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American Decorative Arts
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Maker: Benjamin Rittenhouse, American, 1740–1825

Tall Case Clock

1765–75

American black walnut (primary) southeastern white cedar (top of hood); yellow-poplar (back board); white oak (bottom board); white pine (glue block on left rear foot

84 3/4 × 18 3/8 × 10 7/8 in. (215.3 × 46.7 × 27.7 cm)
other (Dial): 10 9/16 × 10 9/16 in. (26.8 × 26.8 cm)
other (Movement): 6 1/4 × 4 1/2 × 2 1/2 in. (15.9 × 11.5 × 6.4 cm)
framed (Frame): 11 7/8 × 10 1/8 in. (30.2 × 25.7 cm)
other (Lower
Bequest of Walter B. Sheppard, B.A. 1887
1950.64.1
American clocks made before 1750 are extremely rare. Only in the mid-eighteenth century did tall case clocks begin to be widely owned by wealthy colonists. Benjamin Rittenhouse, brother of the inventor and instrument-maker David Rittenhouse, set up shop in Worcester, Pennsylvania, sometime after 1761 and lived there until the early 1800s.
Geography: 
Made in Worcester, Pennsylvania
Status: 
On view*
Culture: 
American
Period: 
18th century
Classification: 
Timepieces
Provenance: 

Walter B. Sheppard, Denver; bequest in 1950 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

Edwin A. Battison and Patricia E. Kane, The American Clock, 1725–1865: The Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University (Greenwich, Conn.: New York Graphic Society, 1973), 122–125, no. 26, 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.