Richardson Miner of Stratford, Connecticut. A cherry case tall clock by a rare Connecticut maker.

A fine cherry case tall clock with composite brass dial signed Richardson Miner, Stratford, (CT).

This cherry case exhibits very narrow proportions. It is elevated off the floor on simple applied bracket feet and a single step molding. Please note the wonderful “C” scroll return detail. The waist is long and narrow and narrow centering a large rectangular shaped waist door. This door is trimmed with a molded edge. The door provides access to the pendulum and weights which are located in the interior of the case. The hood rests on the upper cove molding. Fully turned and fluted hood columns are mounted in brass capitals. These flank the arched hood door and visually support the arched molding. The top of the bonnet is fitted with a whale’s tails fret and three capped chimneys or plinths. The plinths each support a brass ball and spike finial. Tomb-stone shaped side lights or windows are located on the sides of the hood. These provides visual access to the interior of the case.

This style of this dial predates the painted dial form. It is composed of a brass sheet and is decorated with six applied matching cast brass Rococo style spandrels, a centrally fitted an engraved name boss is located in the lunette, an engraved time or chapter ring, an engraved seconds register, an aperture for the calendar day and a decoratively engraved center. The name boss is engraved with the clockmaker’s name and working location. It reads, “Rich son / Miner / STRATFORD.” The time ring is formatted with Arabic style five minute markers, a closed minute ring and Roman style hours. The engraved decorations in the center are an exhibition of the engravers skill. They are wonderful executed and worth pointing out. (Note: he fact that this dial has an engraved center may ssuggest that it is the youngest of the four clocks known.)

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 clock has the following approximate dimensions. The case stands 7 feet 6 inches tall (90 inches) to the top of the center finial. Measured at the upper hood molding, it is 20 inches wide and 10 inches deep. The fact that this dial has an engraved center may suggest that it is the youngest of the four clocks known. This clock may have been made circa 1785.

About Richardson Miner of Stratford and New Haven, Connecticut.

Richardson Minor was born in 1736 and died in 1797 at he age of 61. He was the son of Reverend Richardson and Elizabeth Munson Minor. It is not currently known who trained him as a clockmaker. We can assume that he was born with a great deal of mechanical ability because he is listed as a clockmaker, goldsmith and silversmith. He also served in the Second Connecticut Regiment under Colonel Nathan Whiting during the 1760 campaign of the French and Indian Wars. This regiment was stationed at the Fort No. 4 along the banks of the Connecticut River which is now located in Charlestown. During the 1760’s, this Fort was the furthermost British settlement along the Connecticut River in New Hampshire. This outpost and was continually under pressure from Indian attacks. Minor served this regiment as an armorer. It was his job to keep the muskets and the the weapons of the regiment in good repair. It is thought that he moved from Startford to New Haven sometime around 1760 and was married in 1764. He may have moved back to Stratford at some point. Clocks are known signed in both locations.

Four tall clock examples are currently know to us. Three, including this example is signed as being made in Stratford. The second signed Stratford example is pictured in Dean Fales book, The furniture of Historic Deerfield on page 259. The third signed Stratford example is pictured in Penrose R. Hoopes book, Connecticut Clockmakers of the Eighth Century, reprint, New York, 1974, and is pictured in figures 12 and 36. A fourth clock is signed by Minor but differs in that the location is signed as being New Haven. All four clocks are signed in the same hand. This suggests that he did his own engraving.

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