Lord & Goddard Rutland, Vermont. No. 98. A tall case clock.  -SOLD-

This is a wonderful inlaid cherry case tall clock having a painted dial signed by the Rutland, Vermont partnership of Lord & Goddard. The case form is typical of what one would expect having a style that is very similar in form to the high style New York and New Jersey cases of the same period. This case is constructed in cherry and features decorative holly wood inlay patterns and mahogany highlights.

This fine case stands on nicely shaped applied French feet. These are an excellent form and are applied to a molding that is applied to the bottom of the case. The base panel features a large inlaid mahogany oval panel that is framed with thin line inlays. A line inlaid box also frames this base panel. The waist is section is long. The center is fitted with a rectangular door. An applied molding gives the door some depth. In addition, a line inlay frames the interior outside edge. In the center section is an inlaid oval that has been stretched. This is a mahogany veneer that exhibits a good grain pattern. Fully turned and fluted columns are inset into the corners of the waist. These are mounted in turned wooden capitals that have been guilded. A checkered rope or a barber pole inlay pattern trims the rest of this outside edge. This is a nice subtle detail that is difficult to pick up in the photographs. The bonnet or hood features a swan's neck pediment. The horn a delicately formed and terminate in inlaid pinwheels. In the front facade, one will find a stylized urn inlaid in the center of this section. Three brass ball and spiked finials surmount this case. The two located on the outside of the case are mounted on reeded plinths. The inlaid rope pattern featured in the waist section is reestablished here. Fluted bonnet columns flank the arched bonnet door. This door is also line inlaid.

The painted dial is mounted to the movement with a false plate. The spandrel areas are decorated with fanciful gesso patterns that help highlight the gilt florals painted over green medallions. This dial is boldly signed by the clockmaker. The time track is formatted in the traditional Roman numerals marking the hours and Arabic numerals are used for each of the five minute markers. A calendar and seconds bit are in the traditional locations. A moon phase mechanism or lunar calendar is located in the arch.

This fine movement is constructed in brass and is good quality.  Four turned pillars support the two brass plates. 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.   It 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.  The hammer is returned to it's ready position via a coil spring. This movement is good quality.

This clock was made circa 1806.

A number of tall case clocks have been found signed by the Lord & Goddard partnership. Some of the following numbers recorded include 72, 75, 87, 95, 97, 98, 111 and 113.

About Lord & Goddard of Rutland, Vermont.

The partnership of Lord & Goddard was first advertised in July 1997. Their shop was located a few rods north of the Rutland Court House just opposite Messrs Pomeroy & Hooker’s store. At this location they advertised the manufacture of musical clocks and most kinds of gold and silverware. (Rutland Herald 7-3-1797.) The shop was moved in 1800 to the shop formerly occupied by Storer & Wilmont. This shop was located approximately 15 rods northwest from the Court House. Lord & Goddard’s partnership lasted approximately eight years and was dissolved on April 26th, 1805. A notice was placed in the Rutland Herald on this date. It appears they stayed close friends as their families remained close and involved with each other.

The tall case clocks that have been found signed by Lord & Goddard have the following numbers recorded…. 72, 75, 87, 95, 97, 98, 106, 111 and 113. Tall clocks signed by Nichols only include 124, 125, 144 and 150.

Benjamin Lord was born in Norwich, Connecticut on October 10, 1770 the son of Ebenezer and Temperance (Edgerton). He is first listed as a silversmith in 1793 when he advertised in the Western Star in Pittsfield, Massachusetts opposite the meeting house on the road to Lanesborough in 1796. It is recorded that in 1797, Benjamin moved into Rutland, Vermont and with in a few short months has formed a partnership with Nichols Goddard. Benjamin married Fanny Buel on January 28, 1799 in Convetry, Connecticut. Together, they had at least six children while putting roots down in this town. He becomes involved with public affairs and serves as town clerk in 1803 – 1813 and again in 1815 – 1826. He was a Captain in the local militia. In 1808, he is thought to have trained his nephew John Bliss as a clockmaker. Bliss becomes a well documented chronomometer maker in New York. Benjamin died on April 23, 1843 in Athens, Georgia.

Nichols Goddard was born the son of Nathan and Martha (Nichols) Goddard in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts on October 4, 1773. It is thought that he learned clockmaking from his second cousin Luther Goddard who was also in Shrewsbury. Luther was trained by his cousin, our country’s most famous clockmaker, Simon Willard of Grafton in 1778. Luther is often credited with making the first watch in America. Nichols is listed as working in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1794 through 1797. A diary entry from 1795 states that as a journeyman, Nichols made movements for his father Luther Goddard, Gardner Parker of Westborough, Isaac Gere of Northampton, MA and for a man identified as “Ingalls” who is also in Northhampton. In June of 1797, Goddard moves north to Rutland, Vermont. At this time, the period of 1770 through about 1825, the state of Vermont enjoyed unprecedented population growth. It is in Rutland that Goddard formed a partnership with a silversmith who was originally from Norwich, Connecticut and more recently Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His name was Benjamin Lord. In September of 1798, Nichols returned to Northampton to marry Charity White. She was the daughter of Job White and Charity Chapin. They returned to Rutland and had seven children together. After their partnership ended, Nichols continued to make clocks under his own name until he died in 1823.

Nichols involves himself in public affairs. In 1800 he is appointed Town Clerk of Rutland. He also serves as Town Treasurer from 1805 – 1807. He received the commission of Captain in the militia. He was also very active in the Masonic lodge. In 1802 he was elected Grand Junior Deacon of the Grand Masonic Lodge of Vermont and in 1804 through 1810 he served as Grand Senior Warden.

Nichols died in Rutland on September 23, 1823.


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