The Jacob’s Tavern Clock
Provenance is a very important yet rare attribute of antiques. An antique’s provenance is usually understood to be its entire history which has been investigated and recorded in such a way that it can be verified. We have been lucky enough to acquire an antique with noteworthy and interesting provenance. It is a clock.
When we bought the clock in a Florida antique mall, we had no idea that it had a special history. We only knew that it was a very old tall case clock which appeared to have most of its parts attached or in a nearby box. After we brought it home and I began to reassemble it, we noticed an old newspaper clipping pasted inside.
We began researching and after months of investigation found the clock was made in England in the early 1700’s and was a wedding gift to Mary Jacobs whose husband owned Jacob’s Tavern in Thompson Connecticut. This clock was placed in the tavern in 1725 and was there when George Washington noted in his diary that he visited Jacobs Tavern, so we believe he must have looked at this clock.
The clock was renovated in 1891 by a descendant of Mr. Jacobs and placed in a new case. I repaired and reworked it to bring the clock back to its 1891 condition. It stands proudly in our house today, keeping good time, chiming on the hour, and encouraging us to complete its history.
Update on Jacobs Tavern Clock
We contacted the Thompson CT. historical society to find more information about this clock. We visited their museum in Thompson to talk about the clock and found they were interested in having it in their museum. After much thought we decided that the best permanent home for this important clock was in the Lerner Museum in Thompson CT, where it stands proudly today.