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Object Record

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Object Name Clock, Shelf
Catalog Number 2000.21.207
Collection Timepiece
Other Name Triple Decker
Date 1831-1833
Description 8 day brass strap movement , rectilinear frame with sides extended above horizontal top piece, fly pivoted at left extension. Coarse teeth with square roots. Triple section case with gilt and grain painted half columns, gilt basket of fruit splat. Reverse painted lower glass, looking glass in middle section. Label "Patent Lever Brass Eight Day Clocks, Manufactured By John Birge, For George Mitchell, Bristol, Conn. And sold by him, Wholesale and Retail."

This clock contains a rolled brass strap-frame movement with roller pinions made by Joseph Ives. It was developed from the movement Ives designed for his round head, lever spring shelf clcok while working in Brooklyn, New York in the late 1820's. Ives returned to Bristol in 1830 and apparently trained his brother Chauncey in the art of brass clockmaking. John Birge, a carriage manufacturer with money to invest became a silent partner with a one-third interest in the firm of C. & L.C. Ives, whose principal product became 8-day brass movement shelf clocks. In December 1830, Birge withdrew and formed a partnership with Joseph Ives, and also began making 8-day brass movement shelf clocks with a newly designed movement by Ives. Marketing these expensive clocks was problematic ,so many were wholesaled to local retailers, as was this clock to George Mitchell. Mitchell was a merchant and promoter who sent peddlers to the southern and western states. Among the craftsmen he brought to Bristol was cabinetmaker Elias Ingraham, who designed the so-called "triple-decker" case, used by several Bristol clock manufacturers.
Maker John Birge
Material wood, brass, glass
Place of Origin Bristol, Connecticut, USA
Notes Updated by Cara M. Lower 8/12/14