Asahel Cheney was born in 1759 in Hartford, Connecticut. He was the oldest son of the Hartford clockmaker Benjamin Cheney and Deborah Olcott. Many examples of Benjamin’s work have been recorded. A large number of which have movement constructed of heavy wooden gearing. Asahel and his two brothers Martin and Russell were most likely trained by their father. By 1790, Asahel had moved to Northfield, Massachusetts and was a property owner. He lived in what is now known as the Joseph Byrt house. Here he continued to manufacture mostly tall case clocks. We have owned several examples of his work over the years. Some of which are constructed with brass movements. Another Example of his work can be found in the Mabel Brady Garvin Collection at Yale University.
By the mid 1790’s, Asahel moved to Windham County Vermont to the town of Putney. A shelf clock which is now in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum is signed on the kidney shaped engraved brass dial, “Asahel Cheney / Putney” It is form this clock that we speculate that Asahel trained his brother Martin in the clockmaking trade. On the seat board of this clock it is inscribed, “This clock was made by Martin Cheney.”
Soon after 1800 the brothers parted company. Asahel moves North and by 1809 his name is listed in a land transaction in the town of Royalton.
This is a signed Putney, Vermont Example.
This fine cherry case tall clock is well proportioned. It stands on nicely formed… read more