James C. Cole of Rochester, New Hampshire. Tall case clock.

This is a fine birch case that retains it’s original red wash. The case stands proudly on an applied bracket base that rests flat on the floor. The base section features two inset panels. It is worth noting that this unusual design feature is not often seen in New England clock case construction. The waist is long and narrow incorporating a rectangular waist door with a simple molded edge and fully turned waist quarter columns that are fitted into quarter capitals that are cast in brass. The bonnet is a fretwork form surmounted with three brass finials. The bonnet columns are fully turned and mounted in brass capitals. The iron dial is colorfully painted. The art work is of Boston manufacture. This dial was most likely painted by the Willard & Nolen firm. It is wonderfully signed by the Clockmaker, “James C. Cole, Rochester” just below the calendar aperture. In the arch of this dial is a gilded urn that is decorated with bright red swags, and green leaves. The four spandrel areas feature apples. The time ring is formatted with Roman numerals. The quarter hours are marked in Arabic numerals. The eight-day movement is brass. It is designed to strike the hour on a cast iron bell. It is good quality. This clock was made circa 1815 and stands 7 feet 5 inches tall. Inventory number 25229.

About James Cole of Rochester, New Hampshire.

James Charles Cole was born in Boston in 1791 and died in Rochester, NH in 1867. At an early age, James traveled from Boston to Rochester to learn the trade of clockmaking with Edward S. Moulton. Moulton is listed as moving from Rochester to Saco, Maine in 1813. In Rochester, James married Betsey Nutter, daughter of John D. Nutter and Hannah Dennett. Betsey Nutter was born on 27 Mar 1802 in Barnstead, NH. Her younger brother John learned clockmaking in Rochester as well. James father two sons and three daughters and became a prominent citizen. As well as manufacturing many clocks, James was an active silversmith and repaired watches and jewelry. He was very active in town affairs serving on a committee to build a new church, he was a trustee of a local savings bank, he served a ten year term as the secretary to the Masonic lodge, he served 13 years as town clerk and two years in the State legislature. We have owned numerous examples of tall case clocks, banjo clocks and New Hampshire mirror clocks with his signature on the dial. Based on the large numbers we have seen and owned, James Cole must have been a successful clockmaker.

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