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Object Name: Tall case clock
Date: ca. 1796
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Medium: Mahogany, mahogany veneer, white pine, gesso, brass
Dimensions: Overall: 8 ft. × 10 in. (243.8 × 25.4 cm) Overall (1): 10 ft. 4 in. × 19 in. (3 m 15 cm × 48.3 cm)
Description: Mahogany Federal tall case clock with 8-day weight-driven movement; circular face with roman numerals in conforming hood, case with incurving sides at waist and rectangular base; case inlaid with horizontal oval of sixteen stars above vertical oval panel at waist of case, above horizontal oval panel; base with inset reeded columns at sides and one in center; two inlaid arches with sunbursts and vertical inlaid ovals below; flat base with no feet.
Credit Line: Gift of the Bank of New York, 1858
Object Number: INV.4814
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According to tradition, this clock was presented by Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) to the Bank of New York in 1797 to commemorate the opening of the bank's headquarters at 48 Wall Street. Established by Hamilton and others in 1784 as the first chartered bank in New York City, the Bank of New York was the center of the city's financial life and helped the federal government to establish a firm financial basis. The sixteen inlaid stars beneath the clock's dial represent the sixteen states (Tennessee, the sixteenth state, joined The Union in 1796). After more than sixty years of service chiming at 10 am and 3 pm for employees of the Bank of New York, the clock was presented to the New-York Historical Society in 1858.


"Selections from the Collection of The New-York Historical Society," New-York Historical Society, January 1, 2001-June 15, 2002.