Joseph Chadwick of Boscawen, New Hampshire. An Inlaid cherry cased tall clock. 220033

This clock has a long history of being in the Kettle and Crane Inn in the town of Boscawen, NH. This colonial tavern is located at 215 King Street and was built originally built by Winthrop Carter in 1764 and was the second frame wooden structure built in that town. In 1771, Carter served as a town officer and was a licensed innkeeper in 1790. About 1793, The tavern was called the Old Homestead Inn and then the Kettle and Crane Inn. Today, most locals still know the building by that name although historians known it as the Winthrop Carter House. Winthrop Carter was an activist during the American Revolution. He marched to Lexington in response to the Lexington Alarm on April 21, 1775. In 1776-1777 he participated in the Winter Campaign on the Hudson River and served there as a Lieutenant. In August of 1778, Carter helped in the defense of Rhode Island.

The case is constructed woods found locally to the central, New Hampshire region. The primary wood is cherry and the secondary wood is New England white pine. This case also features a number of line wood inlays that are most likely maple. This case has been appropriately refinished and now presented in a lovely pleasing warm color.

This fine example stands up on four feet. They are cut out of the base section and retain excellent height. The cutout design between the feet forms a subtly shaped apron that drops or hangs from the base section. The waist section is fitted with a rectangular shaped waist door that is trimmed with an applied molding. The door features a line inlay pattern of light and dark stringing. Through this waist door one can gain access to the interior of the case and the components that include the two original tin can drive weights and the brass faced pendulum bob. Two fluted quarter columns flank the sides of the waist and terminate in brass quarter capitals. The bonnet is surmounted with a pierced and open fret work. This is an usual country New England design. It is supported by three inlaid finial plinths. Each plinth is fitted with a brass ball and spike finial. The molded arch is supported by reeded bonnet columns. They are free standing and mounted in brass capitals. These flank the arched bonnet door which is fitted with glass.

This iron dial was paint decorated by the Boston ornamental artists, Spencer & Nolen. The four spandrel areas and the lunette of the dial are decorated with circular medallions. The color combination of green, blood red and yellow is cheerful. The design also incorporates gilt highlights, some of which are applied on raised gesso decorations. This dial also displays the hours, minutes, seconds and calendar date in the traditional format. This dial is boldly signed by the Clockmaker in script lettering. This signature is located below the calendar date and above the Roman hour numeral VI. It reads, "Joseph Chadwick / Boscawen."

This movement is constructed in brass and is good quality. It is weight driven and designed to run eight-days on a full wind. It is 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 fine example was made circa 1810 and stands 92.25 inches tall to the top of the center finial. It is 20.5 inches wide and 10.25 inches deep.


About Joseph Chadwick of Boscawen, New Hampshire. clockmaker, scalemaker, and musical instrument maker.

Joseph Chadwick was born on July 19, 1787 in Boscawen, New Hampshire. The Town of Boscawen is situated in Merrimack County. It is on the northern border of the Capital City Concord. Joseph’s father was Edmund Chadwick and his mother is Susanna (Atkinson) Chadwick. It is now currently thought that he may have trained as a clockmaker under the guidance of Timothy Chandler in Concord. He would have completed his apprenticeship about 1801. Joseph married three times. His first wife was Judith (aka Betsy) Morrill of Boscawen. Judith was the sister of clockmaker Benjamin Morrill, (b. 12/13/1792 – d. 3/12/1821). Joseph next married Eunice Bliss,, (b 3/19/1791) of Lebanon, NH. He married his third wife Mary Ann Merrill on 4/20/1851. Mary Ann, (b. 1/23/1800) was the daughter of the Bristol, NH Tanner John Merrill. Joseph died on January 16, 1868 in Boscawen.

Joseph is listed as a clock and watchmaker. The town history of Boscawen also suggests that he was a scalemaker and an instrument maker. He is said to have made melodeons and seraphones. Very few tall clocks are known. A birch and mahogany inlaid case is now in the collection of The New Hampshire Historical Society. This clock was given to them by Charles Parsons. Joseph is best known for making wall clocks. A fair number of New Hampshire mirror style clocks trade in the marketplace signifying that at one time, he had a healthy business providing them for the local community.


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