Grafton, Massachusetts area cherry case tall clock. This example is unsigned.
This fine New England case form is constructed in cherry. The finish is old and has been waxed. As a result, the color is warm and inviting. This case stands on four applied bracket feet. These are original to this case and are mounted directly to the double stepped molding. This molding is attached to the bottom of the base. The waist is long and centers a nicely shaped waist door. The selection of cherry used in this location exhibits excellent graining. This door is trimmed in a delicate molded edge. The hood or bonnet is surmounted with an open fret work pattern, three fluted finial plinths and three brass ball and spiked finials. This is a traditional New England form and surprisingly, this decoration is original to this clock. The bonnet columns are smoothly turned and fluted. They are mounted in brass capitals. The bonnet door is arched and fitted with glass. This door opens to access the painted dial. This painted iron dial was locally made and decorated. It is wonderful. Depicted in the arch is an unusual scene. Centered in the oval is a colorful and seemingly well fed rooster. From this pendant, floral vines extend down and away. To the left is a portrait of a young woman. To the lower right, is the portrait of a young man. Perhaps they are to be married? The addition of the doves may support this theory. As a result, this clock could have conceivably been given to them as a wedding present. The four spandrel areas feature depiction’s of flowers and strawberries. These decorations have a wonderful folk art quality to them. This is a nice variation from the commonplace English painted dials. Interestingly we have seen several dials painted in this manner. Clockmakers that seemed to favored them include Benjamin Willard, Luther Goddard, and Joseph Loring of Sterling. This dial displays the hours minutes, seconds and calendar date. This clock features an eight day brass movement. It is weight driven and wound with a key. It is designed to strike each hour on a cast iron bell. The large movement is of good quality. The form this case, particularly the proportions, the woods used in the construction, the shape of the waist door and the execution of the painted dial are all features that are most often found in clocks made in Central Massachusetts. Particularly those that are signed by the Grafton Clockmaker , Benjamin Willard. We have owned many similar clocks that were signed on the dial by him. This clock stands 7 feet 5.75 inches tall and was made 1795.
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