Frederick Wingate of Augusta, Maine. No. 119. A tall case clock.

This well proportioned mixed woods case tall clock was made by Frederick Wingate of Augusta, Maine circa 1813.

Frederick Wingate was born in 1782 and died in 1864. He is known to have made tall clocks, banjo clocks, and mirror clocks. It appears that his efforts were mostly in the production of tall case clocks of which all are numbered. He apprenticed Benjamin Swan of Augusta and certainly used the same case maker.

This is a very good example of his work. This case is constructed in a number of indigenous woods. The vast majority of which is birch and retains it’s original red wash. This is a process that was common to clocks of this region. Many speculate that it helped disguised the wood to look more like mahogany. The secondary wood is New England white pine.

The case stands on a cut out bracket feet that retain excellent height. They are visually separated from the base section with a simple applied molding. The waist door is rectangular and is trimmed with a molded edge. The sides of the waist section are fitted with turned quarter columns. These are nicely formed having some shaping and additional ring turned designs. They terminate in brass quarter capitals. The bonnet features a New England style pierced and open fretwork pattern. This is a pleasing design. Three period brass finials are mounted on finial plinths. The bonnet columns are smoothly turned and nicely shaped. They are free standing. They are mounted in brass capitals. The dial is colorfully painted. This dial was most likely painted in Boston. It exhibits many of the details found in dials painted by Spencer Nolen who rented shop space from his father-n-law Aaron Willard. This dial is also signed by the clockmaker in script lettering, “Frederic Wingate”. This signature area also includes his working location, “Augusta” and is numbered “No. 119” on the dial. The movement is brass, eight-day duration and of good quality. This clock was made circa 1813.

About Frederick Wingate of Augusta, Maine.

Frederick Wingate, silversmith, watch and clockmaker was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts on January 11th, 1782 and died in Augusta, Maine on November 16th,1864. His parents were William Wingate (1745-1821) and Mehitable Bradley (1747-1796). He had an older brother, Paine Wingate (1767-1833) who was working in Boston as a clockmaker as early as 1789. He may have trained Federick. Frederick married Hannah Page of Haverhill on January 17th, 1806. In 1814, he served as a soldier during the War of 1812.

Frederick worked as a silversmith, watch and clockmaker and became one of Maine’s most prolific clockmakers. He may have been trained in Massachusetts before he moved north to Augusta, Maine by 1803. As a clockmaker, he made many tall clocks, banjo clocks, and mirror clocks. It appears that his efforts were mostly in the production of tall case clocks of which many are numbered. Examples have been reported from number 15 to a high of 287. He apprenticed Benjamin Swan of Augusta in 1808 and their work is often very similar in form. Many of the cases are quite similar and share unique characteristics such as the use of contrasting woods (almost always figured maple) in door and base panel, unusual turned and often shaped waist and hood columns, colorfully painted Nolen dials from Boston, and many Wingate clocks retain their original set up labels. If present, these can be found pasted inside the waist door.

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