Abel Hutchins of Concord, New Hampshire. An inlaid cherry case tall clock.

This is a finely inlaid cherry case tall clock made by Abel Hutchins of Concord, New Hampshire. The case wood exhibits excellent Color.

This very nicely and decoratively inlaid case exhibits typical New England proportions. It is primarily constructed in cherry and features a number of intricately formatted inlay patterns. The case stands on cut-out bracket feet. The feet are cutout from the boards that comprise the base. They transition upwards and form a drop apron that hangs below the base section. The apron is visually separated from the base panel by a decorative line inlaid banding of alternately light and darker woods. This banding is present on the front and along the side panels of the base. The base panel is decorated with a inlaid framing and a large oval is centered in the panel. This is well executed. The waist is long and features a rectangular shaped waist door that is trimmed with an applied molding. A thin string line inlay featuring cut-out corners frames the perimeter of this panel. The front corners of the waist section are fitted with fluted quarter columns that terminate in quarter capitals. Additional line inlay patterns laid out in a vertical formatting are displayed above and below each column. The bonnet is surmounted by a country New England style fretwork design. The three chimney plinths are also line inlaid and each supports a brass ball and spike finial. The two bonnet columns are also reeded and flank the bonnet door. This line inlaid door is arched in form and is fitted with glass. It opens to access the painted dial.

This iron dial is of Boston origin and was most likely manufactured by one of the Spencer Nolen dial firms. Colorful florals are depicted in each of the four spandrel areas and also in the lunette.. These are surrounded by raised gesso decorations that are also highlighted in gilt paint. The time ring if formatted with Roman style hour numerals. Smaller Arabic numerals are used to indicate each of the five minute markers. A subsidiary seconds dial is located in its’ traditional location. The Maker’s name is signed in a script format above the hour numeral “VI”. The city or working location of “CONCORD” is signed in a block format.

The movement is constructed in brass and is weight driven. It is designed to run eight days on a full wind and strike each hour on a cast iron bell. The striking system features a rack and snail set up. The cast iron bell is mounted above the movement. The movement is good quality.

This clocks stands approximately 8 feet or 86 inches tall to the top of the center brass finial and was made circa 1809.

About Abel Hutchins of Concord, New Hampshire.

Abel Hutchins worked with his older brother Levi in partnership from 1786 through 1803. Both boys were born in Harvard, Massachusetts the sons of Colonel Gordon Hutchins. Levi was born on August 17, 1761 and Abel was born two years later in March. Both men lived into their nineties. On December 6, 1777, the brothers entered into an apprenticeship with Simon Willard of Grafton, Massachusetts. At this time Levi was sixteen and Abel was fourteen years old. In 1780, Levi moved to Abington, CT for a period of approximately eight months to learn some watchmaking skills. He then moved to Concord, New Hampshire and opened a shop on Main Street. He was the first clockmaker to manufacture brass clocks in New Hampshire. Abel worked for a short time in Roxbury after his commitment to Simon was over. Abel is listed in the Roxbury tax assessor’s records in 1784. He was also appointed a fireward with Aaron Willard and Elijah Ward. It is in Roxbury that he married Elizabeth Partridge in January of 1786. Two of her sisters also married clockmakers Aaron Willard and Elnathan Taber. Shortly after their marriage, it appears that Abel moved to Concord, NH and formed a partnership with his bother sometime in 1786. Here they began what must have been a very productive business of making clocks. In 1803, Abel bought out his brothers interests in the partnership and continued making clocks in the same location. The shop was destroyed by fire on November 25th, 1817. Abel built the Phoenix Hotel on the same site. It opened for business on January 1st, 1819. He prospered as a innkeeper until he retired in 1832.


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