Seth Thomas “Outside Bell”
NYYC AMERICA’S CUP DEFENDER 1876
Seth Thomas, America’s oldest clockmaker
started operations in 1813. Their Nautical clocks first appeared in the 1860’s and were the official US Navy Ships’ clock
for almost 100 years, and were used on the finest ships and yachts
Presented is a superb example of the famous Seth Thomas
Outside Bottom Bell Ships clock from the equally famous America’s Cup Racing Schooner Madeleine which defended the Third Series
victoriously against the Canadian challenger Countess of Dufferin in 1876. The clock is
in fine mechanical condition, keeping good time and striking the bells with a sharp tone that is distinctive to Seth
Thomas’ double strike system. It has been recently polished and lacquered. The recent plate at the bottom reads on three lines;
Commodore J.S. Dickerson, Schooner Yacht “Madeleine“, 1876 NYYC. Madeleine’s original builder’s half-model still
hangs in the New York Yacht Club.
PROVENANCE: Handed down in the family of John S. Dickerson to his
grandson, also John S. Dickerson, who was chairman of the America’s Cup Race Committee in 1958, the first held since WW II.
And was also the supervisor for the building of the replica of the Schooner America II at Goudy & Stevens, East Boothbay,
SCHOONER MADELEINE: 1876 U.S.A. Yacht Club: New York Yacht Club, New York, USA. Madeleine was selected as
the America’s Cup defender after its victorious match in the trials against the schooner Idler. Owner
(1876): John S. Dickerson Centerboard schooner yacht. Skipper (1876): Captain Josephus Williams assisted by Captain
David Snediker. The Schooner AMERICA sailed the second race unofficially and finished 19 minutes ahead of the Canadian
schooner. The painting of Madeleine at left was done by Edward Moran in 1876, and sold by Chistie’s in December, 2008 for
$156,000.00. We have for sale a paining by this artist which is also available. See https://landandseacollection.com/id555.html
Designer: John B. Voorhis (its original and first owner until 1876) Builder: David Kirby, Rye, New York. Launched
on March 1868. Rigged as a 70-ton sloop. Hull altered by David Kirby in his yard at Rye and rigged as a schooner (1870)
Hull altered by John E. Smith in 1871, then again in 1873 and 1875. Aft part of the hull lengthened by 17feet. Freeboard
SPECIFICATIONS: Hull material: wood. Shifting ballast: lead pig. Centreboard: wood. L.O.A.: 106.6
feet L.W.L.: 95.5′ Beam: 24.25′ Draft: 6.6′ –
with centerboard: 16.6′ Sail area: 2582 square feet Rating: 8499.17 Displacement: 151.5 T.MADELEINE’S HISTORY: sailed as a contender in the first 1870 America’s
Cup (12th elapsed time, 13th corrected time). Now owned by J. S. Dickerson, was victorious defender
of the third America’s Cup; a winner in both races against the Canadian challenger, Countess of Dufferin.
Stayed in New York as a yacht until the end of the 19th century. At the beginning of the 1900’s, Madeleine
was moved to Tampa, Florida and used as a trade and supply craft to sponge fishermen. Owned by Levin Denton Vinson. Left in
1907 near the mouth of Hillsborough River, West Coast of Florida, Madeleine soon became a wreck before disappearing
some years later.
THE SETH THOMAS BOTTOM BELL CLOCK: or
Outside Bell is considered the ‘Classic’ American ship’s clock. Few of these true working ship’s clocks have survived
in the fine original condition of this example or are anywhere near this age. The
clock strikes Ship’s Bells through a double strike system marking off the series of four hour watches that make up the sailor’s
day. Each four hour watch is divided into half hour periods tolled from one through eight bells. When the chiming gets
out of sequence the clock has a lever that makes it easy to coordinate the chime sequence with the time with
out moving the hands. The clock runs for two days. For best accuracy it should be wound daily.
This is the perfect gift for a sailor or collector or someone
who follows the “Cup Series“If It is a worthy investment for future generations.
Double Striking bell movement
Dial in “as found” condition
The dial is in its used condition
with original blued steel hands. The case has been mounted on an Mahogany backboard as it was
used at sea…..a great looking collector’s clock with exceptional charm .
Dimensions: Height 12″, Width 7 1/2″, Depth 4″, Dial Diameter 6″
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