Barker & Taylor of Worcester, Massachusetts

This fine example features a case that is constructed in pine and retains it's original painted surface. The pine was wash over in a brown stain and is enhanced with a grain painted detail that was intended to simulate the coloring and grain pattern of mahogany. This treatment is still consistent throughout. The case is a typical Ashby form in terms of it's from, proportions, and construction. This case stands on a simple applied bracket feet. These are attached to a molding that is mounted to the lower section of the base. The base panel is grain painted in a diagonal format. A crotch pattern starts from the lower left corner and rises to the upper right. The waist section is fitted with a large rectangular door. This is trimmed with a molded edge and is also grain painted with a crotch veneer pattern that runs vertically the entire length of the door. This door opens to access the interior of the case. The molded arched bonnet features a traditional pierced and open fret work and three chimney or finial plinths. The plinths are capped. Smoothly turned and subtly shaped bonnet columns are fitted aside the bonnet door. The bonnet door is an arched form. It is fitted with glass and opens to access the arched dial.

The wooden arched dial is colorfully painted. The four spandrels and the arch are decorated with a strawberry theme. This dial is signed by the Makers above the Roman numeral six on the time ring. It is signed, “Barker & Taylor, Worcester.” The time ring is formatted with Roman hour numerals and Arabic numerals are used at the five minute intervals. Pewter hands indicate the time. This dial is then attached to the wooden movement with two batons or strips that receive the four wooden dial feet and are pinned in place. The wooden geared movement is the construction one expects from the Ashby Massachusetts clockmaking school. The winding of this example is done by pulling a cord from inside the waist of the case. The movement is a time and strike design and of fine quality. It is designed to run 30 hours on a full wind. It features a count wheel striking system that will strike each hour on a cast iron bell. The count wheel is located on the outside of the movement on the back plate.

This clock was made circa 1800. The overall height of this example is approximately 7 feet 1 inch tall.

This clock is inventory number CC-164.

About Barker & Taylor of Worcester, Massachusetts.

Jonathan Barker and Samuel Taylor formed a partnership as Barker & Taylor sometime before 1807. Little is currently known of these two individuals and their clocks are considered rare. In fact, this is one of the two tall case examples currently known to us signed in this manner. A third example is signed ‘J. Barker, Ashby.’ Based on the number of clock that are known to have survived, we can assume that they were not prolific clockmakers. All three feature wooden geared movements that share the same construction characteristics and format of the Ashby Clockmaking school. In addition, the painted dials are from there as well. As a result, it is logical to assume that Barker received his training there and later moved to Worcester and joined Taylor in the Barker & Taylor venture. It is recorded that Barker died in 1807. Samuel Taylor was born in 1780 and died in 1864. He is listed as a clockmaker in 1807 through 1856. So it is reasonable to assume that he carried on the business after Barker died.

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