A very unusual tiger maple cased tall clock attributed Paul Rogers of Berwick, Maine. 221117

The attribution of Paul Rogers being the Maker of this clock is very strong. The weight driven movement is constructed in a very distinctive manner and is typical of the Rogers School of clockmaking. The two rectangular shaped plates that frame the gearing are not brass. They are iron and the pivots are fitted into brass bushings. It is thought that this design was done to in order conserve the use of brass which was an expensive material to work with. Paul Rogers and many of his apprentices (the Rogers School) implemented this unusual construction design element in their movements. The second point of attribution is that to our knowledge, only Paul used brass engraved dials. Many of these are know to be undersized. They do not measure the standard of twelve inches across. This dial measures 9 5/8ths inches across. The third point of attribution is the case form. We know of one other signed Paul Rogers clock that shares this very unusual case form. It fact, the two cases may have been made in the same cabinet shop consecutively. The dimensions of both and the form are nearly identical.

This elaborate country case is constructed in tiger maple, cherry and pine is used as a secondary wood. The tiger maple panels are strategically positioned in the case design for maximum visual effect. The surface is old, dry and consistent.

This case features a number of Queen Ann design elements that include the unusual shape of many of the moldings. The case stands on an applied bracket base. Ogee bracket feet are cutout out from this one piece of wood. The feet are compressed yet still retain a nice shapely curve that extends from the pad to the knee. The base section can also be described as compressed. This is a form that was popular prior to the American War of Independence. As the tall clock case form matured, the base sections began to elongate. The lower waist molding is complex. It begins as a bold ogee form and ends with a somewhat traditional top. The waist section is long. The entire front of the case opens as a door. It is hinged on the right with two cast iron H hinges. This provides access to the two tin can drive weights and the brass faced pendulum bob and its adjustment screw. The door is paneled. The panel is in the shape of a tombstone. Technically it is called an astragal-panel door. The wood selected for this architectural element features strong tiger maple grain striping. The frame for the panel is secured with pegs or pins and their ends are visible. The hood of the clock case features an unusual shape pediment. This form is loosely reminiscent of the outlines exhibited in early cane-back chair tops or the tops of many Queen Anne mirrors. The moldings are well formed and were obviously shaped by hand. Please note how they widen out towards the ends. In the center of the arch molding is an inset key. Three grooves are cut into to it in a vertical fashion. Above the molding are three turned wooden finials. The lower molding is an ogee form and would be considered by many tall clock collectors as oversized. The upper molding is decoratively formed. Wonderfully shaped colonettes are positioned between the two moldings These are very nicely shaped. The hood door features and arch opening that is fitted with glass. The door is also secured to the case on the right with H shaped iron hinges. It opens to access the dial.

This dial is made from a brass sheet. The decorations are engraved into the front surface. These designs are then filled with shellac or wax. The entire surface has been treated with a silver wash. The silver compound adheres to the brass surfaces thus creating a stark contrast between the silver and the dark black filler inside the engraved decorations. Of all the Rogers dials that I have seen to date, this one is by far the most elaborate and interesting. Most of the engraved dial clocks made by Rogers do not have spandrel decorations. This dial is very nicely decorated in those locations with a non-traditional floral theme. In the center of the lunette is engraving of woman’s head. She is depicted with curly hair and large eyes. The time ring is traditionally formatted. A dotted minute ring separates the large Roman style hour numerals from the Arabic five minute markers. A subsidiary seconds dial is positioned below the Roman Style hour numeral XII. The calendar date of the month is displayed in the large bat-wing shaped aperture above the hour VI. The three hands are made from steel and are simply formed.

The movement in this clock is constructed in a very distinctive manner. The two large rectangular shaped plates are made of cast iron. As a result, they are black in color. Cast iron was most likely used in an attempt to conserve the use of brass. Brass being the most expensive material used in the construction of a clock. They are supported by four steel posts and mounted onto the wooden saddle-board. Hardened steel shafts support the brass gearing. At the end of each shaft is a pinion that is set into a brass bushing. This bushing is positioned and pressed into the iron plates in the appropriate location. The escapement is designed as a recoil format. The winding drums are grooved. The movement is weight driven. The strike is controlled by 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 clock made circa 1785.

This case has the approximate dimensions: 87 inches tall, 18 inches wide and 9.25 inches deep.

Our inventory number for this clock is 221117.

About Paul Rogers of Berwick, Maine. A clockmaker and hatter.

Paul Rogers was born the son of Isaac and Lydia (Varney) Rogers on June 26, 1752 in Berwick, Maine. He was the youngest of eight children. He was a Quaker, more properly called a member of the Society of Friends. The Quakers were a sect known for their independence and devotion to hard work and had established small colonies throughout the more rural parts of New England. Paul is often recorded as a “Clerk” in their meeting minutes. Paul was a very productive clock maker who worked at his trade for nearly forty years. Many of his movements are constructed with cast iron plates and brass wheels. A few notable apprentices that Paul trained include his son Abner Rogers (1777-1809), Reuben Brackett (1761-1867), and John Taber (1796-1859). Paul Married Deborah Hussey of Kittery Maine on August 30, 1774. They had nine children. After clockmaking, Paul becomes a hatter and made and sold many hats throughout the nearby Maine Villages. Paul Rogers died in 1818.

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