ca. 1820
Decorative Arts
cherry, maple; painted metal dial; wooden clockworks
United States,Virginia,Middletown,
Overall: 100 × 19 1/2 × 13 1/4 in. (254 × 49.53 × 33.66 cm)

Like the nearby desk and bookcase, this clock was produced by the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. It represents the spread of clockmaking practices of a pluralistic community of Mennonite, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Quaker, German, Swiss, Scots, Irish, and English people. Measured and divided, the clock’s case reflects a robust symmetry of vertical and horizontal components. The results are suggestive of rural cabinetmaking practices of decorative ornamentation through turning and carving.

This clock houses a wooden movement made of local materials. It is also faced with a white-painted dial. Although most white dials were imported from England, the simplicity of this example indicates it may have been made in America – perhaps even by Jacob Danner. Danner arrived in Middletown around 1795, just a year after the town was settled by his future father-in-law, Dr. Peter Senseney. The clockmaker is thought to have also been a talent watercolorist.

Inscribed on clock face: "J. Danner"
Kathleen Boone Samuels Memorial Fund
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.