Benjamin Whitear of Fairfield, Connecticut
An early cherry case tall clock made by Benjamin Whitear of Fairfield, Connecticut.
This traditionally shaped example exhibits a typical form for the region and era in which it was made. The case stands on a some what simple cut out bracket base. The waist door is large and fills the waist section. The tombstone shaped waist door features a circular cut out. This is fitted with glass and allows one to view the large brass pendulum bob. (The bob is not shown in the pictures.). The bonnet features a flat top that is formed with a large cornice molding. This molding features multiple steps. The bonnet door is an arched form and is fitted with glass. The door is flanked by turned bonnet columns. These columns incorporate turned wooden capitals at each end and are slightly tapered through the middle section. The dial is brass and incorporates applied chapter rings and spandrels. The time ring, name boss and subsidiary seconds dial have been treated with a silver wash. The name boss is inscribed “B. Whitear, Fairfield, Fecit." The movement is constructed in brass and designed to run eight days on a full wind. It will also strike each hour on a bell which is mounted above the movement.
This clock stands approximately 7 feet 7 inches tall overall. It was made circa 1780. It is inventory number II-146
About Benjamin Whitear
Benjamin was born the son of John Whitear Sr. He was a successful bell founder, clockmaker, a warden of his church and an important and respected citizen. John Sr. had seven children, but because of the burning of Fairfield by the British under General Tryon in 1779, little information is known. In this fire, records of the Trinity Church were lost. It is thought that Benjamin worked as early as 1770 through approximately 1800. On May 15, 1764, he did marry Sarah (Beers) Buclkley. He is recorded in Norwalk in 1768 and then in Sharon in 1774. It is likely he was taught the trade of clockmaking by his Father John Sr.
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