Levi & Abel Hutchins of Concord, New Hampshire. A tall case clock. A very early example. 219010

This is a very good example of a maple case tall clock made by New Hampshire’s premier clockmakers, Levi and Able Hutchins of Concord, New Hampshire. This is an early example and may have been made shortly after the brothers settled in Concord. This case form is seldom seen and is in my opinion one of the more attractive forms today. This form is constructed in a manner that furniture was built in the day.

This example is formatted in the traditional woods and proportions that one would expected from the Concord, New Hampshire region circa 1785. This case is constructed in maple and features some selections that exhibit tiger maple striping.The surface appears to be approximately 50 years old. The finish is light and the grain pattern exhibited in the wood is well displayed. The base features unusual construction. The base is somewhat compressed. Bracket style feet are applied to the three sides. These exhibit good form and feature a carved pinwheel in the design. We have seen at least four other Concord clocks that share this very same case detail. The waist section is long and is fitted with a large rectangular shaped waist door. This door is trimmed with a simple molded edge. Through this door one can gain access to the two tin can weights that power the movement and the brass faced pendulum. The bonnet can be easily described as a swans neck form. But, this doesn’t tell the whole story. It is constructed in a manner that is similar to a chest on chest or highboy of the period. The top of the hood features elements that are fully enclosed. I am very fond of the detail. The moldings are boldly formed and the arches have more vertical height than the vast majority of the typical Concord case styles. Three cast brass finials are mounted at the top of the bonnet. These are period finials are are most likely original to this clock. The bonnet columns are turned smooth and mounted into brass capitals. The bonnet door is an arched form and is fitted with glass. The sides of the hood are fitted with large rectangular windows. These are fitted with glass. Looking through these opens, one can see the brass gearing of the mechanism. The back of the hood is framed with vertical boards that the smoothly turned quarter columns are attached to.

The dial is brass. It is made up of six separate pieces that are riveted together. The surfaces are richly engraved and then covered in a silver wash. This is the typical formatting that one expects to find when looking at a clock made by these two brothers. The details found here are skillfully engraved. This includes the time ring which is formatted in Roman numeral hour markers and Arabic five minute markers, the date of the month calendar, the seconds dial, the floral decorations and the Maker’s signature. This dial is signed in the arch “ Levi & Abel Hutchins, Concord.”

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 clock stands approximately 7 feet 7 inches tall and was made circa 1785.

219010

About Levi & Abel Hutchins of Concord, New Hampshire.

Levi Hutchins was born in Harvard, Massachusetts on August 17, 1761. His brother Abel was born two years later in March. Both men lived into their nineties. Gordon Hutchins, their father, served in the Revolutionary War as a captain. He organized a Company from the Concord area that fought at Bunker Hill.  Levi was enlisted as the fifer.  His father fearing for Levi’s safety, forced him to stay on high ground in Medford.  Levi witnessed the burning of Charlestown wanted to see action himself, so he enlisted in Captain Lewis, Company and was taken into the mess. After the war, he was placed in school and later became a school teacher. On December 6th, 1777, the brothers both entered into an apprenticeship with Simon Willard of Grafton, Massachusetts. At this time Levi was sixteen and Abel was fourteen years old. They returned to Concord New Hampshire some time before 1784. Levi and Able Hutchins were in business together making clocks for some Twenty one years (1786-1807).

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