roper.
Northeast Auctions, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, August 2004.
Peter Sawyer Antiques, Exeter, New Hampshire.

This clock is illustrated in Portsmouth Furniture Masterworks from the New Hampshire Seacoast edited by Brock Jobe (Hanover, N.H.: Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities/University Press of New England, 1993), p. 201-203. According to the book, William Fitz opened his clockmaking shop in 1791, at age 21. Fitz was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and it's believed he trained there, as it was a clockmaking center at the time. Fitz lived in Portsmouth from only 1791 to 1798, then returned to Newburyport. He also lived in Portland, Maine and Boston before dying in New Orleans in 1827. Significant details on the clock's construction and its condition at the time of publication are described in the book, a copy of which accompanies the lot .
An Important New Hampshire Collection Carefully and Thoughtfully Assembled Over Two Decades by New Hampshire Residents Lawrence and Dorothy Perkins.

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