Asa Munger of Auburn, New York.
This very distinctive looking clock was made By Asa Munger in Auburn, New York. This case form is often called a “Flattop" or an "Ironing Board Top” carved column and cornice wall or shelf timepiece. The case is constructed in mahogany and retains all of the Munger earmarks. At the bottom of this case is a stepped molding. This supports the case. The front is fitted with a large door. The door is flanked by fully turned and wonderfully carved half columns that are applied to the framing. The lower section of the door is fitted with a mirror or looking glass. The upper section is fitted with a decorated zinc tin which forms the surround for the painted iron dial. The dial features a Arabic numerals which are used to mark the hours. Please note the lovely hand filed steel hands. The dial is fitted to the movement with iron posts. The movement is a distinctive form. The brass plates are cast and have been skekelatonized. It is a two train design and is mounted to a seatboard. It features a countwheel strike striking the hour on a bell mounted to the top of the movement. The weights are cast iron. The original cast pewter pulleys which are embossed with the words "Auburn / Patent" are intact and present in this example. The interior of this case is lined with colorful wall paper. The Maker's label is pasted over this on to the back board of the clock. The pendulum bob is in the form of an eagle having outstretched wings. The top of this case features a nice selection of mahogany veneer. Above this is a large cornice molding.
This clock measures 39. 5 inches tall. The cornice molding is 29. 25 inches wide and 7.75 inches deep. At the lower molding measures 20 inches wide and 6.75 inches deep.
About Asa Munger of Auburn, New York.
Asa Munger was born in Granby, Massachusetts on October 14, 1777. He grew up in Ludlow, MA as the oldest of fifteen siblings. Here in Ludlow, the period of 1799 through 1803, he is listed in the town records as a goldsmith and making a small number of both wood and brass made clocks. It is unclear where he received his training. Munger sold his property in Ludlow in November of 1803. He moved to New York state and finial settled in Auburn sometime between 1815 and 1817. Asa was involved with several clock entities. These include: Munger & Gillmore’s, Munger & Benedict circa 1825 and A. Munger & Co circa 1833-1834. The firm Munger & Benedict, is thought to have been one of if not the first to sign a labor contract with a state penitentiary. This was for the use of convict labor. The firm Munger & Co., was comprised of Asa Munger, Thaddeus Benedict and Clarke Beers Hotchkiss and used prison labor in the construction of their clocks. Munger left this venture in 1834. Hotchkiss and Benedict continued. Munger continued to operate a jewelry store business and clock operation. In 1836, Asa takes on his son in partnership as Asa Munger & Son. Asa dies in March of 1851. Tall case clocks, pillar & scroll style clocks and empire shelf clocks of various case styles are known. For a more complete Bibliography on this maker, please read, “An Empire in Time. Clocks & Clockmakers of Pratt New York” written by G. Russell Outsell, Helen Bryce & Collaborators.
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