Samuel Rogers of Plymouth and or Bidgewater, Massachusetts. A cross banded mahogany tall clock.

This fine example has outstanding narrow proportions and excellent height measuring approximately 101 inches tall to the top of the center finial. The maker of this case was certainly very familiar with the case forms that were being constructed in Boston or Roxbury. The clean lines of this case are considered the best amougst the form. This example features figured mahogany veneers, rosewood cross banding and a finish that is clean and consistent and accentuates the grain patterns exhibited in the wood. This case stands on four flared French feet. They are nicely formed and have excellent height. Please note the nicely shaped drop apron that transitions between the feet. The base features a beautifully figured mahogany veneered front panel. This panel is framed with a narrow cross banded border. An lightwood line inlay separates this framing from the central panel. The long rectangular shaped waist door is trimmed with a delicate applied molding. This door is line inlaid with a crass banding that is inset from the edge. This is an attractive detail. The front corners of this waist section feature inset quarter columns that are stopped in brass. Theses terminate in brass quarter capitals. The hood or bonnet is surmounted by three fluted and capped finial plinths or chimneys. They are surmounted by brass ball and spike finials. The plinths also help support an attractive pierced and open fret work design. This design is traditionally found in New England. The fully turned brass stop fluted bonnet columns are mounted in brass capitals. These flank the bonnet door. The bonnet or hood door is fitted with glass and opens to allow access the the painted iron dial.

This dial is of Boston manufacture and was most likely painted by the Willard & Nolen firm circa 1805. It is skillfully decorated featuring lacy designs that are laid out in gesso on the surface of the dial. This raise detail was then highlight in gilt paint. This is an attractive detail and is found on many Boston painted dials. The automated feature of a lunar calendar or a moon phase mechanism is located in the arch of this dial. This dial also displays the hours, minutes and seconds in a traditional format. Interestingly, It does not have a calendar date display. This dial is signed by the clockmaker below the center. It reads, “S. ROGERS” in large block style lettering. This painted iron dial is attached directly to the movement with out the use of a false plate.

This fine movement is constructed in brass and is good quality. Four turned pillars support the two solid brass plates. Hardened steel shafts support the polished steel pinions and brass gearing. The winding drums are smooth. 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 an oversized cast iron bell which is mounted above the movement. The strike hammer is returned to its resting position via a coil spring. The original tin can weights are still with this clock. The pendulum features a brass faced bob.

This case measures approximately 7 feet 8 inches (101 inches) tall to the top of the center brass finial. It is 19.5 inches wide and 9.5 inches deep. This fine example was made circa 1805.

This will soon become the most famous of the Samuel Rogers tall clock because it illustrated and described in the relatively new book, “Harbor & Home” Furniture of Southeast Massachusetts, which was written by Brock Jobe, Gary Sullivan, and Jack O’Brien 1710 -1850. This very clock is pictured and described on pages 262 – 264, plates 89 and 89.1.

About Samuel Rogers of Plymouth and Bridgewater, Massachusetts.

Samuel Rogers was born in 1766 and died in East Bridgewater, MA on July 17, 1838. He was the older brother of Isaac Rogers Jr. who worked in Marshfield, Mass as a clock maker and the cousin of the Bridgewater clockmaker Ezekiel Reed. It is thought that Samuel was trained under the Hanover clockmaker John Bailey II whos was also a Quaker. Soon after he finished his apprenticeship with Bailey in 1788, Samuel moved to Bridgewater, MA. Here he demonstrated that he was an ingenious clockmaker and inventor. Here he became involved with nail making and applied for and received three patents for designs of nail cutting machines or metal working machines. In 1804, he moved his family to Plymouth and worked as a clockmaker. Here he came up with a very unusual method of powering a shelf clock by designing what may be the first use of a “wagon spring” or tortion spring movement. Three such shelf clocks are known. In 1808 he returned to Bridgewater. Tall case clocks, dwarf clocks and shelf clocks are known.

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