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Photo: Courtesy of Gary R. Sullivan, photo by David Hansen
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Tall case clock

Object number



Clockmaker James Wady, died 1759
Maker, formerly attributed to Job Townsend, Sr., 1699–1765
Maker, formerly attributed to Christopher Townsend, 1701–1787
Casemaker Unknown


94 3/4 21 1/2 10 1/2 in. (240.665 54.61 26.67 cm)



Current location

Private Collection


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


Mahogany (primary); chestnut (backboard, saddleboard); pine (top of hood); maple (base of hood)


"IAMES: WADY • NEWPORT," engraved, on silvered nameplate above lunar dial


"LH BENNETT / DUXBURY / MASS / 1968," in graphite, on interior backboard near top; the poem "The Old Clock," in typescript, glued to interior of case


Probably Charles Hunter, Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to his son-in-law and daughter Thomas Dunn (1835–1916), Newport, Rhode Island and Kate Hunter Dunn (1849–1930), Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to their daughter, Anna Caroline Rotch Dunn (1879–1959), Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to her cousin, Reverend Elbert Lansing Bennett (1899–1985), Salisbury, Maryland; by descent to his son, Dr. Lansing Heppe Bennett (1926–1993), Duxbury, Massachusetts. Christie's, New York, January 21, 2000, lot 126. Christie's, New York, January 19, 2018, lot 159.

Associated names

Thomas Dunn
Kate Hunter Dunn
Dr. Lansing Heppe Bennett
Anna Caroline Rotch Dunn
Reverend Elbert Lansing Bennett
Hunter - Dunn family
Charles Hunter


"Christie's advertisement," Antiques 157, no. 1 (January 2000): 49, 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), 224, fig. 6.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Silver, Prints, Folk Art, and Decorative Arts, sale cat. (January 21, 2000), 90–93, lot 126.
Richard L. Champlin, "William Claggett and His Clockmaking Family," Supplement to the Bulletin of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc. 11 (Summer 1976): 34–35, fig. 20–21.
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), 111n19.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, and Silver, sale cat. (January 19, 2018), 76–81, lot 159, ill.
Lita Solis-Cohen, "Washington and Wady Clock Top Christie's Americana Auction," Maine Antique Digest (March 2018): 34-D, ill.
"Hail to the Chief at Christie's," Antiques and the Arts Weekly (February 16, 2018): 27, ill.
Donald L. Fennimore and Frank L. Hohmann III, Claggett: Newport's Illustrious Clockmakers (Winterthur, Del.: Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library, 2018), 151–52, 214–15, 246, no. 20, JW-4, fig. 5.28.
The Claggetts of Newport: Master Clockmakers in Colonial America, exh. cat. (Newport, R I.: Redwood Library and Athenaeum, 2019), 41, ill.
Richard L. Champlin, "James Wady," Newport History 48, no. 160 (Fall 1975): 353–354, 356, ill.