A & C Edwards of Ashby, Massachusetts. No. 116. A composite dial wooden geared tall clock. BBB2

This fine example is in very good condition. Very few brass dial wooden gear clocks were made. Finding one in the marketplace today is a real treat.

This country case is constructed in New England white pine and retains much of its original painted surface. This surface is consistent throughout the case construction and shows some areas of light crazing. The coloring is excellent and the faux grain pattern is vibrant. The case is supported by applied bracket base that rests flat to the floor. The base section is compressed and transition into the center or waist section via a deep cove shaped molding. The waist section is long and narrow and is fitted with a large rectangular shaped waist door. This door is trimmed with a simple molded edge. Opening it will provide access to the interior of the case. Here one will find the pendulum and two tin can drive weights. The hood is finished with a cornice top. This is a nice simple design. Fully turned bonnet columns are positioned on each corner of the hood. They are free standing and they visually support the upper bonnet molding.

The construction of this arched shaped dial is interesting. The backplate is tin and the decorations are applied to it. The front side of this dial plate is painted in a gold paint in order to make it look like brass. The four decorative spandrels are cast in pewter. The design nicely detailed and is in relief. These are positioned around the outside of the time ring. The two additional cast pewter spandrels are positioned in the arch and frame the name boss. They are decorated with human / ghost like figures. It is my thought that they are positioned in this location to remind us that humans are mortal and that time forever moves forward. This is a reoccurring design on other clocks made by this partnership. A name boss is located in the center of the arch of the dial. This is engraved with the Maker’s name, working location and the numbering of this clock as 116. The time ring is formatted with Roman style hour numerals and Arabic numerals indicate each of the five minute locations. The seconds registrar is closed. The center mat area is painted gold. This aides in one ability to see the nicely formed hour and minute hands. This clock is also fitted with a calendar. The dial is attached to the movement with two wooden slats applied to the back of the dial. These are drilled to accept the four wooden dial feet.

The wooden geared movement is weight powered and designed to run 30-hours on a full wind. The winding of this example is done by opening the waist door and pulling a cord that in turn raises a weight. One for the time train and another for the strike train. They are set up as direct drives. The movement is a time and strike design and of fine quality. It features a count wheel striking system that will strike each hour on a cast iron bell. The count wheel is located on the outside of the movement on the back plate. The pendulum rod is wood and supports a lead bob.

This clock was made circa 1790. The overall height of this example is approximately 7 feet 6 inches tall.


About Abraham & Calvin Edwards of Ashby, Massachusetts.

Abraham Edwards is believed to have been born in Concord, Massachusetts in 1761. His younger brother Calvin was born two years later in 1763. Both were the sons of Samuel Edwards and Huldah Easterbrook of Concord. The family moved from Concord to Ashby, Massachusetts sometime in 1777. Ashby was then and still is today a small village located in Massachusetts on the New Hampshire boarder due North of Worcester. Both Abraham and Calvin were hard workers and owned everything in common including several pieces of land in the town of Ashby. They entered a partnership in 1792 and made wooden gear clocks. These clocks are signed on their dials A & C Edwards. This partnership lasts approximately four short years before Calvin’s death at the age of 33. While alive, the partnership appears to have produced in excess of 530 plus clocks. Often times the production number is listed at greater than 600, but the highest number that I have personally seen recorded is in the upper 530’s. It is assumed that all the clocks made after the partnership ended are signed by Abraham only. Of which, many such examples have been found. Early examples of the A&C partnership features composite metal dials. The later examples, sometime after the number 211, feature the use of a painted wooden dial. Abraham and Calvin were responsible for training other clockmakers. Some of which include Abraham’s son John, Calvin’s sons Calvin Jr. and Samuel, Alexander, Jacob and Philander Jacob Willard of Ashburnham, Wendell and his brother Whittear Perkins and possibly John Barker of Worcester. This list of names is still growing.


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