Daniel Porter of Williamstown, Massachusetts.
This is a nicely proportioned inlaid cherry case tall clock. It stands on four nicely formed ogee bracket feet. The base section features an inlaid circular fan that is centered in the front panel. The perimeter of the base is framed by a line inlaid frame that incorporates distinctively formed quarter fans in each of the corners. The long waist section is fitted with a tombstone shaped waist door that is trimmed with a molded edge. This door is also decoratively inlaid. Quarter fans are located at the bottom of the door. An inlaid oval is centered in this panel. In the arch is a half fan. All of which is framed by a line inlay pattern that conforms to the shape of this door. The frame that supports the waist door is fitted with fluted quarter columns that terminate in turned wooden quarter capitals. Additional inlays, in the form of bookend patterns, are positioned below the bonnet molding. The bonnet features a swan's neck pediment top. A nicely shaped molding follows the contour of this design. Two fully turned and fluted bonnet columns flank the arched glazed door which opens to allow one access to the colorfully painted iron dial. The iron dial is paint decorated and is signed by the Maker. It features colorful floral themes, fancy gilt work and an urn in the arch. The clockworks or movement is brass and designed to run eight-days on a full wind. this clock strikes the hour on the hour on a cast iron bell. It is good quality. This clock was made circa 1800.
About Daniel Porter of Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Daniel Porter was born on July 20, 1775 in East Hartford, Conn. His parents were James Porter Jr. and Sarah (Porter) Porter. His father died when he was just two years old Ezekial Loomis, his Guardian bound him to apprencthice with the Windsor, Conneticut Clockmaker Daniel Burnap. Burnap was known to have great skill as a clockmaker and as an engraver. It is thoguht that he engraved numerous dials for other clockmakers in the region. Burnap is said to have also trained at leats ten others who made clocks. The most famous of which was Eli Terry. Porter arrived at Burnap’s shop on July 20th, 1792 when he was 17 years old and stayed until he was 21. His indenture survives. Daniel first moves from Windsor to Topsfield, MA working as a silversmith and then to Stockbridge, MA as a silversmith and clockmaker. On February 14, 1799, Daniel purchased his house and a lot on Main Street in Williamstown. This was located 10 rods or approximately 160 feet west of a well with a pump in it, and a few rods west of the College. Daniel’s married Polly Badger in 1801. They had two children. Royal Porter, a son, was born Febuary 24, 1801 and died in Charleston, SC on June 13, 1844. He was a graduate of Williams College in 1823 and worked as an editor and properitor of “The American Traveller.” Daniel died a t 35 years of age young age in 1809. His newphew Eli married his widow and took charge of the family. Eli continued to work in the clock trades.
We have sold several tall clocks made by this Maker. A tall case clock with a musical movement is known. Also known is a surveyors compass made by him.
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