Item Details

A Rare and Complete American Federal Tall Case Clock. Riley Whiting Wooden Works, original. A Rufus Cole Grain-Painted and Stenciled Case. Signed R. Cole Painter. Circa 1820-25 Rufus Cole worked in partnership with his father, Abraham, in the Mohawk Valley of New York at Broadalbin-just west of Albany, combining talent producing notable tall cases during the 1820s and the early 1830s. Abraham Cole is listed in the Grantor Records of Montgomery County-1835 as carpenter and co owner of a sawmill with son Rufus listed as a painter; underscoring the logic that father made the cases while son painted and decorated. This duo incorporated a variety of 30-hour wooden works made by prominent makers of the period; all bonnets and cases are similar with the exception of the finial shape. In this case a Riley Whiting face and works had been selected by Cole. This dramatic example with imaginative whirling flourishes grained with various shades of brownish red against a background While the graining paint was wet Cole created striping by removing the solution in straight lines the end result being simulated inlay. The elaborately ornamented case is gilt stenciled with bronze powder motifs found on the bonnet, throat and base; featured are diamond shaped devices on throat and base painted black offering a strong palate for over-stenciled baskets of fruits and flowers. An almost identical clock was sold in Massachusetts. The only difference is that there was an eagle stenciled in bronze paint on that case, just above the door. Our clock has a stag stenciled in that location. Also our clock retains all of its original varnish. A truly magnificent survivor


Height: 88.5 in (224.79 cm)

Width: 17 in (43.18 cm)

Depth: 10.5 in (26.67 cm)

Style: Federal (Of the Period)
Materials and Techniques: Pine,Faux Bois,Hand-Painted
Place of Origin: United States
Period: Early 19th Century
Date of Manufacture: 1820

Condition: Good

Repaired: Repair to one swan neck of pediment. Wear consistent with age and use.