Tall clock. Riley Whiting of Winchester, Connecticut.

Riley Whiting is best known for making clocks with wooden geared movements. As early as 1807, he was in business with the Hoadleys. Together they made thousands of clocks using methods pioneered by the Terry family.

This is a very good painted case example. This case is constructed in white pine and features traditional New England proportions. The case is constructed in pine and the surface has been treated with a red wash. This surface is original and in excellent condition. Country clocks cases were often washed in red in order to make the wood look more impressive. This case is pine and the red wash makes it look like it is constructed in cherry.

The base stands on simple cutout bracket feet which form a nicely shaped apron. The rectangular waist door is long and allows one to access the weights and pendulum. This door is fitted with a latch which provides one with easy access. This is necessary due to the fact that one needs to open this door on a daily basis in order to wind the mechanism. The bonnet is features a traditional fret work pattern. Three chimney or finial plinths support the three wooden turned ball and spike finials. The bonnet door is an arched form and is fitted with glass. It opens to access the painted wooden dial.

The dial is painted on wood and is signed “R. Whiting, Winchester” in a gold banner positioned across the center of the dial. The four spandrel areas and the arch are decorated with floral themes. The applied gesso work has been gilded. This has been skillfully done. The time ring feature Roman hour numerals. Arabic numerals are used to mark the five minute markers. This dial also has a subsidiary seconds that is located in the traditional location.

One winds this clock by pulling on a cord located inside the case. The movement is a standard thirty hour wooden works design. A count wheel striking system will strike each hour on a cast iron bell that is mounted above the movement.

This clock was made circa 1815. It stands 7 feet 2 inches or 86 inches tall.

About Riley Whiting of Winsted, Connecticut.

Riley Whiting was born in Torrington, Conn., on January 16, 1785 the son of Christopher and Mary (Wilcox) Whiting. In 1806, he married Urania Hoadley and served his apprenticeship with the Hoadleys in Plymouth, Connecticut making wooden geared clocks. In 1807, Riley, Samuel Whiting and Luther Hoadley formed a partnership and began building short and long pendulum clocks in Winchester. Luther Hoadley died in 1813 and about the same time, Samuel entered the U. S. Army. This left Riley in business all by himself. He continued as sole proprietor and in 1819 moved to the town of Winsted until he died there in 1835. It is thought that he began to manufacture shelf clock movements about 1828. During this later period, Riley is thought to have perfected the eight-day wooden geared movement. After his death, his widow and 15 year old son Riley Jr., continued a limited operation until 1841 when they sold out to William L. Gilbert.


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