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Tall Case Clock

Johannes Krause Shop
Place Made:
Salem North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
walnut –brass –lead –glass –paint
HOA; 102; WOA; 21 1/4″; DOA: 11 1/4″
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: One of only two bombe base clocks known from the backcountry South (the other example is from the Shenendoah Valley and is the collection of Colonial Williamsburg), this example was made in the shop of Johannes Krause. Johannes Krause (1742-1807), spent nearly twenty years as master of the Single Brothers’ Joinery (1776-1796) in Salem. Furniture from his shop reflects German Baroque design in it’s bold curves and broad proportions.

Tall case clock in three parts: hood, trunk, and bombe base. Arched hood is surmounted by three (replaced) finials and fluted plinths copied from same on Krause clock acc. 2664.2. Hood has molded cornice consistent with other Krause molding examples (cavetto above distinct bead); hood door and sides have glass panels; Trunk has arched paneled door with two fielded panels-one above and one below an oculus with it’s own molding; front corners of trunk have narrow ovolo molding terminating at top and bottom in curved peaks; Separate base contructed of a substantial frame to which three shaped panels are applied (front and sides) and held in place with massive vertical glue blocks that extend from beneath the top rail of the frame to the bottom of the base; the back is set between the two side panels and nailed to the frame; the shaped panels form the bombe shape.

MAKER: Johannes Krause was born in Ebersdorf, Germany, and arrived in the port of Charleston, South Carolina with two other brothers bound for Salem in December 1774. Within a few weeks, he began work in the Single Brothers’ joinery and by 1776 was the master of the shop. Despite the high quality of work coming out of the shop during Krause’s tenure, he was apparently prone to heavy drinking and disagreeable behaviour. Although the Church tried to work with him to improve his “indecent way of life” eventually, on August 4, 1796, the minutes of the congregation council recorded, “Single Brother Jo Krause, who for some time has been merely tolerated by the community, has conducted himself recently so disgracefully…that he had to be told to leave the community….” Krause died in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1807.

IDENTIFICATION/ HISTORY OF DIAL MAKER: False plate of dial is stamped OSBORNE. The stamp refers to the firm of Thomas Hadley Osborne (later operated by his wife and son). Thomas Hadley Osborne went into partnership with James Wilson ca. 1772 when the firm Osborne and Wilson, Manufacturers advertized in the Birmingham Gazette on September 21, 1772, that that they were making “White Clock Dials in Imitation of Enamel.” The two men remained in partnership until ca 1777 when they parted ways, although each apparently continued in the business, Obsorne operating under his own name until 1779 when he apparently died. At his death, Osborne’s wife, Ann apparently took over the busiess (although she is not listed in city directories until 1793). She operated alone until ca 1800 when her son James joined her. They are listed together until 1803. James is listed alone between 1808 and 1813. (see Brian Loomis WHITE DIAL CLOCKS 1981).

Family history records that North Carolina Moravian potter Heinrich Schaffner (1798-1877) and his wife Emilie Charlotte Meinung (1814-1888) owner this clock in the nineteeenth century. Given that Heinrich Schaffner did not arrive in Salem until 1827, the clock probably descended to Emilie Charlotte Meinung from her grandparents, Carl Ludwig Meinung (1743-1817) who came to Salem from Bethlehem, PA, in 1771 and married Maria Magdelena Hopfner (1751-1803) in 1771. Their son, Frederick Christian Meining m. Johanna Elizabeth Praezel (b. 1785).

The clock probably descended as follows:

Children of Henry Schaffner and Elizabeth Levina Hauser
Maria Catharina Schaffner (1836-1861)
John Francis Schaffner (1838-1908) m. Caroline Louisa Fries (1839-1922)

Children of Henry Schaffner and Emilie Charlotte Meinung
Louisa Caroline Schaffner (1843-1923) did not marry
Sarah Elisabeth Schaffner (1845-1924) did not marry
Cornelia Lisetta Schaffner (b. & d. 1848)

Possible line of descent: Carl Ludwig Meinung to son Frederick Christian Meinung to daughter Emilie Charlotte Meinung (m. Henry Schaffner) to Schaffner’s son by his first wife (Elizabeth Levina Hauser) Dr. John Francis Schaffner (1838-1938) married Carolina Louise Fries (1839-1922) to their son Henry Fries Schaffner (1867-1941) who married Agnes Siewers Schaffner (1880-1958).

Credit Line:
Thomas A. and Anne P. Gray Purchase Fund