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Photo: Courtesy Winterthur Museum and Country Estate, Del., 1951.0028
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Tall case clock

Object number



Clockmaker James Wady, died 1759
(Casemaker) John Goddard, American, 1723–1785
Casemaker Unknown
(Casemaker) Job Townsend, Sr., 1699–1765


98 1/4 17 10 in. (249.556 43.18 25.4 cm) Width, dial: 12 in. (30.48 cm) Width, at feet: 19 1/2 in. (49.53 cm) Depth, at feet and cornice: 19 1/2 in. (49.53 cm) Width, hood: 16 1/2 in. (41.91 cm) Width, at waist: 13 3/8 in. (33.973 cm) Width, at base: 17 5/8 in. (44.768 cm) Depth, at hood: 8 1/2 in. (21.59 cm) Depth, at waist: 7 3/8 in. (18.733 cm)



Current location

Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library


Made in Newport, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Walnut (primary); walnut (blocks behind molding at top of case); maple or birch (runners for hood); maple (saddleboard); chestnut (back board of hood); yellow poplar (dial matte); pine (blocks on dial matte, bottom board, backboard, rear bracket and block on one rear foot; glue blocks in case)


"James Wady Newport," engraved on dial arch


"July 8 1892 / R Wallace / Cleaned Jan 6 1868," "Cleaned By Thomas Perry / in the spring of of 1848," "Cleaned by B Wallace / May 21 1856," "Cleaned Nov. 20 1832 / by Barton Stillman" "Cleaned by R Wallace Jany 21 1888," "Cleaned May 26th 1904," "Cleaned 4/23/10," in graphite, on inside of waist door


By descent in the Noyes family, Stonington, Connecticut; sold to John S. Walton, Greenwich, Connecticut, or New York, by 1951; sold to Henry Francis du Pont (1880–1969), Winterthur, Delaware, 1951; given to the Winterthur Museum and Country Estate, Delaware

Associated names

Noyes family
John S. Walton, Inc.
Henry Francis du Pont


The removable hood is surmounted by a scrolling broken pediment, whose roof consists of two boards shaped to align with the pediment and nailed with brads to the scroll board, backboard, and to backer boards for the crown molding return. The two-piece backboard is nailed with brads into rabbets in the sides of the hood. The bead at the bottom of the crown molding is notched to receive a portion of matching bead which frames the front of the open pediment. The scroll board below is faced with applied open work decoration in geometric and vegetal motifs, painted gold, on a green fabric backing. It centers a rectangular block upon which stands a fluted plinth and a replaced gilt urnform finial with a spiral flame. An arched, single-piece crown below sits atop another open work section, above an arched, glazed door with integral three-quarter-round colonnettes, opening to a brass dial and works. The hood sides, which contain rectangular glazed portals, sit in grooves in the hood?s base. Within the hood, on each side of the front above the arched door, are five drilled holes. In the waisted case below is a single-piece beaded cove, with longitudinal triangular blocking, above a single-piece arched, blocked and gilt-shell-carved door. Within the case are vertical chamfered blocks, located at the door jamb, which provide support for the brass door hinges. A large, single-piece molding, applied with wood-filled fasteners, sits at the top of the plain base, to which is applied, with brads, a base molding. The corners of the base are mitered, with wood-filled fasteners visible near the front of the side panels. The single-board case back is fixed with rosehead nails into rabbets in the waist and base sides. The finely cut pins of the dovetail joints which formerly held the case bottom to the base sides remain; the case bottom does not. The front feet consist of vertical blocks (the proper left block is missing) attached to the mitered joint between the lower case front and sides, flanked by carved blocks (some missing), faced with mahogany brackets. The rear feet now consist of vertical and horizontal blocks to which are applied ogee brackets at the side, and simple brackets ? one incurvate and one diagonal ? at the rear. Examined by P. E. Kane, January 11, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.


Movement: 8-day brass time and strike

See also


Peter Mooz, "The Origins of Newport Block-Front Furniture Design," Antiques 99, no. 6 (June 1971): 883, fig. 2.
Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 19, fig. 1.1– 1.1a.
Joseph Downs, "A Selection of American Furniture," Antiques 61, no. 5 (May 1952): 426.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, and Decorative Arts, sale cat. (October 5, 2000), 70, ill.
Joseph Downs, American Furniture: Queen Anne and Chippendale Periods in the Henry Francis DuPont Winterthur Museum (New York: MacMillan Company, 1952), no. 202.
William H. Distin and Robert Bishop, The American Clock: A Comprehensive Pictorial Survey, 1723–1900: With a Listing of 6153 Clockmakers (New York: E. P. Dutton and Company, 1976), 25, fig. 31.
Jack O'Brien, "A New Bedford Masterpiece," Antiques 171, no. 5 (May 2007): 145, footnote 18.
Frank L. Hohmann III et al., Timeless: Masterpiece American Brass Dial Clocks (New York: Hohmann Holdings, 2009), 37–38, 304–305, no. 95, fig. 9, ill.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Silver, and Folk Art: Featuring English Pottery from the Collection of the Late Robert J. Kahn and the Lafayette-Washington Pistols, sale cat. (January 18–19, 2002), 220, 224, fig. 1, 5.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Silver, Prints, Folk Art, and Decorative Arts, sale cat. (January 21, 2000), 92–93, fig. 2, 3.
Donald L. Fennimore, Metalwork in Early America: Copper and Its Alloy (Winterthur, Del.: Winterthur Publications, 1996), 301, no. 197, ill.
Wendy A. Cooper, In Praise of America: American Decorative Arts, 1650–1830, Fifty Years of Discovery since the 1929 Girl Scouts Loan Exhibition (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980), 34, fig. 40.
Patricia E. Kane et al., Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2016), 101, 208, 222–223, 244, no. 33, fig. 1 (detail).
Donald L. Fennimore and Frank L. Hohmann III, Claggett: Newport's Illustrious Clockmakers (Winterthur, Del.: Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library, 2018), 25, 149–51, 204–7, 246, no. 17, JW-1, fig. 5.22, 5.24.