Otis House

Tall Case Clock

Tall case clocks were extremely luxurious items during the Federal period, equivalent to silver items and textiles. Similar to many material objects present in the Americas, the tall case clock originated in Europe, making its first appearance in about 1660. A framed case made of wood protected the movement, weight, and pendulum from dust and damage. Wealthy families up and down the eastern seaboard owned tall case clocks during the period, which, like other items of furniture, followed regional styles. This clock is characteristic of the style predominant in New England known as the “Roxbury” style, which features open fretwork over a rounded hood with three brass cup or urn finials.

A label pasted on the interior of the clock’s door attributes it to a Massachusetts maker, stating that “the works of this clock were imported/for Isaac Barney of Taunton in 1815./ The (frame) was made by Nathan/ Fisher of Taunton, the same year./ Came into the possession of Elisa/ Babbitt, (nee) Barney, Feb, 1859.”

Nathan Fisher, framer
Taunton, Massachusetts, 1815
Mahogany, brass