image of object
Photo: Courtesy Christie's, New York
Click the image to enlarge

Tall case clock

Object number



Clockmaker William and James Miller, active circa 1760
Casemaker Unknown


93 1/2 × 20 × 10 1/2 in. (237.491 × 50.8 × 26.67 cm)



Current location



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


Mahogany (primary); cherry (dial surround); yellow poplar (top of hood); pine (some interior glue blocks, backing for the cornice molding, glue blocks behind quarter columns in waist); chestnut (backboard, some interior glue blocks, hood backboard, glue blocks inside the top of hood, central brace under the top of hood)


"Wm [m superscript] & Jams [s superscript] Miller / Lombard Street / London," engraved on nameplate on dial


By descent to Mrs. Ezra C. Read (née Martha Card, born 1806), Newport, Rhode Island, and New Haven, Connecticut; bequeathed to Samuel Wells Williams (1812–1884); by descent to his great-granddaughter, Cynthia Garstin Blackwell; consigned by her estate to Christie's, New York, January 18–19, 2006, lot 576. Private collection; consigned to Christie's, New York, January 21, 2011, lot 70

Associated names

Martha Card Read
Samuel Wells Williams
Cynthia Garstin Blackwell
Private Collection


The removable hood is surmounted by three plain rectangular plinths, each with a carved finial (The side finials and the flame on the center finial are replaced) each having a spool-turned base, fluted spherical mid-section and a spirally carved flame, above an arched crown molding centering a three-part keystone, the central portion stop-fluted. The arched hood roof is sheathed in fabric. Below the crown molding is a band of open-work brass fretwork in vegetal motifs, over an arched molding above two round and two half-round colonettes with brass capitals and bases and brass stop-fluting. The arched glazed door opens to a brass and silver dial and works. The rear half-round colonettes are dovetailed into the upper hood sides. The front and side panels of the upper hood are connected by a blind dovetail joint. The arched waist door is thumb-molded, mitred at the corners, and contains a convex-blocked and shell-carved panel. The case interior contains numerous vertical triangular glue blocks, and is flanked by quarter columns with brass stop-fluting and brass bases and capitals nailed with brads. The lower case front has a flat recessed panel within a thumbmolded and mitered frame, flanked by chamfered corners with carved lamb?s tongues above a molded base. The case back consists of a single board, rabbeted at the top and flanked by two narrow rabbeted boards lapped to its sides. The bottom board of the case has been replaced. The ogee bracket feet exhibit nails holes and are attached to the case above with screws. The (replaced) backs of the rear feet are simple angled blocks attached with screws. Examined by P.E. Kane and J.S. Gordon, January 19, 2011; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

See also


Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Silver, Prints, and Decoys, sale cat. (January 18–19, 2007), 290–291, lot 576, ill.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, English Pottery, Rugs, and Prints, sale cat. (January 21, 2011), 56–57, lot 70, ill.
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), 112n26.