This tall-case clock is a tour-de-force of eighteenth-century Philadelphia craftsmanship. Magnificently carved by the artist-artisan Martin Jugiez (d. 1815) and containing the works of the renowned clockmaker Edward Duffield (1720-1801), the clock displays the talents of two of Philadelphia's most esteemed craftsmen. With a pristine surface, the clock is in remarkable condition and survives with its carved elements intact, including the majestic cockerel finial.
Based on execution and design, the carving is attributed to Martin Jugiez, a bold and confident craftsman whose work has been likened to that of a sculptor. His origins unknown, Jugiez was undoubtedly an immigrant who arrived in Philadelphia prior to November 25, 1762 when he advertised a carving and gilding business in partnership with the locally trained carver, Nicholas Bernard. As discussed by Luke Beckerdite and Alan Miller, Jugiez was the more talented of the two and soon became the firm's principal carver. Although Bernard did some of the lesser carving during the early years of their partnership, he soon focused solely on the marketing and administration of the business. In contrast to Bernard's linear style, Jugiez produced naturalistic forms, often working very quickly with long modeling cuts and a minimal number of tools. Together they worked for Philadelphia's top cabinetmakers, including Benjamin Randolph and Thomas Affleck, and were patronized by the likes of General John Cadwalader. By 1783, their business had dissolved, though they evidently remained close as they remembered each other in their wills (Luke Beckerdite and Alan Miller, "A Table's Tale: Craft, Art, and Opportunity in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia," American Furniture 2004, ed. Luke Beckerdite (Milwaukee, WI, 2004), pp. 4-23, 40; Luke Beckerdite, "Philadelphia Carving Shops, Part II: Bernard and Jugiez," The Magazine Antiques (September 1985),pp. 498, 499, 512).
The carved appliques on the tympanum is organized by a series of abutting C-scrolls placed end-to-end that define the parameters of the design. Closely related appliques are seen on a number of case pieces dating to the 1760s and with carving attributed to Jugiez. Dated to circa 1760, the earliest may be a high chest that displays Bernard's handiwork on the knees, rails and shell-drawers, but Jugiez's ornament on the tympanum. A chest-on-chest formerly owned by Mrs. Pamela Copeland and a high chest made for Samuel Wallis were carved by Jugiez exclusively and illustrate slightly later examples of this tympanum layout. Two tall-case clocks, both with London-made works, also bear this design as executed by Jugiez (fig. 1; Beckerdite and Miller, pp. 18, 19, 22, 23-25, figs, 30, 33, 38, 39, 41, 42; Beckerdite 1985, p. 508, figs. 20, 20a; Sotheby's New York, January 28, 2004, lot 666; the circa 1760 high chest, along with its matching dressing table, is also illustrated and discussed in Sotheby's New York, Highly Important Americana from the Stanley Paul Sax Collection, 16-17 January, 1998, lot 522). The Copeland and Wallis chests have floral and leafy tendrils running through the middle of the appliques that are closely related to those on the clock offered here. Similar tendrils are seen embellishing the quarter columns on a high chest with "fox and grapes" drawer carved by Jugiez and dated to 1770-1775, now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Beckerdite and Miller, p. 37, figs. 69, 70). Furthermore, the Copeland and Wallis chests display distinctive rosettes and flame finials nearly identical to those on this clock. Each rosette is comprised of five wavy petal clusters in the foreground with another series of petals visible in the background and a center with swirling scrolls and particular to both Bernard and Jugiez, each flame on the finials consists of "three elements undulating in a continuous serpentine line" (Beckerdite and Miller, p. 24). The carving is also closely related to that on the second floor parlor built in about 1764 for Mount Pleasant, the house of Captain John Macpherson. Headed by a broken-scroll pediment, the chimneypiece has a related applique and displays the same rosettes (Beckerdite and Miller, pp. 29-31, figs. 55, 56; Beckerdite 1985, pp. 501, figs. 7, 10).
While exhibiting designs favored by Jugiez, this clock also features decorative devices previously unknown in Jugiez's oeuvre. Cockerel finials, frequently seen on English and French clocks, are rare ornaments on eighteenth-century American clocks and only one other example has been found. Attributed to John Pollard (1740-1787), a competitor of Jugiez's, the other finial (fig. 2) displays the plumage of the cockerel's tail feathers with wings that are downturned, rather than outstretched as seen on the clock offered here (Lita Solis-Cohen, "Godshalk Clock in the Pickering Case," Maine Antique Digest (October 2002), available online at www.maineantiquedigest.com). The finial was undoubtedly a Biblical reference to the Apostle Peter, the patron saint of watchmakers. During the Last Supper, Christ announced, "I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me," (King James Bible, Luke 22:34), a prediction that came true during the arrest and trial of Christ and upon hearing the cock's crow, a penitent Peter wept. Thus, Peter is often symbolized by the cock and because it reliably crowed on schedule, he is an appropriate guardian of clock- and watchmakers (Hope B. Werness, The Continuum Encyclopedia of Animal Symbolism in Art (New York, 2003), p. 91). The use of a cockerel finial may have been intended to associate good timekeeping with the clock, but it is also interesting to speculate whether it was specially ordered for the owner, perhaps a clockmaker himself. Pierced cartouches were often employed by Jugiez for the central ornament, but he occasionally carved other figures for this prominent spot and three busts of John Locke carved by Jugiez are known (Beckerdite and Miller, p. 33, fig. 62; for a pierced cartouche attributed to Jugiez with a figure of a bird with outstretched wings, see Christie's New York, 19 June 1996, lot 156).
Also unusual are the partial columns at each side of the tympanum. Carved to be viewed from below, these Chinese columns are very close to those on the tympanum of the high chest that descended in the Turner and Van Pelt families, now at Winterthur Museum. This "Van Pelt" high chest may have been made in the shop of Benjamin Randolph and carved by Pollard (Andrew Brunk, "Benjamin Randolph Revisted," American Furniture 2007, ed. Luke Beckerdite (Milwaukee, WI, 2007), pp. 24-27, figs. 37, 39). Interestingly, columns, although of a variant design, also feature on the clock with cockerel finial in fig. 2 and their use may be related to the reference to Peter as early depictions of Peter waiting outside during the trial of Christ show the cock atop a column (Werness, p. 91). The basket of flowers at the center of the tympanum was a popular motif in the latter half of the eighteenth century, but not used often by Jugiez. A somewhat similar basket features in the cartouche of the Wallis high chest and if not original, may replicate Jugiez's ornament (the cartouche is illustrated in Beckerdite 1985, p. 508, fig. 20a).
The quality of the exterior is matched by the clock's interior. The works were made by Edward Duffield (1720-1801), one of the foremost clockmakers of eighteenth-century Philadelphia. The dial's decoration derives from the cast and gilded brass spandrels imported from England. The same model seen on the clock offered here is seen on another clock by Duffield, as well as clocks by David Rittenhouse and Thomas Stretch, suggesting a common retailer in Philadelphia or trading among craftsmen (see Donald L. Fennimore, "A Causerie on the Business of Clockmaking in Eighteenth-Century America," in Frank L. Hohmann III, Timeless: Masterpiece American Brass Dial Clocks (New York, 2009), p. 38; see also, same volume, pp. 202-203, 236-237, 246-247, nos. 46, 62, 67).
Duffield established his shop in the 1740s in Philadelphia and practiced his trade there until 1775, when upon the beginnings of the Revolutionary War, he removed to his family's estate, Benfield, in Moreland Township. He is credited with making the City's first public clock and was caretaker of the State House clock built by Thomas Stretch (1695-1765). Close friends with Benjamin Franklin, Duffield was a prominent figure in Philadelphia society. He was a member of Franklin's organizations, the Library Company and the American Philosophical Society, served as a city warden and was a vestryman of St. Peter's Church. He prospered financially during his lifetime and at the time of his death, he owned a large personal estate as well as landholdings in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Nova Scotia (Martha H. Willoughby, "Edward Duffield," in Hohmann, p. 331). For another clock illustrating the combined efforts of Jugiez and Duffield, see Christie's New York, 19 June 1996, lot 156.
Christie's gratefully acknowledges the scholarship of Martha H. Willoughby.