Asa Whitney was a listed silversmith, watch and clock maker working in New York at 104 Gold Street by 1798, and at several other New York locations on Roosevelt and Water Street before his death in 1812. He was a renowned clock maker. Pictured is apparently his only surviving watch. The elongated reliefs on this example are distinctive and appears to evidence finishing work performed in Whitney's shop in New York. This watch is pictured in Cooper's article: John Cairns (1751-1809) and Other Early American Watchmakers (Cooper, 35).
 
Asa Whitney Watch
 
Asa Whitney Watch

Maker:
Number:
City:
Date:
Asa Whitney
53
New York
1805
Description: Fusee movement with a verge escapement, round baluster pillars, signed and numbered dust cap with gold hands.

Asa Whitney Watch

Matching silver pair case with London assay mark for 1805 and maker’s initials "TC RC" for Thomas & Richard Carpenter of St. John Street, London). Watch paper from John Polmanus, New York located within the watch case.

Asa Whitney Watch

Notice the elongated relief in the regulator and balance table foot, likely executed by Whitney in New York, which allows the top plate to be removed to adjust the escapement without having to disassemble the entire watch.


References and recommended reading:
  • David Cooper, John Cairns (1751-1809) and Other Early American Watchmakers, NAWCC Watch & Clock Bulletin, No. 336, (February, 2002), pp. 26-38
  • Richard Newman, Colonial and Early American Watchmakers, NAWCC Watch & Clock Bulletin, No. 389 (December, 2010), pp. 692-706