David Wood of Newburyport, Massachusetts

This is a fine mahogany case shelf clock with a lovely painted dial signed by David Wood of Newburyport, Massachusetts. This clock was made circa 1805.

This mahogany case is in wonderful color and condition. The case is supported up on applied brass feet in the form of animal paws. The lower section of this clock is fitted with a rectangular shaped waist door that is trimmed with a cock-beaded edge. This door is cross banded in mahogany. This framing centers a wonderfully figured crotch mahogany veneer. The front corners of this section is fitted with smoothly turned quarter columns that terminate in brass quarter capitals. Brass carrying handles are fitted to the side of the case. The molded arch bonnet features diamond shaped windows in the sides. The arched bonnet door is fitted with glass. It opens to a painted iron dial.

The iron dial is colorfully painted and of Boston origin. Heavy gesso designs are highlighted with gilt paint. It has a lively appearance. This dial is signed by the clockmaker. It reads, “David Wood Newburyport” below the center arbor. This is now somewhat faint. The time track is formatted in large Arabic numerals. The iron hands are hand filed and simply formed. They are very effective. The arch of the dial features a painted scene. The scene depicts a group of gentleman fishing on the bank of a river.

The time only movement is of good quality. It is constructed in brass and features steel pinions. It is weight driven and designed to run for eight-days on a full wind and to strike once each hour on a cast iron bell.

This clock stands approximately 33 inches tall. It is approximately 13.75 inches wide at the feet.

About David Wood of Newburyport, Massachusetts.

David Wood was born the son of John and Eunice Wood in Newburyport, Massachusetts on July 5, 1766. It is thought that he may have been apprenticed to either Daniel Balch Senior or one of the members of the Mulliken family. All of whom were prominent Clockmakers in this region. On June 13, 1792, David advertised that he had set up a shop in Market Square, near Reverend Andrews Meeting House, where he made and sold clocks. Three short years latter, he married Elizabeth Bird in 1795. It has become evident, that David Wood was also a Retailer. In 1806, he advertised that he had for sale “Willard’s best Patent Timepieces, for as low as can be purchased in Roxbury.” In the year 1818, he and Abel Moulton, a local silversmith, moved into the shop formerly occupied by Thomas H. Balch. In 1824 he advertised that he had moved on the westerly side of Market Square opposite the Market House. After his wife’s death in 1846, he moved to Lexington to live near is son David, who was a merchant in that town.

It has become quite obvious to us that David Wood was a very successful Clockmaker and Retailer of Clocks. Over the last 40 plus years of being in the business of selling clocks, we have sold many examples of wall, shelf, and tall case clocks bearing this Maker’s signature on the dial.


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