Asaph Whitcomb. A clock and watchmaker working in Stow, Concord and Watertown, Massachusetts. An Inlaid cherry case tall clock.

This idiosyncratic cherry case has very good central Massachusetts proportions and decorative inlay work. The cherry wood is richly grained and retains a pleasant warm finish. The case stands on four applied bracket feet that exhibit good form and a slight flare at the bottom. The base panel is nicely formatted with inlaid. The perimeter is cross-banded in mahogany. A rope pattern inlay separates the cross-banding from the cherry wood panel. Each of the corners are fitted with a spike pattern of wood that features two contrasting colors. In the center of the panel is a four pointed star. The four points are composed of eight separate selections of wood that are positioned in an alternating pattern of light and dark wood. The waist section is fitted with a rectangular shaped door that is also decorated with the same framed pattern exhibited on the base panel. This door is trimmed along the outer edge with an applied molding. Through this door one can access the weights and pendulum. The front corners of the waist are fitted with fluted quarter columns. These terminate in brass quarter capitals. The hood or bonnet features an interesting variation of a pierced and open fret-work pattern. This pattern is nice and lacy in its design. The fret is supported by three fluted final plinths. They are capped at the top and are surmounted by ball and spike brass finials. The bonnet columns are also fluted and terminate in brass capitals. These flank the arch inlaid bonnet door. This door is fitted with glass.

The painted iron dial is signed by the clockmaker. It reads, “A Whitcomb / Stow.” The time ring is formatted with Roman style numeral hour figures. Arabic numerals are used as the five minute markers. This dial also displays the seconds on a subsidiary dial. Each of the four spandrel areas are decorated with fancy gilt patterns. The arch of the dial is decorated with a colorfully painted vase that is filled with florals.

The time and strike movement is of good quality and is designed to run eight days on a full wind. It will also strike each hour on a cast iron bell mounted above the plates. It is weight driven or weight powered.

This clock was made circa 1810. It stands approximately 7 feet 6 or 88 inches tall, 20.25 inches wide and 10.25 inches deep. This clock is inventory number XXSL-32.

About Asaph Whitcomb A clock and watchmaker working in Stow, Concord and Watertown, Massachusetts.

Asaph Whitcomb. A clock and watchmaker working in Stow, Concord and Watertown, Massachusetts.

Asaph Whitcomb was the son of Simeon Whitcomb (1750-1809 and Judith (Brown) Whitcomb (1747-1836).born in Marlborough, MA, on April 10, 1778. His death date and location are not currently known. Asaph Whitcomb married Marsylvia Randall of Stow, Massachusetts on November 4, 1778. Together they had three children. Benjamin Franklin was born in 1808, Cyrus on December 16, 1809 and trained to be a clockmaker and Marsylvia in 1812. Asaph Whitcomb worked in the towns of Stow, Concord and Watertown, Massachusetts. He is listed in Stow in 1808-11. On March 18,1799, it is recorded that while in Stowe, he was paid 15 pounds, 5 shillings for teaching school. He is then recorded as having a shop in the town of Concord on the Mill Dam next door to clockmaker Nathaniel Munroe in 1817. By 1820, he had relocated to Watertown and is listed there as a watchmaker and as a “manufacturer.” Tall clocks and a Massachusetts shelf clock with a kidney shaped dial are recorded. A watch paper is also known.

For more information about this Maker and others, please read Paul Foley’s book, “Willard’s Patent Timepieces.”


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