Epes Ellery was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts in 1780. The Ellery family was well connected in this coastal town. His Father was a merchant and his uncle, Epes Sargent, owned a significant part of the town property. Sargent’s portrait was painted by John Singleton Copley and is on display in the National Gallery in Washington, DC. It is considered one of Copley’s finest work. Epes also had a cousin William Ellery, that signed the Declaration of Independence.
Epes must have moved to Boston in his early twenties. He is listed in the Boston Directories as a goldsmith, a lapidary and a jeweler in 1803, 1806 and again in 1809. In 1810, he married Ann Bullard of Watertown and soon moved to Baltimore, Maryland. Here they raised five children working as a goldsmith and served in the army during the War of 1812.
At least five tall clocks are known. Two are owned privately and were sold by our firm. One was sold in the 1980’s. The other had a rocking ship automated dial and was sold more recently. A third clock is on display in the Montclair Historical Society’s 1796 Crane House which is located in Montclair, New Jersey. This clock is reported to have a label applied to the case. A fourth clock is now in the possession of Historic New England and has a history of being owned by the Tufts family of Massachusetts. This is the fifth now documented example and is currently owned by us and offered for sale here. It is a formal inlaid mahogany example and features a lunar calendar in the arch of the dial.