John Rogers of Newton, Massachusetts. A mahogany cased tall clock.
This is a fine mahogany case clock that exhibits classic early New England proportions and form. This case stands up on an applied double step bracket base. The lower molding rests flat to the floor. The wood in the base panel is set in a vertical position. The grain pattern features long lines. The waist section is fitted with a large tombstone shaped waist door that is trimmed with an applied molding. Through this door, one can access the interior of the case, the weights and pendulum. The bonnet features a New England style fret. This is a traditional Boston style or pattern. Three capped plinths support the three large brass ball and spike finials. It is interesting to note that the two side chimneys are designed to help support the frets. The interior sides on both provide extra support. The hood door is fitted with glass. This door is flanked by fully turned and shaped bonnet columns. These terminate in brass capitals. Two additional columns are are fitted at the back. The sides of the hood are fitted with tombstone shape sidelights. The bonnet door opens to an engraved brass dial that is signed by the maker.
This dial is composed of a thin brass sheet that is skillfully engraved and then treated with a silver wash. In the arch of the dial is the Maker's name and working location, John Rogers / Newton. Other decorative engravings include a bird in the arch, a compass star in the seconds dial, rococo scrolling and cornucopias. The large chapter or time ring displays the hours in Roman figures. The five minute markers are formatted in an Arabic format. The steel hands are wonderfully made. This dial also features the subsidiary seconds dial and the calendar date. The date of the month is displayed in the traditional location and can be viewed through the access square.
Behind the dial, is a brass weight driven movement. It is designed to run eight days on a full wind. It will also strike each hour on a cast iron bell. The plates are joined with four turned posts and are supported by a seat or a saddle board. These plates are interesting because they retain they Maker's set up notes in terms of the scribe lines left in the front surface. One will also notice the higher than normal copper content in the front plate as is evident by the copper coloring. The pendulum features a wooden rod and a brass faced lead bob.
This fine clock was made circa 1785. The overall height is 94 inches tall, 20.25 inches wide and 10 inches deep.
About John Rogers of Newton, Massachusetts.
To the best of my knowledge, it is not difinetively known when and where John Rogers was born. One source speculates that John Rogers was born on May 9, 1724 in Boston the son of Gamaliel Rogers and Mercy (Emms) Rogers. A second possibility is presented in The History of Newton which states that John Rogers was a descendant of John Rogers the martyr who was burned at the stake. This would indicate that he was a descent from Rev. Nathaniel Rogers of Ipswich, who was said to be a descendant of John the martyr. We do know that he lived in Newton Corner and died in Newton on October 19, 1815 at the age of 91. He married twice. First to Hannah Williamson of Newton on December 11, 1745. Hanna was born October 9, 1723 and died June 8, 1779. Together, they had at least eleven children. John married a second time to Mary (Craft) Towbridge on October 1, 1780. She was on born April 11, 1731. John is found listed as a blacksmith and as a clockmaker. It is currently thought that he trained asa a clockmaker under Joseph Ward. John is Described as an ingenious man and made machines. He also held various town offices, including the position of selectman. In 1780, he served as a member of a committee to recruit solders. John maintained two shops. One was located in Newton and the other was in town of Waltham. It is recorded that he was involved in a number of business dealings with the clockmaker Benjamin Willard. One of which is a law suit he file against Willard. In about 1761, he made and gifted the gallery clock to the Congregational Church in Newton which is now in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. We have owned and sold a small number of tall clocks made by this maker over the last 50 years.
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