Antique Clock Is Stolen From Dana Palmer House

Thieves broke into the Dana Palmer House on Quincy St. Sunday morning and stole an 18th-century Welsh grandfather clock police valued at $50,000.

A University police spokesman said yesterday two or three burglars apparently entered Dana Palmer House about 3 a.m. Sunday and removed the clock, which was on loan from the Fogg Museum, from the building's first-floor hallway.

The spokesman did not say whether anyone was in the building, which is frequently used as a guest house for the Faculty, at the time of the theft.

The thieves also took an oil painting, valued at about $500, from the living room.

The spokesman would not comment on any leads the University police have found, but said the Cambridge police and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents are also working on the case.


Hickory Dickory Dock

Seymour Slive, director of the Fogg, said last night the 6-ft., 8-in. clock, designed by the Welsh clockmaker Richard Watkins, was insured.

Slive, however, disputed the $50,000 price tag the police have put on the piece. "It's an unusual clock," Slive said, but he called the police estimate "exaggerated."

The oil painting, an oval portrait of a member of the Dana family, was "a work of historical interest," but not very valuable, Slive added.


He said he did not know whether the painting was on loan from the Fogg, or belonged to the University's own portrait collection.

Joseph Yablonsky, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston office, said yesterday the FBI has entered the case because of the clock's high value.

He would not say whether the bureau believes the clock and painting have been transported across state lines.


The robbery is the second major theft of art work on loan from the Fogg in less than two years.

In July 1976, thieves broke into President Bok's home and stole six paintings, five of which were on loan from the Fogg. The paintings were worth a total of about $380,000.

FBI agents recovered the paintings last October and arrested three men in connection with the thefts.

Robert Shenton, secretary to the University, who supervises the operation of Dana Palmer House, could not be reached for comment yesterday. A spokesman for Shenton said he would not comment on the case until he receives more information from the University police.