David Wood (Attribution) Newburyport, Massachusetts. A cross banded mahogany case tall clock. Moses Fowler's clock.

Inside the case of the clock one will find the printed some history of ownership. The paperwork suggests that this clock was purchased from David Wood in Newburyport by Moses Fowler. It was then owned by his son Moses II and then to his sister Elizabeth (Fowler) Somerby. Elizabeth married Abram Somerby who was a sea captain. It was then passed on to the grandson Eugene Bickner Somerby who then passed it on to his sister Clarabelle Hodges (Somerby) (Warner) Dillaby.

This very attractive cross banded mahogany tall case clock features boldly grained tiger maple cross banding that frames the base panel and the waist door. The painted dial is not signed but we have owned a number of very similar clocks that have had dials signed by the north shore’s most prolific clockmaker, David Wood of Newburyport, Massachusetts. This clock was made circa 1810.

This is a formal example. The case is constructed in mahogany and features tiger maple framing in the form of cross banding. The secondary wood is New England white pine. This case has been professionally refinished in an appropriate manner. As a result, the grain of the wood is easy to view and attracts ones attention. The applied flared French feet are tall and delicately formed. They raise the base section up off the floor. They are visually joined together with a nicely shaped drop apron. The first of two tiger maple cross banded framed elements is laid out around the perimeter of the base panel. This front panel of the base features a figured mahogany panel that is vertically grained. The waist of this clock is fitted with a rectangular shaped waist door. This door is also formatted with a cross banded tiger maple framing. This frames the wonderful selection of figured mahogany veneer that is positioned here. This door is also trimmed with an applied molding and opens to access the interior of the case. The front corners of the waist section are fitted with finely reeded quarter columns. These terminate in brass quarter capitals. The bonnet features a traditional version of a New England style fret work pattern. Three reeded chimneys or finial plinths are mounted at the top of the case and support this fretwork. Each plinths supports a brass finial. The molded arch is supported by finely reeded bonnet or hood columns. These flank the arched bonnet door and are mounted in brass capitals. Reeded quarter columns are located in the back corners of the hood. The sides are fitted with large tombstone shaped side lights or windows. These are glazed. The arch door is fitted with glass and opens to access the painted dial. Please note the exceptional grain pattern used in the wood to construct this frame.

This iron dial is colorfully painted and features a lunar calendar or moon phase mechanism in the arch. The four spandrel areas are paint decorated in colorful fans or more commonly called geometric patterns. The coloring used to construct these patterns is somewhat unusual. The time track is formatted with the combination of Roman and Arabic numerals. This dial also features five minute markers, subsidiary seconds and a day of the month calendar.

The time and strike movement is of good quality. It is constructed in brass and features steel pinions. It is weight driven and designed to run for eight-days on a full wind and to strike each hour on a cast iron bell. It is good quality.

This clock stands approximately 94.5 inches tall. The upper bonnet molding is 20.75 inches across and runs 10.75 deep. This clock is inventory number 217038.

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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