Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Tall-Case Clock

Edward Duffield (American, 1720–1801)
Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Mahogany, tulip poplar, white pine, brass, and iron
8 ft. 9 in. × 19 1/2 in. × 10 1/2 in. (266.7 × 49.5 × 26.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, William Cullen Bryant Fellows and Close Friends Gifts, in honor of Morrison H. Heckscher, 2014
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 751
This clock possesses a sophisticated weight-powered movement that runs for eight days and chimes on the hour. Its mahogany case, with intricate carving and appliqués, possesses a cockerel cartouche at the top—a motif frequently seen on English and French clocks, but rarely on American examples. The cockerel may have been a reference to the Apostle Peter, patron saint of watchmakers, or to Christ’s proclamation at the Last Supper, "I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me" (Luke 22:34). Duffield was a leading Philadelphia clockmaker known for his friendship with Benjamin Franklin. He made clocks for Franklin’s family and served as executor of his estate.
In the possession of three generations of a Bethesda, Maryland family from the early twentieth century until 2010, when it was purchased by an American West Coast collector.
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