Repeat with better photos

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
I am trying to verify the species of wood that was used on this tall case clock
The clock has been in the family for a long time - actually 333 years and I can tell you who owned it all those years. I am the 12th
Back many moons ago I shared some photos asking for wood type and the answers were almost all mahogany.

Finally I am getting this properly appraised and insured so I had to take a bunch of photos plus they want my guess on wood type
I believe it is mahogany, probably Cuban or Jamaican, but the knot in the middle of the door has me confused.

Here are some photos - I sure hope what I build stands up this well.

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And yes after 333 years, I still have the key and the clock still works perfectly

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Attachments

Strom

Strom
Senior User
This one of those cases where you can be fooled. It looks like mahogany in places but given the knots and broad grain I will say walnut.
 

jlwest

Jeff
Corporate Member
I agree with Strom that some of it looks like walnut. It would help to know where it was built.
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
Where was it built?
Most likely in the colony of Pennsylvania north of Philadelphia. My Great x11 Grandfather Edmund C. Wells arrived with his family from England in 1685. They settled on the east side of the Delaware river. The clock is a Moravian design so it was probably made in one of the Moravian settlements.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
So it was built in North America in 1687 by .........? I can't read the name in your picture with the date of 1687.

The insurance company only needs your "guess" of what type of wood it is. Cuban mahogany, chestnut, or black walnut are all possibilities and they were all commonly used in the 17th century. The exact species probably doesn't matter for insurance purposes.

It's not pine for sure!
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
So it was built in North America in 1687 by .........? I can't read the name in your picture with the date of 1687.

The insurance company only needs your "guess" of what type of wood it is. Cuban mahogany, chestnut, or black walnut are all possibilities and they were all commonly used in the 17th century. The exact species probably doesn't matter for insurance purposes.

It's not pine for sure!
I cannot read the whole name. It looks like it is there but I cannot read it. All I know is his first name was Julius
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
Julius was an incredible craftsman! Its beautiful!. Ever thought of documenting it?. It would be a great project!. Looks to be under 8 feet tall?. I am wondering it it could be walnut as well. I dont think chestnut was common that far north, but I certainly could be wrong.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Julius was an incredible craftsman! Its beautiful!. Ever thought of documenting it?. It would be a great project!. Looks to be under 8 feet tall?. I am wondering it it could be walnut as well. I dont think chestnut was common that far north, but I certainly could be wrong.
Julius who? That's his first name!
 

Woodmolds

Tony
User
I would venture to say MESDA would be interested in documenting this piece and could be very helpful in identifying the wood. You could contact Daniel Ackerman(Interim Chief Curator) at MESDA or contact the Research Center at 336-721-7379
 

Oka

Oka
Corporate Member
Yes Get one of their techs to take some pictures using differing filters, or you could. With differing colors on the on the lens you will likely beable to bring out the signature.
 

Touchwood

Don
Corporate Member
I agree with the mix of woods. Great hand-made craftsmanship and obvious knowledge of good joinery. That's a museum piece IMHO
 

zdorsch

Zach
Senior User
I seem to remember chestnut being used in Eastern Ohio barns and antique furniture. Of course this was well before my time, but grandparents and older were OH farmers that were also into antiques.
 

Robert LaPlaca

Robert
User
Phil, the primary wood looks like Walnut to me, especially since the case was built in Ohio Pennsylvania area. Lots of Walnut grows in Ohio and Pennsylvania..

The secondary looks like Chestnut to me. The clock that I am reproducing used lots of Chestnut for the secondary wood, it was built in 1760ish.

The early 17th and 18th century craftsman were unbelievably talented..
 

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