Elnathan Taber of Roxbury, Massachusetts. A beautiful tall case clock.

This is a later Roxbury case style that features a complimentary finish. The case is boldly cross banded mahogany and stands on four French feet. These transition into a sweeping drop apron that hangs down from the center of the base panel. A simple applied molding delineates the feet from the base section. The base panel features a fine selection of mahogany wood that is laid out in a vertical pattern. It is framed with a cross banded mahogany framing. This construction detail is repeated in the rectangular shaped waist door. This door is trimmed along the outer edge with an applied molding. The mahogany veneer selected for this prominent location features a vertical pattern and is nicely figured. The corners of the waist are fitted with boldly reeded quarter columns. These terminate in brass quarter capitals. The lower plinths that support these are very nicely veneered. This bonnet or hood is surmounted with a very unusual fretwork pattern This is original to this clock. We have seen this pattern in the past on a very similar case that was sold by Aaron Willard. Three ball and spike finials are supported on reeded plinths. The bonnet columns are also reeded and terminate in brass capitals. Rectangular shaped side lights are fitted with glass. The bonnet door is an arched form. This door opens to access the wonderfully painted iron dial.

This American made moonphase dial is colorfully painted. It was most likely painted by John Minot (1772-1826) of Boston. The four spandrel areas are decorated with large floral designs and are framed in gilt patterns. In the arch of this dial is a moonphase or lunar calendar mechanism. The artist work displayed here is distinctive and very well done. The hours, minutes, seconds and calendar day are all displayed. This dial is also signed by the Maker, “E. Taber “ in large fancy 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 beautiful clock was made circa 1805. It stand approximately 8 feet 2 inches tall (98 inches) to the top of the center finial. Measured at the upper hood molding, this case is 20 inches wide and 10 inches deep.

About Elnathan Taber Roxbury, Massachusetts

Elnathan Taber was born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts on February 14, 1768 and may have died there in 1854 at the age of 86. It appears that his grave was moved from Dartmouth to Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain on October 29th, 1870. His parents were Thomas and Elizabeth (Swift) Taber. Elnathan is the older brother of Stephen Taber who’s fortune help found Taber Academy in Marion, MA. Both brothers traveled to Roxbury and were trained as clockmakers by the Willards. Elnathan was just 16. After serving his apprenticeship, Elnathan stayed and worked in Roxbury. His shop was located on Union Street. Union Street was renamed Taber Street in April of 1868 in his memory. Elnathan maintained a close working relationship with his mentor Simon became one of Simon Willard’s most famous apprentices. He was authorized by Simon to make is patent timepieces during the patent period. He was also a prolific repairman. His name can be found engraved on numerous Boston area made clocks as a service record. Elnathan married Catherine Partridge in January of 1797. They had four children between the years of 1797 and 1811. Catherine had three sisters who also married clockmakers. Her sister Elizabeth married Abel Hutchins and Mary (Polly) married Aaron Willard. A third sister married Samuel Curtis. Over the years, we have owned and sold numerous tall case clocks made by this fine clockmaker. In addition, we have also owned a good number of wall timepieces in the form of banjo clocks and coffin clocks as well as several of the Massachusetts shelf clock forms.

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