Attributed to Lord & Goddard of Rutland, Vermont. Tall clock.
This case form is typical of what one would expect having been made by these Makers. This pleasing form is very similar to the high style New York and New Jersey cases of the same period. This particular case, like the majority of other Vermont made examples, is constructed in cherry and features decorative inlay patterns and mahogany highlights.
This well proportioned case stands up on a nicely shaped cut out bracket base. A drop apron transitions the feet from one another and hangs from under the front edge of the base. The feet are divided from the base by a horizontal double line inlay pattern. The base panel is decorated with line inlays. A delicate string pattern follows the outside edge of the front panel. This pattern features cut out corners and centers a centrally laid out inlaid mahogany oval. This is the largest of five mahogany ovals incorporated in the decorative design of this case. All five are trimmed with light wood string inlay. The use of oval in this manner is a reoccurring theme on clocks made and found in the Rutland region of Vermont. The waist is section is long and narrow. A shaped waist door that is trimmed with a molded edge is fitted into this section. This door features a vertically formatted inlaid mahogany oval in it's center. Through this door one can gain access to the interior of the case. Positioned above and also below this door are additional horizontally positioned oval inlays. The sides of the waist section are fitted with fluted quarter columns. These terminate before the moldings in turned wooden quarter capitals. The bonnet or hood features a swan's neck pediment. The nicely elevated swan's neck moldings a delicately formed and terminate in an inlaid circular pattern. In the front facade above the bonnet door, one will find a fifth inlaid oval in the case design. Three wooden finials surmount this case. The two located on the outside of the case are mounted on reeded plinths. The center finial is located between the arch moldings. Reeded bonnet columns flank the arched bonnet door which is fitted with glass.
The painted dial is mounted to the movement with the use of a false plate. The spandrel areas are decorated with subtle floral patterns. A moon phase mechanism or lunar calendar is located in the arch. This dial is not signed. The time track is traditional formatted. Roman numerals are used to mark the hours and Arabic numerals are used for each of the five minute markers. A calendar dial and seconds bit are also in the traditional locations. The movement is constructed in brass. It is weight powered and designed to run eight days on a full wind striking each hour on a cast iron bell. The bell is mounted above the movement on a post. This movement is good overall quality.
This clock stands approximately 92 inches (7 feet 8 inches) tall. It was made circa 1806.
About Lord & Goddard of Rutland, Vermont.
The partnership of Lord & Goddard was first advertised in July 1997. Their shop was located a few rods north of the Rutland Court House just opposite Messrs Pomeroy & Hooker’s store. At this location they advertised the manufacture of musical clocks and most kinds of gold and silverware. (Rutland Herald 7-3-1797.) The shop was moved in 1800 to the shop formerly occupied by Storer & Wilmont. This shop was located approximately 15 rods northwest from the Court House. Lord & Goddard’s partnership lasted approximately eight years and was dissolved on April 26th, 1805. A notice was placed in the Rutland Herald on this date. It appears they stayed close friends as their families remained close and involved with each other.
The tall case clocks that have been found signed by Lord & Goddard have the following numbers recorded…. 72, 75, 87, 95, 97, 98, 106, 111 and 113. Tall clocks signed by Nichols only include 124, 125, 144 and 150.
Benjamin Lord was born in Norwich, Connecticut on October 10, 1770 the son of Ebenezer and Temperance (Edgerton). He is first listed as a silversmith in 1793 when he advertised in the Western Star in Pittsfield, Massachusetts opposite the meeting house on the road to Lanesborough in 1796. It is recorded that in 1797, Benjamin moved into Rutland, Vermont and with in a few short months has formed a partnership with Nichols Goddard. Benjamin married Fanny Buel on January 28, 1799 in Convetry, Connecticut. Together, they had at least six children while putting roots down in this town. He becomes involved with public affairs and serves as town clerk in 1803 – 1813 and again in 1815 – 1826. He was a Captain in the local militia. In 1808, he is thought to have trained his nephew John Bliss as a clockmaker. Bliss becomes a well documented chronomometer maker in New York. Benjamin died on April 23, 1843 in Athens, Georgia.
Nichols Goddard was born the son of Nathan and Martha (Nichols) Goddard in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts on October 4, 1773. It is thought that he learned clockmaking from his second cousin Luther Goddard who was also in Shrewsbury. Luther was trained by his cousin, our country’s most famous clockmaker, Simon Willard of Grafton in 1778. Luther is often credited with making the first watch in America. Nichols is listed as working in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1794 through 1797. A diary entry from 1795 states that as a journeyman, Nichols made movements for his father Luther Goddard, Gardner Parker of Westborough, Isaac Gere of Northampton, MA and for a man identified as “Ingalls” who is also in Northhampton. In June of 1797, Goddard moves north to Rutland, Vermont. At this time, the period of 1770 through about 1825, the state of Vermont enjoyed unprecedented population growth. It is in Rutland that Goddard formed a partnership with a silversmith who was originally from Norwich, Connecticut and more recently Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His name was Benjamin Lord. In September of 1798, Nichols returned to Northampton to marry Charity White. She was the daughter of Job White and Charity Chapin. They returned to Rutland and had seven children together. After their partnership ended, Nichols continued to make clocks under his own name until he died in 1823.
Nichols involves himself in public affairs. In 1800 he is appointed Town Clerk of Rutland. He also serves as Town Treasurer from 1805 – 1807. He received the commission of Captain in the militia. He was also very active in the Masonic lodge. In 1802 he was elected Grand Junior Deacon of the Grand Masonic Lodge of Vermont and in 1804 through 1810 he served as Grand Senior Warden.
Nichols died in Rutland on September 23, 1823.
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