Elnathan Taber of Roxbury, Massachusetts. An inalid mahogany tall case clock.

This inlaid mahogany case exhibits classic Roxbury form and proportions. They are outstanding. The case measures approximately 7 feet 10 or 94 inches tall to the top of the center finial. At the upper hood or bonnet molding, this clock is approximately 20 inches wide and 10.5 inches deep.

This line inlaid mahogany case stands on four delicately formed ogee bracket feet. These are very well formed and support a double stepped base molding. These moldings are applied to the bottom of the base panel. The base panel features a selection of mahogany wood that is laid out vertically. This panel is also decorated with a thin line inlaid pattern. Located in each of the corners is an inlaid quarter fan that is comprised of five petals of alternating light and dark wood. These are interesting in that they are also capped at the larger ends with additional light and dark pieces of inlay. This detail is repeated in the formatting of the long rectangular shaped waist door. This door is trimmed with an applied molding. The mahogany veneer selected for this prominent location features long subtle sweeping lines. The sides of this case are fitted with fluted quarter columns. These terminate in brass quarter capitals and are stopped with brass rods. The bonnet features a traditional New England style fret work pattern being supported by fluted and capped plinths. Each plinth supports a brass ball and spike finial. The bonnet columns are also brass stop fluted and terminate in brass capitals. Tomb-stone shaped side lights are fitted into the sides of the hood. The bonnet door is an arched form and is line inlaid. This door opens to access the wonderfully painted iron dial.

This dial is colorfully painted and is of Boston origin. The artwork is attributable to Spencer Nolen an ornamental artists know to have painted dials. The four spandrel areas are decorated with colorful medallions. Interesting gilt designs frame this painted feature. A country scene is painted in the lunette. It is a scene that depicts commerce in that two sailboats are tied to the dock while and individual is in the process of unloading or loading one of them. Build sits on the rise. It maybe a tavern since three additional individuals and also depicted. On minds a horse while sitting on a barrel. The hours, minutes, seconds and calendar day are all displayed within the time ring. This dial is signed by the Maker, “E.* TABER” in script lettering.

This fine movement is constructed in brass and is good quality. Four turned pillars support the two brass plates. Hardened steel shafts support the polished steel pinions and brass gearing. The winding drums are grooved. The escapement is designed as a recoil format. The movement is weight driven and designed to run eight days on a full wind. It is a two train or a time and strike design having a rack and snail striking system. As a result, it will strike each hour on the hour. This is done on a cast iron bell which is mounted above the movement.

This beautiful clock was made circa 1795.

About Elnathan Taber Roxbury, Massachusetts

Elnathan Taber was born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts on February 14, 1768 and may have died there in 1854 at the age of 86. It appears that his grave was moved from Dartmouth to Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain on October 29th, 1870. His parents were Thomas and Elizabeth (Swift) Taber. Elnathan is the older brother of Stephen Taber who’s fortune help found Taber Academy in Marion, MA. Both brothers traveled to Roxbury and were trained as clockmakers by the Willards. Elnathan was just 16. After serving his apprenticeship, Elnathan stayed and worked in Roxbury. His shop was located on Union Street. Union Street was renamed Taber Street in April of 1868 in his memory. Elnathan maintained a close working relationship with his mentor Simon became one of Simon Willard’s most famous apprentices. He was authorized by Simon to make is patent timepieces during the patent period. He was also a prolific repairman. His name can be found engraved on numerous Boston area made clocks as a service record. Elnathan married Catherine Partridge in January of 1797. They had four children between the years of 1797 and 1811. Catherine had three sisters who also married clockmakers. Her sister Elizabeth married Abel Hutchins and Mary (Polly) married Aaron Willard. A third sister married Samuel Curtis. Over the years, we have owned and sold numerous tall case clocks made by this fine clockmaker. In addition, we have also owned a good number of wall timepieces in the form of banjo clocks and coffin clocks as well as several of the Massachusetts shelf clock forms.

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