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A CLASSICAL PARCEL-GILT MAHOGANY AND EGLOMISE LYRE TIMEPIECE CLOCK,
This lot is offered without reserve. PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF BERNARD J. EDWARDS, SR.
A CLASSICAL PARCEL-GILT MAHOGANY AND EGLOMISE LYRE TIMEPIECE CLOCK,

THE EGLOMISE PANEL SIGNED BY EDMUND CURRIER (1793-1853), SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS, 1825-1840

Details
A CLASSICAL PARCEL-GILT MAHOGANY AND EGLOMISE LYRE TIMEPIECE CLOCK,
THE EGLOMISE PANEL SIGNED BY EDMUND CURRIER (1793-1853), SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS, 1825-1840
lower églomisé panel with E. CURRIER SALEM; reverse of lower églomisé panel and its frame with handwritten inscriptions in graphite, #48 E. Stevens Oct 31 71 A.N. Welch July 1876 A.N. Welch/ [Mar?]ch 10 1882/ [illeg.] Salem Dec [illeg.] 11-12-04T; reverse of dial with indistinct scratched signature possibly reading Tyler
35 in. high, 11 in. wide
Provenance
Bernard J. Edwards, Sr., Northbrook, Illinois, 1983
Special Notice

This lot is offered without reserve.
Sale Room Notice
Please note that the clock's dial has been repainted and the throat panel has been replaced.

Condition Report

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Lot Essay

Exquisitely carved, gilded and painted, this lyre wall timepiece illustrates the splendor of interior furnishings during the Classical era. The lyre model, introduced in Boston in about 1825, was frequently referred to as the "elegant harp" pattern during the period and with scrolled sides and gilded strings well represents one of the most popular decorative motifs of the time. This example bears the signature of clockmaker Edmund Currier (1793-1853), who was born and trained in Hopkinton, New Hampshire. In 1825, Currier moved to Salem where he became an esteemed member of the community and highly regarded for his mechanical ingenuity. From 1831 to 1835, Currier was in business with George B. Foster and clocks made by the partnership are signed Currier & Foster, indicating that this clock was made prior to 1831 or, like an 1838 dated example at the Peabody Essex Museum, in the late 1830s. If made during the earlier period, the carved ornament may have been executed by Salem cabinetmaker Joseph True (1806-1860), whose account books contain several entries to Currier, including "carving clock case," "carving two ornaments for timepiece," and "carving Truss for" a mahogany clock case from 1827 to 1831. Only a few lyre wall clocks and timepieces by Currier are known today and aside from displaying a variant plinth, a virtually identical example is illustrated in Thomas Hamilton Ormsbee, "The Sandersons and Salem Furniture," American Collector (August 1939). A similar example sold Christie's, New York, 24 September 2012, lot 70 (David R. Proper, "Edmund Currier, Clockmaker," Bulletin of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, vol. XII, no. 6 (October 1966), pp. 494-497; Paul J. Foley, Willard's Patent Time Pieces: A History of the Weight-Driven Banjo Clock, 1800-1900 (Norwell, Massachusetts, 2002), pp. 127-130, 234-235, 332).

As suggested by inscriptions on the reverse of the lower panel and its frame, this timepiece was repaired or serviced in the 1870s and 1880s in Peabody, Massachusetts, originally part of Salem. "A.N. Welch" refers to Albra N. Welch (c.1842-1918), who was born in Maine and moved to Peabody, where he is listed variously as a watch and clock repairer and jeweller in census records and city directories from 1880 until his death. The notation, "E. Stevens Oct 31 71," probably refers to Ephraim Stevens (Stephens) (b. c. 1815), his wife, Emeline Jane (Parrot) Stevens (b. 1817) or their daughter, Ellen (Stevens) Dodge (b. 1838), the only Stevens family members recorded in the census records with the first initial "E" in Peabody in the late nineteenth century. Ephraim is listed as a watch repairer in the 1870 census and the notation probably indicates that he also worked on the piece; alternatively, it is possible that he or his wife or his daughter previously owned the timepiece (US Federal Census records, 1850-1910; Peabody, Massachusetts, City Directories, 1882-1918; Vital Records of Salem, Massachusetts, vol. II (Salem, 1918), p. 321; Vital records of Danvers, Massachusetts, vol. II (Salem, 1910), p. 207). The timepiece was purchased by the late Bernard J. Edwards, Sr. in the Chicago area in 1983. Edwards, an avid horological collector and scholar, served as president of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC) from 1989 to 1991 and was awarded Star Fellow in recognition of his service and contributions to the organization (The Chicago Tribune, Business Section, 8 May 2012, p. 8).

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