David Wood of Newburyport, Massachusetts. A weight driven shelf clock. -SOLD-
Newburyport, Massachusetts certainly has it's share of accomplished clockmakers. Names that easily come to mind are Mulliken, Balch and David Wood. This historic city is located on the South side of the mighty Merrimack River. The center of town is approximately three miles from the mouth of the river.
This is a very desirable Massachusetts shelf clock. The mahogany case features a lovely painted dial signed by the Clockmaker David Wood of Newburyport, Massachusetts. This example was made circa 1810.
The case is constructed in mahogany and retains an older finish and a wonderful mellow patina. It is supported by four flared French feet. They are delicately formed and raise the case up off the shelf. The shaping transitions into a very nice apron that hangs from below the base panel. The lower section is fitted with a door. Through this one can gain access to the time weight and the pendulum. This door is trimmed with a delicate molding. The wood selected for this panel features a grain pattern that make a large quarter turn. The side or front corners of this lower case section are fitted with inset quarter columns. These are turned smooth and terminate in brass quarter capitals. The bonnet features a solid New England style fret work pattern that is mounted to the bold cornice molding. Three brass finials adorn the case. The center is mounted on a plinth. The arched bonnet door is line inlaid and follows the form of the shape of the dial.
The iron dial is colorfully painted and of Boston origin. It was painted by the Nolen & Curtis partnership which was formed in 1806. This partnership included Spencer Nolen and Samuel Curtis and produced American made iron clock dials that they paint decorated. Both were skilled ornamental artists and worked in the Boston area. This partnership was announced in November of 1806 that they would continue at the same location of the late Willard (Aaron) and Nolen firm. In September of 1807, Samuel Curtis and Spencer Nolen purchased a parcel of land in the north west corner of Washington and Concord streets on Boston's Boston Neck. Here they continued to manufacture and paint dials for numerous clockmakers. In 1817, Spencer Nolen moved south to the city of Philadelphia and maintained their partnership until 1822. They are listed in the Philadelphia Directories during this time period.
In the arch of this dial is a gilded urn that is decorated with bright red swags, green leaves and gilt forms some of which is raised on applied gesso. The four spandrel areas each feature apples which are framed by raised gesso designs that are highlighted with gilt designs. This dial is signed by the Clockmaker. It reads, “D. WOOD." This is executed in a block format. The time track is framed in gilt bands and features Roman style hour numerals. The iron hands are hand filed and wonderfully formed.
The brass movement is of good quality. It is weight driven and designed to run for approximately two and one half days on a full wind. The and gearing are brass. The shafts and pinions are steel. The pendulum swings from the back.
This clock stands approximately 37 inches tall. It is approximately 12.25 inches wide and 6 inches deep. It was made circa 1810.
About David Wood of Newburyport, Massachusetts.
David Wood was born the son of John and Eunice Wood in Newburyport, Massachusetts on July 5, 1766. It is thought that he may have been apprenticed to either Daniel Balch Senior or one of the members of the Mulliken family. All of whom were prominent Clockmakers in this region. On June 13, 1792, David advertised that he had set up a shop in Market Square, near Reverend Andrews Meeting House, where he made and sold clocks. Three short years latter, he married Elizabeth Bird in 1795. It has become evident, that David Wood was also a Retailer. In 1806, he advertised that he had for sale “Willard’s best Patent Timepieces, for as low as can be purchased in Roxbury.” In the year 1818, he and Abel Moulton, a local silversmith, moved into the shop formerly occupied by Thomas H. Balch. In 1824 he advertised that he had moved on the westerly side of Market Square opposite the Market House. After his wife’s death in 1846, he moved to Lexington to live near is son David, who was a merchant in that town.
It has become quite obvious to us that David Wood was a very successful Clockmaker and Retailer of Clocks. Over the last 40 plus years of being in the business of selling clocks, we have sold many examples of wall, shelf, and tall case clocks bearing this Maker’s signature on the dial.
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