This is a finely inlaid cherry case tall clock made by Abel Hutchins of Concord, New Hampshire. This example is also dated on the back of the dial, "Nov 28 1809." This must have been the date of manufacture.

Abel Hutchins of Concord, New Hampshire. An inlaid cherry case tall clock.

This very nicely and decoratively inlaid case exhibits typical New England proportions. It is primarily constructed in cherry and features a number of intricately formatted inlay patterns. This combination is somewhat unusual for this inland clockmaker suggesting that this case was a special order for a savvy client. The case stands on four flared French feet. The feet transition upwards into a drop apron that hangs below the base section. Please note the inlay pattern that is featured in this design element. The apron is visually separated from the base panel by a decorative line inlaid banding of alternately light and darker woods. This banding is present on the front and along the side panels of the base. The base panel centers a diamond pattern. This is well executed and is complex in its’ design. A thin string line inlay featuring cut-out corners frames the perimeter of this panel. The waist is long and features a rectangular shaped waist door that is trimmed with an applied molding. This door is inlaid along its’ outer edge with a mahogany cross-banded detail. The wood selected for the central panel of the door is nicely figured. This is noted because cherrywood seldom exhibits a exuberant grain pattern. The front corners of the waist section are fitted with reeded quarter columns that terminate in brass quarter capitals. Additional inlay patterns are displayed below each column. The bonnet is surmounted by a country New England style fretwork design. The three chimney plinths are line inlaid and each supports a brass ball and spike finial. The two bonnet columns are also reeded and flank the bonnet door. This door is arched in form and is fitted with glass. It opens to access the painted dial.

This iron dial is of Boston origin and was most likely manufactured by the Nolen dial firm. Gilt colored urns are depicted in each of the four spandrel areas. These are surrounded by raised gesso decorations that are also highlighted in gilt paint. In the arch of this dial is a lunar calendar or a moon-phase mechanism. This will track and display the phases of the moon. In between the moons are two painted scenes. One is a pastoral setting. The other scene features a nautical theme. The time ring if formatted with Roman style hour numerals. Smaller Arabic numerals are used to indicate each of the five minute markers. A subsidiary seconds dial is located in its’ traditional location. The Maker’s name is signed in a script format above the hour numeral “VI”. The city or working location of “CONCORD” is signed in a block format. The back of this dial is bears the inscription, “Nov 28 1809.” It appears to be period and is most likely the date of manufacture of this clock.

The movement is constructed in brass and is weight driven. It is designed to run eight days on a full wind and strike each hour on a cast iron bell. The striking system features a rack and snail set up. The cast iron bell is mounted above the movement. The movement is good quality.

This clocks stands approximately 7 feet 7 inches tall to the top of the center brass finial and was made circa 1809.

Able Hutchins worked with his older brother Levi in partnership from 1783 through 1803. Both boys were born in Harvard, Massachusetts. Levi was born on August 17, 1761 and Abel was born two years later in March. Both men lived long into their nineties! On December 6, 1777, the brothers entered into an apprenticeship with Simon Willard of Grafton, Massachusetts. At this time Levi was sixteen and Abel was fourteen years old. After serving their indenture to Simon, both boys moved to Concord, New Hampshire some time before 1784. Here they began what must have been a very productive business making clocks. In 1803, Abel bought out his brothers interests in the partnership and continued making clocks in the same location. This clock must have been made after this 1803 date.

About Abel Hutchins of Concord, New Hampshire.

Abel Hutchins worked with his older brother Levi in partnership from 1786 through 1803. Both boys were born in Harvard, Massachusetts the sons of Colonel Gordon Hutchins. Levi was born on August 17, 1761 and Abel was born two years later in March. Both men lived into their nineties. On December 6, 1777, the brothers entered into an apprenticeship with Simon Willard of Grafton, Massachusetts. At this time Levi was sixteen and Abel was fourteen years old. In 1780, Levi moved to Abington, CT for a period of approximately eight months to learn some watchmaking skills. He then moved to Concord, New Hampshire and opened a shop on Main Street. He was the first clockmaker to manufacture brass clocks in New Hampshire. Abel worked for a short time in Roxbury after his commitment to Simon was over. Abel is listed in the Roxbury tax assessor’s records in 1784. He was also appointed a fireward with Aaron Willard and Elijah Ward. It is in Roxbury that he married Elizabeth Partridge in January of 1786. Two of her sisters also married clockmakers Aaron Willard and Elnathan Taber. Shortly after their marriage, it appears that Abel moved to Concord, NH and formed a partnership with his bother sometime in 1786. Here they began what must have been a very productive business of making clocks. In 1803, Abel bought out his brothers interests in the partnership and continued making clocks in the same location. The shop was destroyed by fire on November 25th, 1817. Abel built the Phoenix Hotel on the same site. It opened for business on January 1st, 1819. He prospered as a innkeeper until he retired in 1832.

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