Riley Whiting of Winchester, Connecticut. A cherry cased tall clock.

This is a very good example. This case is constructed in cherry and exhibits traditional New England proportions. The fact that this clock is housed in a cherry case suggests that it was originally installed in a formal country home. The case is elevated on applied bracket feet. Please note the nicely shaped apron. The base section is formatted with an inset front panel. The grain pattern selected for this location is excellent. A rectangular waist door opens to allows one easy access the original tin cans weights and pendulum. This is necessary due to the fact that one needs to open this door on a daily basis in order to wind the mechanism. Reeded quarter columns are fitted into the front corners of the waist. The bonnet features a whale’s tails fret work pattern. Fluted chimney or finial plinths support the three brass ball and spiked brass finials. The bonnet door is an arched form and is fitted with glass. Turned and nicely shaped hood columns visually support the arch molding. These are also decorated with ring turnings. Arched side lights are positioned in the sides of the hood.

This is a very colorfully painted wooden dial. It is signed “R. Whiting, Winchester” across the center. The spandrel areas are decorated with geometric style fans. The arch of the dial features numerous masonic themes. All of the artwork is skillfully executed. The time ring uses Roan style numerals to mark the hours. Arabic numerals are used to mark the five minute markers. This dial also has a subsidiary seconds dial 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 is used to actuate the striking of each individual hour on a cast iron bell that is mounted above the movement.

This clock was made circa 1815. It stands approximately 7 feet 6 inches (90 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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