Tall Case Clock
Mahogany and Mahogany Veneers with extensive light wood inlays
Works by John Weidemeyer (c. 1780-1830)
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Circa 1805
100″H x  20.5″ W x 11″ D


Fredericksburg, along with Winchester and Baltimore, were the principal clockmaking centers located in the American south during the Colonial and Federal periods. John Weidemeyer first appears in Fredericksburg records in an 1800/01 directory, and by 1805/6 seems to have been well established.  Weidemeyer leased property from the prosperous cabinetmaker Alexander Walker, a kinsman of Thomas Walker (d. c. 1786) the best-known Fredericksburg clockmaker in the 1770s and 1780s.    During the Federal era,Weidemeyer, who was also a silversmith, was the most prominent  Fredericksburg clockmaker.  Only a handful of clocks signed by Weidemeyer have survived and only fewer, as with our example, are fitted into elaborate, stylish Federal cases with mahogany veneers and extensive inlays.

Stylistically the case relates to Baltimore work.  This is not surprising since Weidemeyer worked in Baltimore upon his arrival in the United States and furniture styles, particularly in tidewater Virginia, were often driven by the fashionable forms seen in urban centers. Although our example is the most fully developed and most elaborately inlaid and  likely earlier by a few years, the inlay pattern on the quarter columns is very similar to another Weidemyer clock pictured in Burroughs’ Southern Furniture and was probably made in the same shop,  (See MESDA Research File S 6112)

Weidemeyer moved to Charlottesville circa 1825 where he continued as a silversmith.  Although he probably continued to repair clocks there are no known examples of his clocks from Charlottesville..

The clock and case are in excellent overall condition. The feet and base moldings are replacements based on other intact examples recorded by MESDA. The case is constructed of mahogany with yellow pine as the principal secondary wood.  Minor repairs to the inlay and surface were undertaken in 2021. As with several other Weidemeyer  works the  clock face is not mounted on a false plate which would be the norm for an English dial.  The painted surface of the dial has been restored. The brass finals are old replacements.

For additional information on Weidemeyer and Fredericksburg clocks see Southern Furniture catalog # 172, Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts, November 1992, and MESDA Research Files 5353, 17057,  S-6112 , S-5002.







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