Abel Stowel Sr. of Worcester, Massachusetts
This is a very interesting case. We have owned several clocks by this Maker in the last fifty years of business. This wonderful country example is representative of the form most often associated with him as a tall case clock maker. It is nicely proportioned and features a number of decorative construction details. The case is constructed in cherry and currently retains an old surface that has been rubbed down. The coloring is warm and inviting. This case stands on four lovely applied ogee bracket feet. They are constructed on a smaller scale and fitted the personality of the case well. The waist section is long. It is fitted with a large tombstone shaped waist door that is trimmed with a simple molded edge. This large door opens to allow one access to the weights and pendulum. The sides of the waist feature long fluted quarter columns. Both of these terminate in turned wooden quarter capitals. The bonnet is a swan's neck form. The arches are well formed and are decorated with finely made molding. Three brass ball and spike finials sit on delicate wooden plinths. Fully turned and fluted free standing bonnet columns ending in turned brass capitals flank the bonnet door. This arched door is fitted with glass and opens to access the painted dial.
The painted dial is colorfully decorated with florals. These are found in the spandrel areas as well as in the arch. In the center of this arch is a painted country view. This is charming. The view is for a colonial home that sits along the shores of a large body of water. The mountains are in the background. The colors are exceptional and the theme reenforces the country feel of this clock. The time ring is displayed in both Arabic numerals used for the five minute markers and Roman Numerals are used to mark each hour. A subsidiary seconds dial is located with in the time track. This clock is signed on the dial by the clockmaker. In script lettering it reads, “Abel Stowel.” It is worth noting that this dial and it's decoration are of local origin.
The movement is brass and of good quality. It is designed to run eight days on a full wind. It is constructed in the traditional format in that it will strike each hour on a cast iron bell.
This clock was made circa 1795 and stands 7 feet 7 inches tall. It is inventory number 210011.
About Abel Stowell Senior of Worcester, Massachusetts.
Abel Stowel was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on June 12, 1752. He lived 66 years before he died on August 3, 1818. He was an ingenious individual. He is listed as a clockmaker, watchmaker, screw maker and inventor. Over his lifetime, he applied for and was granted several patents for various types of machinery. Many of these patents involved cutting the head of a screw. Abel Sr had three children who followed him into the clockmaking, watch making and the jewelry trades. Even his daughter Faith, married the clockmaker James Ridgeway Jr., in January of 1802. Ridgeway was an apprentice of his.
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