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Dr. Barchi Tours the Tallcase Clocks in Special Collections and University Archives

December 8, 2016
President Barchi and tallcase clock

President Robert Barchi adjusts a tallcase clock in the Rutgers University Libraries Special Collections and University Archives.

A couple of weeks ago, Special Collections and University Archives hosted a special visitor — President Robert Barchi.

A big fan of tallcase clocks (AKA grandfather clocks), President Barchi saw all of four of the clocks in SCUA’s collection and even took a moment to perform an on-the-spot repair to an early nineteenth-century clock that was donated by the family of Wallace Todd Eakins (1889-1968), RC’11. After a quick adjustment, the clock was once again happily tick-tocking away.

In honor of this visit, we’re proud to highlight this collection of tallcase clocks. Read below for photos of the beautiful clock faces and information about their provenance and donation.

Movement: 8-day clock; square clock face not signed Case: intended for a (later) clock movement with an arched clock face; attributed to Nicholas Williamson Parsell (1797-1877) by the donor and is likely the same clock cited by Margaret E. White in Early Furniture Made in New Jersey, 1690-1870 ([Newark, N.J.]: The Newark Museum Association, c1958): “A tall clock with case attributed to Nicholas Parsell is owned by Catharine Schneeweiss.” Location: Special Collections and University Archives reading room (behind sign-in desk), Alexander Library Donor: Ralph Heyboer (1918-2011) of Linden, New Jersey Provenance: movement created in 18th century; case created in 19th century; evidently owned at one time by Catharine Hardenbergh Schneeweiss (1893-1977), the daughter of Henry P. Schneeweiss; per donor: “from estate of Henry P. Schneewiess family” Note: per Somerset County Historical Quarterly (vol. 8): Nicholas W. Parsell had a daughter Mary who married F.M. Schneeweiss, the father of a Henry Schneeweiss. Per Rutgers University Biographical Files: Alumni (Class of 1877): Henry P[arsell] Schneeweiss (1856-1930), who served as the treasurer of Rutgers from 1915 to 1928, was the son of Franz Maxmillion Schneeweiss and Mary (Parsell) Schneeweiss. He married Mary Cornelia Hardenbergh, a descendant of the first president of Queens College [now Rutgers University], and resided at 56 College Avenue at the time of his death. Received: 1992; acquired, from the same donor, with other items (e.g., monogrammed china, said to be from the Parsell family, and a mahogany secretary bookcase) identified as having the same provenance Movement: 8-day clock; square clock face not signed

 

Case: intended for a (later) clock movement with an arched clock face; attributed to Nicholas Williamson Parsell (1797-1877) by the donor and is likely the same clock cited by Margaret E. White in Early Furniture Made in New Jersey, 1690-1870 ([Newark, N.J.]: The Newark Museum Association, c1958): “A tall clock with case attributed to Nicholas Parsell is owned by Catharine Schneeweiss.”

Location: Special Collections and University Archives reading room (behind sign-in desk), Alexander Library

Donor: Ralph Heyboer (1918-2011) of Linden, New Jersey

Provenance: movement created in 18th century; case created in 19th century; evidently owned at one time by Catharine Hardenbergh Schneeweiss (1893-1977), the daughter of Henry P. Schneeweiss; per donor: “from estate of Henry P. Schneewiess family”

Note: per Somerset County Historical Quarterly (vol. 8): Nicholas W. Parsell had a daughter Mary who married F.M. Schneeweiss, the father of a Henry Schneeweiss. Per Rutgers University Biographical Files: Alumni (Class of 1877): Henry P[arsell] Schneeweiss (1856-1930), who served as the treasurer of Rutgers from 1915 to 1928, was the son of Franz Maxmillion Schneeweiss and Mary (Parsell) Schneeweiss. He married Mary Cornelia Hardenbergh, a descendant of the first president of Queens College [now Rutgers University], and resided at 56 College Avenue at the time of his death.

Received: 1992; acquired, from the same donor, with other items (e.g., monogrammed china, said to be from the Parsell family, and a mahogany secretary bookcase) identified as having the same provenance

clock-quick Movement: 8-day musical clock; arched clock face not signed, but movement perhaps by Leslie & Williams, per similar musical clock at Monmouth County Historical Association [see: William E. Drost, Clocks and Watches of New Jersey (c1966)]

 

Case: Federal era; includes linear inlay; attributed to Matthew Egerton, Jr., New Brunswick, N.J., per similar clock cases with cabinetmaker’s labels [in addition to Drost, see, for example: “Silver Jubilee Exhibitors,” Antiques, LX (October 1951)]

Location: Special Collections and University Archives office area, Alexander Library

Donor: G. Willard Quick (1892-1970) [bequest]

Provenance: per donor: belonged to Tunis Quick (1762-1836), Readington Township, Hunterdon County; per donor’s widow: “moved from the Quick home in Hunterdon County, New Jersey to Loudon County, Virginia, in 1871”

Note: Also per donor’s widow: “Restored to its present condition and put in running order, early in 1940.” Weights augmented at this time?

Received: December 1987 [from Florida, evidently following the death of the donor’s surviving spouse]

clock-eakins Movement: 8-day clock; presumably by “J. Martin & Son, New York” as stated on the arched clock face

 

Case: Mahogany?; maker unknown

Location: Clifford P. Case Room, Special Collections and University Archives, Alexander Library

Donor: Wallace Todd Eakins (1889-1968), a member of the Rutgers College Class of 1911 [bequest]

Provenance: created about 1825; “the Eakins family grandfather clock” per donor

Received: destined for or received in Special Collections by March 1970

clock-1903 Movement: 8-day clock; arched clock face signed by retailer (Tiffany & Co.), but movement itself (likely to name a maker such as Korfhage) not examined

 

Case: likely German

Location: Special Collections and University Archives reading room (between windows), Alexander Library

Donor: per small metal plaque: “Presented by the Class of 1903”

Provenance: created about 1900; per Hand-Book of the Grounds and Buildings . . . of Rutgers College ([New Brunswick, N.J.]: The College, 1904): “presented to the College on Class Day, June 16th, 1903, on behalf of the Class of 1903. The clock is a large ‘grandfather’s’ clock, in an oak case, and is the work of Messrs. Tiffany & Company. It is placed in the reading room of the Ralph Voorhees Library” [a building dedicated in 1903]; presumably transferred to new library building [now Alexander Library] about 1956; in Libraries’ central administrative offices immediately prior to 2016 transfer to Special Collections and University Archives

Received: 2016