A cross-banded mahogany case tall clock of the finest design. This clock is attributed to David Wood of Newburyport, Massachusetts. 220106

One of the advantages of being in the clock business is seeing lots of clocks. Occasionally we see clock cases that share a very similar form. This is one of those examples. Very recently we bought and sold a signed David Wood tall clock that was cased in cabinet that was very similar in form to the one described here. As a result, it is logical to assume that this clock was also made in the Newburyport area and that may have also been made by Newburyport’s most prolific clockmaker.

This is a very attractive cross-banded mahogany tall case clock. The case features vibrantly figured mahogany woods and veneers and the proportions are excellent. This fine example incorporates a number of woods in the construction of this case. They include mahogany, figured mahogany veneers and New England white pine is used as a secondary wood. This case has been recently refinished. The color is excellent and the finish highlights the grain of the woods used. This case is raised up off the floor on an applied bracket base. The four feet are tall and and slender. They are applied to a stepped molding that is applied to the base. The base panel is cross-banded in mahogany. The center panel features a fine selection of crotch mahogany veneer. The waist section is long and narrow. The front corners are fitted with fluted quarter columns that terminate in brass quarter capitals. A long rectangular shaped waist door fills this center section of the case. This door is trimmed with an applied molding. The center panel exhibited here also features a wonderfully figured selection of mahogany veneer. This waist door opens to access the interior of the case where one will find the two drive weights, pendulum and the brass faced pendulum bob. The bonnet features a New England style pierced and open fret-work pattern. This unusual pattern is associated with the North shore region of Massachusetts and has been seen on other clocks cases. Some of these house dials that were signed by David Wood. Three chimneys or finial plinths are mounted at the top of the case and support this fretwork pattern. Each plinth is capped at the top and supports a brass ball and spire finial. The molded arch is supported by fluted columns. The front columns are mounted in Corinthian capitals at the top. Smoothly turned quarter columns are also fitted into the back corners of the hood. These terminate in brass quarter capitals. The sides of the hood are fitted with large decoratively shaped (kidney shaped) side lights or windows. These are glazed. The hood door is also fitted with glass and opens to access the painted dial.

This iron dial is colorfully painted. The four spandrel areas are paint decorated with colorful geometric patterns and these center a medallion. A large bird, perhaps pheasants is depicted in the lunette. The time track is formatted with Arabic hour numerals and also Arabic style five minute markers. This dial also features a subsidiary seconds dial and a day of the month calendar display in the traditional locations.

This fine movement is constructed in brass and is good quality. Four turned pillars support the two brass plates. Hardened steel shafts support the polished steel pinions and brass gearing. The winding drums are grooved. The escapement is designed as a recoil format. The movement is weight driven and designed to run eight-days on a full wind. It is a two train or a time and strike design having a rack and snail striking system. As a result, it will strike each hour on the hour. This is done on a cast iron bell which is mounted above the movement.

This nicely proportioned case stands approximately 91.5 inches tall or 7 feet 7.5 inches tall to the top of the center finial. Measured at the upper bonnet molding, it is 20 inches wide and 10.25 inches deep. This clock was made circa 1805.


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