Mordecai Miller was a fourth generation, Pennsylvania Quaker when born in 1764. He likely apprenticed with clockmaker and silversmith Elisha Kirk, a cousin, in Warrington, Pennsylvania. By 1786, he partnered with Caleb Bentley and worked in Leesburg, Virginia and by 1788 he established his own silversmith business in Alexandria, Virginia which by all accounts was quite successful. He advertised clocks, watches and an assortment of other items. Miller was listed as a watchmaker (1796) and silversmith (1797) in the Alexandria Census. His reputation was outstanding and his clients included George Washington. He left the business in 1800 to pursue other business ventures. Few of his watches have survived. Catherine Hollan has extensive information on Miller in her Virginia Silversmiths book (Hollan, 528-532).

 
Mordecai Miller Watch
 
Mordecai Miller

Maker:
Number:
City:
Date:
Mordecai Miller
525
Alexandria, VA
1794

Description: Nicely finished fusee movement with verge escapement and round pillars, white enamel dial and gold hands, movement signed Mordecai Miller Alexandria. Signed and numbered dust cap. Dial replaced. Inner silver case scratched, but shows London assay date mark for 1794 and duty mark of King George III. Maker mark is illegible. Outer silver case is a replacement. Watch paper by Martin, 100 Hudson Street, NY located in the case.
 
Mordecai Miller Watch
 
Mordecai Miller Watch


References and recommended reading:
  • Catherine Hollan, Virginia Silversmiths, Jewelers, Clock- and Watchmakers, 1607-1860, Their Lives and Marks, Hollan Press, Missouri, 2010