Museum logo
Museum logo

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Object ID # 1981.079.001
Object Name Clock, Tall Case
Title J. SPILLER Long-Cased Floor Clock
Lexicon category 5: T&E For Science & Technology
Date 1790s?
Artist Spiller, John
Made Spiller, John
Place of Origin England, United Kingdom
Description An English oakwood longcase J. SPILLER floor clock, with a brass dial (late 1700s). It is a long case floor clock, which is made to come apart in 3 sections. The hood has a flat top and a door with a glass window over the brass dial plate. The hood slides off of the trunk vertically outward. The trunk is long and slender with a door on the front. The door has a brass escutcheon and hinges. There are inlaid arrow shapes at each corner of the door. The trunk measures 98 cm x 33 cm x 15 cm. The base is 45.5 cm high and also has inlaid arrows. There are cornices. A deep one is present on the top of the hood, beneath which is a carved frieze board with red-coloured highlights. A narrower cornice at the base of the hood fits into the top cornice of the case. Another cornice area is at the bottom of the case. The mechanism is a dead-beat escapement (note that the original mechanism was replaced in the 19th-century). The brass dial has an inner and outer circle. The inner circle has Roman numerals, while the outer dial has regular numerals. The dial is a square-arched one, suggesting that it is after 1709. Cuts in the brass plate dial show a face, a moon phase indicator and a calendar. Just below the calendar indicator is "Soloman Bellet Wellington" etched into the brass. Also etched below this in the outer circle is "J. Spiller Fecit" [Latin for Made by J. Spiller]. Etched figures, representing the four seasons of the year appear, one in each corner of the dial: Upper Left: female with crook Upper Right: female with sickle and sheaf of grain Lower Left: Man in winter clothing smoking a pipe by a bonfire Lower Right: Naked cherub with a grape vine, bottle and goblet, sitting on a barrel. Etched at the right of the calendar is a tree and barrel with the caption "No excise on cyder" (sic. "cider"). There is a figure of a man etched at the left of the calendar. Weights and a brass pendulum are present inside the case.

Makers mark Latin "J. Spiller Fecit" present on a brass area
Provenance A Latin inscription on the item, "J. Spiller Fecit" suggests that the maker was John Spiller of Wellington, Somerset, England (he was in operation circa 1791). Soloman Bellet of Wellington probably commissioned Spiller to make the clock, and that is likely why his name is also present.
Richard Moore was a green grocer in the town of Bideford, Devonshire, England. He reportedly acquired the clock as full payment to clear a sizable debt of a creditor. This was some time prior to the Moore family's move to Canada in 1876. They settled at Lot 10, Concession 15, in Keppel Township, Grey County. The Moores told museum staff that long ago, Mr. Moore had taken the clock to an Owen Sound clock maker for repairs and had great difficulty in getting it returned. When they did get it back, it was apparent that the mechanism had been substituted. The item next belonged to either Eli or George Moore, and the last owner was Oswald Reginald Moore, a grandson of Richard and Elizabeth Moore.

Collection Horology, 19th-c Collection
Material Wood/Brass/Glass/Metal/Finish
Dimensions H-199 W-56 D-23 cm
Found Keppel Township (formerly), Township of Georgian Bluffs, Grey County
People Moore, Richard
Moore, George (of Keppel)
Subjects Clock & watch making
Clock & watch industry
Time
Function An English-made timepiece, intended to be kept in a household, usually in a parlour or hall area. It was later brought to Grey County by a family in the 19th-century and was used at Keppel Township.