Clocks Displayed in Historic Sites

The pictures below are examples of timepieces displayed
in historical locations entrusted to Jim Van Orsdel and The Clock Shop.

Historic Landmarks

In this Oak Sitting Room, prominently displayed on a splendid ivory inlaid desk, is a French Marble-based Clock with a bronze sculpture, circa 1795. The pendulum is hung from a silk thread that is refered to as a silk suspension. This clock is from the Directoire period.

French Marble Based Clock
French Drum Clock

This known as a French Drum Clock on a bronze elephant, circa 1880, crafted by Japy Freres. Both the case and the base are crafted of brass with fired gilt. The base is a Rococo horizontal piece. The clock movement is mounted on the top of the elephant's back in a brass drum. On the top of the clock, there is an 18th century depiction of an Asiatic lady holding a parasol (similar to a French lady's parasol). This unusual clock exhibits a strong Oriental influence.

An English Chamfer-top Single Fusee Bracket Clock, circa 1810, maker is unknown. One can see that the Arabic numerals on the dial are arranged with the bottom of the numerals oriented towards the center of the dial, the bases of the numerals forming a cicle.

English Chamfer-top Single Fusee Bracket Clock
Austrian Miniature Tower Clock

This clock is refered to as an Austrian Miniature Tower Clock, circa 1650. The maker is unknown. As with many clocks made during this period, the clock originally had only one hand--an hour hand. Gearing to provide a minute hand was probably added during the 18th Century.

A fine sandglass, possibly 18th century, sits on a dressing table in the same room. It has seperate glasses to depict both the passing of the hous and minutes.

Located on the Second Floor landing of a Grand Staircase is this very rare Dutch Bookcase clock, circa 1860. The maker of this impressive clock is unknown. The clock, fitted with an alarm, was designed to alert those in the area when the alarm sounded at a predetermined time. The case is constructed of intricately carved solid oak panels. Carved stringed musical instruments adorn the top of the arch.

Dutch Bookcase Clock
English Lancet-top Bracket Clock

The Music Room is where guests can admire an English Lancet-Top Bracket Clock, circa 1780, crafted by Coward and Company. The case of crotch mahogany and walnut stands twenty inches tall. The clock, which must be wound once a week, is embellished with two lions’ head handles on each side and beautiful gilded brass claw feet. Several other objects in this room deserve special attention. One is the Triumphal Arch of Maximilian by Albrecht Durer (1471-1528). The 192 engraved blocks depict the family tree and the life of Emperor Maximilian I, as well as portraits from the era of the Holy Roman Empire. Twelve rare Baroque porcelain figures and candlesticks, known as the Meissen Apostles, are also housed in the Music Room.

The clock at the South end of the Tapestry Gallery is an English Basket-Top Bracket Clock, circa 1675, crafted by Edmund Card. This clock features an ebony case with a pierced gilded basket-top. An unusual feature is the silk lining inside the basket-top that permits the sounding of the bell to escape while preventing the entry of dust into the case. A portrait of George Washington Vanderbilt, painted by John Singer Sargent, hangs over the door leading to the Library

The Second Floor Living Hall, originally used as an upstairs sitting room. The room contains a group portrait of the William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil family, as well as full length portraits of Richard Morris Hunt and Fredrick Law Olmstead. On the East end, there is an English Balloon Bracket Clock, circa 1820, crafted by Marriott of London. (Members of the Marriott family were clockmakers through four generations from 1715-1830.) The case is constructed of black lacquered veneer. The base, arched in front, rests on four bracket feet. The base supports the “balloon”, the round section housing the movement and dial. The arch is topped by a graceful wood spire ending in a fine brass finial.

Three Legged Crevity Escapement Turret Clock
Servants Clocks

This is a Rare 1895 E. Howard...Double Three-Legged Gravity Escapement Turret Clock. It is centrally located and on the exterior is a 36" Dial in the Limestone Dormer with Bronze Numerals and Gold-Leafed hands carved in wood. The Clockworks had to be wound once a week, and the weight to drive it weighs about 400 pounds. It was designed to operate 14 Secondary Clocks located throughout the Servants Quarters and Hallways. The 80 Servants always had coordinated correct time for their viewing.

Louis XVI French Cartel Clock

This is a Louis XVI French Cartel Clock, circa 1760, crafted by Louis Jouard of Paris. It has great oriental infuence on the fired guilt brass case surround. Mounted in a Arched Mirror over a mantle, it is a impressive 27" in height. The mechanics of this clock were all hand-crafted as seen in the details.

Louis XVI French Cartel Clock

Louis XVI French Cartel Clock
Louis XVI French Cartel Clock
Louis XVI French Cartel Clock
Newspaper Article

This a French Architectural Clock consisting of two Bulb-type thermometers in Celsius and Fahrenheit located on either side of an Aneroid Barometer in the center bottom of the case. The Case stands 16" tall and is constructed of three different typs of marble. It was manufactured by Japy Freres of Paris, circa 1870. Conserved for this formal Breakfast Room.

French Architectural Clock

This clock is a Dutch Tall-Case Clock, circa 1750, crafted by Joan Numan. It plays 6 melodies on 32 bells, and all of the parts are displayed prior to re-assembly.

Dutch Tall Case Clock Assembly

Dutch Tall-Case Clock
Andrew Flockhart Clock Assembly
English Inverted Bell-Top Bracket Single Fusee Clock

This is an English Inverted Bell-top Bracket Single Fusee Clock, circa 1825 and crafted by Andrew Flockhart. Residing in a bedroom, it is sometimes refered to as a Boudior Clock because this clock tells the time only and does not strike. The clock stands an impressive 15" tall on brass ball feet. The case is constructed of black lacquered veneer inlaid with thin brass strips.

This is an English Bell-top Bracket Clock, circa 1685, crafted by Edward Burgis.

English Bell-top Bracket Clock
German Vase Clock

A German Vase Clock, circa 1880 by Gustav Becker

Emglish Bell-Top Bracket Clock

After passing through the Winter Garden, guests enter the Billiard Room. There they can view an English Bell-Top Bracket Clock, circa 1780. Crafted by Robert Harlow, the case has a mahogany veneer adorned with brass finials cast in a pineapple motif. This clock has a “double fusee” mechanism. The Billiard Room is one room of a suite of three rooms reserved for men. The suite includes the Smoking Room and Gun Room (Formally Trophy Room). Gentlemen had access to the Smoking Room or the Bachelor’s Hall through two concealed doors at the rear of the Billiard Room. The oak paneling of the Billiard Room lends a masculine air as do the many hunting trophies and sporting prints displayed on the walls.

At this point, the tour turns back to the South of the Entry Hall to the ninety foot Tapestry Gallery and Logia. Two clocks serve as sentinels for the three tapestries which are part of the series of The Triumph of the Seven Virtues. The clock at the North end is an English Bell-Top Bracket Clock, circa 1685, crafted by Edward Burgis. The case of ebony wood stands twelve inches high. This elegant clock depicts the time only.

Spanish style Toledo Frame French Clock

Spanish style Toledo Frame French clock, circa 1880 made by Japy Freres of Paris