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Tall Case Clock, Elnathan Taber, Roxbury, MA., c. 1800


Made in 1/12th scale by Wm. R. Robertson, 1978-1980


This is considered Robertson's "breakout piece”. He introduced it at the 1978 Philadelphia Show, just over a year following his entry into the business of making miniatures. Robertson copied the clock after one made by Elnathan Taber from Roxbury, Massachusetts. He apprenticed at 16, in the 1780s, and worked closely with Simon Willard, one of America's most famous clockmakers. Drawings of this clock appeared in the 3rd volume of Wallace Nuttings book of furniture.


Robertson copied this using old cherry and brass, making working locks and fitting the clock with a mechanical Swiss watch movement for accurate time keeping. When running, the sound of the ticking can be heard resinating throughout a miniature house. This clock received quite a bit of publicity, including one of the largest color photos run by the Washington Post in 1981. The clock caused quite a sensation, being priced at $ 1,200, ($1,500 for the three made with burl doors) which was top of the market in the late ’70s. Robertson made a total of 15 clocks, with the first one he sold going to a famous author. The first and last of these clocks reside with the artist.

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