A colorful unsigned cherry case tall clock. Possibly Rochester, New Hampshire origin. 221034

This Rochester, New Hampshire area tall case clock features cherry wood construction and a modern finish that compliments the grain pattern and the warm coloring of the wood. We have owned a fair number of Rochester area cases that stand on simple turned feet and feature an inset base panel. This group of clocks also featured Boston painted dials. It is interesting to note that several of which were signed by the Rochester, NH Clockmakers James Cole and James Cross.

This cherry case tall clock stands on feet. The front two are turned and nicely shaped. They exhibit good form and are nicely detailed with ring turnings. An applied molding is fitted to the bottom of the base. The base section features an inset panel. The waist is long and features a rectangular shaped door. This door is trimmed with a simple molded edge. Unlock and open this door and you will have gained access to the two drive weights and pendulum. The sides of the waist section are fitted with fluted quarter columns. These are mounted in brass quarter capitals. The bonnet features a whale's tails style fretwork design. Three fluted finial plinths support the brass ball and spike finials. The arched bonnet door is fitted with glass. The bonnet fluted columns are mounted in brass capitals. These columns visually support the upper bonnet molding. Tombstone shape side lights are incorporated into the sides of the hood.

The features a very colorful iron dial. It was painted by the dial firm of Nolen & Curtis in Boston, MA. Spencer Nolen and Samuel Curtis were clock dial manufacturers, dial painters, and ornamental artists that worked respectively from 1806-1810 and 1814-1822. They set up shop on Washington Street, Boston Neck and dominated the clock dial industry after the Jefferson Embargo of 1807 halted the exportation of clock dials from England. There were other pockets of dial production coming from areas like Worcester MA, Southern Maine, and in New Hampshire but the output was not significant. The Nolen & Curtis firm was able to expand their business, opening up shop in Philadelphia before the partnership was dissolved in 1822. At that point, their dials were being sold to clockmakers all over New England and as far south as Kentucky. Nolen & Curtis dials were considered the finest offered at the time. They commonly used color combinations of rich Kelly greens, blood reds, and mustard yellows. These colors were used alongside gilt gold as seen in this classic example. This dial is decorated with brilliant sunburst spandrels and raised gesso decoration are highlighted with gilt paint. In the arch fo the dial are fruits that include peaches and grapes. These are surrounded by gilded swags. Interestingly enough, fruit motifs such as this fell out of fashion circa 1815. The time ring is formatted with Arabic style five minute markers. A dotted minute ring separates the five minute markers from the large Arabic style hour numerals. Inside the minute ring is a subsidiary seconds dial and day of the month calendar display. The time is indicated by open diamond hands.

The movement is constructed in brass and is good quality. Four turned pillars support the two large brass plates. These brass plates have an unusual shape. It is thought that the cutouts featured here were done so to conserve on the use of brass. 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. The movement 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 clocks stands approximately 7 feet 8 inches (92 inches) tall to the top of the center brass finial. It is 20.25 inches wide and 10.25 inches deep. This clock was made circa 1815.

221034

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