John Rogers of Newton, Massachusetts. Tall case clock.  -SOLD-

John Rogers was born in 1724 and died in Newton on October 19, 1815 at the age of 91. He is also listed as a blacksmith and reportable trained under a Joseph Ward. He maintained two shops. One in Newton and the other in Waltham. He had a number of business dealings with Clockmaker Benjamin Willard. A law suit file against Willard is recorded. The few Signed John Rogers clocks we have owned and sold over the years seem to resemble the style of the latter Massachusetts Makers and their competitors. This rare clock is a superb example.

This is a fine cherry case clock that exhibits classic early New England proportions. This case stands up on applied bracket base. The feet are nicely designed. A simple drop hangs from the center of the bracket molding. The waist section is fitted with a large tombstone waist door. This is trimmed with a simple molded edge. The Queen Anne influenced bonnet is surmounted with two wooden . The bonnet has an arched glazed door. This door is flanked by fully turned bonnet columns. The bonnet door is arched in form and opens to a composite brass dial that is signed by the maker.

This style of this dial predates the painted dial. It is composed of a brass base sheet that is decorated with applied spandrels and a chapter ot time ring. In the arch of the dial is the Maker’s name boss. It is decoratively engraved around the outer edge and is signed in the center by the Maker, John Rogers / Newton. The large chapter ring is also applied to the dial. This ring displays the hours in a Roman numeral format. The five minute markers are indicated in each of the hour positions. The center of this section is nicely matted. This was most likely done to aide in ones ability to located the hands while reading the dial. A brass dial will tarnish making it somewhat difficult to read in a room lit by candles. The steel hands are wonderfully made. This dial also features the subsidiary seconds dial which is engraved with a compass star. The calendar date is display in the traditional location and can be viewed through the access square.

Behind the dial, is a brass weight driven movement. It is designed to run eight days on a full wind. It will also strike each hour on a cast iron bell. The plates are supported with four turned posts and is supported by a seat or a saddle board. These plates are interesting because they retain they Maker’s set up notes in terms of the scribe lines left in the front surface. One will also notice the higher than normal copper content as is evident by the copper coloring. The pendulum features a wooden rod and a brass faced lead bob.

This fine clock was made circa 1785. The overall height is 88 inches. It is 83.5 inches tall to the top of the cornice molding.

About John Rogers of Newton, Massachusetts.

To the best of my knowledge, it is not definitively known when and where John Rogers was born. One source speculates that John Rogers was born on May 9, 1724 in Boston the son of Gamaliel Rogers and Mercy (Emms) Rogers. A second possibility is presented in The History of Newton which states that John Rogers was a descendant of John Rogers the martyr who was burned at the stake. This would indicate that he was a descendant from Rev. Nathaniel Rogers of Ipswich, who was said to be a descendant of John the martyr. We do know that he lived on Newton Corner and died in that town on October 19, 1815 at the age of 91. John is recorded as having married twice. His first wife was Hannah Williamson of Newton. They married on December 11, 1745. Hanna was born October 9, 1723 and died June 8, 1779. Together, they had at least eleven children. John married a second time to Mary (Craft) Towbridge on October 1, 1780. She was on born April 11, 1731. John is found listed as a blacksmith and as a clockmaker. It is currently thought that he trained as a clockmaker under the guidance or Joseph Ward. John is described as an ingenious man and made machines. He also held various town offices, including the position of selectman. In 1780, he served as a member of a committee to recruit soldiers. John maintained two shops. One was located in Newton and the other was in town of Waltham. It is recorded that he was involved in a number of business dealings with the clockmaker Benjamin Willard. Rogers filed a lawsuit against Willard. In about 1761, he made and gifted the gallery clock to the Congregational Church in Newton which is now in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. We have owned and sold a small number of tall clocks made by this maker over the last 50 years. Several of which have featured unusual calendar displays and the movements were fitted with maintaining power.

Examples of tall clocks that feature brass composite dials, engraved brass dials and painted dials are known.


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