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American Decorative Arts
Manufacturer: William L. Gilbert, American, 1806–1890

Shelf Clock


Rosewood veneer, reverse-painted glass, brass, and other metals

32 × 19 × 6 in. (81.28 × 48.26 × 15.24 cm)
Gift of Charles T. Clark
During the nineteenth century, Connecticut was a leading manufacturer of clocks, particularly of domestically scaled shelf clocks. These industrially produced timepieces were eagerly consumed by a growing middle class hungry for well-made, attractive domestic goods.  Shelf clocks were available in every conceivable style; this example is in a late Neoclassical style. With an emphasis on clean, unadorned forms, lavish use of vividly figured wood veneers, and Neoclassical cornice moldings, scroll brackets, and columns, furniture of this type is commonly referred to as “pillar and scroll.” This stately piece is labeled by William Lewis Gilbert, a clockmaker working out of Farmington, Bristol, and Winsted, Connecticut.
Made in Winchester, Connecticut
On view*
19th century

Messrs. Charles D. & John C. Spalding; by inheritance, c. 1980 to Charles T. Clark, by gift to Yale University Art Gallery 2007.


“Acquisitions, July 1, 2007–June 30, 2008,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2008): 177.

Christina Borger, “Hidden Treasures,” New Haven Register (December 13, 2009), E3, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.