Samuel Edwards of Gorham, Maine.
This is an example in very good condition. It is quite typical of the standard form that one would expect from an Ashby Clockmaker. The case is pine and and has been grain painted. It stands on nicely shaped cutout bracket feet that are applied to the base. The waist is long and is fitted with a simply rectangular shaped waist door. The molded arched bonnet features a pierced and open fret work design and three chimney plinths. Turned wooden finials are positioned on the outside plinth. The center plinth does not have any evidence of ever having a finial mounted to it. The bonnet door is an arched form and is fitted with glass. Fully turned bonnet columns support the upper bonnet molding. The arched dial is painted on wood. The spandrel areas are paint decorated in rich fall colors. The Clockmaker's name is signed on the dial. The wooden geared movement is is the construction one expects from this clockmaking school. It is a time and strike and of fine quality. It is designed to run 30 hours on a full wind. This clock was made circa 1815. The overall height of this example is 7 feet 1.5 inches tall.
About Samuel Edwards of Ashby, Massachusetts.
Samuel Edwards “Jr.,” was born on August 18, 1787. He was the first of six children born to Calvin Edwards and Mary (Houghton) Edwards of Ashby, Massachusetts. Samuel’s father and uncle Abraham were productive clockmakers. In partnership, they signed their tall clock dials “A & C Edwards.” They began making wooden geared tall case clocks in 1792. It is estimated that they made approximately 600 clocks before Calvin died on March 16, 1796. Calvin died as a result of blood poisoning. This was caused by a wound he received on his leg below the knee from falling from a tree. Samuel would have been just 9 years old. After Calvin’s death, his uncle continued to manufacturer clocks under his own name. It is assumed that Samuel learned clockmaking from his uncle. We have owned numerous clocks that were signed by both the partnership and by Samuel Edwards solely.
In 1808, it is recorded that Samuel moved to Gorham, Maine. Three years later, on November 5, 1811, Samuel marries Nancy Burr of Ashby. They had seven children. Here in Gorham, Samuel continues to make wooden geared clocks. Many of which feature an unusual dial arrangement. The size of the wooden dial blank stays at the traditional measurement of 12 inches across. The hour and minute time rings are scaled down to 7.5 inches in diameter. These time rings are then repositioned from the center to below the center of the dial. Above this is an overlapping time ring, again 7 inches in diameter, that displays only the seconds. A large second hand, measuring almost 6 inches in many cases, sweeps around this and is visually impressive. We have seen this format on clocks made in Ashby as well. In fact we have owned clocks made by Alex Tarbell Willard ( At work in Ashby 1800 – 1830) and John Edwards (At work 1809 – 1812) that share this dial arrangement. It in interesting to note that a large percentage of Samuel’s clock are formatted this way. It appears to be a later feature in this wooden geared production run. Sometime in 1823-24, Samuel moves from Gorham to Portland. There he become a Brass founder and is not reported to have made clocks. Samuel dies in Maine on February 13, 1853. He was 65 years old.
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