A Chippendale Maple Cased Tall Clock made by Jeremiah Fellows of Kensington, New Hampshire. UU-65.

Very few clockmakers lived and worked in the Colonies during this early time period of our country’s history. Pre-Revolutionary clocks made in this country are quite rare and very few exist. The majority of the clocks that would have been available would have been from English sources.

This is a fine example of a tall case clock that exhibits an early American form. It is a diminutive size and must have been made for a specific room in the original owners home. The case is constructed in maple and retains an older finish that has mellowed into a warm and pleasing tone. This case sits flat to the floor on a large double stepped molding. The base section is somewhat compressed and transitions quickly to the waist section which is comparatively long. Please note the complex lower waist molding. A bead transitions to a step, to a cove to a step, to a large cove, to a bead and then a cove to a step. The waist door is tombstone shaped and fills a large section of the middle of the case. The perimeter of the door is trimmed with a simple molded edge. Through this door, one can access the two lead drive weights and brass faced pendulum bob. The front corners of the waist are fitted with fluted quarter columns. These terminate in brass quarter capitals. Please note the joinery pins that are exposed in the door frame. This is a nice cabinetry detail. The bonnet or hood features a cornice top or molded flat pediment that is nicely formed. Free-standing turned columns are located at the front corners. These are mounted in brass capitals and visually support the molded arch. The back corners of the hood are fitted with engaged quarter columns. Large rectangular shaped side lights are fitted with glass and positioned in the sides of the hood. The hood door arched and is fitted with glass. It opens to access the dial.

This style of dial predates the painted dial form. It is composed of a brass sheet and is decorated with applied brass spandrels, silvered time or chapter rings, and name plaque. The cast spandrels are a decorative form. The two spandrels in the arch are somewhat unusual and feature a floral pattern as the dominant theme. These center circular boss that is engraved with an eight pointed star. The Clockmaker’s name and working location are engraved o a plaque that is fitted to the arch of the dial. The interior of the time ring is matted for contrast. The hours are indicated with large Roman style numerals. The five minute makers which are on the outside of the time dial and around the subsidiary seconds dial are displayed in an Arabic form. This is also true of the calendar day date which is displayed through a small window above the hour “VI.” The hour and minute hands are steel and follow the traditional form of the period. These appear to be original to this clock.

The two train movement is brass, eight-day duration and of good quality. four turned brass pillars or posts support the two large cast brass plates. The front plate is inscribed with the positions of the wheel work. Hardened steel shafts support the polished steel pinions and brass gearing. The gearing features long finely filed teeth. The shoulders that support the crossings and engage the shafts are substantial. 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. Please note the unusual shape of the hammer that strikes the bell and also the decorative work filed into the steel hammer arm.

This clock was made circa 1770 and stands approximately 83 inches tall to the top of the case, 21 inches wide at the top of the hood and 11.75 inches deep.


About Jeremiah Fellows of Kensington, New Hampshire.

Jeremiah Fellows was a clockmaker, gunsmith, farmer, deacon and a tavern keeper. He was born on June 12th, 1749 and died in 1837. He was the son of Jeremiah Fellows, a blacksmith and Ruth (Rowe) Fellows. Jeremiah was the oldest of seven children. He married Mary Gore. He is said to have been at work in Kensington as early as 1770 though 1825. It is recorded that his sons took over his blacksmith shop in that year. He also operated a tavern until 1776 when it was burned. In 1778, he purchased land from the Puringtons and enlarged the workshop. The Puringtons were also a clockmaking family and Jeremiah must have had a close working relationship with them. Their clocks are very similar in construction. It is thought that he made some of his own cases which he sold at a discount compared to those he purchased from the local joiner Ebenezer Clifford. The Clifford cased clocks sold for $25 more than his own. Several other clocks are known. Some of which are numbered. To date, the highest number known to us is Number 22. A fine tall clock that is numbered 11 is in the New Hampshire Historical Society’s Collection. That clock was most likely made in 1784. This is based on a clock known that is signed by the Maker in the arch of the dial. It is also numbered “10,” and dated “1784.”


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