Riley Whiting of Winchester, Connecticut.
This is a wonderful carved column and splat shelf clock with pasted label by Riley Whiting of Winchester, Connecticut. This example incorporates many collectible components in a single example starting with condition.
This very colorful example is in very good original condition. This clock, having been made by a wooden geared clockmaker is fitted with a wooden geared. It is designed to be powered by cast iron weights and run thirty hours on a full winding. It is a time and strike design and features the unusual arrangement of an alarm mechanism that is fitted between the plates. Very few wooden gear clocks incorporate this additional mechanical option. The original Clockmaker's label is pasted inside the case onto the backboard. It lists the Maker and his working location as well as the instructions on how to operate this clock. The painted wooden dial is decorated with colorful florals. These are found in the four spandrel areas and below the brass alarm disk located in the center of the dial. The lower section of the door is fitted with a colorful lithograph. This tablet is original to this clock and is in excellent original condition retaining good coloring. It is titled "Violets." The scene depicts a woman wearing a dress standing in the countryside. Her hair is neatly arranged. She is holding a number of freshly picked violets in both hands. A basket full of the flowers hangs from her right arm. This image is framed with a thin dark border. The case is mahogany and retains an older finish. Wonderfully carved half columns flank the sides of the case. The detail of which is very strong. At the top of the case is a carved floral splat. The tips of this splat have some losses to the carvings. This splat is supported with two capped wooden plinths.
This mahogany case measures approximately 33.75 inches tall, 17.75 inches wide and almost 5 inches deep. It was made circa 1830.
Inventory number QQ-51.
About Riley Whiting of Winsted, Connecticut.
Riley Whiting was born in Torrington, Conn., on January 16, 1785 the son of Christopher and Mary (Wilcox) Whiting. In 1806, he married Urania Hoadley and served his apprenticeship with the Hoadleys in Plymouth, Connecticut making wooden geared clocks. In 1807, Riley, Samuel Whiting and Luther Hoadley formed a partnership and began building short and long pendulum clocks in Winchester. Luther Hoadley died in 1813 and about the same time, Samuel entered the U. S. Army. This left Riley in business all by himself. He continued as sole proprietor and in 1819 moved to the town of Winsted until he died there in 1835. It is thought that he began to manufacture shelf clock movements about 1828. During this later period, Riley is thought to have perfected the eight-day wooden geared movement. After his death, his widow and 15 year old son Riley Jr., continued a limited operation until 1841 when they sold out to William L. Gilbert.
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