Monumental Carved and Gilded Perpetual Calendar Wall Clock, Calendar Clock Company, Hartford, Connecticut, c. 1855, patented September 19, 1854, from the Grand Union Hotel, Saratoga Springs, New York, demolished in 1953, the hand-carved hardwood case (probably cherry) painted pearl white on the exterior with all carving gilded, applied top crest with floral and acanthus leaf baroque carving extending with scrolls below the dial and buttress carving to the gilded pedestal, the 24-in. dia. zinc roman numeral dial with apertures for the day-of-the-week, month, and year operable until 1949, with center hand for day-of-the-month along the outer perimeter, the lower hinged door with gold leaf and mother-of-pearl scrolled designs with aperture for pendulum and marked Calendar Clock Co./Hartford, Conn./Patented September 19./1854. within a round maker's boss, heavy, 12-in. high, eight-day, brass, weight-powered timepiece with deadbeat escapement, mounted to an iron frame within the case powered by a brass-cased compounded weight, overall ht. 84 in.; wd. through dial center 42 in.
Provenance: Grand Union Hotel, Saratoga, New York, from approximately 1855 to the demolition of the hotel in 1953. The clock went to the furnishings of the Grand Union Hotel auction, was purchased by the Destito family and installed at their establishment, "The Beeches," in Rome, New York.
Literature: NAWCC Bulletin, 1954, pp. 244-245. The present clock is illustrated and past history discussed in this "Vox Temporis" segment.
Note: By 1870, the Grand Union Hotel was the largest hotel in the world with just over 2,000 rooms. This clock hung in the main foyer where the elite, including millionaires, governors, senators, congressmen, judges, presidents, and literary figures, and many others checked their watches against the time of this clock. An elegant summer lifestyle centered at the Grand Union, which included mineral springs, racehorses, cocktails, and the cool night breezes.
The undisputed authority on Connecticut clocks (and most other clocks as well), Chris Bailey, retired curator of the American Clock and Watch Museum, wrote the consignor on November 18, 2008, discussing the four different patents which relate to this clock dating 1854, 1855, and two in 1856 and included copies of the patents in this correspondence; a copy is available to the purchaser.
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