G259 Early 19th century Phenomenal tall case clock attributed to “Ira Twiss,” of Connecticut. featuring fantastic paint decoration with pinstripe details and hand painted dial. wooden movemets, Professionally serviced and in working condition. Measurements: 7’ tall x 17 1/2” wide x 10 5/8” deep
Ira Twiss (1797 - 1870) was one of 5 Twiss brothers who made clocks, as did his father, Hiram. They owned a clock factory in Meriden, Connecticut and several Twiss brothers went from Connecticut to Montreal, Canada in the mid/late 1820’s to set up a branch of their factory to produce grain painted pine cases for floor clocks. (Pine was a very plentiful resource in the lower Canadian area of Montreal, therefore cost efficient for making clock cases.) The thirty-hour, weight-driven wood movements were being imported from the Connecticut clock shop of Silas Hoadley (who several of the Twiss brothers had previously apprenticed to) and some came from Riley Whiting. The movements included weights that were typically metal cans filled with stones and were pulled up daily by their cables. The cases were painted with a faux finish to make the case appear to be made of a more expensive wood such as mahogany. The beautiful dials were hand painted, often with raised gesso decorations, by two local ladies. No key was needed as the winding holes on the hand painted wooden dials were fake! The Twiss factory in Montreal appears to have remained in operation until possibly 1850, however Ira Twiss only resided in Montreal from 1828 - 1836, then moved back to Meriden, Connecticut where he owned extensive land, operated sawmills and wheat mills at Twiss Pond, and kept the Central Tavern between 1839 and 1843. He is buried in Section 3 of the East Cemetery, Meriden in New Haven County, Connecticut.