John Rogers of Newton, Massachusetts. A cherry cased tall clock in old surface. YY79.

John Rogers was born in 1724 and died in Newton on October 19, 1815 at the age of 91. He is also listed as a blacksmith and reportable trained under a Joseph Ward. He maintained two shops. One in Newton and the other in Waltham. He had a number of business dealings with Clockmaker Benjamin Willard. A law suit file against Willard is recorded. The few Signed John Rogers clocks we have owned and sold over the years seem to resemble the style of the latter Massachusetts Makers and their competitors. This rare clock is a superb example.

This is a fine cherry case clock that exhibits classic New England proportions. The dry old world finish remains over the cherry wood construction. This case proudly stands on applied bracket feet. A double stepped molding transitions the feet to the base of the clock. The waist section is fitted with a large tombstone shaped waist door. This is trimmed with an applied molding. The open fretwork style bonnet is surmounted with three ball and spiked finials. They are brass and are mounted on finial plinths which are capped at the top. The bonnet has an arched glazed door. This door is flanked by fully turned bonnet columns. The columns terminate in brass capitals.

The iron dial is colorfully painted and feature florals in the four spandrel areas and also in the arch. The dial is signed by the Clockmaker below the calendar aperture. The signature reads, John Rogers / Newton.

Behind the dial, is a brass weight driven movement. It is designed to run eight-days on a full wind. It will also strike each hour on a cast iron bell. The two large brass plates are supported with four turned posts. This frame is mounted on a seat or a saddle board. These plates are interesting because they retain a higher than normal copper content as is evident by the copper coloring. 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. The movement 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. The pendulum features a wooden rod and a brass faced lead bob. This clock was made circa 1800.

The overall height is a 7 feet 10 inches tall.


About John Rogers of Newton, Massachusetts.

To the best of my knowledge, it is not definitively known when and where John Rogers was born. One source speculates that John Rogers was born on May 9, 1724 in Boston the son of Gamaliel Rogers and Mercy (Emms) Rogers. A second possibility is presented in The History of Newton which states that John Rogers was a descendant of John Rogers the martyr who was burned at the stake. This would indicate that he was a descendant from Rev. Nathaniel Rogers of Ipswich, who was said to be a descendant of John the martyr. We do know that he lived on Newton Corner and died in that town on October 19, 1815 at the age of 91. John is recorded as having married twice. His first wife was Hannah Williamson of Newton. They married on December 11, 1745. Hanna was born October 9, 1723 and died June 8, 1779. Together, they had at least eleven children. John married a second time to Mary (Craft) Towbridge on October 1, 1780. She was on born April 11, 1731. John is found listed as a blacksmith and as a clockmaker. It is currently thought that he trained as a clockmaker under the guidance or Joseph Ward. John is described as an ingenious man and made machines. He also held various town offices, including the position of selectman. In 1780, he served as a member of a committee to recruit soldiers. John maintained two shops. One was located in Newton and the other was in town of Waltham. It is recorded that he was involved in a number of business dealings with the clockmaker Benjamin Willard. Rogers filed a lawsuit against Willard. In about 1761, he made and gifted the gallery clock to the Congregational Church in Newton which is now in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. We have owned and sold a small number of tall clocks made by this maker over the last 50 years. Several of which have featured unusual calendar displays and the movements were fitted with maintaining power.

Examples of tall clocks that feature brass composite dials, engraved brass dials and painted dials are known.

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