John Kennard of Newfields, New Hampshire. A cherry case tall clock with mahogany cross-banding.

This mahogany cross-banded cherry case tall clock stands on four nicely shaped turned feet. They exhibit good form and are nicely detailed with shaping and ring turnings. All four are applied to the underside of the base. A drop apron forms a skirt that hangs from the base panel. An applied reeded molding defines the top of the apron from the base. The base panel is framed with a cross-banded mahogany border. The panel is cherry and nicely figured. The waist is long and features a rectangular shaped waist door. Unlock and open this door and you will have gained access to the drive weights and pendulum. This door is trimmed along the perimeter with an applied molding. It is also cross-banded with a mahogany border. The wood selected for the central panel exhibits wonderful figure. It is formatted vertically. The sides of the waist are fitted with finely reeded quarter columns. These are mounted in brass quarter capitals. The blocks under each quarter column are line inlaid with a rectangular shaped pattern. The bonnet features a whale’s tails style fretwork design. Three reeded finial plinths support the brass finials. These finials are original to this clock and are wonderful. The arched bonnet door is line inlaid with a dark wood. The door is fitted with glass. The bonnet columns are mounted in brass capitals. There share the same reeded format found in the waist section. These columns appear to be supporting the upper bonnet molding.

The iron dial is nicely paint decorated and is of Boston origin. These dials are thought to have been panted by the Nolen & Curtis firm in Boston. The four spandrel areas feature a lacy gilt designs that frame a green medallion. Peaches and grapes are featured in the arch. A bird stands on top of the fruit. The time ring is framed with a gilt circle. Roman style numerals are used to demark each hour. The quarter hours are demarked with Arabic numerals. A closed minute ring separates the two. It is interesting to note that seconds and calendar day have been omitted. This dial is signed by the Maker, “J. S. Kennard” 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 fine clock was made circa 1815. It stands approximately 7 feet 6 inches tall to the top of the center finial. At the upper bonnet molding it is 21.25 inches wide and 11 inches deep.

About John Kennard of Newfields, New Hampshire

John Kennard was born in Kittery, Maine in 1782. He was one of nine children born to Timothy Kennard and Abigail Stevens who married September 8th, 1779. John is thought to have learned clockmaking in Portsmouth, NH. On July 3, 1806, he married Sarah Ewer daughter of James and Drusilla (Ewer) Burleigh. They moved around New Hampshire, living in Nashua and then in Concord before moving to Newfields in 1812. In Newfields they occupied the Palmer House. Here he made clocks and kept a store. He was postmaster in 1822 through 1824. He served as Town Clerk, Selectman and the State Representative. In 1823, John built the Kennard House on Piscassie Street and began a foundry with Temple Paul and the Drakes. They sold out in 1834. John died Jan 14,1861. Tall clocks, banjo clocks and a surveyor’s quarter circle with compass are known.

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