Elnathan Taber of Roxbury, Massachusetts. / Stephen Badlam cabinetmaker. / John Minot numbered 89 signed dial.

Elnathan Taber was born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts on February 14, 1768. He is the older brother of Stephen Taber. Both brothers traveled to Roxbury and were trained as clockmakers by the Willards. After serving his apprenticeship, Elnathan stayed in Roxbury and worked closely with his Mentor Simon. They had a prosperous working relationship and he became one of Willards most famous apprentices. We have owned and sold numerous tall case clocks made by this maker. In addition, we have also owned a good number of wall timepieces in the form of banjo clocks and coffin clocks as well as several Massachusetts shelf clock forms.

This very impressive inlaid mahogany case is attributed to Stephen Badlam (1751-1815) of Dorchester Lower Mills, MA. Badlam is known to have made cases for the Willards and other Roxbury clockmakers. Fortunately, a number of these are signed with his name, or stamped with the initials of one of his apprentices. The Willard House and Clock Museum located in North Grafton, Massachusetts has three clocks of this general type in their collection. All of which are illustrated in "THE WILLARD HOUSE AND CLOCK MUSEUM and The Willard Family Clockmakers" which was written by Dr. Roger Robinson & Hirschel Burt. The most impressive example houses a musical works constructed by Simon Willard. A second signed example features a painted dial signed by Aaron Willard.

The case stands up on boldly formed ogee bracket feet. These are applied to a double stepped molding. The base panel features an intricate inlay design. This incorporates design elements such as barber pole line inlay, multiple layers of cross banding, inlaid quarter fans, and figured veneers. Much of this is repeated in the waist section. Here a large waist door features a vertical crotch veneer pattern. The corners of the door are cut away so that the quarter fans are part of the door frame and not the door. This decorative feature appears to be unique to Badlam cases. This door is trimmed with an applied molding around the outer edge. Through this door one can access the weights and pendulum. The sides of this case are fitted with brass stop fluted quarter columns. These terminate in brass quarter capitals. The bonnet features a double breakarch design. These are separated by intricately designed blind frets. The top of the upper arch supports a pierced and open fretwork pattern that includes three line laid and veneered finial plinths. These are fitted with three ball and spike brass finials. The bonnet columns are also brass stop fluted and terminate in brass capitals. The bonnet door is an arched form. This door opens to access the colorfully painted iron dial.

This wonderful dial is signed on the back by the Boston dial artist. His name was John Minot, (1772-1826). He also took the time to number it. It is number "89" which is painted in his own hand. The spandrel areas feature large floral designs. in the arch is a moonphase or lunar calendar mechanism. The hours, minutes, seconds and calendar day are all displayed in the traditional locations. This dial is signed, “Elnathan Taber “ in large block lettering.

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.  The front plate of the movement is inscribed, "This clock cleaned by E. Taber Roxbury, 27 Nov, 1812, it then being 20 years old."

This beautiful clock was made circa 1792. It stand approximately 8 feet 7 inches tall (103 inches) to the top of the center finial. Measured at the feet, this case is 21 inches wide and 10.5 inches deep. The case is constructed in mahogany with holly line inlays and New England white pine is used as a secondary wood. The mahogany retains a deep rich finish.

About Elnathan Taber Roxbury, Massachusetts

Elnathan Taber was born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts on February 14, 1768. He is the older brother of Stephen Taber. Both brothers traveled to Roxbury and were trained as clockmakers by the Willards. After serving his apprenticeship, Elnathan stayed in Roxbury and worked closely with his Mentor Simon. They had a prosperous working relationship and he became one of Willards most famous apprentices. We have owned and sold numerous tall case clocks made by this maker. In addition, we have also owned a good number of wall timepieces in the form of banjo clocks and coffin clocks as well as several Massachusetts shelf clock forms.

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