A & C Edwards of Ashby, Mass.
This example features a hard wood case that is constructed in birch and retains finish that may be 50 plus years old. This surface is consistent throughout the case construction and shows some areas of light crazing. The case is supported by an applied molding that transitions into a bracket foot. The waist is long and narrow. The length of the waist adds to the overall excellent proportions of this case. A large rectangular shaped waist door is centered here. This door features a simple molded edge and is hinged from the right. The molded arched bonnet features a pierced and open fret work design. This is a form that is traditional found on clocks from this region. Three chimney or finial plinths supports three brass ball and spiked finials. The bonnet door is an arched form and is fitted with glass. Fully turned bonnet columns that are free standing support the upper bonnet molding. These are mounted into brass capitals.
The colorfully painted dial is wood. The floral designs and coloring used here are quite typical for this Maker. The Clockmaker's name is signed within the time track. This clock is signed in block lettering, "A & C, Edwards / Ashby." The time ring is formatted with Roman hour numerals and Arabic numerals indicate the minutes. The wooden geared movement is the construction one expects from the Ashby / Ashburnham clockmaking school. These types of wooden geared movements are designed to run 30 hours on a full wind and strike the hour on a cast bell. It features a count wheel striking system. The count wheel is located on the outside of the movement on the back plate.
This fine clock was made circa 1798. It stands approximately 7 feet 7 inches or 91 inches tall to the top of the center finial.
About Abraham & Calvin Edwards of Ashby, Massachusetts.
Abraham Edwards is believed to have been born in Concord, Massachusetts in 1761. His younger brother Calvin was born two years later in 1763. Both were the sons of Samuel Edwards and Huldah Easterbrook of Concord. The family moved from Concord to Ashby, Massachusetts sometime in 1777. Ashby was then and still is today a small village located in Massachusetts on the New Hampshire boarder due North of Worcester. Both Abraham and Calvin were hard workers and owned everything in common including several pieces of land in the town of Ashby. They entered a partnership in 1792 and made wooden gear clocks. These clocks are signed on their dials A & C Edwards. This partnership lasts approximately four short years before Calvin’s death at the age of 33. While alive, the partnership appears to have produced in excess of 530 plus clocks. Often times the production number is listed at greater than 600, but the highest number that I have personally seen recorded is in the upper 530’s. It is assumed that all the clocks made after the partnership ended are signed by Abraham only. Of which, many such examples have been found. Early examples of the A&C partnership features composite metal dials. The later examples, sometime after the number 211, feature the use of a painted wooden dial. Abraham and Calvin were responsible for training other clockmakers. Some of which include Abraham’s son John, Calvin’s sons Calvin Jr. and Samuel, Alexander, Jacob and Philander Jacob Willard of Ashburnham, Wendell and his brother Whittear Perkins and possibly John Barker of Worcester. This list of names is still growing.
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