Luther Smith of Keene, New Hampshire. A New Hampshire mirror clock. -SOLD-
This is a nice example of New Hampshire Mirror clock which was made by Luther Smith of Keene, New Hampshire. The case is constructed in New England indigenous woods including white pine as a secondary wood. This case retains an older finish.
This form gets its name from its similarity to that of a wall hanging mirror made popular during the same time period. The front of this case is actually a door. It opens to access the interior of the case. The door is decorated with fully turned columns are split and applied to the outer perimeter. They are paint decorated. Gold rings are used to section the black columns. The corner blocks are applied and feature brass rosettes which are nailed to the centers. The door is divided in two sections. The lower section features the clock's original mirror. The upper section is fitted with a wonderful recreation of a reverse painted tablet. The colors are excellent featuring reds, greens, black, silver and gilt designs. This tablet is designed to center the painted iron dial which is mounted inside the case. This dial is signed by the Clockmaker, “L. Smith” just above the Roman numeral 6. The hands are simple design and appear to be original to this clock. The door will open to allow one access to the dial and the mechanism which is positioned behind it. The movement layout is very distinctive. It is referred to as a “Wheelbarrow” movement. Many examples of this type of clock have been found with this unusual movement. The gears are laid out in a left to right fashion. It is weight driven and is designed run eight days on a full wind. The pendulum swings behind the door from the right side of the mechanism. The weight will descend down the left.
This clock is nicely proportioned measuring 29.5 inches long, 13.5 inches wide and 4.25 inches deep. This clock was made circa 1835.
About Luther Smith of Keane, New Hampshire.
Luther Smith was born in Colrian, Massachusetts around 1767 and had moved to Keene, New Hampshire sometime around 1793. He married Sarah Eveleth in Bolton, Massachusetts in 1798. His shop was located on Federal Row which is now Main Street in Keene. He also purchased a mill from Nathan Blake on what is now known as West Street. In Keene, he built the first public clock which was installed in the old meeting-house at the head of main street in 1794. Its’ cost, including a ten year warranty, was 36 pounds. The clock’s one dial faced to the south and unfortunately the clock was lost in 1828 when the meeting-house was moved. Smith also built the first brick tavern house in Keene 1805. Other tall clocks as well as banjo clocks, New Hampshire mirror clocks and tower clocks have been found by this Maker. He died on October 21, 1839 at the age of 73. He is buried in the Washington Street Cemetery.
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