Ezra Batchelder of Danvers, Massachusetts
This is a fine butternut case tall clock with painted dial signed " Ezra Batchelder Danvers." The case proportions are very pleasing.
This clock stand on four wonderful and original ogee bracket feet. The design incorporates a double return this interesting from. The waist is long and narrow centering tombstone shaped door. This door is trimmed with a molded edge. The sides of the waist are fitted with boldly fluted quarter columns. These terminate in brass quarter capitals. The hood features a simple molded arch molding that is surmounted with New England style fret work pattern. The frets are original to this clock and exhibit a nice variation on the traditional theme. The left side has experienced a small loss which can be easily restored or left the way it is. The three large period brass ball and spiked finials are supported by fluted final plinths. The bonnet columns are also fluted and terminate in brass capitals. The bonnet door is arched in form and fitted with glass. Behind it is the painted iron dial.
This dial is wonderfully painted decorated. The decoration is distinctive and must have been painted by a local artisan. The style of the decoration is less structured and more reserved than the decoration found on production dials. The colors are often muted and the presentation is quite nice. Interestingly, this dial lacks the raised gesso worked that is traditional found on imported dials from this period. This gesso work is often incorporated in the borders of the spandrel areas and in the decoration found in the arch. The time ring features Roman numerals and Arabic five minute markers are positioned above each hour. The time is indicated by the steel hands. These hands are hand filed into a lovely pattern. This dial displays the seconds and calendar day in the traditional locations. This dial is signed on the dial by the Clockmaker. The dial is mounted directly to the movement without a false plate.
The movement is brass and designed to run eight days on a full wind. It is weight powered and strikes each hour on a cast iron bell. The bell is mounted above the movement on a post.
This clock stands 7 feet 8 inches tall to the top of the center final. It was made circa 1805. This clock is inventory number OO-8.
About Ezra Batchelder of Danvers, Massachusetts.
Ezra Batchelder was born in Andover, Massachusetts on November 13th, 1769. He had a brother, Andrew born 1772, who is also listed as a Clockmaker and blacksmith. In fact, they are listed as working together in Danvers in sometime after 1801. It is thought that they were trained by their brother-in-law Nathan Adams. Ezra dies in in Danvers on October 10th, 1858. Ezra was also a farmer and is reported to be the first expressman in Danvers, carrying merchandise from and to Boston.
Paul Foley in his book, Willard’s Patent Time Pieces lists that Ezra’s account book is known. This book records 36 clocks being sold between 1803 and 1830. The prices for these clocks range from $35 to $65. It also suggests that being fine cabinetmakers. they made their own cases.
Over the last forty plus years of being in the business of selling clocks, We have seen at least 12 tall clocks signed by this Maker.
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