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    Description

    Rare Winfield Scott Mantle Clock. These clocks, featuring reverse on glass portraits of presidents and statesmen, are among the most sought-after of three-dimensional political display items. We are proud to offer two different examples in his sale, the other being a marvelous Andrew Jackson.

    These mantle clocks, with decorative scenes painted in reverse on the inside of the glass panel in the door, were widely popular in the 1830-50 period. But the overwhelming majority of subjects were buildings, scenes, etc. Only a tiny handful featured public personalities. During the Jackson era, the paintings were completely hand-done by skilled artist/craftsmen. By the late 1840s, most of the design was in the form of a decal applied to the glass, with only the color, and possibly a few details, done by hand. Such is the case with the present clock, which depicts "The U.S. Officers in Mexico," which was also a popular subject for widely distributed prints by Currier, Kellogg, and other firms. Although Scott is not identified by name, there were only two top American generals who would have been so depicted. One was Zachary Taylor, but a close study of the facial features clearly identifies the principal general, in blue coat on a white horse, is the venerable Winfield Scott. Scott went on to run unsuccessfully as the 1852 (and final) Whig candidate for president. Except for a few common token varieties, campaign novelties and display items for Scott are especially scarce, making this clock all the more appealing.

    Cosmetically, it is in beautiful condition. The type of painting found on these clocks was notorious for flaking, often severely. But in this example, there is minimal flaking, and only in the background. The previous owner wisely had a piece of clear Plexiglas fitted over the thin, fragile door panel to protect it. The veneer case is in beautiful condition, again free of the cracking and flaking that often afflicts the veneer of these clocks. The weights and pendulum are not present, but it is of small note. The works of these clocks were cheaply made at the time and rarely work today (we once spent over $500 to get one running, only to learn that, even with the best of fine-tuning, it lost nearly two hours every day!) A truly fine 19th century display item. Measures 14.5" x 24.5" x 4".


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2005
    15th-16th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 492

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