Ezra Batchelder of Danvers, Massachusetts. A Massachusetts tall case clock.

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. His parents were Ezra a blacksmith (Baptized on May 31, 1741 and died in 1809) and his wife Mary (Woodbury) Ober of Beverly. They were married on March 15, 1763. They had five children that were raised on Maple Street. They became one of the largest landowners in Danvers. Ezra 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 sometime after 1801. It is thought that they were trained by their brother-in-law Nathan Adams. It is reported that an account book exists that covers the business years of 1803 to 1830. In this 27 years of business, 36 clocks are listed as being sold. Not all of which are tall case examples. These clocks are listed as selling for $35 to a high of $65 depending if they were cased or not. It is interesting to note that the names of the original purchasers are also listed in the account. It is also thought that both brothers were fine cabinetmakers and may have made their own cases as well as other wood products. The account book lists the following clock related entries.

1803. Five clocks are listed. Nathaniel Lang purchased two at $50 each. Edmund Johnson purchased two at $35 each. Charles Foster purchased one at $35. The Foster and Johnson clocks are listed as being sold with a “12 inch face with out case.” The Lang clocks must have been sold cased. 1803 was their busiest clock year.
1804-1805. No clock sales are listed.
1806. Peter Woodbury of Beverly purchased a clock with a “Moon face” for $40 and Solomon Dodge bought one at $37.50. A “Tucker “ from the town of Andover bought one at $38.
1807. Elias Endicott bought a cased clock at $52.50.
1808. Rev. Benjamin Wadsworth paid $50 for a clock that was to be delivered to Rev. Mr. “Bawlch” of Salisbury. Capt. Samuel Trow of Beverly bought a “moon face” for $45. William Dodge of Beverly bought a “moon Face” for $45. This clock was sold without a case. Mr. Lemon of Beverly bought a “12-inch moon face” for $43.
1809. No clock sales are listed.
1810. Amos Gould of Ipswich purchased a clock for $50.
1811. Jacob Towne of Topsfield purchased a “clock compleat” for $47.50.
1812. Capt. Thomas Raymond of Beverly bought a clock “without case” for $40. John H. Leonard of Salem bought a “compleat clock” for $55.
1813. Capt. Thomas Cheever of Danvers bought a clock for $65. (Capt. Cheever commanded the ship Augustus.) This clock is listed as having a “mehogeny case.” David Perkins of Topsfield bought a clock for $50.
1814. No clock sales are listed.
1815. Elezer Pope, a yeoman resided in Salem bought a clock for $50.
1816. Elezer Lake of Topsfield bought a “clock and case compleat and case varnished” for $52. John Averill of Topsfield is listed as buying a clock. The price is not recorded. Major Solomon Wilkins of Middleton paid $50. This is latter sold to the Newhall family.
1817. No entries.
1818. No entries.
1819. Ebenezer Goldthwaite purchased a “clock and case compleat and case varnished” for $53. “Esq” Elezer Putnam paid $53 for a clock.
1820. Alen Porter bought a “compleat,” clock for $53.
1821. Stephen Whipple of Salem bought a “compleat,” clock for $53. Daniel Porter of Topsfield purchased a “clock and case” for $50.
1822. Capt. Asa Tapley of Danvers paid $53. He was a soldier of the revolution. He was a lieutenant during the War of 1812 and was on guard at Fort Lee. In 1833 he was granted a revolutionary pension. He was a successful businessman in all endeavors. One of the early brick manufacturers of Danvers. He served the Town of Danvers as a contestable, a highway surveyor, as a member of the board of health and on the school committee. He had many land transactions listed in the records. In these he was listed as a yeoman.
1823. Levi Preston of Danvers paid $55.
1824. Mr. Killam, probably of Boxford paid $40.
1825. No entries.
1826. Mark How paid $53.
1827. Mr. Hardy bought a clock “without case” for $32.50.
1828. Perley Tapley of Danvers bought a clock for $53. He was a famous mover of buildings. He also served as a highway surveyor.
1829. Hicks Richards of Danvers bought a clock “without case,” for $38. Col. Nathan Tapley purchased “one case,” for $15.75. Nathan was Asa’s brother. He commanded a military company in Danvers and vicinity for which he received the title of Colonel. He was also a very successful business man.
1830. Joseph Porter purchased “one eight-day clock with weights
without the case,” for $38. (This is Ella J. Porter clock. She lived on Cherry Street.)

Ezra married Anna Brown on December 17, 1795. She was a native of Andover, Massachusetts and was born in 1772 and died on June 4th, 1856. Together they had 11 children. Ezra was also a farmer and is reported to be the first expressman in Danvers, carrying merchandise to and from Boston in what was called a “road wagon.” He did this in 1825-1830 making approximately three trips per week using two or a team of four horses depending on the weight of the load. He sold this route to Joseph Porter. Ezra dies in Danvers on October 10th, 1858 of lung fever. He lived nearly 90 years and labored to the end.

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.

For more information about this clock click  here .