John Townsend (American, 1733–1809) and William Tomlinson (British, active 1730s)
Newport, Rhode Island
Mahogany, chestnut, tulip poplar, maple
98 1/4 x 22 x 11 1/8 in. (249.6 x 55.9 x 28.3 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1927 (27.57.2)
This clock case, with its arched top and block-and-shell door, is of a type widely popular in the late eighteenth century in Newport and Providence, Rhode Island. However, it is exceptional in the elegance of its design and the precision of its execution, qualities readily explained by the presence inside of the label of John Townsend, one of the most accomplished of Newport cabinetmakers. The workmanship is entirely consistent with that of Townsend's other documented case furniture, such as his chest (27.57.1). The brass clock dial bears the name of William Tomlinson, a London clockmaker active in the 1730s. Presumably, his clockworks were first housed in an early eighteenth-century case until, in 1789, Townsend was commissioned to make a new one.