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William Lowry (American, Frankfort, Kentucky)
Tall Clock, 1805-1810, cherry, walnut, poplar and other woods.
Bequest of Alice Speed Stoll, by exchange 2004.3

This tall clock is beautifully executed and its solid documentation makes it one of the most important surviving pieces of early Kentucky furniture. Historically, the clock’s importance lies in two signatures found amidst its works. The back of its English-made dial bears the signature of Lexington silversmith Asa Blanchard. Blanchard operated one of the state’s most successful silversmithing shops and is a seminal figure in the state’s artistic history. The second inscription, located on the seat board that Supports the works, reads, “Thomas McMurray, Lexington, KY November 9th 1808, made for TB Blanchard.” McMurray, a clock and watchmaker probably assembled the clock’s works. Together, the two signatures record the clock’s place and date of manufacture, associate it with an important early silversmith, and help document trade practices in early Kentucky. The clock’s significance as an historical document is matched by its superb aesthetic quality, most notably, the quality of the clock case. While the cabinetmaker remains anonymous, the skill involved is apparent. The sizable case features elegant crotch cherry veneer. Inlays visually define its various elements and emphasize its strong rectilinear character.




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