Edmund Currier of Salem, Massachusetts. A mirror clock.
This is a rare wall timepiece or more commonly called a Mirror clock made Edmund Currier in Salem, Massachusetts.
This is a very formal clock that is very well constructed. The case is neat and tight. It exhibits the best of quality.
The case is constructed in mahogany. The flat surfaces present wonderfully figured panels of veneer. The cornice molding is well formed. The carved columns are expertly carved and crisp. All of this wood retains an older finish. The lower frame is fitted with a mirror. This mirror is original to this clock and is in excellent condition. The upper frame is fitted with reverse painted tablet. This is painted decorated from the back. A white field forms the extreme outside border. The center is left undecorated in order to view the dial. The front of the case opens in the manner of a door. It opens to access the interior of the case. The painted iron dial is signed by the Clockmaker in this location. It reads," E. Currier / SALEM." The time is indicated by very nicely hand filed steel hour and minute hands. The time ring is marked out with Roman hour numerals. Behind the dial is a brass movement. It is weight driven and designed to run eight days on a full wind. The teeth are skillfully cut and the plates are nicely finished. The escapement is a recoil. This movement is mounted on top of two rails. These also forma guide for the weight. The pendulum retains its original wooden rod and brass covered pendulum bob.
This clock measures approximately 38.5 inches long, 21 inches wide and 6.5 inches deep. It was made circa 1830.
About Edmund Currier of Hopkinton, New Hampshire and Salem, Massachusetts.
Edmund Currier was born the son of a Doctor on May 4, 1793 in Hopkinton, New Hampshire. He lived until the age of 60 years young and died in Salem, Massachusetts on May 17, 1853. His first shop was located in Hopkinton. This shop was previously owned by Philip Brown who was also a clockmaker. As a result, it is thought that Brown may have trained Edmund in the clockmaking trade. There is also some evidence that suggests that he worked for a short period of time with either the Hutchins brothers or Timothy Chandler in Concord. Interestingly, Edmund’s account books for the period which he worked in Hopkinton have survived. Today, this book is located in the New Hampshire Philomatic and Antiquarian Society of Hopkinton. This account book provides us with a synopsis of the businesses he conducted there. He lists manufacturing and repairing items such as spectacles, cutlery, tablewares and jewelry. He did locksmith work, gunsmith repairs and manufactured instruments for doctors. He dealt in musical instruments. His brother Ebenezer was a piano maker. Edmund manufactured and repaired tools, wagons, sleighs and harness. He was also a fine clockmaker and repaired some watches. A small number of clocks are listed as being made in this New Hampshire location. Edmund moved from Hopkinton in 1825 to the corner of Essex and Central Streets in Salem, Massachusetts. In 1828, he moved his business to 7 Derby Square. This was centrally located “In the market.” In 1831, Currier formed a partnership with George B. Foster. Currier trained Foster. This partnership was located at 11 Derby Square. The firm of Currier & Foster lasted until 1835. The clocks made during this period are usually signed “Currier & Foster.” This firm advertised as having for sale watches, clocks and timepieces of their own manufacture. They are also listed as jewelers. After 1835, Currier continues to advertise on his own. His business is now located on Essex Street and that he was still in the business of making and selling “Timepieces, Gallery-Clocks, Regulators…” While in the town of Salem, Currier was deeply involved with the Salem Charitable Mechanic Association. It was recorded by his associates that he was “accustomed to working sixteen hours out of twenty-four.” He was admired for his talents.
Very few clocks by Currier and Currier & Foster are known. Examples are difficult to come by. Several other timepieces as well as a lyre form, a dwarf form and less than a hand full of tall clocks are reported. There is a tall case clock in the museum collection at the Essex Institute and we currently own what may be the only Hopkinton signed example. For a more complete listing of these Makers, please review “Willard’s Patent Timepieces” written by Paul Foley.Currier lists in his account books that he purchased tall clock cases from David Young and David Young Jr. It appears that he purchased 10 cases from David Young and one from David Young Jr. They are listed as follows:
Clock cases purchased from David Young,
1.) July 11, 1816 clock case $35.00.
2.) Jan. 1st, 1817 cherry case $16.00
3.) May 27th, 1817 clock case $20.00
4.) July 11, 1818 case in cherry for $16.00.
5.) June 1, 1817 in cherry for $16.00.
6.) July 11, 1818 in cherry for $16.00.
7.) Nov. 6th, 1818 a mahogany case for $25.00.
8.) November 12, 1818 he purchased a mahogany case for $25.00
9.) November 12, 1818 he purchased a birch case for $14.00
10.) May 24th, 1820 a cherry case $14.00.
Clock case purchased from David Young Jr.,
1.) June 28th, 1816 he purchased one cherry case for $16.00.
From the same account books, it is recorded that he sold eight case clocks. Prices range from $35.00 to $65.00.
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