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Diminutive Tall Case Clock

Welfare, Johann Thomas
Place Made:
Salem North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
Ca. 1825
maple, poplar, pine
HOA: 42″; WOA: 8 1/2″
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Diminutive clock in the tall case clock form; primary wood is figured maple with poplar and pine secondary woods. The clock case is in two parts. The hood has a broken-scroll pediment with turned bullseye-type terminals and central plinth surmounted by oversized urn-and-spire finial. The astragal shaped hood door is flanked by full columns that cant out slightly. Sides have cove shoulder molding, waist with rectangular glass aperture above cove molding, The waist has solid sides and with a long vertical glass window (fixed; does not open); The base has French-type feet and curved skirt cut from the board, There are two drilled holes just above the shaping of the skirt. The painted sheet-iron dial features a vignette of Classical ruins in the arch and gilt foliate devices on a red ground in the spandrels flanking an Arabic chapter ring, unsigned. Poplar and pine secondary woods. Case retains an early surface with rich color.

Case attributed to joiner Johann Thomas Welfare (Active, c. 1815-1830 Dial may have been painted by his brother Christian Daniel Welfare (1796-1841). Pendulum possibly by Johann Ludwig Eberhardt (Active, c. 1799-1839).

Works replaced, backboard replaced, minor wear to feet, minor to moderate crazing and discoloration to dial, minor cracks to base panel, very minor repair to proper left front foot. Unknown working condition.

Literature: See MESDA Craftsman Database (ID 4207-10228) for another example attributed to Johann Thomas Welfare with figured tiger maple case and Ludwig Eberhart-attributed works.
Provenance: Henry E. Vogler, Salem, North Carolina. Thence by descent.
Miss Jane Welfare, Salem, North Carolina (daughter of Christian Daniel Welfare).
Catalogue Note: This is only the second recorded Salem, North Carolina diminuitive tall-case clock. At the time the clock was initially documented by MESDA (S-1494), the case was believed to have been made by Christian Daniel Welfare while working in the shop of his brother, Johann Thomas Welfare. Current thinking, however, points to Christian Daniel as possibly the dial painter, and his brother, Johann Thomas as the probable cabinetmaker. Regardless, the present clock is undoubtedly of Salem, North Carolina origin and likely a Welfare brothers’ collaboration. It remained in the Welfare family as a treasured object, passing to Christian Daniel’s daughter, Jane Welfare, who willed it to a Vogler family member at the turn of the 20th century.

Credit Line:
Frank and Carol Holcomb Purchase Fund