David Wood of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Tall case clock.
This country example is constructed in birch and retains an older mahoganized finish. As a result, the case color is a medium light brown. The case proportions are quite good. This case stands on four simply formed bracket feet that are applied to the lower section of the base. The base molding is somewhat compressed. The waist of this clock is long and features a rectangular shaped waist door that is trimmed with a molded edge. Smoothly turned quarter columns flank the sides of the case. These terminate in brass quarter capitals. The bonnet features a fret work form that is supported by three fluted chimneys or finial plinths. These are surmounted with brass ball and spiked finials. Please note the unusual fret work pattern exhibited here. Both sides are cut in mirror form. If you look closely, you can see the shape of a dog with its tail raised in the design. The bonnet columns are turned smooth and are mounted in brass capitals. These columns flank the arched glazed door. This door opens to access the painted dial.
This painted dial is signed “DAVID WOOD” below the calendar aperture in large block letters. The four spandrel areas and the arch of the dial are colorfully decorated with flowers. The time ring is displayed with Roman hour numerals and each of the five minute markers are displayed in Arabic numerals. This clock also displays seconds on a subsidiary dial.
The time and strike movement is of good quality. It is constructed in brass brass gearing and hardened steel pinions. It is weight driven and designed to run for eight-days on a full wind and to strike each hour on a bell.
This clock was made circa 1810 and stands 7 feet 6.5 inches tall. Inventory II-63.
About David Wood of Newburyport, Massachusetts.
David Wood was born the son of John and Eunice Wood in Newburyport, Massachusetts on July 5, 1766. It is thought that he may have been apprenticed to either Daniel Balch Senior or one of the members of the Mulliken family. All of whom were prominent Clockmakers in this region. On June 13, 1792, David advertised that he had set up a shop in Market Square, near Reverend Andrews Meeting House, where he made and sold clocks. Three short years latter, he married Elizabeth Bird in 1795. It has become evident, that David Wood was also a Retailer. In 1806, he advertised that he had for sale “Willard’s best Patent Timepieces, for as low as can be purchased in Roxbury.” In the year 1818, he and Abel Moulton, a local silversmith, moved into the shop formerly occupied by Thomas H. Balch. In 1824 he advertised that he had moved on the westerly side of Market Square opposite the Market House. After his wife’s death in 1846, he moved to Lexington to live near is son David, who was a merchant in that town.
It has become quite obvious to us that David Wood was a very successful Clockmaker and Retailer of Clocks. Over the last 40 plus years of being in the business of selling clocks, we have sold many examples of wall, shelf, and tall case clocks bearing this Maker’s signature on the dial.
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