David Wood of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Warranted for Captain E.L. Ames. A cross-banded and inlaid mahogany case tall clock of the finest design. 220042

This clock was once owned by Captain E. L. Ames. It is so signed across the middle of the painted dial. Ames was Captain of at least three Schooners during his career in the Newburyport area. The last ship he was involved with was named the "Pearl" and he is listed as the Master. The Pearl was owned by J. Howard of Salem, MA. It is a nice conversation point to know one of the past owners.

This is a very attractive cross-banded and inlaid mahogany tall case clock. The case features nicely figured mahogany woods and veneers. The front panels are framed with a double cross-banded border or framing. This is a design element seldom seen in tall case clock construction. The outer banding is executed in rosewood. The interior banding features mahogany. This frame pattern is separated by a decorative line pattern of alternating light and dark wood. This formatting is very unusual and someday may be attributed to a specific cabinetmaker.

This fine example incorporates a number of woods in the construction of this case. They include mahogany, figured mahogany veneers, rosewood cross-banding, holly inlays, satin-wood panels and New England white pine is used as a secondary wood. This case surface retains an older surface that is smooth and consistent. It highlights many of the decorative inlay patterns. This case is raised up off the floor on an applied bracket base. The four feet are tall and subtly formed. They are applied to a double stepped molding that is applied to the base. The base panel features a number of inlay patterns that are complex. The outer banding is executed in rosewood. The interior banding features mahogany. This frame pattern is separated by a decorative line pattern of alternating light and dark wood. The interior light inlay is designed with an alternating light and dark wood pieces that are cut in a parallelogram shape. These are stacked in a long line. This decorative pattern of inlay is used throughout the construction of the case. Centered in the base panel is a complex inlaid fan pattern. The blades are sand shaded on the downward edges for visual depth. The tips of each blade are decoratively finished. The waist section is long and narrow. A long rectangular shaped waist door fills this center section of the case. The door is trimmed with an applied molding. The inlaid framing used along the perimeter is the same pattern used in the design of the base. The center panel features a wonderfully figured selection of mahogany veneer. The grain pattern is interesting. In the center of this panel is an inlaid urn. The design is excellent. This waist door opens to access the interior of the case where one will find the two drive weights, pendulum and the brass faced pendulum bob. The front corners of the waist section are fitted with smoothly turned quarter columns. These are decorated with inlay designs. The columns terminate at both ends in brass quarter capitals. Below the columns are decoratively inlaid panels. The bonnet features a New England style pierced and open fret-work pattern. This pattern is associated with the North shore region of Massachusetts and has been see on other clocks signed by this Maker. Three inlaid chimneys or finial plinths are mounted at the top of the case and support this fretwork pattern. Each plinth is capped at the top and supports a cast brass ball and spire finial. The molded arch is supported by smoothly turned columns. The front two are decorated with line inlay patterns. The back quarter columns are fitted into the back corners of the hood. These terminate in brass capitals. The sides of the hood are fitted with large decoratively shaped side lights or windows. These are glazed. The line inlaid hood door is also fitted with glass and opens to access the painted dial. Please note the intricate inlay pattern used in this frame.

This iron dial is colorfully painted and signed by the Clockmaker. His signature is boldly signed below the calendar and reads, "DAVID WOOD / Newbury Port." It is also "Warranted for Capt. E. L. Ames" across the center. The four spandrel areas are paint decorated with colorful floral patterns. Two birds, perhaps pheasants are depicted in the lunette. The time track is formatted with the combination of Roman and Arabic numerals. This dial also features five minute markers, a subsidiary seconds dial and a day of the month calendar.

This fine movement is constructed in brass and is good quality. Four turned pillars support the two brass plates. Hardened steel shafts support the polished steel pinions and brass gearing. 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.

This nicely proportioned case stands approxiamtely 88.5 iinches tall or 7 feet 4.5 inches tall to the top of the center finial. Measured at the upper bonnet molding, it is 19.25 inches wide and 10 inches deep. This clock was made circa 1805.


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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