Thursday, December 31, 2009

Once in a blue moon

Every now and then, I come up with a slightly off-the-wall idea for a design. On this New Year's Eve, with a blue moon high in the sky, I'm counting down the minutes until midnight with a new clock design!

My inspiration for this design is an actual tall case clock crafted around 1796 by Simon Willard (1753-1848), the premier clockmaker of colonial America. Born in Grafton, Massachusetts, one of four clock-making brothers, Willard was singularly influential in advancing the design of clock movements at a point when wealthy colonists began to clamor for timepieces for their homes.

By the time this clock was made, Willard had moved to Roxbury, Massachusetts, where he set up shop with his brother Aaron. The advertisement for the clock described it as one of a line of "common eight-day clocks with very elegant faces and mahogany cases, priced from 50 to 60 dollars." Little did Simon Willard dream that just over two hundred years later, one of his tall case clocks would sell at auction for more than two million dollars!

The case itself, crafted by an unknown cabinetmaker, is of Hepplewhite design. It boasts of quarter-fan inlays, rope banding, and brass finials above the fretwork on the top. I've situated the clock in a hallway setting typical of the period, complete with dentil crown molding, chair rail and floor molding. Wallpaper above the chair rail and wainscoting below it are also in keeping with interior decoration of the day.

Join me as I explore new territory for 2010!


threadmedley said...

This is going to be fun to watch! When I think of grandfather clocks, I always think of New England. Thank you for bringing up fond memories on this last day of the year.

Possibilities, Etc. said...

This is totally fabulous, and definitely "you." I do love that wallpaper and the dentil freeze.

Edy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edy said...

I deleted the above cause I wanted to edit it an I couldn't. The piece reminds me of the song, "My Grandfather's Clock" Do you know it?

"My grandfather's clock was too tall for the shelf so it stood ninety years on the floor.
It was taller by half than the old man himself, but it weighed not a penny weighed more.
It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born, and was always his joy and his pride.
But it stopped short, never to go again, when the old man died.
Ninety years without slumbering, tick-tock, tick-tock, his life's seconds numbering, tick-tock, tick-tock.
But it stopped short, never to go again when the old man died!"

Funny things, memories and associations!

Happy New Year!

Anne Stradal said...

It was because of this song that tall case clocks became known as grandfather's clocks!

Cyn said...

Hi Anne,

Love the new clock design!

This is the world that I grew up in. Old, old houses, and furnishings. Mixed in with a bit of modern to round out what was inherited.

Looks like the house that I grew up in. Five foot tall wainscoting, wallpaper above and parquet floors below and very tall ceilings. That is on the first floor. The second was a lot more primitive with lower ceilings. The dirt basement still contains the remains of the original basement fireplaces. And of course there are fireplaces on all of the floors.

Lovely old, old home but a bear to heat in the winter! When my parents bought it they had to do a lot of things to bring it into the 20th century. :-)

Windy Meadow

Love to Stitch 99 said...

Hi Anne,

That is a great idea to design a series on clocks.

I have always been crazy about clocks, mostly beautiful old clocks that have character. This should be fun to watch.

Wishing you a very happy new year filled with inspiration & creativity :-)

Pierrette =^..^=

Cool City Stitcher said...

This brings back such memories of the long hallway in my grandmother's house. It's beautiful. I'm eager to see how you stitch this, as you always bring so much life to the canvas.