Jason R. Rawson of Holden, MA. A tiger maple decorated shelf clock. Time, strike and alarm. Made in 1839. 221110

This superb wooden works shelf clock was made by Jason R. Rawson of Holden, Massachusetts circa 1839. This is a mixed woods case comprising of pine, mahogany and tiger maple. The case features a wonderful warm finish that promotes the honey coloring of the tiger maple wood. Striped mahogany veneers frame the door which is visually divided into two sections. The lower section contains a mercury backed mirror that is in fantastic original condition. This is backed with a pine board. On this board is a notation in lead that suggests that this clock was in Goffstown, NH in 1854 and was serviced by Asa Burnham and then later by R. Morrill. The upper section of the door is fitted with clear glass so one can view the dial. It is hinged and locks closed with a key. Flanking the door are two long triangular shaped tiger maple grained columns. The splat , located at the top of the case is also tiger maple and contrasts wonderfully with the darker mahogany. The splat is secured with two plinths, one on each side.

The wooden dial is painted. The four spandrel areas are decorated with gilt patterns. The use of gilded is also used in the design of the minute and other concentric rings. The are demarked with Roman style numerals. The hands are steel and well formed. The brass disk in the center of the dial is used for setting the alarm.

The weight driven movement is wooden geared and designed to operate thirty hours on a full wind. Two rectangular shaped wooden plates support the steel pinions, wooden arbors and wooden gearing. The strike train features a count-wheel system. It will strike each hour on a coil wire gong that is mounted to the backboard inside the case. The alarm is wound through the dial. The gearing for this is also mounted between the plates. When set, the alarm strikes a cast iron bell that is mounted on top of the case behind the splat.

The Maker’s label is pasted inside the clock onto the backboard. It is in wonderful overall condition. It reads: CLOCK MANUFACTORY / IMPROVED / CLOCKS, / Manufactured and Sold, / WHOLESALE AND RETAIL, BY / JASON R. RAWSON, / HOLDEN, MASS., / 1839. / Warranted, if well used. / The Public may rest assured that CLOCKS made at this Factory are equal, if not superior, to any / ever made in this country. This label was printed by Palladium Office — No. 11. Central Exchange, Worcester, Mass.—E. W. Bartlett, Printer.

This case measures approximately 31.75 inches tall, 16 inches wide and 5 inches deep. This clock is inventory number 221110.

Jason R. Rawson was born in Holden, Massachusetts in 1809. He moved several times. Some of these moves include Athens, Vermont in 1840, Saxton’s River, Vermont in 1842, Watertown, New York where he was married in 1845 and then settled in Queensbury, New York. A watch-paper that is dated 1839 having the place location of Holden is also known. Additional thirty hour wooden works movements have been found. Many of the Holden examples are dated as is this example on the label.

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