Nathaniel Edwards Jr., of Acton, Massachusetts. A cherry cased tall clock. GG225

This very nicely proportioned example is constructed in cherry and retains an older finish that has mellowed considerably over the years. The case is elevated on four ogee bracket feet. These are well-formed, with a nicely shaped knee and an aggressively hooked spur. They are applied to a double-step molding attached to the bottom of the base. The waist section is long and is fitted with a large tombstone-shaped waist door. This door provides access to the interior of the case. Here one will find the two drive weights and the brass-faced pendulum bob. Inset fluted quarter columns are fitted into the front corners of the waist. These terminate in brass quarter capitals. The molded arched bonnet is surmounted with a lovely pierced and open fretwork design. This pattern is, to date, unique. I have not seen this version before. The three fluted plinths each support a decorative brass finial. The bonnet door is arched and fitted with glass. Fully turned and fluted bonnet columns flank the sides of the hood door. The two hood columns are mounted in brass capital. Rectangular-shaped sidelights that are fitted with glass are featured on the sides of the hood.

This twelve-inch iron dial is colorfully painted. It was locally made and painted by an unidentified artist. The other Edwards clocks known to us also featured a painted dial by the same hand. The dial design is well executed and is signed on the front in script lettering “Nath. Edwards / ACTON.” The four corner or spandrel areas are decorated with flowers. Interestingly, the spandrel decorations are not framed with lacy gilt patterns. A moon phase or lunar calendar display is featured in the lunette. The colors are very unusual. The painted scenes that have repaced the typical hemisphere decorations are nautically themed. Several sailboats are depicted on the ocean. The time track is formatted with Arabic-style five-minute markers. A dotted minute ring separates the five-minute markers from the large Roman-style hour numerals. The subsidiary seconds dial and month calendar are located in their traditional locations. 

The clock works, or movement is constructed in brass and is of good quality. It is weight-driven and designed to run for 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. A hammer hits a cast iron bell which is mounted above the movement. The movement has recently been serviced and is in fine running condition.

Overall height is 7 feet 10.5 inches tall. This clock was made circa 1795.

GG225.

About Nathaniel Edwards Jr., of Acton, Massachusetts.

Nathaniel Edwards Jr., was born in Acton on September 19, 1770, to Nathaniel and Hannah (Prescott) Edwards. His working dates are listed from 1791 to 1800. Nathaniel worked in his father’s house, which still stands today. It is located at 328 Pope Road, near the Concord line. Very few clocks made by this Maker have been found, and to date, those that have are the tall case form. Two of these are on public display. A very good example is currently on display at Gleason Library in Carlisle, MA. In 1993, the Concord Antiquarian Museum received a tall clock made by this Maker as a gift. That clock is reported to have been originally purchased by Nathan Brooks (1785-1863). He was a lawyer, legislator, and philanthropist. He was also a Whig, and his wife was an Abolitionist. Brooks lived where the present library is situated today. This is on the corner of Main Street and Sudbury Road. This clock was purchased by the Richardson family from the Brooks estate in 1881 for $75. It is a descendant of this family that donated the clock. 

In 1993, the Concord Antiquarian Museum received a tall clock made by this Maker as a gift. That clock is reported to have been originally purchased by Nathan Brooks (1785-1863). He was a lawyer, legislator, and philanthropist. He was also a Whig, and his wife was an abolitionist. He lived where the present library sits. This is on the corner of Main Street and Sudbury Road. This clock was purchased from the Brooks estate in 1881 for $75. The Richardson family purchased it. It is a descendant of this family that donated the clock.

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