Italian Tiles & The Brokaw Clock
A box of left-over tiles from the Breakfast Porch was recently discovered in the basement. They revealed that these much-admired pink poppy tiles were made in Italy sometime around the turn of the twentieth century and installed here in the Breakfast Porch in 1907. They were manufactured in Vietro Sul Mare, a small town south of Naples known for its ceramics. They were produced at the Fabbrica Campagna di Cermica in the parish of Molino, and the artist was Francesco Viscito. The image has been used on several gift items that are for sale in the Blithewold Gift Shop.
The Brokaw Clock
Hepplewhite Inlaid Mahogany Tall Case Clock
The iconic Brokaw clock on the staircase at Blithewold was restored recently by Master Clock Repairer John Hutchison of East Greenwich, R.I. Once again visitors hear the familiar ticking as it echoes through the hallway, and the bell-like chime is worth waiting for as the clock strikes the hour. Isaac Brokaw set up shop in Bridge Town, New Jersey, as a clock-maker around 1760, and the Blithewold clock was made around 1790. Augustus Van Wickle inherited it from his parents who lived nearby in New Brunswick. It is constructed of inlaid mahogany, and has a broken arch top with inlaid pinwheel rosettes. The face of the clock has an enameled dial with moon phase and date counter; flanking the face are fluted columns. Brokaw clocks are valued greatly for their unusual hand-made inner mechanism.