p. [213]

Part Three

p. [214]
p. [215]

Chapter V

Earning a Living

Since the beginning of the twentieth century the principal industry of East Hampton has usually been described as "the summer-resort business."1 A considerable number of farms still in the township, however, serve as a reminder that both the village and township were primarily agricultural communities during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In 1840, when Nathaniel Dominy V had almost reached the point of ending his career as a craftsman, analysis of the occupations of the 2,076 inhabitants of East Hampton Township showed 549 engaged in agriculture, 116 in manufactures and trades, 106 in maritime pursuits (primarily offshore whaling), 8 in commerce, 7 in the learned professions and engineering, and 3 on Revolutionary War or other military pensions.2 Obviously, almost five times as many persons supported themselves as farmers in this township as craftsmen. Certainly many of those engaged in "manufactures and trades" were like the group described by Tench Coxe between 1787 and 1794, men "who live in the country, generally reside on small lots and farms, of one acre to twenty, and not a few upon farms of twenty to one hundred and fifty acres, which they cultivate at leisure times, with their own hands…or by letting out fields, for a part of the produce."3

Coxe would have found the Dominys a perfect example of his observation. Although records do not exist for the period when Nathaniel Dominy IV was alive, it is likely that the acreage he owned was passed along to his son at his death. East Hampton tax records show that in 1814, two years after his father's death, Nathaniel Dominy V and his son Felix owned 100 acres of farm property situated at various sites in East Hampton Township.4 In his early years as a craftsman Nathaniel Dominy IV helped support himself by agricultural labor for others. That was due, in part, to the fact that his father, Nathaniel III, was still alive. Long-time customers undoubtedly preferred to deal with the father for woodworking orders. At any rate Account Book B shows that on August 1, 1765, Nathaniel IV cradled "½ acre of oats" and banded them for 1 shilling and 6 pence (see Appendix B). The entry was one of four noted in that year for agricultural work. In the same year Nathaniel Dominy credited a customer with the entry "by Plowing Garden," indicating that he cultivated some of the land adjacent to his house and shop. Furthermore, "a Hoe" was listed among the tools he purchased in 1765 (see Appendix B). By 1770 this artisan was sufficiently busy to rent some of his farm land in exchange for a portion of the produce grown on it. Account Book B shows that some corn probably was planted on his home lot, but numerous entries crediting customers for carting wheat, flax, corn, and rye indicate that some of his fields away from the "home Lot" were let out "for a part of the produce."

The Dominy accounts indicate that this practice continued during the careers of Nathaniel Dominy V and Felix Dominy. A glance through the "contra" sections of the accounts printed p. [216] in the Appendix shows that agricultural efforts on their home lot and produce from land they rented constituted a significant portion of the Dominys' income. In 1830 Felix Dominy purchased "12 sheep, at 46 cents per head" for a total cost of $5.52. About the same year his good friend Nathaniel Miller sent Felix some sweet-potato seed for his "garden" with directions for planting.5

In addition to farming, craftsmen in rural areas frequently engaged in related craftwork because the population was not large enough to support them in their primary skill or because a nearby city provided competition for their wares.6 Competitively the Dominys were fortunate. Their shops were located in the village of East Hampton, and its relative isolation enabled them to work principally at their professed skills and related crafts for over eighty years between 1762 and 1844.7

Their broad range of full-service craft skills attracted local apprentices and journeymen for training by the Dominys. Between 1766 and 1819, Nathaniel IV’s and V’s accounts record journeymen’s wages paid to the following as their services were required: Jereme (Jeremiah Sherrill [1750–1827] or Jeremiah Sherrill [1755–1840]); David Leek (1740–1802); Patrick Talmage Gould (1799–1879); Abraham Osborn (1776–1855); Charles Mulford (probably Charles Lewis Mulford, 1786–1856); Asa (?); Isaac (?); and Lewis (probably Lewis Gann, baptized 1775–?). Alternatively, Lewis may have been the cabinetmaker Lewis F. Greene. The last wage payments to ‘Lewis’ were made in 1809. Coincidentally, in that year, Lewis F. Greene of Setauket with his partner James Woodhull, advertised in the Suffolk Gazette that they could provide clock cases on shortest notice.

While others may have been apprenticed to the Dominys, only one documented instance is recorded. In Recompense Sherrill’s (1741–1834) account books at the East Hampton Free Library is his notation that his son David (1772–1861) ‘went to Nat Dominy [IV or V] to learn a tread [trade] 27 April 1791 age 19 years Old December 3rd

Described in 1813 as "a Post-Township of Suffolk County, at the eastern extremity of Long or Nassau Island," the village was "35 miles E. of Riverhead, 112 miles E. of New York, and 272 S.E. of Albany."8 Thirty-five miles separated it from the county seat at Riverhead. That was a considerable distance by land transportation; and although Southampton and Shelter Island (both closer) were listed as two of the nine townships in Suffolk County, they did not have as many persons engaged in trades as did East Hampton in that period.9 Objects made in New York City usually had a higher initial price and took longer to deliver than products made by the Dominys. The 112 miles separating New York City from East Hampton meant that goods ordered in New York had to be delivered by unreliable sailing vessels. Shipping added transportation costs to the price of material ordered there. Later, the introduction of steam-powered vessels to Long Island Sound eliminated some of those disadvantages and was one of the reasons causing Felix Dominy to reevaluate his position as a craftsman.

While it is true that the population of East Hampton was never large (1,250 in 1776, 1,484 in 1810, 1,819 in 1835, 2,076 in 1840)10 and perhaps should not have been expected to support 116 people engaged in craft activities, it can be reasonably assumed that the Dominys, and probably others as well, reached beyond the confines of the township for their customers. A substantial number of people lived in Suffolk County; its population rose, for example, from 19,734 in 1800 to 32,469 in 1840.11 Moreover, Connecticut was a short distance across Long Island Sound, and the Dominys' accounts reveal that they performed a number of services for customers in the Nutmeg State. Among the towns listed in their large account book were Haddam, Hartford, Lyme, New Haven, and Stonington. In addition to the many small villages of East Hampton Township, the Dominys had customers in Islip, Moriches, Patchogue, Quogue, and Smithtown. On one occasion Nathaniel IV made a fine clock for David Gardiner of Flushing (No. 220). When outlined on a map (Illus. XXX), the area served by the Dominys is quite impressive.

The abilities of the Dominy craftsmen were well known to the people of the area they served. They needed very little advertising to promote their business, but on December 26, 1804, Nathaniel Dominy IV sent the following advertisement to Sag Harbor for inclusion in the Suffolk Gazette: "The subscriber requests all persons who favour him with their custom in the Watch business to send their names and places of residence in the Watch-cases if they p. [217] hope to have them returned in any direct manner."12 The only other business notice used by the Dominys was also placed by Nathaniel Dominy IV in the Suffolk Gazette, in August, 1809. It and a notation in his account book are indications that the craftsman occasionally "rode circuit" to bring clock-repairing skills to his customers' doorsteps: "The subscriber contemplating

Black and white map of of the communities in Long Island and Connecticut served by the Dominy craftsmen.
Illus. XXX. Map of the communities in Long Island and Connecticut served by the Dominy craftsmen, with an inset of East Hampton, N.Y.
a tour to the western parts of this County, for the purpose of repairing Clocks, requests such persons as wish his services, to send their orders to Mr. Israel Conkling, at Canoe-Place. If sufficient encouragement is given, the tour will take place the latter part of September."13 Judging from entries in Account Book B relating to the hiring of a horse in September, the tour was made. Earlier, on February 11, 1795, Nathaniel IV had credited Nathan Dayton with 12 shillings, "By your Mare on a Clock-Tour to Mastick."14 It is possible that work for customers in Connecticut was delivered and picked up in Southold on the "North Fork" of Long Island. In 1810, for example, Nathaniel Dominy V advertised that he had "taken up In the Bay, between Shelter Island and Southold, a small Yawl."15 Other evidence, however, points to Sag Harbor as their depot for customers in Connecticut. These notices were the only ones to appear in contemporary newspapers.

Lack of local competition could have contributed to the Dominys' long period of activity. Nathan Topping Cook was a craftsman who evidently worked in Bridgehampton from about p. [218] 1792 to 1824. Much of the work in his shop—cabinetmaking, carpentry, and wheelwrighting—paralleled that of Nathaniel Dominy V, but Cook's surviving accounts show a small circle of customers with a total of forty-five or fifty names entered in his book.16 This is in contrast to more than 1,600 names listed in one of the Dominy ledgers. It was not until 1802 that William Hall, of Sag Harbor, advertised as a cabinetmaker and chairmaker. In the same issue of the paper in which Nathaniel Dominy IV had advertised in 1804, Elijah Simons, also of Sag Harbor, noted that he sold "Warranted Watches" from New York and paid "strict attention…to Clock and Watch repairing." Simons's establishment was apparently not successful at first, for his 1810 notice included the sale of groceries and jewelry. Samuel L'Hommedieu, Jr., advertised the sale of cabinet furniture "of a superior quality" in Sag Harbor in 1805, while Lewis F. Greene and James Woodhull stated in 1809 that they had "commenced the business of Cabinet making" at Setauket, New York, and made "Clock Cases of any description…of the best materials."17 These firms seem to have been the only serious competitors of the Dominys before 1810. By the 1820's, however, Sag Harbor had become an important seaport, and the competition for customers became much keener. In 1822 "the inhabitants of Sag-Harbor and its vicinity" were informed by Zebulon Elliott that he could satisfy all their needs for clock and watch making or repairing and could supply jewelry and silverwork as well.18 Even more ominous for the Dominys was the installation in 1823 of a cabinet warehouse in Sag Harbor by the cabinetmaker Nathan Tinker. In addition to boasting that he could supply customers with "any article of household furniture" on short notice, he advertised that he had ready-made "Sideboards, Secretaries, Lockers, Decks [sic, probably desks], Book-cases, Bureaus, Dining, End, Card, Pembroke, Toilet, Breakfast and Dressing Tables, Basin and Candle Stands, Sofas, Lolling and Bed Chairs, Clock cases, Chests, Knife-trays, Portable Desks, Bedsteads of all kinds, &c, &c." A few months later, as a means of increasing his business, Tinker stated that he would take "Country Produce and Lumber…in payment at the market prices, or six months credit given to responsible purchasers."19 Tinker's willingness to barter helped to destroy one of the Dominys' more fruitful business advantages.

The extension of credit to customers was an accepted business practice in town and country during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. While advertisements like Nathan Tinker's most frequently mention a period of six months for credit, many customers were carried "on the ledgers" for longer periods. The Dominy craftsmen followed this practice, and the analysis of their accounts from 1765 to 1830 shown in Table I reveals that their books were seldom balanced (see Appendix B for complete details). Solvency was not really a major issue. The Dominys maintained personal relationships in a barter economy and many of their daily needs were supplied through services provided by their customers. The local economy was almost one of customer to customer rather than of producer to consumer. There was no need for large sums of cash to purchase necessities or luxuries.

Table I further demonstrates the need for rural craftsmen to keep their own farm lots. If p. [219] modern bookkeeping methods had been employed and the Dominys' books audited annually, a recommendation for bankruptcy would certainly have been made. Because these craftsmen were working in a barter economy, however, the value of the total income did not matter greatly. Goods essential to the Dominys' physical well-being and comfort might not have much cash value (in fact, did not, according to entries in the account books), but they carried

Table I. Analysis of the Dominy Accounts
Date Production Accounts
debited or charged
Income Cash &
services credited
Debit to credit
relationship
1765 £ 10– 8–5½ £ 10–11–4 +£ 0–2–10½
1770 50– 8–6½ 44–10–6 – 5–18–0½
1775 22– 5–0 + 13–13–0 – 8–12–0
1780 123–13–4 2–19–0 – 120–14–4
1785 116– 9–8 45– 8–2 – 71– 1–6
1790 92– 4–2½ 64–11–7½ – 27–12–7
1800 233– 4–0¾ 59–10–6½ – 173–13–6¼
1810 92– 3–3 61– 0–6 – 31– 2– 9
1820 49–17–6 30–11–9 – 19– 5– 9
1830 9– 1–0 10–14–5 + 1–13– 5
Ten-Year Total £799–15–0¼+ £343–10–10 –£456– 4– 2¼

high "living" value. Any group of craftsmen who, over the years, were paid in household goods (such as "Sundries of Earthen ware," woven coverlets, linen, shoes, skeins of wool, indigo, spoons, hats, blanketing), in food (in the form of bushels of wheat, rye, oats, and corn, as well as spices, rice, beef, mutton, fish, salt pork, butter, vinegar, apples, tea, molasses, rum, and tobacco), or in business supplies and services (which included tools, lumber, paint, varnish, and carting or delivery of products) might never become wealthy, but they would undoubtedly have been very comfortable.

The statistics condensed in Table I tell a great deal about the expansion and decline of the Dominys' activity as craftsmen. This picture is often obscured by the wealth of detailed information in the surviving manuscripts. A look at the value of production figures for 1810, 1820, and 1830 provides understanding of Felix Dominy's increasing anxiety about the lack of demand for a craftsman's talents. His letter signed "Olio," discussed in Chapter II, certainly was a partial expression of frustration stemming from frequent—and increasingly longer—periods of forced idleness. Felix's concern was not primarily economic, as the figures might lead the observer to believe, for he never expressed a fear of poverty. Moreover, some accounts for the years 1820 and 1830 are missing; but even if they were complete, they would not have been much higher than the figure listed for 1820. Understandably Felix's greatest concern was the lessening need for his talents. The people of East Hampton Township had begun to patronize shops in Sag Harbor, where manufactured goods could be bought readymade. Steamboats now brought goods to Sag Harbor faster and more cheaply than the sailing p. [220] vessels of the eighteenth century. Sag Harbor storekeepers accepted payment in "country produce and lumber," thus competing with at least one of the business advantages, barter, enjoyed by the Dominys. As Sag Harbor grew in importance during the first half of the nineteenth century, the amount of work that fell to Felix and his father, Nathaniel Dominy V, dwindled proportionately.20

The fact that the Dominys could complete with skill and competence almost any task their neighbors asked them to perform was, of course, a distinct asset. It was certainly another reason for the long period in which they were able to exist as craftsmen. A breakdown of their activities from 1765 to 1830 reveals that they functioned in their community as clockmakers, watch and clock repairers, cabinetmakers, house and mill carpenters, wheelwrights, turners, toolmakers, gun repairers, metalworkers, and surveyors (see Appendix B). On at least one occasion Felix Dominy performed as a coppersmith. Everyone aware of the versatility of these craftsmen has wondered whether all three artisans pursued each of these crafts or whether they specialized to any degree. The records indicate that for certain periods Nathaniel Dominy IV and, in turn, his son, Nathaniel V, did engage in all these activities. Felix Dominy alone was able to concentrate on clock and watch work and other types of metalwork. Each craftsman was engaged in more than one trade only when no other trained member of the family was available to help in the shops. As soon as a son had received sufficient training, the work was divided into woodworking or metalworking specialties.

For example, Nathaniel Dominy IV was apparently trained enough to begin working on his own by the time he had reached his majority in 1758. His father, Nathaniel III, did not die, however, until 1778. From around 1758 to about 1762, when Account Book B was started, Nathaniel IV concentrated on making and repairing clocks as well as other metalwork. His father still received orders for jobs involving woodworking. From 1765 to about 1788 or 1789 Nathaniel Dominy IV engaged in all the pursuits noted above. By the late eighties his son, Nathaniel V, was trained in woodworking. The large ledger, at any rate, has an increasing number of entries "From Nat's book" after 1789. From about 1789 to 1812 both Nathaniels specialized. Nathaniel Dominy IV returned to work involving clocks, watches, and other metalwork, while Nathaniel Dominy V handled cabinetwork, carpentry, toolmaking, and other woodwork. After the death of Nathaniel IV in 1812, Nathaniel V performed all types of craftwork until about 1817, when his son Felix Dominy completed apprenticeship training. A notation in Felix's hand indicates that he was apprenticed about 1815 to a watchmaker in New York City, probably as a supplement to earlier training in his father's shop: "Had this in [...18]15/ Name in my first Watch J Day [...L]ondon. Owned three other watches while working in N York."21 Although no evidence exists that Felix Dominy made watches in the clock shop at East Hampton, at least one of his customers addressed him as "Mr. Dominy Watch Maker" in a letter requesting the repair of a watch.22

While the labor in which the Dominys might have been engaged at any given time was divided, the little evidence that exists indicates that home and income were shared. With more than one family under the roof, the house (Illus. II) was probably quite crowded. In p. [221] 1790 the census recorded a total of five people—four adults and one child—living together, but by 1800 this total figure had increased to ten: four adults and six children.23 Local tax records show that while tax might be paid on each craftsman's "personal estate," only the current head of the household paid the real-estate tax. The sole exception was in 1810, when Nathaniel Dominy V paid a small tax on a portion of the real-estate evaluation.24

Both census and tax records reveal much about the Dominys' economic status in their community. The records for 1800, for example, make it quite clear that, although the Dominys owned no slaves, thirty-three people in the township of East Hampton owned one or more. Of these, twenty were customers of the Dominy craftsmen, evidence that their clientele included a majority of the affluent.25 Moreover, if the value of their dwelling is taken as an indication of economic status, then the Dominys were close to the top of the list. Of 154 East Hampton houses evaluated in 1800, only ten were worth more than the $450 listed for the Dominy residence. Five houses were given the same value and 138 were placed lower. To illustrate the range of values involved, no house was listed under $100; sixty-one dwellings ranged from $100 to $200; seventy-seven buildings from $200 to $400. The highest evaluation in the township, $1,800, was placed on John Lyon Gardiner's island house.26 That gentleman was one of the Dominys' best customers. A better gauge, however, is the town tax assessment, which included personal property as well as real estate. In 1802 the Dominy family was placed slightly above the middle of the current economic scale. The combined personal property of Nathaniel IV and Nathaniel V for assessment purposes was listed at $790. This figure was topped by 117 townspeople, while 165 persons had estates of less than $790.27 The economic picture that emerges is a reinforcement of the social image of the Dominys as substantial upper-middle-class citizens in the period of their greatest activity, 1765 to 1810.

To answer the question of what single craft practice or activity provided the most income for the Dominys is not easy and could be misleading. Any separation or compartmentalizing of their work would be arbitrary because almost everything they produced involved more than one craft. For example, a clock was made in the clock shop and its case prepared in the woodworking shop. An order for a "woolen" wheel would require the production of metal parts in the clock shop forge and the turning and joining of parts of the wheel in the woodworking shop. This division of work between the two shops does not preclude an analysis of their production. It is merely a caution against visualizing these craftmen as specialists in a single trade when, in fact, they frequently used all their skills to complete an order.

Although the Dominys' claim to our attention has rested primarily upon the products of their clock shop (actually, only the work of Nathaniel IV achieved recognition), there is little doubt that they could not have prospered if they had been solely dependent on the sale of their clocks as a means of livelihood.28 From 1768 to 1825 their accounts record the production of fifty-seven clocks. In addition, the "Watch & Clock [Repair] Register" kept by Nathaniel Dominy IV from 1777 to 1812 and by Nathaniel V for 1813 lists five additional clocks which the Dominys may have produced. No record of them is found in the accounts, but perhaps the customers paid cash for them. Certainly the Dominys produced many more p. [222] clocks; examples of their work survive that cannot be linked to their manuscript records. Of forty-nine Dominy clocks known to exist, only twenty-three relate to the family account book entries. Twenty-six clocks, therefore, cannot be traced to manuscript records. These clocks have been examined carefully and are discussed in Chapter VI. These twenty-six clocks added to the fifty-seven "positives" listed in the accounts and the five "possibles" in the register give us eighty-eight. If we allow for one or two that may have escaped attention, it appears that the Dominys made approximately ninety clocks during their active days of clockmaking. This period extends from 1768 to at least 1828, because a few surviving clocks not listed in the Dominy accounts carry inscriptions in Felix Dominy's hand and the date 1828. Ninety clocks over a period of sixty years is an average of one and one-half clocks a year, obviously not enough to support Dominy families. A list of the clocks recorded in the Dominy accounts is given in Table 2.

Table 2. Manuscript Entries for Dominy Clocksp. [223]p. [224]
Date Customer Entry Cost MS No.
and page
1768–1772 John Davis Jr. To a clock £ 7–10–0 59x9a
p. 250
*11769, Aug. 12 Henry Dayton To a clock 6– 0–0 59x9a
p. 51
1772, Feb. 14 Ezekiel Mulford to a clock 10– 3–0 59x9a
p. 7
1775, July 4 David Edwards to a clock 6– 5–0 59x9a
p. 76
Sept. 23 Jacob Sheril to a Clock 5– 0–0 59x9a
p. 63
1777, Mar. 7 Daniel Warner to a Clock 3–10–0 59x9a
p. 251
Mar. 15 Captain Levi Riley
[of Hartford]
to a Clock 3–15–0 59x9a
p. 251
Apr. 4 Elisha Treet to a Clock 4– 8–0 59x9a
p. 251
May 1 " " to making a Clock Case [torn] 59x9a
p. 251
*21778, June 23 William Hedges to a Clock 7–10–0 59x9a
p. 3
1779, Apr. 17 Jacob Conkling To a Clock 3 6 –5–0 59x9a
p. 64
To cleaning your clock & screws to
secure it for moveing
0– 5–6 59x9a
p. 67
Aug. 7 David Sayre To a Clock 7–10–0 59x9a
p. 252
*41780, May 20 Jonathan Barns to Clock
(in Produce at cash price AND
1773)
6– 5–0 59x9a
p. 95
1783, May 20 James Hazelton
[Haddam, Conn.]
Two timepieces to be delivered to
Jeremiah Sherril
13– 0–0 59x9a
p. 89
*51783, Dec. 17 Abraham Mulford To a Timepiece ††6 4–16–0 59x9a
p. 88
to Boot between timepiece & a
clock
7– 0–0 59x9a
p. 88
1785 Capt. Hubbard Latham Clock [?] 59x9a
p. 232
1785, Jan. 9 Nathan Mulford To a Time Piece 10– 0–0 59x9a
p. 98
1786, Aug. 10 Matthew Osborn To a Timepiece 7–10–0 59x9a
p. 6
*7 Nov. 2 Matthew Barns To a clock put into an old case re-
paird
14– 0–0 59x9a
p. 99
*81787, Dec. Isaac Scallinger
[Schellinger]
To a Silent Clock 8– 6–0 59x9a
p. 2
*91788, Jan. 5 Thomas Baker To a Clock 20– 0–0 59x9a
p. 94
Jan. 19 William Hunting To a Timepiece 6– 0–0 59x9a
p. 118
*101789, July 1 Cap't David Fithian To a small Clock or Timepiece 6– 0–0 59x9a
p. 21
1790, Mar. 27 Aaron Isaacs to a Clock 20– 0–0 59x9a
p. 105
1791, Apr. 5 John Gardiner To a repeating alarm clock 23– 0–0 59x9a
p. 81
*11 Nov. 1 John L. Gardiner To 1 Clock       70 Dolls 28– 0–0 59x9a
p.131
1792, Feb. 17 Isaac [Van] Scoy
[Skoy]
To a Timepiece 6– 0–0 59x9a
p. 93
July 7 Abraham Gardiner To an Alarm, Repeating, Telltale
Clock
26–16–0 59x9a
p. 134
Sept. 28 John Miller To a Repeating, Alarm, Telltale
Clock
20– 8–0 59x9a
p. 79
Sept. 29 Abigail Baker To a timepiece which you got made
for Sarah
5– 8–0 59x9a
p. 30
1793, Feb. 28 Seth Parsons To a one Stroak Clock
(2 handed)
8–12–0 59x9a
p. 122
1794, Aug. 26 Joel Miller To 1 small clock or Time Piece 6– 0–0 59x9a
p. 42
1796, Feb. 9 Doctor Ebenezer Sage To 1 Clock or Timepiece 10– 0–0 59x9a
p. 137
*121797, June 8 Miller Dayton To a Repeating-Alarm Telltale
Clock
38– 0–0 59x9a
p. 155
*13 Oct. 5 Joseph Hedges
(Patchogue)
To a Repeating, Alarm, Tell-tale
Clock
38– 0–0 59x9a
Index
Opp. M
*141798, Apr. 21 Samuel H. Pierson
[Bridgehampton]
To a small Clock or Timepiece 20
Dollars
8– 0–0 59x9a
Index
Opp. M
1799, Aug. 21 Payne & Ripley To Repairing or, rather Remaking
1 Clock
3– 5–0 59x9a
p. 59
*151799, Nov. 7 David Gardiner To 1 Clock §16 36– 0–0 59x9a
Index
1800, Aug. 9 Mary Hopping To Silent Clock 9–12–0 59x9a
p. 43
1801, Oct. 28 Jared Hand To 1 Clock at £20– 0– 0 old way 20– 0–0 59x9a
p. 160
*171803, June 11 Doctor Ebenezer Sage To 1 Silent Clock 8– 0–0 59x9a
p. 137
To Glass for ye front of Do 4 &
Turning ye Do Sash 1/6
0– 5–6
*181805, Apr. 24 Abraham Hedges To 1 Time Piece or Small Clock 10– 0–0 59x9a
p. 170
1806, Jan. 30 Josiah Dayton To 1 Timepiece 10– 0–0 59x9a
p. 147
Feb. 12 Deacon Silas Corwin to 1 timepiece 10– 0–0 59x9a
Index
Opp. M
*191807, Oct. 15 Jeremiah Bennet, Jr. To a one Stroke Clock 10–16–0 59x9a
p. 133
1808, Apr. 25 Jonathan Tuthill To 1 silent clock ready cash 10– 0–0 59x9a
p.96
1809, Feb. 3 Isaac Edwards To a Small Clock 7– 0–0 59x9a
p. 18
*20 Apr. 20 Abraham Edwards To a clock or Timepiece 11– 0–0 59X9a
p. 153
1812, May 26 Joseph Osborn 1 Timepiece 11– 0–0 59x6
p. 120
1813, Mar. 13 Jonathan Osborn To Timepiece with a Bell 11– 0–0 59x6
p. 66
May 26 Isaac Miller Timepiece 10– 0–0 59x6
p. 123
1814, Aug. 24 Bethuel Edwards To 1 Timepiece 6– 0–0 M310
p.23
Oct. 18 Jeremiah Dayton To a Timepiece with Minute Hand 10– 0–0 59x6
p. 114
1817, Dec. 19 Elisha Osborn Junr A Timepiece with hour hand 6– 0–0 59x6
p. 181
*211818, Aug. 8 Jacob Hedges, Jr. To Timepiece $25.00 59x9.21
p. 10
*22Nov. Mulford Parsons To Timepiece 25.00 59x9.21
p. 13
Dec. 21 Samuel Ranger To an eight day repeating Clock, 3
months credit, then Intrest [sic]
at 6 per cent
26.00 M310
p. 69
1821 Matthew T. Hunting To Timepiece
To be paid in 6 months
8.00 59x9.21
p. 34
*231825, Oct. 8 Jonathan Osborn 3rd To a timepiece 25.00 59x9.21
p.30
p. [225]

As mentioned above, there is a possibility that the Dominys produced at least five additional clocks (see Table 3) since these are listed in the repair register with a notation that

Table 3. Clocks Listed in the Repair Register
Date Customer Entry Charge MS No.
and page
1785 Dec. 14 Thomas Baker*24 Clock, ND £ 0–15–0 59x9a
p. 203
1800 Nov. 13 Capt. H. Latham (Clock) ND 0– 8–0 59x9a
p. 232
1803 Oct. 7, Daniel Halsey (Clock) ND 0–11–0 59x9a
p. 238
Oct. 17 N. Conklin[g] Esqr (Clock) ND 1– 0–0 59x9a
p. 238
1810 Feb. 10 Elnatha[n] Parsons Clock. N.D 0–16–0 59x9a
p. 198

their maker was "ND" (Nathaniel IV). The "Watch & Clock Register" bears striking witness to the simplicity and quality of the clocks made by Nathaniel IV; only eleven entries appear for the repair of clocks made and sold by him during the period from 1777 to 1813.

The clocks had to be durable because of the relatively high cost to the buyer and the personal relationship between producer and consumer (after all, what is as useless as a clock that will not "tell time"?). Certainly one of the reasons so few clocks were made by the Dominys was the price. Few could afford them. From just after the Revolutionary War into the 1830's several references in their accounts are evidence that the Dominys usually valued £1 at $2.50 and vice versa. The list of clocks recorded in the Dominy accounts, for example, shows that in 1791 John Lyon Gardiner paid $70, or £28, for a clock and that in 1798 Samuel Pierson was charged £8, or $20, for "a small Clock or Timepiece." If we multiply the dollar cost of the several types of clocks they produced by twelve to approximate today's cost in dollars, the timepieces could hardly be considered inexpensive (see Table 4). Even with

Table 4. Cost of Dominy Clocks
Type of clock Dominy Price Current value*25
Timepiece (Nos. 208, 209) £ 6– 0–0 $15.00 $ 252.00
Silent clock (No. 194) 8– 6–0 20.75 348.60
One-stroke clock (No. 228) 8–12–0 21.50 361.20
Clock (No. 236) 10– 0–0 25.00 420.00
Clock, day-of-week, day-of-month calendar (No. 198) 20– 0–0 50.00 840.00
Clock, repeating, alarm (No. 207) 23– 0–0 57.50 966.00
Clock, repeating, alarm, telltale (No. 217) 38– 0–0 95.00 1,596.00

today's growing interest in and desire for tall-case clocks, there are relatively few people who will spend from $252 to $1,596 for a clock. Further evidence that clocks were expensive in the Dominys' era is seen in an analysis of the figure at which a skilled artisan like Nathaniel IV valued his labor. In 1770 Nathaniel Dominy IV charged from 4 shillings 6 pence to 5 shillings p. [226] a day for his work. By 1785 that figure had risen to 7 shillings a day and reached 7 shillings 6 pence by 1800.29 If £1 equaled $2.50, this means that Nathaniel IV charged approximately 94 cents a day for his labor, or in terms of today's dollar, about $11.28. Not many clocks, of even the cheapest type, could be purchased at those wages.

The activity of clockmakers across Long Island Sound in Connecticut contributed to the decline of the Dominys' production of handcrafted tall-case clocks. On June 15, 1813, the first entry mentioning clocks with wooden gears appeared in the Dominy accounts when Nathaniel V noted a charge of 6 shillings "to Repair wooden Clock" for Nathaniel Miller.30 In 1810 the cost of Connecticut clocks with wooden works ranged from $20 to $50. At those prices the Dominys could be competitive. By 1840, however, interchangeable parts, simpler manufacturing processes, and mass-production assembly techniques had lowered the price of brass-geared clocks to $6.00 in Connecticut, and it is estimated that ten clocks could be purchased in 1840 for the cost of one in 1815.31

At least one of Felix's customers thought that the price he charged for a clock in 1828 made its purchase an extravagance. In that year he received a letter from Islip stating:

Mr. Dominy

I received a line from you respecting a Clock. Will you please to make me a good & neat Clock without any finery about it – and come & put it up for me as you proposed & oblige

Yours respectfully Sarah Nicoll

Upon receiving this letter (which took about six days to travel the short distance to East Hampton), Felix Dominy noted on it "80$ is the price of such a clock." On November 3, 1828, Sarah Nicoll wrote once again, this time to cancel her order.

Mr Dominy

Will you allow me to claim a Ladys privilege & change my mind – some of my friends think it such a piece of folly for me to have an expensive Clock made, that I would give up the idea if it would not be too much for me to ask after all that has been said & done—I am willing to pay you for your trouble and expense if you will release me & forgive my fickleness –32

In view of the competition in Connecticut and the high price of the Dominys' clocks, it is not surprising that Nathaniel V and Felix spent less time making clocks than did Nathaniel IV. By 1820 Felix was spending some time at the Dominys' gear-cutting engine (No. 136) preparing clock gears for Elijah Simons, the Sag Harbor clockmaker and competitor mentioned earlier. On December 30, 1820, Elijah Simons wrote to Felix:

Sir

If you have not cut the Wheals for the time piece you may cut them with one Size thinner cutter and not Round them I Send the Dial W[heel] for the Clock to Cut not Round them I Send one pinion to Cut & Leav[e]33

Four days later Felix replied:

Sir

I send you the Wheels all cut except the large time piece wheel & one other which I do not p. [227] know how to cut [that is, the size of the cut] or how many teeth it wants – the large one I fear will not answer & not knowing which cutter to use I took the second size, but believe it ought to be cut with the third – if you think it will answer send it back & I will cut it. If not send another – as to the pinion I have no cutter mine being broken.34

Simons later became accustomed to forwarding information about the number of teeth for each gear, and by 1822 his instructions to Felix were limited to two or three short lines. Evidently Felix was kept busy enough with Simons's orders and received specifications from him frequently enough to make the passage of long explanatory letters unnecessary.35 The final episode in the Dominys' decline as clockmakers is revealed in the account book kept by Nathaniel Dominy V and Felix's son Nathaniel VII (1827–1910) after Felix had ceased to function as a craftsman. In 1848 Nathaniel Huntting was given credit for "cart[in]g [a] box of Clocks from Sag Harbor" to the Dominy house and shops.36 It surely must have pained Nathaniel V in his final years to see his grandson functioning as a mere retailer of clocks. Watch repairing, together with a wide variety of woodworking tasks, provided the bulk of the Dominys' income throughout their years as craftsmen. The watch paper used by Nathaniel IV notes prominently that he repaired watches, and Felix's states that he was a watchmaker as well as a clockmaker (Illus. XXXI-XXXIII). Appendix B shows that in

Black and white photograph of the watch paper of Nathaniel Dominy IV.
Illus. XXXI. Watch paper of Nathaniel Dominy IV. (Winterthur Museum)
Black and white photograph of the engraved copperplate for the watch paper of Nathaniel Dominy IV.
Illus. XXXII. Engraved copperplate for watch paper of Nathaniel Dominy IV. (Winterthur Museum)
some years watch repairing was the major source of income from customers scattered throughout Suffolk County and across the Sound in Connecticut. From 1777 to 1813 the number of watches repaired by Nathaniel IV was so great he found it necessary to keep a register of clocks and watches that came into the shop. He recorded the name of the owner, the maker of each watch, its serial number, if any, and the charge for whatever work was performed. p. [228] Although only a small section of the register appears in the Appendix, it is sufficient to illustrate the amazing variety of timepieces by American, Dutch, English, French, and German makers which were owned in southern Connecticut and eastern Long Island.37 The Dominys' watch papers served, of course, as a record of the date and type of repair, as well as a guarantee to the customer for the work performed. Both receipt and delivery of these
Black and white photograph of watch papers of Felix Dominy.
Illus. XXXIII. Watch papers of Felix Dominy, engraved by J.D. Stout, New York City. (Winterthur Museum)
watches were entrusted to travelers, boat captains, and stagecoach drivers. Evidently this casual system worked well, for no complaints of loss or extensive damage to the watches are noted in the Dominys' records.

Although Felix Dominy owned A List of Prices as Agreed on by the Watch and Clockmakers in the City of New York (New York: Printed by Southwick & Hardcastle, 1806), probably acquired at the end of his training in the city, the prices he and his grandfather charged for watch p. [229] repairs were considerably lower than the rates recommended by New York's artisans. Depending upon the complexity of its movement, a charge of 75 cents to $6 was made in New York for cleaning a watch. In 1785 Nathaniel Dominy IV charged 4 shillings, or 50 cents, to clean a watch, and Felix seems to have continued the rate into the nineteenth century. Henry Dering, of Sag Harbor, who knew both Nathaniel IV and Felix, was of the opinion that Felix Dominy's price for cleaning watches was quite low. In a letter dated December 5, 1821, he asked Felix "if there is any proffit in cleaning Watches at the price you usually charge." On the reverse of one of his watch papers (Illus. XXXIII), Felix noted a charge of $1.50 to "Clean & repr contrate wheel" for Elisha Edwards in 1828, a price $1 lower than the charge recommended in the 1806 List of Prices. In addition to watch papers engraved by J. D. Stout in1823, Felix Dominy also ordered fifty blue watchpapers and an engraved name plate from Samuel Maverick, a New York engraver and copperplate printer. Maverick’s bill to Felix Dominy, (Downs MS., 59x9.28a) for both items was $2.38.

An interesting sidelight on the profit accruing from repairing watches is found in the Dering letter mentioned above:

Sir

Some two or three weeks since I recd a letter from you by mail, without date –

It came to hand on Monday; I had not heard of the watches being down at the [store?] untill the Saturday before, and then by accident, although I had seen Mr. Gelston almost daily; and when I called on Mr. Gelston on Monday he informed me you brought them down yourself. …By your letter you appear rather displeased at my writing you that Mr. Harris did not wish a glass put in his watch and observed that [Elijah] Simons put them in for 12½ Cts. – I conceive there was no harm in this – I know very well there is a difference in the price of Glasses, and some costing twice as much as others, and real cristals I judge would cost four times the price of a Glass. …I had no view in sending you the watches that I have, than for your profit, and I have been requested to send up others but did not know as you would wish to receive them to clean or repair, as possibly Simons might have put in the Glasses.38

Apparently there was more profit to be made in the sale of a watch glass, with its relatively simple installation, than in cleaning or repairing a watch. It is conceivable that watches sent to Nathaniel IV from Lyme, Connecticut, by Watrus and Ingraham Beckwith, as well as by "Mr Lester," came to East Hampton via Henry Dering in Sag Harbor.39

An entry in the watch register for 1779 indicates that Nathaniel IV was both a patriot and a man with a sense of humor. Under the heading of "Transient Persons" were entries for:

Coll Tarlton Dr to Repr a Watch £0–6–0
Jno Baums a legion dr to do 0–4–040

Late in 1778 General Clinton appointed Banastre Tarleton "lieutenant-colonel, Commandant of the British Legion," a mixed force of cavalry and light infantry.41 The British considered eastern Long Island a good place to forage for supplies as well as a convenient staging area for raids on Connecticut towns along Long Island Sound. In February and March, 1779, General Clinton had marched to the vicinity of Southampton, New York, and Tarleton's "Green Horse," as his legion came to be known, was apparently included in Clinton's troops.42 Having heard of a clockmaker in East Hampton, Colonel Tarleton sent his watch to be repaired or perhaps stopped at the Dominy house while repairs were being made. Nathaniel's p. [230] wish to have Tarleton and his "legion" noted as transients is understandable.

Many of the crafts practiced by the Dominys in making clocks and repairing watches were also used in making other metalwork for their customers. In the same year that Nathaniel IV repaired Colonel Tarleton's watch, he produced shot molds that he probably hoped would be used against the British by the purchasers. Quite fearlessly he cast his name and the year 1779 onto one arm of these molds (Illus. XXXIV). Although the number originally made

Black and white photograph of a shot mold made by Nathaniel Dominy IV.
Illus. XXXIV. Shot mold made by Nathaniel Dominy IV, 1779. (Winterthur Museum)
by Nathaniel is not known, several examples survive. These molds were relatively expensive, selling for £1 4s.43 Nathaniel IV also made button molds for local customers; an example can be seen at "Home Sweet Home" in East Hampton.

Felix Dominy must have observed his grandfather's practical approach because he too made use of his casting ability to provide additional income. As a counterweight for the alarm section of their tall-case clocks, the Dominys used what can best be described as a small lead doughnut. Felix used the same molds to cast "Sein[e] leads" for fishermen's nets and sold them for 1 pence each. In 1816 he also sold to Sineus Miller a "Brass Mold to cast sein[e] leads in" at a cost of 16 shillings, or $2 (Illus. XXXV, XXXVI).44

The Dominys' lathe equipment for turning and polishing metal did not go unused when orders for watch work were few. A notation made by Nathaniel IV on August 3, 1776, has an ominous ring. He billed Samuel Sherril, a local blacksmith, 5 shillings 9 pence for "polishing at Sundry times 69 bayonets."45 The polishing equipment, however, was more frequently used by the Dominys as the last step in repairing silver spoons and sugar tongs or jewelry. On several occasions Nathaniel IV was called upon to turn brass andiron heads or fire-tool heads for local smiths such as William Hedges and Samuel Sherril, and he undoubtedly polished them after completing the turning.46 The conservation of material in these odd jobs is illustrated by a commission from Mrs. John C. Ball in which Felix was asked to take a silver ring, draw it to a smaller size, and use the remaining silver to patch her sugar tongs.47 These account book entries have given rise to a local story that the Dominys made andirons. No evidence to document the production of "hand irons," as they are usually listed in contemporary records, has yet been found.

Gun repairing and stocking provided other important sources of income for the Dominy p. [231]

Black and white photograph of patterns for counterweight and seine net sinker molds, pattern for a shot mold, counterweight and seine net sinker, and counterwieght and seine net sinker mold.
Illus. XXXV. Patterns for counterweight and seine net sinker molds (top left and center), pattern for a shot mold (top right), counterweight and seine net sinker (bottom left), and counterweight and seine net sinker mold (bottom center), made by Nathaniel Dominy IV and Felix Dominy. (Winterthur Museum)
craftsmen. (Since supplying gunstocks was part of their woodworking activity, it will be discussed below.) The metalwork involved the use of their forge. A frequent entry in the accounts was for "hardening hammer of gun lock &c," for which the charge was 1 shilling. The "hardening" process meant that the metal was, of course, reheated and hammered on the anvil. Sometimes the repair work was quite extensive. For example, Nathaniel IV rebuilt Merry Parsons's gun in 1790. He charged her 10 shillings for "Repairing your Gun-lock, with a new-Dog, new-form the Tumbler, new bush the Chap, 4 new Screws, Harden Hammer, &c."48

Tool repairs such as Nathaniel IV's tempering of plane irons for Abraham Mulford in 1766

Black and white photograph of a counterweight and seine net sinker mold made by Felix Dominy.
Illus. XXXVI. Counterweight and seine net sinker mold made by Felix Dominy. (Courtesy of "Home Sweet Home," East Hampton, N.Y.)
p. [232] also required forge work. The job was finished at the seemingly low price of 4 pence. Nathaniel also used the forge in 1788 to repair and enlarge Nathaniel Gardiner's "Stilliards" and in 1802 "To repr the Surveying Chain" for East Hampton Township. Felix, in 1818, finished "2 pump augers" at the forge.49 Saw blades frequently broke and teeth dulled rapidly, keeping the Dominys busy refashioning saw blades and cutting or filing new teeth. Their role in keeping neighborhood artisans and farmers equipped with workable tools almost from birth to death is typified in the entries Nathaniel IV made for the account of Nathan Conkling, Jr. (see Table 5). Nathaniel IV's familiarity with gear mechanisms certainly must have been an aid

Table 5. Account of Nathan Conkling, Jr.
Date Entry Charge
May 1768 to grinding sheep shears &c £0– 1–3
to new moulding a saw 0– 7–0
Dec. to a rasp 0– 1–6
Feb. 1769 to grinding ¼ round [plane iron] &c 0– 0–4
Aug. 1771 to a Pomp [pump] box 0– 2–0
Jan. 26, 1773 to a joyners bench 0–10–0
Feb. 4, 1774 to mend tobac[co] box 0– 1–0
May 7 to cuting off tennon saw and
Teeth New Cuting
0– 9–0
March 1786 to new plateing & new cuting a saw 0– 9–0
May 1 to 2 plane stocks finishing 0– 5–6
Dec. 30, 1788 to a Coffin for his Corps 0–12–050

to him when he was called upon by the township to repair Clinton Academy's orrery.51

Undoubtedly the most ambitious task requiring metalwork ability was the covering of the dome of the Montauk Lighthouse in 1833. Felix signed the contract shortly before he ended his career as a craftsman and at a time when he must have been desperate for work. In the agreement he is referred to as a "Copper Smith," although there is no other evidence indicating that he was qualified to work at that craft. On October 17, 1832, John P. Osborn, "Superintendent of the Montauk Lighthouse," wrote to Felix: "Capt- Brown leaves for New York tomorrow and whoever contracts to Cover the Dome of Montauk Lighthouse ought to send by him for the Copper as it is growing late in the season. Will you have the goodness to let me know whether you intend giving me your terms – I wish to know by tomorrow noon –"52 On June 6, 1833, Felix initialed a contract in which he pledged to cover the dome with "thirty two ounce copper" and paint it "with a good and substantial coat of paint." The work was to be completed by July 1, 1834; Felix was to receive $230 and be allowed to retain the old copper removed from the dome.53 According to Felix's calculations, 220 feet of copper sheets and 1,080 copper rivets were used.54

It was not the difficulty of this job that made Felix decide to earn a living by some other means. He was, after all, only thirty-four years old when this contract was ended. The evidence shows that he had earlier debated the idea of leaving craft activity.

Before describing the end of the Dominys' careers as craftsmen, their woodworking activities p. [233] should be examined. It has been pointed out that whenever at least two of the craftsmen were active, they divided their labor into metalworking and woodworking. At times, however, all three craftsmen engaged in some type of woodworking. The production of household equipment, cabinetwork, and furniture repairing provided most of their income. Appendix B gives a representative, if not complete, list of the kind of articles made by Nathaniel IV, Nathaniel V, and Felix. A thorough analysis of their accounts is needed, however, to obtain an accurate picture of their cabinetmaking and wood-turning accomplishments. Such an analysis is important to confirm their talents as furniture makers. Their reputation as clockmakers has been so widely known, and the furniture, until recently, so anonymous, that many "unbelievers" still exist. Like the clocks, all the furniture is not recorded because some accounts are missing. Other pieces were sold for cash (see No. 185) and apparently were not entered in the books. Between 1768, when Aaron Isaacs was billed 10 shillings for a "trundle" bedstead, and 1840, when Isaac Van Scoy was charged 2 shillings 4 pence for two "chairs," the Dominys produced at least 4,445 pieces of finished woodwork. This figure includes items such as buttons and trenchers, but a substantial amount of furniture also came from their shop, as shown in the list in Table 6 giving the pieces and the number made. The years and prices at the right side indicate

Table 6. Furniture and Woodenware Listed in Dominy Accountsp. [234]
Item No. Years Usual price
Bedsteads 81 1768–1833 £ 0– 6–0 to £ 2– 8–0
Benches 2 1820 0– 6–0
Bookcase 1 1814 5– 0–0
Bookshelf 2 1801 0– 2–3
Bottle case 1 1802 0–12–0
Bread Shovel [Peel] 1 1825 0– 2–0
Bread Tray 5 1814–1832 0– 5–0
Bureaus 17 1793–1818 4–10–0 to 10– 0–0
Buttons 356 1773–1818 0– 0–1 to 0– 1–0
Button Molds 1,708 1788–1822 0– 0–3 to 0– 0–6 per dozen
Cake Board 1 1807 0– 1–0
Candle box 1 1790 0– 1–9
Case, with drawers 1 1789 4– 0–0
Chair, close stool 2 1807–1809 0–16–0
Chair, easy 1 1808 1– 4–0
Chairs 210 1766–1840 0– 1–2 to 0–10–0
*26 Chairs, fiddle back 31 1796–1808 0– 7–9 to 0– 8–0
Chairs, great 8 1790–1822 0–12–0 to 0–16–0
Chairs, green [Windsor] 22 1800–1803 0–10–0
Chairs, little 8 1773–1802 0– 3–6 to 0– 8–0
Chairs, plain 10 1787–1798 0– 3–6 to 0– 5–0
*27 Chairs, rocking 13 1804–1830 0–12–0 to 0–14–0
*28 Chairs, slat 62 1796–1818 0– 4–0 to 0– 6–0
Chairs, small 24 1773–1833 0– 3–0 to 0–8–0
Chest, double [mahogany drawers] 1 1800 18– 4–0
Chest, plain 4 1792–1799 0–11–0 to 0–12–0
*29 Chest, one drawer 5 1799–1804 1–12–0 to 1–14–0
Chest, two drawers 8 1786–1812 1–14–0 to 2–12–0
Chest of drawers 1 1770 2–10–0
*30 Chest on chest [high chest] 13 1791–1806 7–12–6 to 11– 0–0
Chests, complicated 1 1792 1– 6–0
Chests 56 1768–1822 0– 8–0 to 1–16–0
Clockcases (for clocks not of
their own shop)
5 1777–1820 1– 4–0 to 6– 0–0
Clothes horse 1 1803 0–10–0
Coffins 96 1768–1829 0– 4–0 to 10– 0–0
Cradles (for children) 12 1803–1824 0–16–0
Cradles (for grain) 85 1767–1848 0– 5–6 to 0–16–0
Cupboard 1 1800 0– 4–6
*31 Desk and bookcase 3 1796–1820 ? to 20– 8–0
*32 Desks 6 1770–1811 5–10–0 to 11– 0–0
Desks (school) 3 1801 0–17–0 to 1– 2–0
Desks, writing 7 1795–1808 0–10–0 to 1– 4–0
Doors 13 1765–1813 0– 3–0 to 0– 6–0
Eel spear poles 8 1789–1806 0– 0–9 to 0– 2–0
Fanning mill 1 1803 6–12–0
Footstools 14 1804–1831 0– 2–0 to 0– 7–0
Frames, looking-glass 8 1774–1820 0– 1–6 to 1– 4–0
Frames, picture 8 1767–1819 0– 1–6 to 0– 3–0
Frames, slate 8 1793–1818 0– 1–3 to 0– 2–0
Frames, tambour 2 1800 0– 3–0
Harrows 11 1785–1818 0– 4–0 to 0– 8–0
Joiner's bench 1 1773 0–10–0
Knife box 1 1807 0– 6–0
Looms 4 1768–1791 2–18–0 to 3–10–0
Meal trough 4 1769–1797 0– 9–0 to 1– 4–0
Medicine drawer 1 1800 0– 1–6
Mortar & pestle (salt) 2 1809–1814 0– 8–0
Mouse trap 1 1803 0– 3–6
Pitch pipes 3 1792–1806 0– 4–0 to 0– 8–0
Platter 1 1806 0– 6–6
Plow 1 1765 0– 8–0
Press, clothes 2 1806–1809 2–16–0
Pump boxes 23 1767–1832 0– 2–0 to 0– 3–0
Rakes 227 1769–1817 0– 2–0 to 0–12–0
Rat trap 1 1811 0– 7–0
Reels 56 1769–1837 0– 8–0 to 1– 0–0
Riding chair 1 1798 10– 0–0
Server 1 1796 0– 4–0
Shuttles 81 1769–1826 0– 2–0 to 0– 4–0
*33 Stands 59 1789–1831 0– 7–6 to 0–15–0
Stands, book 1 1793 0–12–0
*34 Stands, candle 5 1796–1833 0– 9–0 to 0–14–0
Stands, cherry 13 1809–1831 0–12–0 to 0–16–0
Stands, mahogany 2 1799–1800 1– 0–0
Stands, turned leaf 1 1793 0–10–0
Swifts 17 1793–1816 0– 2–0 to 0– 6–0
Table, large 1 1797 1–16–0
Tables 39 1788–1815 0–12–0 to 2– 8–0
*35 Tables, breakfast 13 1795–1823 1–10–0 to 2–16–0
Tables, bureau [with bedstead and stand] 1 1818 10–14–6
Tables, cherry 5 1792–1793 1–10–0 to 2– 0–0
Tables, dining 8 1792–1819 1–18–0 to 4– 8–0
Tables, dressing 2 1803 0–12–0
Tables, kitchen 5 1802–1823 0–12–0 to 0–18–0
Tables, for leather 1 1807 0– 5–0
Tables, mahogany 4 1800–1810 3– 0–0 to 4– 8–0
Tables, one leaf 1 1819 1– 8–0
Tables, oval 3 1766–1792 1– 4–0 to 1–16–0
Tables, plain 1 1790 0–10–0
Tables, round 3 1773–1791 1–8–0 to 2– 0–0
Tables, square 7 1790–1818 0–11–0 to 0–16–0
*36 Tables, tea 5 1792–1796 1– 4–0 to 1–14–0
Tables, toilet 1 1809 0–12–0
Tables, with drawer 1 1805 0–16–0
Trenchers 33 1800–1816 0– 0–6 to 0– 0–7
Trunks 2 1801–1821 0–10–0 to 0–12–0
Wagon 5 1796–1813 0– 5–0 to 8– 8–0
Wardrobe 1 1798 13– 0–0
Wharping bars 2 1814 0– 6–0 [each]
Wheel barrows 3 1768–1817 0– 8–0 to 0–11–0
Wheels, Dutch 63 1766–1818 1– 0–0 to 1–10–0
Wheels, quill 12 1792–1819 0– 8–0 to 0–12–0
Wheels, woolen 218 1765–1839 0– 8–6 to 1– 6–0
Wooden leg 1 1819 0– 3–6
Yarn beam 1 1775 0– 7–0
Yokes 34 1765–1843 0– 1–0 to 0– 4–0

the earliest and latest years of manufacture and the usual price charged. The various items are referred to by the names used by the Dominys.

The dates in which certain forms were first entered in the account books serve as additional proof that Nathaniel IV did cabinetwork and turning as well as clockwork. Since his son was not born until 1770, it is obvious that Nathaniel IV was a maker of bedsteads, chairs, chests, a chest of drawers, coffins, desks, looking-glass frames, picture frames, and tables. The fact that a number of objects first appear in 1789 or 1790 is an indication that Nathaniel V succeeded to the Dominy woodworking trade at the age of nineteen or twenty. It is by no means certain, however, that his father gave up woodworking after 1789 or 1790. Indeed, there is evidence in 1832, when Nathaniel V was presumably concerned only with woodworking and his son Felix with metalworking, that the division was not hard and fast. Writing from Quogue, New York, James C. Horton (Norton?) informed Felix:

I will be down on Saturday – If you think you can make me the said Gunbox in the course of next week will you try to get out some oak stuff ready for it – It will require to be about 3 ft 6 in – in the clear – as to the breadth I am not certain – Also if your father has any good stuff p. [235] for [wagon] shafts or you can get any from the Harbor, will you ask him to get out a pair 7 ft 6 in long in readiness to put them together when I return – I am aware that nothing more can be done till he has the waggon but my arrangements are such that I wish them painted and dried during the week – and every little helps –55

Inferences about the affluence of those who purchased Dominy furniture are not made easily. For example, John L. Gardiner paid the highest price for twelve of the fifty-four forms listed in Table 6. He was assessed as the wealthiest individual in the township of East Hampton, and in his time it would have been expected that he would spend only 4 shillings on a coffin "for a Negro child," while a mahogany and pine coffin for his own corpse cost £10. The customer's taste, the materials used, and production time were all factors in determining price. Affluence could be assumed in a purchaser when the wood used bore the notation "mahogany." It is intriguing to note that in three categories—chairs, fiddle-back chairs, and looking-glass frames—the Dominys made more expensive pieces for their own use than for their customers.

The Dominys often valued their labor at from 7 shillings to 7 shillings 6 pence a day. It would be expected that bedsteads costing 6 shillings should require less effort to make than those sold for £2 8s. The relationship here is very precise because the former were a set of "cot" bedsteads, while the latter had "long, reeded posts & teasters."56 The "cot" bedsteads were made in less than a day, while the bedstead with "long, reeded posts & teasters" required slightly more than two days to finish. The average price for a maple stand (Nos. 250, 251 B, C) was 10 shillings, indicating that about a half day's labor (albeit a long day) went into turning, joining, and finishing. The use of cherry raised the price of these stands by 2 shillings (Nos. 247, 248, 251A, E), while mahogany brought the price higher by 6 shillings (Nos. 249, 251D). The most expensive pieces of furniture were those requiring much cabinetwork and little or no turning. It is evident from the list above that a bureau, chest of drawers, chest-on-chest, desk, desk and bookcase, and wardrobe were expensive items. The number of drawers, moldings, boards, panels, and other elements that had to be fitted together were numerous and required many days' work. The desk and bookcase made for John Lyon Gardiner in 1800 (No. 244) cost £20 8s, including the expense of carting it to Fireplace, where it was shipped to Gardiner's Island. Allowing about one-third each for labor, materials, and profit, it appears that approximately twenty days were spent on this piece of furniture.58 Greater accuracy in figuring production time would be possible had the Dominys kept time records for furniture making as carefully as they did for carpentry projects.

Felix Dominy did not venture into the field of carpentry, but Nathaniels IV and V brought considerable income to the family through this type of work. One of the earliest entries in Nathaniel IV's accounts appears under Joseph Ellis's name: "To work Building house Viz geting timber, hewing, frameing and Covering in all 24½ days at 4s. 6d—5–10–3."59 The period in which this house was built actually extended from March 30 to June 7, 1762, a total of seventy days. Poor weather, the Sabbath, and other projects requiring immediate attention probably accounted for spreading the "24½ days" over so long a period. Among the Dominy manuscripts is a construction drawing, using a scale of ¼ inch to a foot, for a simple story-and-a-half p. [236] house with an end chimney and a milk room (Illus. XXXVII). It is in Nathaniel IV's hand but undated, and the house owner's name is not included. Its features—10-foot corner posts, 8-inch girth beams, 6-over-6 window lights in the upper-story windows and 9-over-6 panes in the lower windows, small glass panes of 7 by 9 inches, a door only 2 feet wide—could easily be those of a house built in "24½ days" in 1762. The house shown in the drawing is a perfect square, 18 feet wide and deep. Depending upon whether 11- or 12-foot rafters were used, the house would have been 17 or 18 feet high. Joseph Ellis's name is not associated with a house in the East Hampton area, so it is impossible to identify the drawing as that of his house. The absence of other entries for "house building," however, might indicate that the house shown in the manuscript is the one Nathaniel IV built for Joseph Ellis.

Both Nathaniel Dominy IV and Nathaniel V were millwrights, engaged both in building and repairing mills. The number of windmills still standing in the vicinity of East Hampton bear testimony to their importance in agricultural areas where water power was not available. In 1769 Nathaniel Dominy, in company with Abraham Mulford and others, obtained permission to set up a sawmill in "Sandy Hook" on the site of a previous mill. "Sandy Hook" was not the spit of land identified with New York Harbor, but was probably the section of the village of East Hampton now known as "The Hook," a low area where Main Street divides, one road leading to Montauk and the other to Three Mile Harbor.60 Nathaniel IV's accounts do not make it clear whether the sawmill was an entirely new building, because the entry "Saw Mill Debtor" for April and May, 1769, states: "to work of my self and Jereme on S[ai]d Mill at Sundry times building and mending viz my self 20 days at 5s 6d per day 5–1–0—Jereme 18 days at 3–6."61 It’s highly likely that Jereme was Jeremiah Sherrill (1750–1827) who was paid journeyman’s wages by both Nathaniel IV and V for help with mill construction. 62 In any case Nathaniel's rate for his skilled labor was valued at 2 shillings a day more than his helper's. These charges were not consistent, however; in 1770 Nathaniel IV recorded a fee of 5 shillings a day for one and one-half days' work "putting in head Beam" of Thomas Mulford's mill. In 1799 he entered charges of 6 shillings 6 pence per day for his son Nathaniel V's labor and 3 shillings 6 pence for each day of "Asa's" labor at "The same Mill now tended by Capt. N. Hedges."63

A great attraction to visitors to East Hampton is the "smock" or "petticoat" mill that still stands on "The Hook." It was built by Nathaniel Dominy V between 1804 and 1806 and completely restored in 1939 by Charles M. Dominy for the village. The white oak and hickory timbers used in its construction were brought on a raft from Gardiner's Island to Fireplace and hauled by oxen to the millsite. Patterned after English examples, the "smock" mill has an octagonal tower with a brake permitting the head, or "cap," of the mill to be turned into the wind.64 A few years after he built the Hook Mill, Nathaniel V was asked to supply the dimensions for a mill to be erected across Gardiner's Bay in Southold, New York. Nathaniel's reply undoubtedly contains an accurate description of his plans for the Hook Mill.

Sir, I received yours of the 9th Inst. which informs me, that if your timber will answer, you have concluded to put two run of Stones in your Mill – I believe it will do well. 2nd If you frame girders across for your bridge beams to lie upon 8 feet and 4 Inches from top of stone p. [237]

Black and white photograph of a plane and elevation drawn by Nathaniel Dominy IV for a house.
Illus. XXXVII. Plan and elevation drawn by Nathaniel Dominy IV, ca. 1762, possibly for Joseph Ellis's house, East Hampton, N.Y. (Winterthur Museum)
p. [238] beams to top of said girders, the lower storey will answer as agreed upon; but if you conclude to have the bridge beams lie on those girths which support the upper floor perhaps the lower storey had better be as much as 10 feet high – 3rd The top had better be enlarged as much as the bottom or the arms will come too near – 4th The stone beams may be 2 Feet & 10 inches apart, & the posts under them stand flush with the inside of the beams & 5 Feet between them the other way – 5th The post in center of Mill may be from 18 to 24 inches [thick] and long enough to rise 4 Feet 8 Inch above the stone beam – 6th The plank rim to be in 6 pieces – 7 Cogg wheel to be 8 Feet diameter & Spur wheel 5 Feet 3 I[nches] with 52 Coggs each 3¼ by 1¾ and 12 inches long – Cants of spur wheel 17 Inches wide & 4 thick – Faceing of Do 7 inches wide and 3 thick – the width of arms 9 In & 4½ thick – The wallower 3 Feet 10 Inches, plank diameter – 2 Inches thick, 25 Rounds – 14 Inches between shoulders & 3 Inches diameter – Rim that holds the coggs for turning mill top [smock type] – 5 Inches thick and 9 or 10 I[nches] wide – Stocks 34 Feet or 35 Feet long, 8 Inches thick and 10 Inches deep at center, ends proportioned so as to suit the points when hewed 8 Inches one end & 4½ Inches the other – thickness of stock 3½ Inches or 4 Inches at end.

Size of Burr Stones 4'–4" diam. and the rock stones 4'–8 or 9" diam. and the runner 17 or 18" through the eye.

N.B. The Post in center may be Crotchd on one of the sleepers and a large stone placed under the end.65

With dimensions and instructions as precise as these, it would not be difficult to reconstruct a "smock" mill with burrstones to grind wheat and rye or rock stones to grind corn. Gauges for measuring mill "coggs" and "rounds" are among the Dominy tools acquired by the Winterthur Museum. One of them is inscribed "Hook Mill" (No. 34).

From 1812 to 1830 Nathaniel V, in partnership with Jonathan Osborn and Elisha and Timothy Miller, apparently owned a sawmill, for he recorded numerous instances of work on this mill valued at a rate of $1 a day. In 1816 a mill was evidently built in ten weeks for Abraham Osborn. This entry shows that Nathaniel's work week was six days long because his record states, "To work on Mill ten Weeks or 60 Days @ 7/." A threshing mill was completed for Miller Dayton in 1818 and another built for D.J. Gardiner in 1828.66 In Windmills of Long Island (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1983), page 38, Robert J. Hefner states that ‘between 1795 and 1810, Nathaniel Dominy V built six wind-powered gristmills, three wind-powered sawmills, and one fulling mill’

Nathaniel V was more active as a millwright than was his father. Nathaniel IV apparently preferred clockmaking, watch repairing, and other metalwork to carpentry. Because the skills needed by a millwright and a wheelwright were closely related, it is not surprising to find that Nathaniel V turned and mortised hubs for wagons and passenger vehicles. From 1792 on, an increasing number of wheelwrights' tasks were recorded in the account books. "To 1 Axletree & Black Tongue to Waggon" and "To Repr your Rideing Chair & a new Axeltree" were quite common entries. In 1798 Nathaniel made an entire vehicle (thus combining the skills of a chairmaker and wheelwright) for William Rysam, the same person for whom he made a set of mahogany Windsor armchairs in 1794 (No. 185). Rysam's "riding chair" brought £10 into the Dominy coffers. For another wealthy neighbor, "Jonathan Dayton Esqr," Nathaniel V made a "calash" for his carriage in 1820.67 An obvious connection also existed between the wheelright's skills and those needed to produce the "Dutch" and "woolen" wheels listed above. Those pieces of domestic equipment were an essential household item in East Hampton. In 1819, for example, Daniel Terry wrote to Nathaniel V: "I am in want of a woolin wheel and wish to have one with an iron axel tree as those you made for me before. I wish to have it as p. [239] soon as you can make it, & likewise two spindles with whirls on them for our other wheels."68

If there was a local need for a product or service that utilized some of the Dominys' many skills, these able craftsmen did not hesitate to meet the demand. Their manuscript records and the wide variety of their tools and the products fashioned with them provide overwhelming proof of the Dominys' versatility.

Earlier it was mentioned that Nathaniel II (1684–1768) earned his living as a weaver and surveyor. Some of the latter talent passed on to his descendants, for there are a number of records indicating that the Dominys' neighbors called upon them for "measureing" land. In 1772 Dr. Samuel Hutchinson paid Nathaniel IV 1 shilling 6 pence to measure his land. Jacob Conkling paid the same amount in 1789 for "viewing & measuring land where Parsons cut wood." Four years later Nathaniel V received 6 shillings for "1 Day in ye Woods Runing Line" on Sineus Conkling's property.69 As late as 1834, Felix Dominy received a letter from Nathan C. Barns asking for Felix's service "to measure a piece of wood-land this spring."70 Although Felix's reply has not survived, it was probably in the affirmative; there is every indication that by this time he was more of a handyman and repairman than a craftsman. A few years earlier, for example, Sarah Gardiner had written to Felix, "I wish you to come here [Gardiner's Island] 6th of June & stay a few days – probably a week, & do some painting. I wish you to bring some varnish for furniture."71 Felix had received no order for a clock since 1828 (Nos. 239, 240), and it was about then that he began to consider giving up crafts.

Sometime late in 1828 or early 1829 Felix Dominy became interested in a position as a census taker in Suffolk County. Whether he was ever appointed is not known; the only existing reference to his desire for the job is a letter advising him that Congress would not pass a census law until 1829 or 1830, with appointments to be made in the spring of 1830.72 Felix used his experience in politics in an effort to obtain the post of "Keeper" of the Montauk Light. Early in 1832, hearing that the keeper had resigned, Felix inquired about the vacancy and learned that Patrick T. Gould had already been appointed by John P. Osborn, superintendent of the lighthouse.73 Felix immediately drafted a long petition to President Andrew Jackson with the hope that some of his neighbors would sign it. In his first version the "incumbent" was accused of having "sold his good will" to someone neither a resident of Suffolk County nor familiar with the area. President Jackson was asked to appoint a "townsman" who had not sought to purchase "executive patronage." This language was apparently considered too strong by the neighbors. The petition actually sent was edited somewhat:

To his Excellency the President &c.

We the undersigned inhabitants of Suffolk County &c Understanding that the present keeper of Montauk Lighthouse has resigned, do reccommend Maj Felix Dominy as a suitable person and well qualified to fill the station &c & a firm friend to the present Administration

Nathl Miller P. M. [postmaster?] Fireplace – Suffolk County – N.Y.– Charles Woodhull Nathan Post Henry P. Osborn Mulford Osborn74

p. [240]

Felix did not receive the appointment. He had to content himself with covering the dome of the lighthouse, as noted above. In 1834 Felix sought the nomination for county sheriff, but politics were as intricate then as they are now. A letter he received from Abraham Sherril delineates the complexities of party problems and views dimly Felix's chance of nomination:

When we parted last you mentioned that it had been suggested to you that an arrangement might be made whereby Esq. P. might receive the nomination of County Clerk and Esq. H. be the candidate for the Assembly. I am sorry I did not give you my opinion upon that point then. Esq. H's family and business is in such a situation that I do not think he wishes or would accept of the nomination of Assemblyman. I believe it has been generally expected that he would be reelected Clerk. He has given as far as I can learn universal satisfaction in the discharge of the duties of [torn: that] office and would command a greater vote than [torn: any] other candidate on the county ticket. In evidence [torn: of] which I would refer you to Electoral Canvass 3 years ago. I think it would be bad policy to have too many new names on the ticket and if Esq. H. is dropped for Clerk and Esq. P. taken up there will have to be a new candidate taken up for the Assembly. By a letter which I recd from Southold– they intend to urge Mr. Horton's claims to the office of Sheriff and if there is to be a contest for the Clks. office I fear it will lessen your chance for a nomination for Sheriff – The old leaders of the Party will think there has been some intrigue and will put their veto upon it. Mr. Phillips has been mentioned as the candidate for assembly but appears rather indifferent about it – Report says he wants the clerks office and has been planning to get it – as a friend of yours I hope you are clear of it – and if not I advise you to cut the connexion and keep dark as the most probable means of ensuring your success.75

Felix had every right to be discouraged by this letter. He did not receive the nomination he sought, nor one for any other post.76

By 1834 Felix had apparently made a reluctant decision to give up the craft tradition his family had maintained for over a century. The last record of craft activity on Felix's part is a bill for watch parts purchased from William M. Morrell, New York City, on November 25, 1834.77 No manuscript linking Felix to craftwork after that date has been located. He was no longer living in East Hampton in November, 1835, for in that month he wrote to his young son, Nathaniel VII, from "Fire Island" that he had been to New York City for supplies. The tone of the letter, with references to receiving mail at Babylon, New York, and voting at Islip, New York, indicates a permanent move. By 1840 Felix Dominy was keeper of the Fire Island Lighthouse, a position he may have obtained through political activity. A letter written to Nathaniel VII on March 30, 1840, was also marked "Fire Island," and in it Felix described the wreck of an Italian brig that went ashore two miles west of the light "on the bar." Some indication of the abundant wildlife in the area is reflected in Felix's remarks that he had only killed a few birds "this spring." He stated, however, that on one day he "got 21 duck."78

Felix had cut his ties with East Hampton; by 1847 he was running a hotel on Fire Island during the summer and in Bay Shore, New York, during the winter. Near the address on a letter from Felix to Nathaniel VII in 1847 is a small green seal proudly advertising Dominy's hotel on Fire Island (Illus. XXXVIII). In this letter Felix stated that "Nat Brown has built us a temple a little S.E. of the blacksmith shop." Evidently the Greek Revival style was in p. [241]

Black and white photograph of a letter seal used by Felix Dominy to advertise Dominy's Hotel.
Illus. XXXVIII. Letter seal used by Felix Dominy in 1847 to advertise Dominy's Hotel, Fire Island, N.Y. (Winterthur Museum)
favor on Fire Island. Several boarders are mentioned, but whether or not "the temple" was their hotel is never made clear. Felix expressed the hope that his son would "get along and make a comfortable living."79 He must have believed, from the tone of his son's letters, that Nathaniel VII was also considering leaving East Hampton, possibly to try his luck in the California gold fields. That idea was squelched by a letter from a friend already on the scene strongly advising against such a move.80 A few years later, in 1853, Nathaniel VII inherited half of his grandfather's tools and was apparently allowed to keep and use the half willed to his father.81 Felix had no use for them, having already earned a reputation as "a well known hotel keeper."82 Nathaniel Dominy V died in 1852, probably happy to leave a world he could no longer understand, a world in which his son Felix had broken the craft tradition to become a lighthouse and a hotel keeper. It probably disturbed him to see his grandson Nathaniel VII trying to take daguerreotypes and operating a jewelry business. Although he made use of the tools and, of course, kept them in the original shops, the truth is that Nathaniel VII was never more than a village handyman.

Felix died on December 20, 1868, while visiting his daughter, Mary Tyson, in Buffalo, New York. His decision to leave East Hampton seems to have been wise from an economic point of view, for he left his widow and children personal property in excess of $5,000 in addition to the Bay Shore hotel and other real estate. In his will the "family clock" was specifically mentioned and bequeathed to his son Arthur.83 Felix realized all too well that, with his death, only family relics remained to be passed on and that the production of handcrafted objects in the shops at East Hampton belonged to the past, albeit a recent past.

The tools that have survived and the products made with them have been used to reconstruct the Dominy craftsmen's means of earning a living and to illustrate a way of life now vanished from the American scene.

p. [242]

Notes

1 Rattray, EHH, p. 155.
2 John Disturnell, A Gazetteer of the State of New-York (Albany, 1842), p. 468.
3 Tench Coxe, A View of the United States of America (Philadelphia, 1794), p. 443.
4 "Assessment Roll of the Town of East Hampton… in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fourteen," Long Island Collection, EHFL, MS (x) KH18. The same folder contains assessments for 1814–1816, 1820, and 1831, each listing the property at 100 acres.
5 Bill from Samuel Stratton to Felix Dominy, East Hampton, April 24, 1830 (DMMC, MS 59x9.80); letter from Nathaniel Miller, Fireplace, N.Y., to Felix Dominy, East Hampton (DMMC, MS 59x9.156).
6 See Chapter III of an important study by Shirley Ann Martin, "Craftsmen of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 1750–1800" (unpublished Master's thesis, Winterthur Program, University of Delaware, 1956).
7 The period covered by accounts, letters, and other manuscripts. Nathaniel Dominy IV probably began working about 1757 or 1758, because the accounts that begin in 1762 are posted in Account Book B. His earlier accounts were probably listed in his father's book, which has apparently been lost or destroyed.
8 Horatio G. Spafford, A Gazetteer of the State of New-York (Albany, 1813), p. 180.
9 Disturnell, pp. 388, 468. In 1840 the townships of Suffolk County were Brookhaven, East Hampton, Huntington, Islip, Riverhead, Shelter Island, Smithtown, Southhampton, and Southold. Townships listed as having more people engaged in "Manufactures and Trades" than East Hampton were Brookhaven, Huntington, and Smithtown.
10 "Number of Inhabitants in the Several Towns of Suffolk County, New York, July, 1776," American Archives, ed. Peter Force, 4th ser. (Washington, D.C., 1837–1846), VI, cols. 1243–46. See also Spafford, p. 180; Edwin Williams, The New-York Annual Register for …1840 (New York, 1840), p. 64; Disturnell, p. 149.
11 Disturnell, p. 448.
12 Advertisement from Suffolk Gazette (Sag Harbor), dated Dec. 26, 1804 (DMMC, MS 59x9.5). The notice probably appeared in late Dec., 1804, or early Jan., 1805.
13 Ibid., Aug. 19, 1809, p. 3.
14 Account Book B, Nathaniel Dominys IV and V, 1762–1844 (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 112.
15 Suffolk Gazette, Sept. 29, 1810, p. 3.
16 Account Book, 1792–1824, Nathan Topping Cook, probably Bridgehampton, N.Y. (DMMC, MS 60x13.9).
17 Suffolk County Herald (Sag Harbor), Sept. 4, 1802, p. 4; Suffolk Gazette, advertisement dated Dec. 24, 1804 (DMMC, MS 59x9.5); ibid., July 7, 1810, p. 3, Oct. 28, 1805, p. 4, July 29, 1809, p. 3.
18 The Corrector (Sag Harbor), Aug. 3, 1822, p. 3.
19 Ibid., Jan. 18, 1823, p. 3, April 19, 1823, p. 3.
20 The growth in importance of Sag Harbor is concisely and accurately depicted in "Whales and Wefts" and "Sag Harbor: 'The Port,'" Rattray, EHH, pp. 64–68, 111–15.
21 Account Book, Felix Dominy, 1818–1827 (DMMC, MS 59x9.21), p. 35.
22 Letter from Alvin Squires, Good Ground, N.Y., to Felix Dominy, East Hampton, June 2, 1828 (DMMC, MS 59x9.33).
23 U.S. Bureau of the Census, Heads of Families at the First Census of…1790 (Washington, D.C., 1908), p. 163. See also "Federal Census, 1800, Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. Town of East Hampton," New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, LVI (July, 1925), 272–76.
24 "Assessment Roll of the Town of East Hampton," 1802, 1803, 1805, 1806, 1810 (EHFL, MS [x] FH17). See similar documents for 1814–1816, 1820, 1831 (EHFL, MS [x] KH18); and for 1832, 1835, 1847, 1851, 1853 (EHFL, MS [x] FH19).
25 "List of Tax upon Dwelling Houses in the 1st Collection District of New York," Suffolk County Historical Society (hereafter SCHS), Riverhead, N.Y., MS 18-G. See also New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, LVI (1925), 273.
26 SCHS, MS 18-G.
27 "Assessment Roll of the Town of East Hampton," 1802 (EHFL, MS [x] FH17).
28 Four sources are primarily responsible for the Dominys' reputation as clockmakers. One is Elizabeth R. Brown, "East Hampton's Dominy Clocks," Long Island Forum, V (Aug., 1942), 147–48. This article was reprinted in the same publication in Aug., 1958, and, with additions by Frederick Selchow, in the Bulletin of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors' Inc., VIII (Feb., 1959), 411–16. Also important are Carl W. Drepperd, American Clocks & Clockmakers (enl. ed.; Boston, 1958), p. 220, and Brooks Palmer, The Book of American Clocks (New York, 1950), p. 181, and Illus. Nos. 41, 42.
29 See Appendix B entries under carpentry for 1770 and 1785. Charles F. Montgomery, "Price Books," in American Furniture: The Federal Period (New York: 1966), pp. 19–26, shows that skilled craftsmen in Philadelphia also charged 7 shillings 6 pence per day for their labor in the Federal period.
30 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 180.
31 Victor S. Clark, History of Manufactures in the United States (New York, 1949; reprinted from the 1929 edition), I, 387.
32 Letters from Sarah Nicoll, Islip, New York, to Felix Dominy, East Hampton, Sept. 22, 1828, and Nov. 3, 1828 (DMMC, MSS 59x9.34, 59x9.35).
33 Letter from Elijah Simons, Sag Harbor, to Felix Dominy, East Hampton, Dec. 30, 1820 (DMMC, MS 59x9.23).
34 Letter from Felix Dominy, East Hampton, to Elijah Simons, Sag Harbor, Jan. 4, 1821 (DMMC, MS 59x9.24).
35 See DMMC, MSS 59x9.22, 59x9.24. Gears and number of teeth are listed respectively as "Main Wheal 96 – Center Wheal 60 / Third W[heel] 56 Large dial W[heel] 72 / Small do 42 –"; "Time part M[ain] W[heel] 96 / Scenter W[heel]– 60 / third - Do – 56 / Crown W[heel] – 30 / Dial W[heel] – 42 / Striking part / Main W[heel] — 84 / pin do – 56 / Pallet do 48 / Small pin w[heel] 48 / Round all But the Long Dial W[heel]."
36 Account Book, Nathaniel Dominy V, Felix Dominy, p. [243] and Nathaniel Dominy VII, 1809–1862 (DMMC, M 310, original manuscript in Long Island Collection, EHFL), p. 101.
37 Nathaniel Dominy IV frequently repaired watches for the Beckwiths and Lesters of Lyme, Conn. See Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 248.
38 Letter from Henry P. Dering, Sag Harbor, to Felix Dominy, East Hampton, Dec. 5, 1821 (DMMC, MS 59x9.26).
39 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 248. The Beckwiths are described as "clothiers" in Nathaniel's accounts from 1800 to 1813. Phoebe Dominy Parsons (1801–1878) married John Beckwith, of Lyme, Conn., in 1820. She was a granddaughter of the lockmaker. See Rattray, EHH, p. 516.
40 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 249.
41 See Robert Hamilton Vetch in DNB s.v. "Tarleton, Sir Banastre."
42 Henry Onderdonk, Jr., Revolutionary Incidents of Suffolk and Kings Counties (New York, 1849), p. 82.
43 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), pp. 19, 95.
44 Account Book, 1809–1862 (DMMC, M 310), pp. 1, 65.
45 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 60.
46 Ibid., pp. 3, 60.
47 Ibid., p. 90. Letter from H. S. Ball, East Hampton, to Felix Dominy, East Hampton, undated, ca. 1824 or 1825 (DMMC, MS 59x9.157).
48 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), pp. 70, 90.
49 Ibid., pp. 88, 91, 97, 249.
50 Ibid., p. 47.
51 Ibid., p. 249.
52 Letter from John P. Osborn, Sag Harbor, to Felix Dominy, East Hampton, Oct. 17, 1832 (DMMC, MS 59x9.69).
53 "Articles of Agreement," June 6, 1833 (DMMC, MS 59x9.70a).
54 Manuscript notes (DMMC, MS 59x9.70b).
55 Letter from James C. Horton, Quogue, N.Y., to Felix Dominy, East Hampton, Oct. 18, 1832 (DMMC, MS 59x9.66).
56 Made for Jonathan Osborn, March 8, 1833, and John Parsons, March 16, 1818, respectively. See Account Book, 1809–1862 (DMMC, M 310), pp. 51, 86.
57 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 14.
58 These percentages seem to be fairly constant and are developed from an analysis of price books published for the use of cabinetmakers in New York City. This analysis is part of a chapter on the cabinetmaker's trade in Montgomery, pp. 23, 26.
59 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 21.
60 Jeannette E. Rattray, The Old Hook Mill and Other Old English Windmills of East Hampton, Long Island, New York, and Vicinity (East Hampton, N.Y., 1942), pp. 11, 17.
61 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 55.
62 Rattray, Old Hook Mill, p. 21.
63 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 78.
64 Rattray, Old Hook Mill, pp. 21–27.
65 Letter from Nathaniel Dominy V, East Hampton, to Moses Cleveland, Southold, N.Y., April 13, 1810 (EHFL, MS L628).
66 Account Book, 1809–1862 (DMMC, M 310), pp. 4, 12, 54, and loose receipt in Index.
67 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), 5, 8, 14, 20, 21, 137; Account Book, 1809–1862 (DMMC, M 310), pp. 2, 14.
68 Letter from Daniel T. Terry, "Oysterpond," N.Y., to Nathaniel Dominy V, East Hampton, May 1, 1819 (DMMC, MS 59x9.18).
69 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), pp. 57, 65, 70.
70 Letter from Nathan C. Barns, East Hampton, to Felix Dominy, East Hampton, March 19, 1834 (DMMC, MS 59x9.73).
71 Letter from Sarah Gardiner, Gardiner's Island, NY., to Felix Dominy, East Hampton, May 22, 1830 (DMMC, MS 59x9.58).
72 Letter from General Jeremiah Miller, East Hampton, to Felix Dominy, East Hampton, undated (DMMC, MS 59x9.56).
73 Letter from John P. Osborn, Sag Harbor, to Felix Dominy, East Hampton, Feb. 18, 1832 (DMMC, MS 59x9.88).
74 DMMC, MSS 59x9.86, 59x9.87.
75 Letter from Abraham P. Sherril, Smithtown, N.Y., to Felix Dominy, East Hampton, Sept. 10, 1834 (DMMC, MS 59x9.94).
76 Letter from Abraham P. Sherril to Felix Dominy, Nov. 11, 1834 (DMMC, MS 59x9.95). This letter contains an official canvass of the election returns, and Felix Dominy is not listed as a candidate.
77 DMMC, MS 59x9.78.
78 Letter from Felix Dominy, Fire Island, N.Y., to Nathaniel Dominy VII, East Hampton, Nov. 3, 1835, as quoted in the East Hampton Star, undated clipping (ca. 1946). See also a letter from Felix to Nathaniel, March 30, 1840 (EHFL, MS KM/211).
79 Letter from Felix Dominy, Fire Island, to Nathaniel Dominy VII, East Hampton, Aug. 8, 1847 (DMMC, MS 59x96.6).
80 Letter from Nathaniel Miller, Calif., to Nathaniel Dominy VII, East Hampton, undated (DMMC, MS 59x9.103).
81 Will of Nathaniel Dominy [V], dated April 23, 1852, admitted to probate April 27, 1853, Suffolk County Surrogate's Court, Riverhead, N.Y. See Record of Wills, Book 5, P. 397.
82 "Defended," Glen Cove (N.Y.) Gazette, Aug. 8, 1885, p. 2, col. 3. This article defends the appointment of Felix Dominy's son Arthur as superintendent of lifesaving stations.
83 Will of Felix Dominy, dated June 17, 1868, admitted to probate Feb. 16, 1869, Suffolk County Surrogate's Court, Riverhead, N.Y. See Record of Wills, Book 10, p. 163. See also inventory of personal property, File No. 6563, March 10, 1869, Suffolk County Surrogate's Court.
p. [245]

Chapter VI

Dominy Products: Furniture and Clocks

BOWL

177

Black and white photograph of a bowl.
177

Between 1800 and 1816 twenty-two trenchers were made in the Dominy woodworking shop. Family history has it that this bowl was made by Felix Dominy as the result of a dare and the absence of any record for this kind of utensil in their accounts is supporting evidence for its use only in their own home.1

Made from the burl of an apple tree, it was probably turned on the lathe attachment that Nathaniel V used for making dish tops for tables and stands (No. 47). A series of incised lines decorate its surface and it sits on a thick base. The heavy base provided strength at the point where the bowl was attached to the lathe.

Description Height, 5; diameter, 9⅜. Apple (microanalysis). Made by Felix Dominy before his departure from East Hampton in 1835. Subsequent owners: Nathaniel Dominy VII, Charles M. Dominy, and Mrs. Carl Mason (Phoebe Dominy). Present owner: Winterthur Museum (gift of Mrs. Carl Mason, 1960). Museum accession: 60.353.

BULLET MOLD AND PATTERNS

178

A number of shot molds made by Nathaniel Dominy IV have survived (Illus. XXXIV), but this is the only bullet mold made by the Dominys known to the author. Unlike the shot molds it was apparently made for personal use only. The mold is not as well finished as the dated shot molds and, instead of the maker's name cast into the brass, the initials ND were cut as an afterthought.

It is fortunate that the wood patterns for this bullet mold have survived. They provide insight into the technical practices of late-eighteenth-century

Black and white photograph of bullet mold and patterns.
178 A (top), B
metalworkers and, because work habits changed slightly up to that period, give clues to earlier technology. The cherry patterns are not well finished. Their surface was chamfered in order to make a smaller impression—and thus save metal —when pressed in casting sand. A marking gauge was used to center the graduated depressions drilled in both parts. Note that no provision is made in the patterns for pouring or rivet holes. After the brass had been ladled into the sand impressions left by these patterns and a rough casting obtained, p. [246] holes for pouring lead into the mold had to be drilled. The same was true for the rivet which enabled the mold to be opened and closed.

Description A: Length (including handles), 9; width, 1. Brass mold; soft-maple handles. B: Length, 7; width, 1 1/32. Cherry patterns. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV. Subsequent owners: Nathaniel Dominy V, Nathaniel Dominy VII, Charles M. Dominy. Present owner: Winterthur Museum, purchased from Nathaniel M. Dominy, estate of Charles M. Dominy, 1957. Museum accessions: 57.84.2–3.

BUREAU

178A

Color photograph of a bureau.
178A

Between 1793 and 1817, Nathaniel Dominy V made seventeen bureaus, some with four drawers and others with six drawers as pictured here. Their cost ranged from £4 to £10. This example was made for Jacob Hedges, Jr. (1784–1869) at a cost of £6. Woodworking craftsmen use a formula of one-third for time spent to make a product; one-third for materials; and one-third for shop profit. When this bureau was made, Nathaniel V valued his time at seven shillings, sixpence per day. At that rate Nathaniel V spent five and one-third twelve-hour days to make, finish, and deliver the bureau to Jacob Hedges, Jr. The original pattern for the bureau’s bracket feet survives in the Dominy Tool Collection. It’s illustrated as F in catalogue no. 53 in With Hammer In Hand.

Description: Height, ?; Width, ?; Depth, ?. Walnut, tulip poplar, pine; original sand-casted brasses. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V for Jacob Hedges, Jr. Descended in the Hedges family until sold to Robert Trent (dealer), Baldwins Book Barn, West Chester, PA, 1997. Owner: East Hampton Historical Society.

CHAIRS

179

Armchair With Rockers, Fiddle-Back

Black and white photograph of a fiddle-back armchair with rockers.
179

The first reference to rocking chair manufacture by the Dominys occurred in 1804, when John Lyon Gardiner was billed £1 12s. for "2 rocking chairs." Between that date and 1830 twelve chairs of that type were made. Significantly, none of the entries refer to "attaching" rockers, indicating that the forms illustrated in this catalogue were actually made as rocking chairs and did not have rockers added at a later date. Furniture experts might be inclined to believe that these chairs were made by Nathaniel IV and the rockers added by his son, Nathaniel V. It should be noted, however, that each of the account book entries referred to occurs in ledgers kept by Nathaniel V.2

This chair was probably made for Abraham Edwards in 1809 at a cost of 12 shillings, 2 shillings less than Nathaniel V's usual charge of 14 shillings for a rocking chair. For many years it was displayed at "Home Sweet Home," the Main Street birthplace of John Howard Payne and that is where this writer first examined it. The hostess on duty stated that the chair had been loaned to the house by Maude Edwards Taylor and that it descended in the William Edwards family. According to published genealogies of the Edwards family, however, Mrs. Taylor is a direct descendant of Abraham Edwards.3 That circumstance, coupled with the entry of a "great rocking chair" next to his name in Nathaniel's accounts, is evidence in favor of the writer's theory.4

Patterns used for the splat, cresting rail, and armrests have survived in the Dominy Tool Collection (Nos. 52D, 57A, B). The detail of the back of this chair can be compared with the splat and cresting rail templates. They are mechanical designs and indicate strong reliance upon patterns in contrast to the freer decorative treatment of the turned stiles and front stretcher. Most of the Dominy chairs

Black and white photograph of a fiddle-back armchair with rockers.
179 A
p. [247]
Black and white photograph of splat, cresting rail and armrest patterns.
[52 D; 57 A, B]
show this restraint and sameness in their nonturned parts with changes or surprises occurring on components produced on their lathe.

The basic design of this chair is not unique to the Dominys. In 1936 Long Island chairs of this type with a Cupid's-bow cresting rail and ears projecting beyond the rear posts were called "Connecticut variants."5 In fact, this type of arm- and side chair was made along both shores of Long Island Sound.

A fiddleback armchair, without rockers and with a handsome, bold baluster-ball-and-disc-turned front stretcher, otherwise identical in every respect to the chair illustrated here, is owned by Thompson House, headquarters of the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities. It was only recently brought to the author's attention and could not be included in this catalogue.

Description Height, 41¾; width, 21; depth, 19. Maple stiles; hickory stretchers, seat rails; oak rockers. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V, probably in 1809, for Abraham Edwards (1739–1813). Subsequent owners: David Edwards, Isaac B. Edwards, Charles Wesley Edwards, Mrs. William Taylor (Maude Edwards). Present owner: Edward Mulford Baker Strong.

180

Armchair with Rockers, Fiddle-Back

The splat, cresting rail, armrests, and rockers of this chair are identical with those used on the rocking chair shown as Number 179. Its turned posts are

Black and white photograph of a fiddle-back armchair with rockers.
180
more simply ornamented and give the impression that little time was spent in executing them.

Surface examination shows impressions of the turning chisels and gouges left unsmoothed. A hickory front stretcher is probably a replacement. It appears to be an imitation of the bold decoration

Black and white photograph of a fiddle-back armchair with rockers.
180 A
p. [248]
Black and white photograph of a fiddle-back armchair with rockers.
180 B
Black and white photograph of an armrest pattern.
[52 C]
used on the chair made for Abraham Edwards. A leather seat has replaced the original rush strands woven between the seat rails. This chair's profile invites comparison of its armrests with the pattern used to make them (No. 52C).

Description Height, 41½; width, 21¼; depth, 20. Maple stiles; pine splat; hickory side stretchers and seat rails; oak rockers. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V. ‘Conklin’ is inscribed on the fiddle back splat. On November 15, 1809, Nathaniel V’s accounts record ‘To Chair with Rockers, 0-14-0 for David Conklin’. Purchased by William Efner Wheelock from residents of East Hampton in the 1890's. Subsequent owner: John Hall Wheelock. Present owner: East Hampton Historical Society.

181

Armchair with Rockers, Slat-Back

On March 2, 1809, Nathaniel Dominy V billed Thomas Baker 14 shillings for a "rocking chair."6 In 1825, Nathaniel Dominy V and Jonathan Fithian, executors of Thomas Baker’s estate, swore that in Baker’s estate were ‘2 armed chairs’ valued at seventy-five cents (photocopy, DMMC, 04x45c). Unlike the fiddleback rocking chair completed two weeks later for Abraham Edwards (No. 179), the chair he delivered to Baker was a slat-back chair of entirely different design.

Several features of this chair are similar to other slat-back armchairs produced by Nathaniel V (Nos. 182–84). At first glance this type of chair would appear to be early eighteenth century, but the urn-shaped finials atop the rear posts, oval block-and-spindle side stretchers, curved arched slats, and armrests with a small turned tenon joining them to

Black and white photograph of a slat-back armchair with rockers.
181
p. [249]
Black and white photograph of a slat-back armchair with rockers.
181 A
Black and white photograph of a curved slat pattern.
[53 A]
the post are all signs of late-eighteenth- and earlynineteenth-century chair design.

As with the fiddleback chair, it is the turning that provides excitement and movement for the ornamentation of this chair. Ball-and-disc turnings interrupt the plain cylindrical posts. An elongated baluster and a disc-turned stretcher help to strengthen the front posts of the chair. Double baluster and disc turnings support the plain chamfered-edge armrests. As noted in detailed views of Dominy armchairs, arm supports completely pierce a heavy side rail and join the block of the side stretcher. This practice is not unique to the Dominys; it occurs on other slat-back armchairs of the same period. It is obvious from the profile of the chair that, while turning the posts the craftsman carefully made incised lines wherever tenons joined a mortise or drilled hole. Thus, a practical construction technique also helps to decorate the surface of this type of chair.

The pattern used to make the curved slats has survived (No. 53A) and is shown here in relation to the finished product. Number 52A, a pattern for armrests, is similar, but not identical, to the armrests used on this chair. Traces of the original dark green or black paint can still be found. It is likely that the variety of woods used to make the Dominy chairs prompted painting in order to cover grain differences and achieve surfaces that appeared uniform. A number of entries for furniture in their accounts describe the pieces as being painted, but the only color listed for chairs is green.

Description Height, 41⅜; width, 24½; depth 16. Hickory, oak, and maple. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1809 for Thomas Baker (1742–1825). Subsequent owners: Captain Jonathan Baker (nephew), Captain Edward Mulford Baker VII, Edward Mulford Baker VIII, Mrs. John Strong (Fanny Miller Baker). Present owner: Edward Mulford Baker Strong.

182

Armchair with Rockers, Slat-Back

Black and white photograph of a slat-back armchair with rockers.
182

This chair was probably listed by Nathaniel V as a "Great" or as a "slat" chair, because its curved oak rockers are not original. Although they are attached to a slot in the legs by means of pegs, the presence of part of a ball turning at the bottom of the front legs reveals that the rockers were a later addition.

A pattern for the bent, arched slats has survived p. [250]

Black and white photograph of a slat-back armchair with rockers.
182 A
(No. 53D) and the template used to make the armrests (No. 52A) is also available. The chair has a basic resemblance to other Dominy examples but—as in other examples—individual touches, motivated by customer demand or craftsman's pleasure, distinguish this piece. A well-defined disc is used above and below the ball turning near the top of the front leg. The center of the front stretcher has a turned, flattened ball instead of a disc. At the base of the arm support are a spool and a disc instead of a cylinder. Inverted pear-shaped finials replace usual urn design. The splint seat is a replacement.

Description Height, 41½; width, 24; depth, 16½. All parts maple except for oak rockers. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V. Present owner: "Home Sweet Home."

183

Armchair with Rockers, Slat-Back

This chair is not a carbon copy of other slat-back rockers illustrated in this catalogue although its urn finial atop ball-and-disc-turned posts, block-and-spindle

Black and white photograph of a slat-back armchair with rockers.
183
side stretchers, baluster-and-disc-turned front stretchers, and double-baluster arm supports indicate that it was made in Nathaniel Dominy V's shop on North Main Street in East Hampton.

Its thin slats, arched on top and bottom, are an obvious difference. More subtle differentiating touches, however, were used throughout the rest of the chair. In making the front stretcher, Nathaniel's turning chisel made a deep incised line to set off the end balusters from those in the middle. The lower section of the arm support, above the seat rail, was made tall and cylindrical instead of flattened and tapered.

Like a clock owned by the same family (No. 228), a tradition exists attributing ownership of this chair to Sylvanus Osborn. He was born in 1815, however, and the chair, not recorded in Dominy p. [251]

Black and white photograph of a slat-back armchair with rockers.
183 A
accounts, was probably made originally for Joseph Osborn VI (1754–1844).7

Description Height, 41 1/16; width, 23 3/16; seat depth, 16; rocker depth, 22⅜. Maple, hickory, and oak. Attributed to Nathaniel Dominy V. Probably made for Joseph Osborn VI. Subsequent owners: Probably Joseph Osborn VII, Sylvanus Osborn VIII, David Edwin Osborn, S. Gardner Osborn, George E. Eichhorn. Present owner: Eleanor Osborne Ratsep.

184

Armchair with Rockers, Slat-Back

With a single, notable exception, this chair is identical with that made for Thomas Baker in 1809; its rockers are later additions, not made by the Dominys. They are attached with a screw bolt and nut, with part of the turned leg cut away to make room for the rocker. Rocking chairs made by Nathaniel V have a thinner rocker pegged into a slot cut through the middle of the legs. A pattern (No. 53A) used to produce the slats of Baker's chair was used here. The armrests of this chair are also related

Black and white photograph of a slat-back armchair with rockers.
184
to a template (No. 52A) surviving in the Dominy Tool Collection.

Its history intimates that this chair has always been owned by the Schellingers and, intriguingly, that Jonathan Schellinger worked in the Dominy shops. Neither of these intimations can be documented since Schellinger's name does not appear in any surviving Dominy records. Moreover, there were three Jonathan Schellingers whose birth and death dates indicate that they were contemporaries of the Dominy craftsmen. This chair was undoubtedly made in the Dominy shops. Nathaniel V would have listed it as a "Great" or "slat" chair. It is entirely possible that the chair was sold for cash, and for that reason the transaction did not appear in the ledgers. A clock owned by the same family is shown as Number 204.

p. [252]
Black and white photograph of a slat-back armchair with rockers.
184 A
Black and white photograph of a slat pattern.
[52 A]

Description Height, 38¾; width, 23½; rocker depth, 28⅝. Maple and oak. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V, possibly for Jonathan Schellinger (1733–1814). Subsequent owners: Probably Samuel Schellinger, probably Alben Derby Schellinger, probably George Stratton Schellinger. Present owner: George Vernon Schellinger.

185

Armchair, Windsor

This type of armchair is familiarly known as a "captain's" chair. The chair illustrated is a literal example, because it was made for Captain William J. Rysam. By 1799 Rysam, a retired master mariner, had acquired a ropewalk, shipyard, and pier at the foot of Bay Street in Sag Harbor. In 1804 he signed an affidavit that he was sole owner of the 202-ton brig Merchant. This piece is constructed entirely of mahogany, not normally used for Windsor furniture. A clue to its composition is apparent in the East Hampton Trustees' journals, where it was noted in 1807 that "great quantities of mahogany were brought from Capt. Rysam's Honduras grove."8 Between June 18 and December 4, 1798, Nathaniel Dominy’s accounts record over 147 days of work by he and a journeyman to build and then dismantle a double-geared sawmill for Captain William Johnson Rysam. In the second edition of Long Island Is My Nation, page 197, Dean F. Failey states that after dismantling, the sawmill was shipped to Rysam’s Honduras mahogany grove.

Family history says that Nathaniel V made a set of nine similar chairs for Captain Rysam, but the author has been able to locate only this example. Another of the chairs in this set is displayed at the Dering Customs House, Sag Harbor, N.Y. It’s pictured and discussed in Dean Failey’s Long Island Is My Nation, pages 168-169. The craftsman's accounts list him as a customer, but no chairs are recorded—another warning to researchers to avoid relying solely on ledgers and day books. Under its seat a chiseled inscription offers proof of Nathaniel's production of the chair. It reads NAT Dominy / makg 10 / [shillings] / Novr 11, 1794 / W R. On October 26, 1796, Nathaniel V billed Rysam 4 shillings for turning a "server" and £2 8s. for finishing "3 tables at 16/ [shillings] per table."9 Two years later, on July 14, 1798, he charged Rysam £10 for a "riding chair," certainly a sign of the Captain's affluence.10

The simple turnings and heavy, thick seat are

Black and white photograph of a Windsor armchair.
185
p. [253]
Black and white photograph of Dominy's stamp on the underside of the Windsor armchair.
185 A
similar to other chairs of this type made in the late eighteenth century. Some attempt was made to lighten the appearance of the chair by scooping the seat, chamfering its lower front edge, and using a quarter-round molding to outline the sides and back. The chair was much used, as evidenced by handgrips worn smooth, a side stretcher replaced, and a center brace broken and worn from the rubbing of feet. Although the Dominys favored dark varnish stains on their clockcases, the black varnish covering this chair is probably not original. No other Windsor armchairs made by the Dominys have been found, although Nathaniel V is known to have made Windsor side chairs (No. 191).

Description Height, 28¼; seat height, 17⅛; width, 21¾; depth, 15¼. All parts mahogany (microanalysis). Made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1794 for William J. Rysam. Subsequent owners: Mrs. Lodowick Dering (Eliza Mulford Rysam), Edward Mulford Dering. Present owner: Marion Raynor Dering.

186

Corner Chair

This type of chair continued to be made in rural America during the early years of the nineteenth century, although urban cabinetmakers stopped making it during the Revolutionary War.

Only the survival of the armrest pattern (No. 52B) makes it possible to attribute this chair to Nathaniel Dominy V. The chair does not have a family history of continuous ownership associated with it, and Dominy accounts do not list the specific form. It is likely, of course, that one or more corner

Black and white photograph of a corner chair.
186
Black and white photograph of a corner chair.
186 A
Black and white photograph of a armrest pattern.
[52 B]
p. [254] chairs were included in the 206 undesignated entries made for "chairs" from 1766 to 1840.

In addition to the evidence of a surviving pattern for the curved section of the armrest, it should be pointed out that the stepped, curved rail which joins the three sections of the armrest is identical with the rail used on the Windsor armchair made by Nathaniel V for William Rysam in 1794 (No. 185). The baluster, sausage, ball, and disc turnings of the stiles appear to be early; but, like the plain spindle stretchers with swelled turning at their centers, they are definitely of the nineteenth century. The chair's leather seat is a replacement of the original rush covering.

Description Height, 30; width, 27 13/16; depth (front and rear legs), 24⅝; seat depth, 23¼. Maple, hickory, and pine. Attributed to Nathaniel Dominy V. Purchased from residents of East Hampton in the 1890's by William Efner Wheelock. Present owner: John Hall Wheelock.

187

Side Chair, Child's Rocking

At least twenty-nine "small" chairs were made by the Dominys between 1773 and 1832. Presumably they were for the use of children, and their accounts indicate that parents ordered them when their children were about six to eight months old. Ambrose Parsons was billed 16 shillings for a "child cradle" on April 23, 1803, and was charged 4 shillings for a "small" chair on December 17, 1803. Similarly, David Edwards paid the same price for a "cradle for children" on October 17, 1814, and a "small" chair on April 5, 1815.11

This chair was removed from the Dominy house in East Hampton by a direct descendant of the craftsmen, and it may have been made by Nathaniel V for his grandson, Nathaniel Dominy VII, who was born in 1827. The style of the turned spindles in the back, the turned front legs, and the rockers indicate that it was made after 1825. A recent coat of black paint, with a yellow painted decoration imitating gilt, decorates the chair. The original paint layer would also appear to be black, but it is impossible to determine whether the chair origionally bore gilt stripes.

Description Height, 29⅝; width, 17⅛; depth,

Black and white photograph of a child's rocking side chair.
187
15 3/16. Maple chair; hickory stretchers and back spindles; pine rockers. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V, probably for his grandson, Nathaniel Dominy VII. Subsequent owners: Charles M. Dominy, Mrs. Carl Mason (Phoebe Dominy), Mrs. Carl Hatch. Present owner: Winterthur Museum accession G92.0115, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Walter R. Smith in memory of Jared Smith.

188

Side Chairs, Fiddle-Back

Between 1796 and 1808 Nathaniel Dominy made at least thirty-one chairs described in his accounts as "Fiddle back." This total does not include chairs of this type that might have been entered in the ledgers under other categories. Fiddleback side chairs were made in sets of six or nine, except a set of four made for Dominy's personal use in 1796. The chairs normally cost 8 shillings apiece, but for some reason a group was made for Jonathan Stratton in p. [255]

Black and white photograph of a fiddle-back side chair.
188 A
1808 at a price of 7 shillings 9 pence each.12

Many turned chairs with a fiddleback splat and Cupid's-bow cresting rail can be seen in Long Island homes, especially in the vicinity of East Hampton. The five chairs seen here are representative of those made by Nathaniel V and illustrate the variety of design possible even though the craftsman worked within the limitations of a standard form. In this group of chairs there is an obvious relationship between a particular splat and a cresting rail pattern (Nos. 57A–B) that have survived in the Dominy tools.

The cresting rails of all five chairs are identical except for a slight chamfering of the front edge of the ears on B. The splats used on A and B are identical, and those found on C–E are similar but reveal a slight variation from the one surviving fiddleback template. The sausage-and-ring-turned front posts of B, C, and D are alike. They are obviously related to those used on A, but the latter has flattened vase-shaped feet terminating its posts. Chair E is the only known example of this Dominy type bearing tapered, cylindrical turned legs and pad feet. A number of vase-shaped splat-back chairs with similar legs and feet have been found (No. 190).

There are also a number of similarities in the elongated ball, the ring, the baluster, and the disc turnings of the rear posts of all five chairs. The flattened vase-shaped feet of E are certainly like those seen on A. Front stretchers, while variations on a theme, consist basically of flattened balls separated by a spool turning. All five chairs have plain spindle stretchers at the sides and rear. This type of chair was identified as a Long Island version of a Connecticut side chair in 1936, and it was undoubtedly made by many Suffolk and Nassau County craftsmen.13

Chair A may have been owned by Nathaniel Dominy V. According to Edward Strong, curator of "Home Sweet Home," that side chair was purchased locally by Gustav Buek. He made a number of purchases for "Home Sweet Home" from Charles M. Dominy (Nos. 192, 246), and it is possible therefore, that this chair came from the Dominy house.

Description A: Height, 40½; width, 19; depth, 15⅛. Maple chair; pine splat. Possibly owned by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1796. Purchased locally by Gustav Buek for "Home Sweet Home." B: Height, 38⅛; width, 17 9/16; depth, 15¾ Maple chair; cherry splat; red stain probably original. Descended

Black and white photograph of the back of a fiddle-back side chair.
188 A detail
p. [256]
Black and white photograph of a splat pattern.
[57 A]
Black and white photograph of a cresting rail pattern.
[57 B]
Black and white photograph of a fiddle-back side chair.
188 B
Black and white photograph of the back of a fiddle-back side chair.
188 B detail
p. [257]
Black and white photograph of a fiddle-back side chair.
188 C
Black and white photograph of a fiddle-back side chair.
188 D
Black and white photograph of a fiddle-back side chair.
188 E
p. [258]
Black and white photograph of the back of a fiddle-back side chair.
188 E detail
to present owner through the Strong and Halsey families; privately owned. C: Height, 36 9/16; width, 19; depth, 14⅞. Maple chair; hickory seat rails, side and rear stretchers; pine splat. Probably made for Abraham Mulford in 1796. Descended in Mulford family to present owner, Miss Florence Mulford. D: Height 36 9/16; width, 18½; depth, 15. Maple chair; hickory seat rails, side and rear stretchers; pine splat. Purchased in East Hampton by present owners, Mr. and Mrs. Francis Cook. E: Height, 39⅝; width, 19½; depth, 14½. Maple chair; hickory seat rails, side and rear stretchers; pine splat; black and gilt paint not original. Purchased from a dealer who bought the chair in East Hampton. Subsequent owner: Henry de V. Williams; sold at Sotheby’s New York, June 2, 1996, lot 237. All chairs made by Nathaniel Dominy V.

189

Side Chairs, Slat-Back

Between 1796 and 1818 sixty-one "slat back" or "slat" chairs were entered in the Dominy accounts. The price charged for these chairs varied from 4 to 6 shillings apiece. Although some of Nathaniel IV's records show that he sold "chairs" at the same price before 1790, it is highly probable that these, and all Dominy slat-back chairs, were made by Nathaniel V. The pattern used to make the slats on these chairs, for example, is dated in the 1800's (No. 53D). None of these chairs are signed. The surviving template and family histories link the chairs, however, to customers of Nathaniel Dominy V.

Every part but the slats and seat rails could be produced on the wheel lathe (No. 48), and this type of chair must have been turned out quickly and easily. Ball-and-disc turnings on the rear posts, which are topped by an urn and a flattened ball, are the only decoration on A. It is one of a pair of side chairs.

Example B has only sausage turnings and a spool-and-ball-turned finial on the rear posts. Its slats are curved and were probably shaped on the clamp shown as Number 28 in Chapter IV. All four legs of B show a 5⅞-inch restoration, thus accounting for the missing rear stretcher. The slats of C are also curved and its rear posts also have a spool-and-ball-turned finial. A slight taper was given to the bottom of its posts. This technique was used more extensively on the legs of D, which has only a flattened acorn cap finial to relieve the monotony of its rear posts. One of its front stretchers is missing.

The rockers found on example E are not original to the chair and are probably a recent addition. The worn finials are identical to those used on C. An incised line, forming a decorative button, was turned on the top of the front posts. All four legs have been broken or cut down, resulting in the loss of front and side stretchers.

Description A: Height, 35⅝; width, 19½; depth, 13⅜. According to family history this chair was made for Captain Ezekiel Mulford, for whom Nathaniel Dominy IV made a clock in 1772 (see clock list, Chapter V). Subsequent owners: Mrs. Jonathan Baker (Hannah Mulford), Captain Jonathan Baker, David Baker, Edward Mulford Baker VIII, Mrs. John Young Strong (Fanny Miller Baker). Present owner: Edward Mulford Baker Strong. B: Height, 39½; width, 18¾; depth, 13 11/16. According to family history, B and C were originally made for Lieutenant Thomas Baker (1742–1825) and followed a line of descent similar to that of A. On March 29, 1809, Nathaniel Dominy V billed Thomas Baker 18 shillings for "3 slat chairs" (DMMC, MS 59x6, p. 78). In 1825, Thomas Baker’s estate included ‘6 Flag Bottom Chairs $1.80’ (photocopy, DMMC 04x45c). Present owner: Edward Mulford Baker Strong. C: Height, 35⅛; width, 18; depth, 14. For history, see B. D: Height, p. [259]

Black and white photograph of a slat-back chair.
189 A
Black and white photograph of a slat pattern.
[53 D]
Black and white photograph of a slat-back chair back.
189 A detail
Black and white photograph of a slat-back chair.
189 B
Black and white photograph of a slat-back chair.
189 C
p. [260]
Black and white photograph of a slat-back chair.
189 D
Black and white photograph of a slat-back chair with rockers.
189 E
32 7/16; width, 17⅞; depth, 13⅝. Family history maintains that D was originally owned by Sylvanus Osborn; this is highly unlikely, because he was not born until 1815 (see Rattray, EHH, p. 498). His father, Joseph Osborn (1789–1872) married Maria M. Huntting, daughter of Abraham Huntting, in 1812. On December 16, 1813, Nathaniel Dominy V billed Abraham Huntting 18 shillings for three "slat back chairs" (DMMC, MS 59x6, p. 172). D is undoubtedly one of the three chairs originally made for Abraham Huntting. Subsequent owners: Mrs. Joseph Osborn (Maria M. Huntting), Sylvanus Osborn, David Edwin Osborn, S. Gardner Osborn. Present owner: George E. Eichhorn. E: Height, 33; width, 18⅜; depth, 14. This chair may have been made for a member of the Hedges or Dimon families. It was inherited by Mrs. John D. Flannery (Bessie Miller Hedges), owner of a clock made by Felix Dominy (No. 230). Present owner: Frank B. Eldredge. All chairs maple; hickory stretchers; oak seat rail and slats. All made by Nathaniel Dominy V.

190

Side Chairs, "Splat-Back"

In 1936 a series of chairs with yoke-shaped cresting rails, solid vase-shaped splats, trumpet-shaped turned legs, and pad feet were identified in Antiques as "Long Island Dutch Splat Backs."14 Although the author of the article correctly identified their area of manufacture as ranging from western Suffolk County to the upper Hudson River Valley, including sections of New Jersey, this type of chair has come to be known as the "Hudson Valley side chair."15 Usually thought of as a type of chair made in areas of Dutch influence during the first half of the eighteenth century, a recent exhibition of New York furniture illustrated quite clearly that these side chairs were still being made in Albany, by James Chestney, in the early nineteenth century.16

Because of the survival of furniture patterns in the Dominy Tool Collection it can be shown that in a conservative area of English influence, eastern Suffolk County, Nathaniel Dominy V made "Hudson Valley" side chairs from about 1790 to 1830. The five chairs illustrated here were found between Amagansett and Southampton, New York.

The Cupid's-bow cresting rail used on Figure A is p. [261]

Black and white photograph of a "splat-back" side chair.
190 A
Black and white photograph of a "splat-back" side chair back.
190 A detail
atypical of this type of side chair. It was used more frequently by Nathaniel V on his fiddleback chairs, and the template used to produce it was shown with those chairs (No. 188). This type of rail, with ears resting on the rear stiles, does occur, however, on other Long Island chairs with vase-shaped splats.17 The pattern used to produce the splat is shown in Number 57E. Its sausage-and-ring-turned front posts, elongated ball-and-spool-turned front stretcher, and flattened vase-shaped rear feet are also familiar Dominy features.

The turned front posts of chair B relate it to the first example of this group. A yoke-shaped cresting rail, formed from a surviving template (No. 56B), associates it with the other three pieces illustrated. Both the front and rear turnings are deep and spirited. They are composed of elements seen on a number of other chairs in this catalogue, but not combined in this way. The splat is similar, but not identical, to surviving templates. It is impossible to know whether it was made from a different pattern or whether this splat represents a departure made by the craftsman after outlining his usual profile. The chair retains the dark reddish-brown stain used on many clockcases produced by Nathaniel V.

Chairs C, D, and E are so closely related that they give rise to speculation that A and B may have been the work of Nathaniel IV. These chairs are not separated by type in the Dominy records and they probably appear again in the numerous listings of "chairs." Before Nathaniel V began to produce furniture in the woodworking shop, about 1790, a total of forty-two chairs were entered in Nathaniel IV's accounts between 1766 and 1789. It is more likely, however, that both types were made at the same time by Nathaniel V.

Although the same cresting rail and splat were used on B, C, D, and E, the craftsman used a freer hand in the turning of their posts and front stretchers. The elongated ball on the rear stile of C has a turned ring beneath it, while chair D has a spool and ring. No decoration was used in the same position on the rear post of E. A narrow spool turning is at the center of the front stretcher of C and D, but a ring divides the one used for chair E. It should be noted, too, that the splat of E has been inverted. The same splat, used upside down, was a decorative trick used by Nathaniel V on other chairs.

Description A: Height, 37; width, 18; depth, 14½. History of continuous ownership in the Schellinger family. Present owner: George V. Schellinger. p. [262]

Black and white photograph of a cresting-rail pattern.
[56 B]
Black and white photograph of a splat pattern.
[57 E]
B. Height, 40¾; width, 19 11/16; depth, 14½. Purchased by William Efner Wheelock in the 1890's from residents of East Hampton. Present owner: John Hall Wheelock. C: Height, 38 11/16; width, 22½; depth, 15¾. Descended in Mulford family to Miss Florence Mulford. Present owner, Stephen Mulford. On January 30, 1805, William Mulford purchased four "chairs" from Nathaniel V at a cost of £1 (see DMMC, MS 59x6, p. 48). D: Height, 39⅝; width, 21; depth, 16½. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Fordham to the Halsey House, Southampton, New York. E; Height, 39½; width, 18½; depth, 13⅝. Purchased by Rudolph Eichenmeyer in August, 1892, from Henry Mulford, then owner and occupant of "Home Sweet Home." Probably made for Deacon Abraham Mulford (1748–1835). Descended to a son, Jeremiah VI, and to a grandson, Henry VII (b. 1819). Present owner: "Home Sweet Home." All chairs maple; hickory spindles. Hickory seat rails and pine splats on A–C. Oak seat rails and pine splats on D and E. Dark reddish-brown stain on B and dark-walnut stain on D. All made by Nathaniel Dominy V.

Black and white photograph of a "splat-back" side chair.
190 B
Black and white photograph of a "splat-back" side chair.
190 C
p. [263]
Black and white photograph of a "splat-back" side chair.
190 D
Black and white photograph of a "splat-back" side chair back.
190 D detail
Black and white photograph of a "splat-back" side chair.
190 E
p. [264]

191

Side Chair, Windsor

Black and white photograph of a Windsor side chair.
191

This arrow-back Windsor side chair with bamboo-turned legs is owned by a direct descendant of Nathaniel Dominy V and was removed from the Dominy house in East Hampton before its destruction in 1946. A photograph taken by a member of the Historic American Buildings Survey team sent to East Hampton in 1940 shows this chair in the kitchen of the Dominy house.

It is a plain chair, once painted but now stripped to bare wood, and is decorated primarily with incised lines on legs and stiles. An incised line also serves to outline the shield-shaped seat. Windsor chairs are not listed in the Dominy accounts, but it is known that Nathaniel V made a mahogany Windsor armchair for Captain William Rysam (No. 185). Twenty-two chairs made by Nathaniel Dominy V for members of the Gardiner, Huntting, Mulford, and Parsons families between 1800 and 1803, have survived. All are identical to catalogue number 191 and all are painted green. Chairs of that color are listed in Nathaniel V’s accounts. They are the only chairs that he priced at ten shillings each. It is highly likely, therefore, that catalogue number 191 is a survivor of a set of six chairs made by Nathaniel V for his family’s use in 1796 for which he charged ten shillings per chair. Moreover, at least 206 chairs, undesignated by type, are listed in Dominy records from 1766 to 1840. It is quite possible that Windsor side chairs were included in that unidentified group.

Description Height, 32 9/16; width, 17⅛; depth, 15⅛. Maple legs and stretchers; tulip seat; hickory splats (all microanalysis). Made by Nathaniel Dominy V for family use. Subsequent owners: Nathaniel Dominy VII, Charles M. Dominy, Mrs. Carl Mason (Phoebe Dominy). Present owner: Winterthur Museum. Museum accession: 67.148.

CHESTS

192

Blanket Chest, One-Drawer

Blanket chests of this type can be seen in many houses in the vicinity of East Hampton. Invariably they consist of a molded-edge lid giving access to a deep storage well. The depth of the storage area depends upon whether one or two drawers were built into the chest. In the example illustrated only the lower drawer functions; the others are false.

From 1786 to 1812 a total of twelve one- or two-drawer chests were made by the Dominys and entered in their accounts. Because they marked little of their furniture and no patterns for sections of this type of chest survive, it is impossible to identify chests found in East Hampton as made by the Dominys. According to Edward Strong, curator of "Home Sweet Home," the piece shown here was purchased by Gustav Buek from Charles M. Dominy and had been in use in the Dominy house.

Its bracket feet are placed at the side only (characteristic of other chests seen by the author) and form a cusped arch at their center. A thumbnail molding finished the edge of both real and false drawer fronts, while an ogee molding was attached to the base and lid of the chest. The brasses are not original and the entire piece has been refinished. Very heavy staple hinges fasten the top to the back

Black and white photograph of a one-drawer blanket chest.
192 A
of the pine chest, and the original iron lock is mortised in place behind the front board. This type of chest cost its purchaser from £1 12s. to £1 14s., according to entries in the Dominy ledgers.

Description Height, 32 5/16; width, 34; depth, 16 3/16. Pine, cherry, and oak. Probably made by Nathaniel Dominy V for family use. Subsequent owners: [Probably Nathaniel Dominy VII], Charles M. Dominy, Gustav Buek. Present owner: "Home Sweet Home."

p. [265]
Black and white photograph of a one-drawer blanket chest.
192
p. [266] p. [267]

193

Chest on Chest or Double Chest

Black and white photograph of a chest on chest or double chest.
193

In April, 1796, Nathaniel Dominy V made furniture to be used by his family and duly recorded its value on what are probably pages from his daybook. The complete list included:

2 Tables £ 3–12–0
1 Chest upon Chest 10– 0–0
6 [torn] chairs 3– 0–0
4 Fiddle back Do 1–12–0
2 Slat back Do 0– 8–0
1 Long chest 0–10–0
1 Bedsted 2 long posts 0–18–0
1 Reel 0–10–0
1 Stand 0–10–0
1 Woolen Wheel 0–10–0
1 Frame to Looking Glass 1– 4–0
1 Spindle for woolen wheel 0– 3–018

The Winterthur Museum has been fortunate in acquiring the stand (No. 255) and both slat-back chairs from members of the Dominy family. In 1941 the present owner of the "chest upon chest" mentioned in the list accompanied a dealer to the Dominy house on North Main Street, East Hampton, to see a "highboy" that Charles M. Dominy wanted to sell. The house was, of course, in the condition visible in Illustrations II and IV. To mark her purchase the new owner's brother, the Reverend Dale DeWitt, put the name DOMINY on several drawers with a script branding iron in the possession of the dealer. This branding iron is now part of the Dominy Tool Collection (57.26.255).

It is startling to see a piece made in a full-blown Queen Anne style and realize that it was made in 1796. There is a close relationship between this chest-on-chest and pieces made in Connecticut; without documentation this chest would probably be described as a "cherry highboy" of Connecticut origin made about 1750. Its brass drawer pulls and lockplates, all original, are the latest stylistic feature visible. The Dominys either purchased their drawer pulls in New York City or used examples supplied by their customers. On May 3, 1765, for example, Aaron Isaacs bought "15 handles 8d & 5 scutcheons 4d" for Nathaniel IV. In September 1790, however, Nathaniel V billed David Talmage, Jr., for a chest with two drawers and noted that "you found brasses."19

Whether this form was retained because of its utility or its obvious aesthetic appeal, or for a combination of reasons, cannot be determined. The piece demonstrates, however, that Nathaniel V shared the conservative tastes of his neighbors and customers. It is important to note that 1791 is the earliest of twelve entries for a "chest upon chest" in Dominy records. The latest is 1806. One other piece, made for Sineus Conkling in 1793 at a cost of £10, has the notation "cherry" in the Dominy accounts.20 Of equal importance is the fact that when first seen by the present owner this chest was painted with a red stain, since removed.

The template used to outline the pad foot, cabriole leg, and stile has survived and is shown as Number 55B. All four feet rest on a shallow circular

Black and white photograph of a chest on chest or double chest.
193 A
disc. The center edge of the legs and feet are placed at a 45-degree angle to the chest. A bold shaped skirt of cyma-reversa curves with a fleur-de-lis at the center relieves the otherwise plain treatment of the front. Similar curves form a cusped arch at the sides of the lower section. An extra-wide rail was used for the rear legs to utilize the full p. [268]
Black and white photograph of a template used to outline the pad foot, cabriole leg and stile.
[55 B]
Black and white photograph of a chest on chest or double chest.
193 B
p. [269]
Black and white photograph of a chest on chest or double chest upper corner.
193 C
depth of the chest and to enable the whole piece to be placed close to a wall without interference from the knees of the cabriole legs.21

A photograph of the back of the double chest hints at the problems encountered by country craftsmen and the ingenuity used to solve them. The bottom rail tapers from left to right in order to accommodate the uneven edge of the white pine board above it. That board is tenoned into the leg stiles, but the boards of the upper section are nailed in place. Although large boards were available (the uppermost being just over 17 inches high), a small piece had to be fitted at the top. This view also shows how strips of molding were applied to finish the top of both sections. Several planes were used to produce the bold one-piece molding that decorates the top of the chest.

The excellent proportions of this piece of furniture, the choice of brasses, and the simple but effective decoration of its edges indicate that Nathaniel V was a very competent craftsman. If no other example of his work survived, this chest would be a fitting monument.

Description Height, 72⅜; width, 40⅞; depth, 20¼. Cherry chest; white-pine backboards; tulip drawer bottoms and sides (all microanalysis). Made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1796 for family use. Subsequent owners: Nathaniel Dominy VII, Charles M. Dominy, Mrs. George N. Ray. Present owner: Ms. Judy (Ray) Van Dyke.

CLOCKS,*37 TALL-CASE

194

Silent Clock

This is the clock Nathaniel Dominy IV made for Henry Dayton in 1769 at a cost of £6. His accounts also record a clock made for John Davis, Jr., sometime between 1768 and 1772; but the entry is torn and the exact date is not known.22 At any rate, that clock has not survived. Fortunately the one illustrated is intact and provides us with an example of one of the earliest clocks made by this craftsman. A scrap of paper pasted to the back of the clock—probably during the nineteenth century—is inscribed Henry [torn] 17 [torn] 9 [script] and £6. Another small piece of paper underneath it bears the date 1769.

Several features illustrated by this clock also mark later examples of Nathaniel IV's work. The case, hood, dial, and movement are simple, direct statements of function with small concessions to decoration in the form of applied moldings. The flat-topped, rectangular hood is decorated with a quarter-round cove and rabbet molding above, plus a quarter-round molding to frame its glass. It fits very tightly over the dial and movement, rendering the works almost invulnerable to dirt, dust, smoke particles, or anything else representing a threat to the smooth functioning of the mechanism.

Similarly the narrow pendulum case, 10¾ inches wide, gave protection to the pendulum and weight as the latter slowly dropped during its course of eight days. The case door carries a quarter-round thumbnail molding as a finish to its edge. Plain staple hinges fasten both the case door and that of the hood. A bold quarter-round and rabbet molding separates the case from the hood and a cove, rabbet, and half-round molding finishes off the base. Cyma curves, cut with a saw, produce a cusped arch on the front and sides of the base. This decoration was used infrequently by Nathaniel IV, but it can be seen on the cases of some of his other clocks (Nos. 216, 220).

Fastening the wooden dial to the movement pillars was obviously a problem to the clockmaker. The ends of the pillars pierce the dial, and pins p. [270]

Black and white photograph of a tall-case clock.
194
Black and white photograph of a tall-case clock.
194 A
Black and white photograph of a tall-case clock gear system.
194 B
p. [271] dropped through the holes hold the wood rectangle in place. It was an awkward solution, and evidence that this clock is, indeed, among the earliest made by Nathaniel IV. Fortunately, he learned from this experience and did not repeat his mistake on clocks made after 1769. In a letter from Sherrill Foster to this author, May 4, 1999, she stated that the East Hampton Historical Society owns a clock (accession 77.4.102) similar to catalogue number 194. It was identified by Chris Bailey of the American clock Museum, Bristol, Connecticut, as an early Dominy clock. Purchased ‘somewhere’ in 1892 by William Efner Wheelock, it came to the East Hampton Historical society from John H. Wheelock’s collection. It may be the clock made between 1768 and 1772 by Nathaniel Dominy IV for John Davis, Jr. The minute hand seen here, a double-crescent-and-sword shape, was used on several of his later clocks (Nos. 195, 198, 203).

Boldly turned, heavy plate pillars are another indication of the early date of this clock. This type is not used on any other Dominy clock. The design of the plates supporting the movement occurs again and again, although in modified form. Basically an andiron, or an inverted Y-shape, they are somewhat thicker on this clock than on subsequent examples. An examination of this clock indicates that Nathaniel IV was copying a familiar pattern, without the experimentation that occurs in the design of his later clocks. This movement was surely closer to that of the unknown master craftsman to whom Nathaniel was apprenticed than others shown in this catalogue.

The uncomplicated time train which characterized the design of Dominy clocks remained the same, however. An anchor escapement with wide (almost ¼ inch) pallets rocked in and out of the escape wheel. A pendulum suspended from a crutch visible between the legs of the rear plate kept the clock in a regular beat. It had to be set in motion initially but thereafter power transferred from the great wheel (the lower rear) to the escape wheel by a series of pinions and gear wheels kept the pendulum swinging. Dominy clockcases were usually so narrow that the craftsmen carved a niche in each side of the case in order that the pendulum bob might swing in a sufficiently wide arc. A heavy lead or cast-iron weight suspended from a wooden winding drum provided the force necessary to turn the great wheel. Because there were few moving parts, the Dominy's clocks performed well and needed infrequent, if any, repair.

Description Height, 77¾; width, 13½; depth, 8¾. Tulip case, door, backboard, hood door; oak seat board; pine dial (all microanalysis); brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots; iron hands; rag paper and black-painted dial face. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1769 for Henry Dayton. Purchased by John F. Erdmann in East Hampton in 1905. Owned later by Mrs. Sturtevant Erdmann. Present owner: John F. Erdmann II.

195

Silent Clock

According to the history supplied by the present owner of this clock, it should have been made in 1801. Its construction, however, gives evidence that it dates from the period 1770 to 1780. It was purchased in this century from a member of the Hand family, and the Dominy accounts note that a clock was made for Jared Hand in 1801. However, that clock cost £20, more than Nathaniel IV ever charged for a silent clock.

Several features of this clock are related to those of surviving examples made by Nathaniel IV from 1769 to 1780. The minute hand is identical to that used in the clock made for Henry Dayton in 1769. Both the hour and minute hands, and the plates as well, are identical with a clock made in 1778 for William Hedges which is described, but unfortunately could not be illustrated, in this catalogue. The inverted Y-shaped plates, with a solid rectangular-shaped projecting arm, occur only on these two clocks and do not reappear on any others made by the Dominys. Another indication of its early date is the fact that the top of the half-oval arch, used on the bracket molding applied to the base, is interrupted by a straight line. This occurs in only one other case housing a Dominy clock and it was made p. [272]

Black and white photograph of a silent clock.
195
Black and white photograph of a silent clock.
195 A
Black and white photograph of a silent clock gear system.
195 B
p. [273] in 1780 (No. 198). The broken-arch swanneck pediment is unlike any other examples to be seen on surviving Dominy clocks. Some of these have broken crestings, however, and similar ones may have been made.

Two clocks were made and recorded by the clockmaker in 1779. On April 17, 1779, Jacob Conkling was billed £6 5s. for "a clock," and on August 7 of the same year David Sayre was billed £7 10s. If this clock illustrated was made between 1778 and 1780, and the writer suspects that it was, the latter price would have been Nathaniel's charge because it is closer to the amount listed for other early "silent" clocks in his accounts.

Description Height, 85¼; width, 14½; depth, 6⅞. Cherry case; probably tulip backboard and seat board; pewter dial; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; lead pendulum; tin and lead weight. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV. Previous owners: Hand family of Sagaponeck, New York, from whom it was purchased by Mrs. Benjamin Baird, Southampton, New York. Present owner: Mrs. Geneva Buttonow.

196 (Not illustrated)

Timepiece or One-Stroke Clock

Several features incorporated in later clocks made by Nathaniel Dominy are conspicuous on this clock: a pewter dial with a number engraved in each corner making up the date 1778 (see No. 206 for a similar arrangement of a later date); an engraved motto in the dome portion of the dial which reads Tempus Fugit Memento Mori (script) above the name N. Dominy (script); and inverted Y-shaped plates to support the gear train (No. 195).

The case of this clock, however, is entirely different from any others found on Dominy clocks. It is tall and thin, but the high cyma-reversa-curved bracket feet form a cusped arch not unlike that found on the side of a blanket chest attributed to the Dominys (No. 192). A pine case has been refinished and stained black. Felix Dominy's initials, FD (script) in a circle, are stamped on the lead pendulum, perhaps indicating a repair or a replacement in the nineteenth century.

It would have been desirable, of course, to publish photographs of one of Nathaniel IV's earliest clocks, but its present location in California has made examination impossible.24 William Hedges was billed £7 10s. for a clock on June 23, 1778. On May 20, 1780, however, Jonathan Barns was belatedly billed £6-5-0 for a clock ‘in Produce at cash price AD 1773’. E-mail correspondence in 2006, accompanied by photos, indicates that this clock’s case was altered in the Gothic style probably between 1840 and 1850. Whether or not this is the clock recorded in the Dominy accounts is not known.25

Description Approximate height, 80; width, 11; approximate depth, 7. Pine case, backboard and seat board; pewter dial; iron hand; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, and pivots; lead pendulum. Weight and counterweight unknown. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1778. Previous owners: Hedges or Barnes families according to family history. Present owner: Private individual.

197 (Not illustrated)

Timepiece

Stylistically this clock is quite close to timepieces made ca. 1788–1790. Its case is identical with that of the timepiece shown as Number 208, and its plates supporting the gear train are also like the examples mentioned. Unfortunately no clear-cut evidence exists for the exact year in which Nathaniel IV made it. According to the present owner, it descended in the Hedges family, but the Dominy accounts record both a "clock" sold in 1778 to William Hedges at a price of £7 10s. and a "Time Piece or Small Clock" sold to Abraham Hedges in 1805 for £10.26

The bracket feet attached to the case have been broken or cut down in size. Unfortunately the original stain and varnish have been removed and the case has been restained and grained. Several notes are penciled on the inner surface of the pendulum case door: August 4 1842 / G. Booler, P. Pratt / Jan 1876, Cord broke in Sept. 1952, Built 1778 [1778 is crossed out] 1783. These notes are in script and, except for the last two years, probably indicate dates of cleaning and repair.

Description Height, 78⅞; width, 11⅞; depth, 7½. Cherry board on front of case; pine sideboards, backboard, and seat board; pewter dial; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, hand; lead pendulum and original counterweight; castiron and lead weight. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1778 or 1805 for William or Abraham Hedges. Subsequent owners: George Hedges, Herbert Hedges. Present owner: Mrs. Herbert Hedges.

p. [274]

198

Eight-Day, Strike, and Repeater

Black and white photograph of a eight-day, strike, and repeater clock.
198

This clock probably represents a dress rehearsal for the complex mechanisms made by Nathaniel IV between 1788 and 1799 (Nos. 206, 207, 210, 216, 217, 210). From July 4, 1775, to December, 1783, he made at least twelve clocks, which he recorded in his accounts. The prices charged for those clocks, however, indicate that they were all one-hand timepieces (see No. 208). Unfortunately, while the clock illustrated here is probably the first example of the clockmaker's elaborate work to survive, it is not recorded in Dominy manuscripts.

There is an excellent chance, however, that this clock was made for Elnathan Parsons (1753–1836), of Fireplace, New York. On February 10, 1810, Nathaniel IV billed him for repairing a "clock. N.D."27 This was an obvious reference to a clock made by himself. Moreover, in 1786 Parsons had married Urania Dominy, a daughter of the clockmaker. The present owner of the clock purchased it from a member of the Schellinger family and it p. [275]

Black and white photograph of an eight-day, strike and repeater clock.
198 A
Black and white photograph of an eight-day, strike and repeater clock.
198 B
should be noted that in 1867 Julius Dayton Parsons, grandson of Elnathan, married Mary Elizabeth Schellinger. It is possible that the clock passed into the possession of the Schellinger family as a result of this marriage.28

The case of this clock is similar to those used for other elaborate clocks made by Nathaniel IV (Nos. 203, 206). There are a few subtle differences, however, that set this one apart and indicate that either the Dominys or their customers demanded an individual product. Walnut, a more expensive wood than that found in most of the other Dominy clocks, was chosen for the case. The arched molding applied to three sides of the base has a break at the top of its curvature. On most of the Dominy clockcases there is no interruption in the curve of the arch. The photograph clearly shows the base running to the floor, providing a recessed shadow area for the applied molding. When the case was painted with a dark red-brown stain, the applied molding assumed the appearance of bracket feet supporting the case.

An iron rod runs from the pediment through the right-hand pilaster of the hood and into the heavy molding which finishes the top of the pendulum case. This rod forms a pintle on which the hood door swings. It is more sophisticated than the staple hinges used on Nathaniel's less expensive clocks. The domed hood and chamfered pilasters are used on other Dominy clocks (Nos. 203, 206).

Both the day-of-the-week indicator and the rectangular opening for the day-of-the-month calendar are located at the top of the pewter dial. All of the pewter dials used for the best clocks have engraved Roman numerals to mark the hours and Arabic numerals to denote minutes. The double-crescent-and-sword minute hand occurs on other Dominy clocks (Nos. 194, 195, 203), as does the batwing hour hand (No. 203).

The solid plates supporting the movement are the only ones this writer has seen used on a Dominy clock. Here, outer sections of the plates were not needed and were removed to save brass. But the design is not nearly as severe as the skeletonized plates preferred by Nathaniel IV. This view of the movement shows the left-hand winding drum, from which the weight was suspended, that provided power for the striking train. Above it is the hammer with its twisted shaft and a silver bell. In front of the bell, suspended from a U-shaped bridge, is a p. [276] seven-point star wheel which controls the day-of-the-week hand. Below it are two wheels that drive the star wheel. At the center is the idler wheel. Below are the hour wheel and snail with the minute wheel to the right of the snail.

The latter, shaped like the profile of a snail shell, was essential to the design of a repeating clock. On its edge are cut a series of twelve stepped spaces, each of varying length. When set in motion by pulling a cord attached to a small notched lever (too small to be seen clearly in this photograph), the lever below the snail comes into contact with one of the spaces on the snail's edge and this lever governs the number of teeth on the rack (hidden from view by the wheels) that will fall, thus determining the number of strokes that the hammer will strike the bell. The L-shaped lever attached to the snail is a trip for the calendar wheel, which is not shown.

"To those who do not sleep well, nothing can be more convenient and useful than a repeater."29 Repeating clocks were the invention of an Englishman, Edward Barlow, about 1676. The movement became common in England about 1705 and in America about 1740.30 Its great advantage was the fact that a listener could determine the time of day or night without seeing the dial.

Description Height, 79⅞; width, 16⅞; depth, 8½. Walnut case; pine backboard and seat board; pewter dial; brass plates, wheels, and pendulum; silver bell; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; lead weights. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1780, possibly for Elnathan Parsons. Previous owner: Purchased by present owner from Hattie Schellinger. Present owner: Private individual.

199 (Not illustrated)

Silent Clock

The case of this clock is identical with another made by the Dominys sometime around 1800 (No. 223). Its dial is different, however, being made of cherry and painted with a white ground. No signature appears on the dial, but the distinctive andiron-type plates, with arms curving to the right supporting the clockworks, are typical of Nathaniel Dominy IV's craftsmanship. Unfortunately the broken-arch pediment crest of this clock has been broken and lost.

The price paid for it by Jonathan Barns on May 20, 1780, is good evidence of the barter economy in which the Dominys participated. Nathaniel IV billed Captain Barns £6 5s. "in produce at Cash price AD 1773."31 (Apparently the concept of a base year for indexing prices was a familiar procedure to Nathaniel Dominy IV by 1780.) Inside the door of the pendulum case are two pencil notations, Cleaned by E. Hedges, Bridge Hampton, Feby 13 AD 1861 and B. Woolworth / Sept '87.

Description Height, 79¾; width, 13⅞; depth, 8½. Pine case, seat board, and backboard; cherry dial painted black and white; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; lead pendulum; cast-iron weight. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1780 for Captain Jonathan Barns. Subsequent owners: Talmage Barnes, Benjamin Hedges Barnes (VII), Herbert Talmage Barnes. Present owner: Benjamin Hedges Barnes (VIII).

200 (Not illustrated)

Silent Clock

This clock offers ample evidence that the price paid by an individual was the decisive factor in determining the complexity and design of a clock obtained from the Dominys. On December 17, 1783, Abraham Mulford purchased a timepiece from Nathaniel IV at a cost of £4 6s. Less than three years later the clockmaker billed Mulford £7 "to Boot between timepiece & a clock."32 It is not clear whether this latter charge was for converting the timepiece to an eight-day clock or for constructing an entirely new one. Examination of the clock tends to support the latter theory because no signs of conversion or change of works are evident.

The case of this clock is quite similar to one used on a clock made in 1787 (No. 205), but its domed-top door on the pendulum case contrasts with the rectangular door on the 1787 timepiece. The dial of this clock has assumed a bright red color and is either made of bell metal or a brass mixture containing a high percentage of copper. In the domed portion of the dial is an engraved inscription, N. Dominy (script). Like the clock in Number 205, its bracket molding on the base is missing.

Description Height, 80¼; width, 12⅞; depth, 7½. Pine case, backboard, and seat board; bell metal or brass dial; brass plates and wheels; steel p. [277] escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands. Cast-iron weight. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV, probably in 1786, for Abraham Mulford (1748–1835). Subsequent owners: Abraham Mulford VI, Luther R. Mulford, Alvah Mulford. Present owner: Harold K. Mulford.

201 (Not illustrated)

Timepiece

The plates, movement, dial, and case of this clock are identical with those used by Nathaniel Dominy on another timepiece made in this period (No. 208). Its distinguishing feature, not found on any other Dominy clock, is a single hand consisting of an arrow-shaped pointer at one end and a fishtail at the opposite end.

Between 1783 and 1790 seven timepieces were made by Nathaniel Dominy (see Chapter V), of which only two have been accounted for in surviving examples (Nos. 208, 209). This clock, long in New England, is now owned in New Hampshire. It may be one of two timepieces delivered to Jeremiah Sherrill on May 20, 1783, for transporting to James Hazelton, of Haddam, Connecticut. Hazelton was billed a total of £13 for both clocks.33

Description Height, 79; width, 12¼; depth, 7½. Pine case, backboard, and seat board, case painted black; pewter dial; brass plates and wheels; brass and iron weight pulley; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hand; lead pendulum and weight. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV, possibly in 1783, for James Hazelton, Haddam, Connecticut. Previous owners: Dave Andrews, Roger Bacon, Thomas Dunnington. Present owner: Mrs. Thomas Dunnington.

202 (Not illustrated)

Eight-Day, Strike Clock

Two intriguing aspects of the lives and times of Dominy craftsmen are represented by this clock. One is the Dominys' manufacture of many objects for families on the eastern end of Long Island. In the frequent intermarriages, family histories relating to these objects were frequently confused. The second aspect centers on the contribution of this clock toward a knowledge of the craft activity of the Dominys and the habits of their customers.

Although the writer has not seen this clock, he was generously supplied with photographs and descriptive material from the present owner. From the photographs it is obvious that the case of this clock was not made by the Dominys. The design—a heavy rectangular base, a long, narrow pendulum case fastened with butterfly hinges, and bold stepped moldings decorating the pediment of the hood—is that of a clockcase fashionable from about 1725 to 1750. The square brass face of the clock, however, bears the engraved signature of Nathl Dominy (script) and a number in each corner of the dial making up 1786. The only entry in Dominy records that can reconcile these two facts is one made by Nathaniel IV on November 2, 1786, "To a clock put into an old case repaird," for which Matthew "Barns" was billed £14.34

The present owner of this clock submitted a history which maintained that the clock had been made for Benjamin Hedges (1713–1812) and had descended in the Hedges family to the current owner. Genealogies in East Hampton History revealed that Lieutenant Matthew Barnes (1744–1802) had a niece, Jeanette (1790–1859), who married Benjamin Hedges VII (1787–1880) in 1817. In 1832 this Benjamin Hedges moved from Montauk, New York, to Amagansett and purchased the home which the present owner eventually inherited.35 This clock, therefore, must be the one which Nathaniel IV constructed for an old case supplied by Matthew Barnes.

Description Height, 86; width, 17; depth, 11. Unknown case, backboard, and seat board; brass dial; brass plates and wheels; steel hands; lead pendulum and weights. Works made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1786 for Matthew Barnes. Subsequent owners: Mrs. Benjamin Hedges (Jeanette Barnes), Benjamin Hedges, Mrs. Charles W. Rackett, Sr. (Mary Hedges), Charles W. Rackett, Sr., Charles W. Rackett. Present owner: Mrs. F.S. Bodine (Maude Rackett).

203

Eight-Day, Strike, and Repeater Clock

An obvious relationship exists between this clock and one made in 1780 (No. 198). In this case, however, some small changes were adopted. A p. [278]

Black and white photograph of an eight-day, strike and repeater clock.
203
Black and white photograph of an eight-day, strike and repeater clock.
203 A
half-oval-shaped arch was used for the molding board applied to the base. The front of the pendulum case was also cut to the same pattern to give a double-arch shadow effect. A wider and deeper cove molding was used under the domed pediment and here the original pedestals and ball finials have survived.

Few changes took place on the dial, but the opening for the calendar ring was moved from its former position—under the Roman numeral XII—to one above the VI. This was the design preferred by Nathaniel IV for clocks made after this date (Nos. 206, 207). The double-crescent-and-sword minute hand is familiar and the hour hand, while not identical, is very similar to the one that appears on the 1780 clock. An important change occurring on the dial is the script message flanking the day-of-the-week indicator:

Immortal dost thou know, Time will soon give thee to Eternity? Where, Oh!—where then! and what! Shalt thou be forever?

Perhaps the craftsman's introspection was caused by the completion of this clock as he neared the end p. [279]

Black and white photograph of the inscription on the back of the clock.
203 B
of his fiftieth year. Although the entry in his account book for this clock notes a billing of £20 to Thomas Baker on January 5, 1788, the beginning of a long engraved inscription on the back of the pewter dial indicates that it was finished in 1787.36

Made by Nathl Dominy E Hampton   Long Island 1787 It is very probable this Clock will be measuring out Precious Time, to Precious Souls, when I have done with Time, and all its vain amusements, and become an inhabitant in ETERNITY—How great the Transit. What a grand leap. Where shall I be found? On the Right or Left. Oh, how it behoves every immortal being to improve Precious Time for great Eternity. God knows who will read this when I am gone—be you who you may, be exorted, o immortal to seek the Lord, while he may be found, call upon him while he is near—agree with thine adversary quickly See how the moments pass. how swift they haste away. p. [280] In this instructive glass behold thy life decay. Oh waste not then thy prime in sin's pernicious road. Redeem thy precious time. Acquaint thyself with God. So when thy pulse Shall cease its throbing transient play Thy soul to Realms of Peace Shall wing its joyful way.
black and white photograph of eight-day, strike and repeater clock gear system.
203 C

A similar message was begun, but not finished, on the back of a clock dial made in 1788 (No. 207). The religious orientation, sense of history, and glorification of work are obvious and would have done justice to a seventeenth-century New England divine. This inscription provides rare insight into the character of Nathaniel Dominy IV.

Some features of the movement of Dominy clocks not seen earlier can be seen here. The three small wheels attached to the front plate are rollers for the calendar ring. At the upper right-hand corner is the curved arm of the repeater trip to which a cord could be tied. From the repeater trip two levers are projected. One points downward to the minute wheel and snail. The other moves across the plate and rests under the gathering arm. Clearly shown beneath the gathering arm are the rack and its lever, detached in the photograph from the snail. The small screw that fastens the lever to the snail is shown clearly.

Description Height, 86¾; width, 15¼; depth, 8¼. Cherry case; pine backboard; probably tulip seat board; pewter dial; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; lead pendulum; cast-iron weights. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1787 for Thomas Baker. The inventory of Thomas Baker’s estate, 1825, lists ‘1 Clock @ [$] 26.00’ (photocopy, 04x45c, DMMC). Subsequent owners: Edward Mulford Baker, Fanny Mulford Baker Strong, Mrs. F.G. Van Mater, Robert Halsey. Present owner: John Forest Dominy, Jr.

204 (Not illustrated)

Clock, One-Stroke

The case of this clock is almost identical with one made in 1788 by the Dominys to house a more complex mechanism (No. 207). This case lacks the additional dome below the pediment which in the more elaborate clock serves to heighten the case. In all other respects, the feet, case, hood, and decorative moldings on both clocks are alike. A white ground, however, has been painted over the pewter dial of this clock.

Family history maintains that it was made originally for "Isaac Scallinger," to whom Nathaniel IV rendered a bill in December, 1787, of £8 6s. for "a Silent Clock." A brass bell attached to the works, however, with the mechanism employed by this clockmaker for striking once on the hour, makes this a "one Stroak" clock. It is possible that Nathaniel's entry of a silent clock was in error because the amount charged Isaac Schellinger is similar to the sum of £8 12s. billed to Seth Parsons in 1793 for "a one Stroak Clock (2 handed)."37

Description Height, 78½; width, 14⅛; depth, 8½. Cherry case and seat board; pine backboard; pewter dial painted black and white; brass plates, wheels, bell, minute hand; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hour hand; lead pendulum and weight. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1787 for Isaac Schellinger (ca. 1740 to ca. 1800). Subsequent owners: Samuel Schellinger (nephew), Alben D. Schellinger, George S. Schellinger. Present owner: George V. Schellinger.

205

Silent Clock

This year marked the making of the first in a series of clocks with engraved inscriptions on the dials which reveal Nathaniel Dominy IV's intense preoccupation with the passage of time. No precise reason can be given for the sudden appearance of these moral and religious aphorisms after almost twenty years of clockmaking. The explanation may be related to the passage of time in Nathaniel IV's own life. In 1787 he celebrated his fiftieth birthday, a ripe old age in the eighteenth century.

The type of case illustrated here was also used on a timepiece made for Abraham Mulford in 1783 and converted to a silent clock in 1786. A dome pediment, iron staple hinges attaching the hood and pendulum case doors, applied molding separating the hood from the case, a plain rectangular door on the case with a thumbnail molding on its edge, and a rectangular board finished with a simple cove molding nailed to three sides of the case to form a base characterize its design. Traces of the original dark stain can still be seen on the pine case.

Patterns for the hour hand and plates have survived (Nos. 155, 164), and the double p. [281]

Black and white photograph of a silent clock.
205
Black and white photograph of a silent clock.
205 A
Black and white photograph of a silent clock gear system.
205 B
p. [282] crescent-and-sword minute hand was used on a number of early Dominy docks. This is the only silent clock in which Nathaniel IV employed these skeletonized plates, and he may have used them as an experiment in order to prove their feasibility. Certainly he would not have used them to support a complex movement if they did not work for the simple time train shown here. Although the plates somewhat obscure the wheels, the hour wheel in front is unobstructed. Directly behind it, partially hidden from view, is the minute wheel. The winding drum arbor and its barrel with weight cord are also clear. Attached to the rear of the winding drum is the great wheel. Its teeth mesh with an eight-leaf pinion connected to the center wheel. The teeth of the center wheel engage an eight-leaf pinion attached to the third wheel. Its teeth move an eight-leaf pinion connected to the same arbor and pivot for the escape wheel.

Description Height, 81¾; width, 14; depth, 7¾. Pine case, backboard, and seat board; pewter dial; iron hands; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, and pivots; lead weight and pendulum. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV, for either Captain H. Latham or Nathan Conkling. Previous owner: Raymond Smith, Sr. Present owner: Raymond Smith, Jr.

206

Eight-Day, Strike, and Repeater Clock

Cherry was frequently used by cabinetmakers to produce furniture because of the handsome appearance it invariably lent to the finished piece. It is surprising, therefore, to see a dark reddish-brown or black stain used by the Dominys on a clockcase made of that wood. The ensuing years have probably caused the stain to darken, however, and, when first applied, it was probably the craftsman's intent to produce a finish imitating more costly walnut or mahogany.

The case of this clock is quite similar to others used by the Dominys. For the first time in this catalogue, however, the plain half-oval-shaped arch used to decorate a majority of the base molding boards applied to their cases is illustrated. The angle of the photograph also enables the reader to see the use of this applied molding on the side of the base and the nonuse of glass panels on the sides

Black and white photograph of an eight-day, strike, repeater clock.
206
p. [283]
Black and white photograph of an eight-day, strike, repeater clock.
206 A
Black and white photograph of an eight-day, strike, repeater clock gear system.
206 B
of the hoods. At the top right-front corner of the hood a projecting iron rod that serves as a pintle for the hood door can also be seen.

A number is engraved at each corner of the pewter dial. When brought together, they form the date 1788. The hands are not as bold as those used on previous Dominy docks but they confirm Nathaniel IV's interest in decoration and design. The outline of a quarter-moon crescent used on the minute hand is repeated on the day-of-the-week indicator. With its reference to pinions and perhaps a veiled allusion to the fans—or "wings"—of the fan wheel which controls the speed of the striking train, Nathaniel's message on the dial is most appropriate.

Two photographs of this clock movement were taken in order to show the calendar wheel mounted in place. In this example, the upper roller has been replaced by a slotted guide. A long notched arm, which functions as a lever to move the day-of-the-week indicator, makes its first appearance on clocks made by Nathaniel IV in this year. An early steep-sided, curved bell is clearly shown. It may have been salvaged by the clockmaker from an

Black and white photograph of an eight-day, strike, repeater clock gear system.
206 C
p. [284] earlier movement taken in partial payment for a service rendered.

The original owner of this clock is not known. Family history maintains that it was owned originally by Colonel William D. Parsons but Parsons's birth date (1793) and the date of the clock (1788) preclude this possibility.38

Description Height, 86⅝; width, 15; depth, 8½. Cherry case; pine backboard; probably tulip seat board; pewter dial; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; lead pendulum and weights. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1788, probably for a member of the Parsons family. Subsequent owners: William H. Parsons, David Parsons, Mrs. Daniel Parsons, Mrs. Frederick [Gertrude] Yardley [daughter of Mrs. Parsons]. Present owner: Mr. Carter Parsons Dodge and his brother.

p. [285]

207

Eight-Day, Strike, Repeater, Alarm Clock

Black and white photograph of an eight-day, strike, repeater, alarm clock.
207

A rewarding aspect of research on the Dominy craftsmen is the fact that surprises occur from time to time. Classification and characterization of their work are frequently upset by a product that breaks the mold. This unusual clock is a good illustration. It incorporates all the features of Nathaniel IV's clocks shown thus far—but adds an alarm system.

Here the cabinetmaker used a plain rectangular door on the pendulum case instead of the domed-top door used on his best clocks. Iron staple hinges were used for both this and the hood door. A double-domed pediment and broken-arch swanneck cresting provide decoration for the hood. Cherry was used to make the case but—as with most of the other Dominy clocks—a dark stain originally covered its surface.

A numeral in each of the corners of the dial forms the date 1788. The minute hand is made of a series of arches and the hour hand is similar, but not identical, to one used on a clock made in 1787 (No. 205). An unusual feature of the hour hand shown here is the pointer inside the void which serves as an indicator for the alarm dial. The dial was moved until the pointer and the hour desired for the alarm to sound were aligned. When the hour hand came around to the same position the alarm sounded.

On the back of the pewter dial is an engraved inscription similar to the one shown in Number 203. Apparently it was not completed, but reads:

Made by Nathaniel Dominy of East Hampton Long Island Where, oh! Where shall I be when this clock is worn out?

Attached to the back of the day-of-the-week wheel are seven pins that fit into the notch of the long arm lever which pushes on them once each day.

The view of the clock movement gives in good detail the heavy half-round, hollow, and quarter-round molding on which the hood rested. Also visible are the rectangular runners nailed to each side of the case. They fit into a groove on the sides of the hood and thus serve as a guide for replacing it as well as assuring a tight-fitting cover over the movement. At the far right is a weight drum and crown wheel which provided motion for the double-arm hammer alarm strike. Because of the added alarm mechanism, the calendar wheel had to be of a

Black and white photograph of an eight-day, strike, repeater, alarm clock.
207 A
Black and white photograph of the inscription on the back of an eight-day, strike, repeater, alarm clock.
207 B
p. [286]
Black and white photograph of a gear system from an eight-day, strike, repeater, alarm clock.
207 C
smaller diameter and therefore occupies a smaller space at the front of the plate than on other Dominy clocks.

No history has been available for this clock and no indication of its original owner is given in the Dominy papers. Until purchased by its present owner, it had been owned for many years in Newport News, Virginia.

Description Height, 85 13/16; width, 13⅝; depth, 8½. Cherry case; pine backboard; pewter dial; brass plates, wheels, calendar wheel, alarm dial, weight pulleys; lead pendulum; cast-iron weights; ball-metal bell. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV. Previous owners: Asa O. Jones, Amos Clinton McKay, Henry de V. Williams, Jr. Present owner: Sold at Sotheby’s, N.Y., sale 8823, Jan. 21, 2012, lot 174.

p. [287]

208

Timepiece

Black and white photograph of a timepiece.
208

It is unfortunate that the history of this clock is unknown because its design bears a direct relationship to the timepiece made for Captain David Fithian in 1789 (No. 209). The pendulum case is identical, but the flat-topped hood does not have a dome-shaped glass panel. The outline on the base where the molding brackets were attached is still visible. Surprisingly, the base rail of the hood cuts across part of the Roman numeral VI, and the top rail casts a dark shadow over the numeral XI. The Dominys, it would seem, were not always infallible craftsmen.

The brass plates used to support the time train are identical with those in the 1789 clock but have been reversed. Two incised lines mark the top of the plate to the left of the end of a plate pillar. These can also be seen in the view of the clock's dial. Some clock collectors maintain that the number of these lines on a plate represents the sequence number of a clock made in any given year. In other words, this mark would indicate that it was the second clock made by Nathaniel IV in whatever year he produced it.

One other error occurred in the making of this clock. When the clockmaker engraved the numeral IX, he placed the wide stroke on the wrong side. The position of both the narrow and the wide strokes of the X should be reversed. Only seven lines were engraved between the hours, and this smaller dial would not be as precise, therefore, as the one used on Fithian's clock.

Description Height, 77½; width, 12; depth, 7½. Pine case, seat board, and backboard; sheet-iron dial painted black and white; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hand. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV, possibly in 1788, for William Huntting. Present owner: Raymond A. Smith, Jr. Illustrated in Brown, Long Island Forum, p. 148.

Black and white photograph of a timepiece.
208 A
Black and white photograph of a timepiece gear system.
208 B
p. [288]

209

Timepiece

Black and white photograph of a timepiece.
209

The first appearance of the term "timepiece" in the Dominy ledgers occurred in 1783 when James Hazelton, of Haddam, Connecticut, was billed £13 for two clocks bearing that description. Altogether, six entries of this kind were made by Nathaniel IV before he billed Captain David Fithian for "a small Clock or Timepiece" on July 1, 1789. Many different prices were recorded by the clockmaker in his accounts next to this term and it is not possible, therefore, to know whether the reference had a special meaning and whether the clock illustrated here is typical of its kind.

It is difficult to conceive of a simpler tall-case clock and, perhaps because of their lack of complexity, many of Nathaniel Dominy IV's clocks survive and continue to run. The case of this clock occupies little space, being less than seven feet tall, a fraction over one foot wide and less than a foot deep. Its forthright and honest features are apparent in a single glance: an applied arched molding board on the front and sides of the base, a plain rectangular pendulum case with a door decorated with a small thumbnail molding, a bold cove, rabbet, halfround, and cove molding to finish off the case, and a flat-topped hood with dome-shaped glass panel.

Only one hand was employed by Nathaniel IV on the dial of his timepieces to indicate the passage of time. Between each engraved Roman numeral are eleven engraved marks to note five-minute intervals. The hand thus could tell the viewer how much time had passed beyond the nearest hour. Its design is quite similar to the hour hand used on the repeating alarm clock made in the previous year, 1788 (No. 207). The engraved motto on the dial must have had a humbling effect, not only upon its original purchaser, but on subsequent owners also. It was an apt phrase for people familiar with death. Three of Captain Fithian's nine children died before the age of five.39

Four wheels (great, center, third, and escape) are required for this type of clock and they are clearly seen in the detail of the movement. No winding arbor is visible because a double rope and winding ratchet on the drunm are employed to wind up the heavy lead weight. A lighter lead counterbalance is suspended from the other end of the rope. The heavy broad-faced pallet—a distinguishing feature of the anchor escapement used by the Dominys—is p. [289]

Black and white photograph of a timepiece.
209 A
Black and white photograph of a timepiece gear system.
209 B
very evident. A set screw on top of the rear plate allows the whole balance-cock assembly and verge to be adjusted or removed. This form of skeletonized plate, resembling a stick-figure drawing of a person, was used repeatedly for this type of clock.

Description Height, 79½; width, 12⅛; depth, 7½. Pine case and backboard; pewter dial; brass plates, wheels, pulley wheel; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hand; lead pendulum, weight, and counterweight. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1789 for Captain David Fithian (1728–1803). Present owner: Frederick M. Selchow, Hopkinton, New Hampshire. Illustrated in Brown, Bulletin, p. 413, and Palmer, Figs. 41–42.

210

Eight-Day, Strike, Repeater, Alarm Clock

A great deal is known about this elaborate clock made for John Lyon Gardiner (1770–1816), seventh proprietor of Gardiner's Island. Much of the information can be pieced together from Nathaniel Dominy IV's accounts. Perhaps the record is so complete because Gardiner was one of his best customers.

Its dial is certainly the most striking feature of this clock and the available evidence strongly indicates that it was John Lyon Gardiner's own choice. In February, 1791, Nathaniel IV credited Gardiner with £4 8s. for "2 Clock Faces yt you got at N. York one 40 [shillings] / the other 48 /." He also received credit for two clock glasses which cost 16 shillings. The enamel dial used here was made in England; cast into the iron dial plate are the words Osborne's (script) / MANUFACTORY / BIRMINGHAM.40

Mahogany, employed only for the front of the case, was also purchased by John Lyon Gardiner. On June 15, 1791, Nathaniel IV credited him with p. [290]

Black and white photograph of an eight-day, strike, repeater, alarm clock.
210
£1 for "20 feet of Mahogany recieved at Sagg Harbr." On November 1 the clockmaker noted that the proprietor of Gardiner's Island was indebted to him for £28 and six days later recorded that Gardiner had paid him £20 in cash. The payment of Gardiner's account for this clock thus occurred over a period of ten months as follows:

Febry 1791 By 2 Clock Faces yt you
got at N. York one 40/
the other 48/
[£] 4– 8–0
and 2 Do Glasses @ 16
Apr. 22 By a Small Bed yt you
bot @ Whms Vendue
0–17–0
June 15 By 20 feet of Mahogany
recievd at Sagg Harbr
1– 0–0
Nov. 7 By Cash 20– 0–0
Nov. ye 14 By 1 cheese Wt 33½ lb. 0–19–6
[£]28– 0–641

The case, probably among the first attempted by Nathaniel V, has a number of design elements familiar by now on Dominy clocks such as the bracket molding attached to the base, the dome-top pendulum case door, and bold decorative moldings. The pagoda-topped hood with its turned wooden ball and steeple finials (imitating the more common brass examples) increased the height of the clock to over eight feet. The case is also wider and deeper than most Dominy clocks—probably because of the large enamel dial. Turned columns at the corners of the hood replace the usual chamfered pilasters. On the back of the pendulum case door is an ink inscription, evidently in Nathaniel IV's hand, which states, N Dominie fecit 1791 Novr / for John Lyon Gardiner $70. Red-and-black fans and green leaves are painted in the corners of the dial. Two black-and-white globes focus attention on the phases-of-the-moon dial with its painted ship. A day-of-the-week indicator was not used but instead a second hand and dial appear just above the opening for the day-of-the-month calendar. A brass alarm dial ring is at the center and an iron pin forms the pointer for setting the alarm system.

Instead of the round mallet hammer used previously to sound the alarm, Nathaniel IV employed a polo mallet hammer with an early type of bell. The photograph of the movement clearly shows the alarm-winding barrel and the crown wheel with the hooked lever used as a stop or brake. The rectangular skeletonized plates are the usual pattern, and random pieces not needed for support have been removed in order to save brass.

Obtaining and conserving metal were always problems for the Dominys. One of their solutions is p. [291]

Black and white photograph of an eight-day, strike, repeater, alarm clock.
210 A
Black and white photograph of a gear system from an eight-day, strike, repeater, alarm clock.
210 B
Black and white photograph of an inscription on the back of an eight-day, strike, repeater, alarm clock.
210 C
revealed in a notation made in Account Book B (p. 131) about a year after this clock was finished. On the contra side of John Lyon Gardiner's account in the ledger Nathaniel wrote, "By your old clock which I took from Capt. Abram Gardiner some months gone but did not examine till now & find no part of it useful without being new wrought—The whole weig[h]s 4 lb @ 1 / –0–4–9."

Description Height, 98¾; width, 18⅞; depth, 9¼. Mahogany case front; cherry case sides and seat board; pine backboard (all microanalysis); enameled sheet-iron dial; iron dial plate with Osborne's (script) / MANUFACTORY / BIRMINGHAM cast into it; brass plates, wheels, alarm dial, bell, pulley wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, pendulum rod and hands; sheet-brass over lead pendulum; cast-iron weights. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1791 for John Lyon Gardiner. Subsequent owners: Mrs. John Lyon (Sarah) Gardiner, Samuel Buell Gardiner, Jonathan Thompson Gardiner, Lion Gardiner. Present owner: Winthrop Gardiner, Sr.

p. [292]

211 (Not illustrated)

Silent Clock

This clock bears a number of similarities to another Dominy example dating from about 1770–1780 (No. 195). The same type of pewter dial appears on both, as well as an identical crescent (or C-shaped) and sword minute hand. An opening to insert the winding key is placed between numerals III and IV on the dial of this clock, however, as opposed to the hole appearing above numeral VI on Number 195. In the domed portion of the dial is engraved Nathl Dominy (script). A slightly different molding—quarter round, hollow, and quarter round—finishes the pendulum case and separates it from the hood.

According to the present owners the date 1792 in gilt numbers was painted on the base of this clock before the original stain on the case was removed. A paneled glass door has been substituted for the original wood one on the pendulum case and the bracket feet have been cut down.

Description Height, 81⅞; width, 13½; depth, 8 3/16. Pine case and backboard; cherry seat board; pewter dial; iron hands; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, and pivots; lead pendulum and weight. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV about 1792. According to the owners, this clock has been owned by the Smith family for approximately 100 years. Present owners: Mr. and Mrs. Bailey Smith.

212 (Not illustrated)

Eight-Day, Strike, Repeater, Alarm Clock

This clock emphatically demonstrates the problems encountered when one tries to reconcile family history with documentary facts. According to tradition, this elaborate clock with its mahogany case, its English enameled dial, and its wood finials—like those adorning the clock made for John Lyon Gardiner in 1791—was made by Nathaniel Dominy in 1813 and "was sold to Phebe Dominy in 1871, price $100."42 Nathaniel IV, however, died in 1812; and although there is a total of four clocks entered in the Dominy ledgers in 1813 and 1814 (which must have been made by Nathaniel V), none have the complex mechanism of this family clock.43

Stylistically this clock relates to a group made by Nathaniel IV from 1788 to 1799 (Nos. 206, 210, 216, 217, 220), and on September 28, 1792, the clockmaker noted in his ledger that he had sold a "Repeating, alarm, Telltale Clock" to John Miller at a cost of £20 8s. ($51).44 In 1826 Felix Dominy married Phebe Miller, daughter of General Jeremiah Miller, and it is possible that she inherited this clock from John Miller. An article about Dominy clocks that appeared in 1959 stated that this clock was made for Jeremiah Miller, but no documentation was given.45

The penciled inscription inside the case which states that Phebe (Miller) Dominy bought this clock in 1871 for $100 is puzzling. In his will Felix Dominy made a specific bequest of this clock, described as the "family clock," to his (and Phebe Dominy's) son Arthur.46

This clock has not been examined by the author.

Description Height, 80; width, 16. Mahogany case; enameled sheet-iron dial, probably made by Thomas Osborne, Birmingham, England; brass plates and wheels. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1792 for John Miller or by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1813 for Jeremiah Miller. Subsequent owners: Phebe (Miller) Dominy, Felix Dominy, Arthur Dominy. Present owner: Fred A. Dominy.

p. [293]

213 (Not illustrated)

Timepiece

This timepiece, with one hand to mark the hour, is similar to a number of others made by Nathaniel IV in the 1780's and 1790's. Its case is identical with that used on the clock shown as Number 208, and its square pewter dial with engraved Roman numerals is almost identical.

The pine case of this clock has lost its original finish and it is now covered with yellow paint. Its triangular-shaped plates supporting the movement are not used on any other Dominy clock seen by the author. They were either salvaged from another maker's clock or represented another experiment by Nathaniel Dominy.

From 1926 to 1936 this clock was owned by Mary R. Miller; it was presented to the East Hampton Historical Society by her daughter, Rebecca Miller. On August 26, 1794, Nathaniel IV billed Joel Miller £6 for a "small clock or Time Piece."47 In view of its history in the Miller family, it is probable that this is the clock recorded in the Dominy accounts.

Description Height, 75½; width, 12⅛; depth, 7. Pine case and backboard; pewter dial; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hand; lead pendulum and counterweight; cast-iron weight. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV, possibly in 1794, for Joel Miller. Previous owners: Mary R. Miller, Rebecca Miller. Present owner: East Hampton Historical Society.

214 (Not illustrated)

Eight-day, Strike, Repeater, Alarm Clock

No clock of this type was recorded in the Dominy accounts for 1795, but its brass alarm dial is clearly engraved N. Dominy, 17 E. Hampton. 95. According to the present owner, it has always been in the possession of a member of the Halsey family and it may be the clock owned by Daniel Halsey that was repaired by Nathaniel IV on October 7, 1803.48

Its simple case is unusual because it is made of walnut, a wood not otherwise employed by the Dominys for clockcases. Another distinguishing feature is the use of half-round columns at the corners of the hood door. These were employed on a clock made in 1791 for John Lyon Gardiner (No. 210), but they do not appear on the best clocks after 1795. The enameled dial of this clock is also unlike other examples (Nos. 210, 216, 217, 220). It has a day-of-the-week dial in the domed portion, while the hours are marked inside a large circle with Arabic numerals. Within the hour circle is a smaller dial for the days of the month, also employing Arabic numerals. An unusual long minute hand has a large diamond shape at one end, repeated with a smaller lozenge near the end of the pointer. It does not appear on other Dominy clocks.

Description Height, 86⅝; width, 17⅛; depth, 9½. Walnut case; pine backboard and seat board; enameled sheet-iron dial; brass plates, wheels, pendulum, alarm dial; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; cast-iron weights; lead counterweights. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1795, probably for Daniel Halsey. Subsequent owners: Daniel Halsey (a descendant). Present owner: Allan H. Halsey.

p. [294]

215

Timepiece

Black and white photograph of a timepiece.
215

The dial and movement of this clock are illustrated because they mark changes in the design of Nathaniel IV's timepiece. The case with its domed pediment and broken-arch swanneck cresting is already familiar and is not shown.

The clockmaker's name and the date when the clock was completed are painted in the domed portion of the dial. White Arabic numerals are painted on a black diamond-shaped background. Both ends of the single hand are also diamond shaped. The same design is formed by the voids in the pierced section of the indicator. One other dial of this type survives on a Dominy clock owned by Dr. David Edwards of East Hampton, but that dial has been cut into a circle in order to fit a modern case.

The plates used for earlier timepieces were described as being similar to a stick-figure drawing of a man. The brass plates of this clock have the same relationship, but a pronounced curved arm, cast as a continuous piece of the plate, projects to the right. If one discards the projecting arm, the plates resemble a pair of andirons. The time train, with its double-rope system for winding up the weight, four geared wheels, and anchor escapement, are all visible.

The original owner of this clock remains unidentified because the Dominy manuscripts carry no record of clocks made in 1795. Family history supplied by the present owner indicates that the clock has always been owned by a member of the Strong family and that it was originally purchased by Talmage Strong (1761–1817). He was a customer of the Dominys, as were Thomas (1768–1846) and John Strong (1756–1828).49

Description Height, 82; width, 12½; depth, 7½. Pine case, backboard, and seat board; sheet-iron dial painted black and white; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hand. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV. Previous owners: Talmage Strong, James Strong, Andrew Strong, George Strong. Present owner: Stanley T. Strong.

Black and white photograph of a timepiece gear system.
215 A
p. [295]

216

Eight-Day, Strike, Repeater Clock

The warm glow of the cherry case and the attractive painted, flowered dial give this clock a very distinctive appearance. Originally the case was undoubtedly stained and the reason many country cabinetmakers used paint or stain to decorate their products is apparent here. Different woods (in this case, pine and cherry) have contrasting grains, and paint or stain could cover these differences to produce a uniform surface.

Bold cove or hollow moldings, made with a large round plane (No. 87), divide the case into two distinct sections of base and hood. The plain pendulum case serves only as a connecting link. Unusual cyma-recta and reversa curves were cut on the molding bracket applied to the base. These have been cut down sometime in the past but can be seen complete in Number 220. Plain beaded-edge pilasters decorate the corners of the hood. They appear on an entire series of Dominy clockcases in the late 1790's (Nos. 217, 220). The domed swanneck pediment has an unusual ornament cut in the center in place of a cartouche. Its profile is similar to the end of a batwing hour hand used by Nathaniel IV.

The English enamel dial has been repainted. Under bright lights the underpainting can be seen. The same lines have been followed, however, in the repainting and what is illustrated here is a faithful reproduction of the original decoration. Flowers are painted in shades of blue, yellow, green, and red. Everything else is painted in black on a white background. A day-of-the-week calendar is in its usual position in the dome, but the day-of-the-month dial is, surprisingly, painted on a circle inside that bf the hour numerals. A definite letter S has been worked into the design of the sword minute hand. It has been said that the letter was applied because the clock was made for a purchaser whose surname initial was S. It should be pointed out, however, that the same type of hand was used by Nathaniel IV on the clock made for David Gardiner (No. 220).

By placing the camera at a sharp angle to this movement a picture showing several features of Dominy clocks not previously illustrated could be obtained. In the striking train can be seen the flywheel with its solid brass wings. Adjacent to the rear plate near the main wheel is a setscrew and

Black and white photograph of a eight-day, strike, repeater clock.
216
p. [296] spring-tension adjuster for the strike. Because of the position of the day-of-the-month ring on the dial, the calendar drive was run by the clockmaker from the center shaft. This is considered by many collectors to be a sign of excellent craftsmanship. Also visible are the deep grooves cut into the barrel of the alarm drum. These grooves for the cord insured that the weight would drop evenly.

In common with a number of Dominy clocks illustrated in this catalogue, no manuscript record for this clock exists. Its date, 1796, however, is a significant one in Dominy family history. In that year one of Nathaniel's brothers, Henry Dominy, a surveyor, moved from East Hampton to Beekmantown, New York.50 According to Dominy family history, Nathaniel IV made a "brass clock" for his brother and presented it to him before his departure from East Hampton. Apparently the clockworks were a gift, but the case was not because Nathaniel IV billed his brother in 1796 £5 for a "clock case."51 About 1928 that clock was sold to the wife of a Dr. Madill in Ogdensburgh, New York. No documentation exists for it beyond that date and the rest of the clock's history is based upon speculation. The three most recent owners of the

Black and white photograph of an eight-day, strike, repeater clock.
216 A
Black and white photograph of the gear system from an eight-day, strike, repeater clock.
216 B
clock illustrated here have all been residents of New York State, living in Scarsdale, Newburgh, and White Plains respectively. Admittedly these areas are far from Beekmantown and Ogdensburgh, but the combination of the clock's date and its ownership in New York may identify this clock as the one made for Henry Dominy.

Description Height, 87⅜; width, 16¾; depth, 9⅛. Cherry case; pine backboard, base, case door, and seat board; probably English enameled sheet-iron dial; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; silvered brass bell. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1796, possibly for Henry Dominy. Previous owners: Possibly Mrs. Henry Dominy, possibly Elizabeth Dominy McFadden, possibly George McFadden, possibly Mrs. Madill of Ogdensburgh, New York, Walter Keller, Edward Landis. Present owner: Nelson O. Argüeso.

p. [297]

217

Eight-Day, Strike, Repeater, Alarm Clock

Black and white photograph of an eight-day, strike, repeater, alarm clock.
217

Differences in the cases of many Dominy clocks are hard to find because all are basically alike. However, the cusped arch of the molding bracket attached to the front of this case is different from that used on the clocks illustrated as Numbers 216 and 220. A heavy quarter-round molding that finishes the base of the hood is also unlike the slight halfround molding used on the clockcase made in 1796. Moreover, the tiny dome-shaped ornament at the center of the swanneck cresting is also unique. Admittedly, these are small changes, but they probably lent enough variety to satisfy both the craftsman and his customer. Because of the dark shadow at the front of the base, the case seems to be supported by bracket feet. This was undoubtedly a deliberate construction technique; a glance through the arch at the side shows that the case runs to the floor.

From the inscription cast into the iron dial plate it is obvious that the enameled dial, with its gilt spandrils and oval in the dome section, was made in England. The flowers and leaves enclosed by the oval are painted in shades of red, pink, and green. Both the second and day-of-the-month rings are enclosed by the hour dial. An attractive design element is seen in the use of two diamond, or lozenge, shapes on the minute hand to reflect the same pattern of the hour hand. The brass alarm dial at the center of the face is engraved N. Dominy / 1797 / (script). In order to provide an indicator for setting the alarm Nathaniel IV recessed the end of the hour hand and filed a resulting pin to act as a pointer. As shown in the photograph, the alarm is set to ring at approximately 8:25. On the back of the dial plate can be seen a brass escape wheel with thirty-one teeth. It turned the calendar indicator.

A close-up of the time train shows several features of the right side of Nathaniel IV's movements. At the lower right of the front plate is a tension spring and ratchet which meshes with the teeth of the calendar escape wheel when the dial plate is in position. To the far right is the winding barrel for the alarm weight and a good view of the alarm crown wheel. In bright reflection, at the base of this wheel, is seen the pallet that meshes with the crown wheel in order to turn the arbor of the polo-mallet alarm hammer. Visible also is the curved arm of the repeating mechanism and its action. When the curved arm is pulled down, the lever projecting to p. [298] the left lifts up another lever—called the "gathering arm"—which removes its tip from the teeth of the rack, thus allowing the teeth closest to the past hour to fall to the left. It will function this way to within five minutes of the approaching hour. At that time, the warning wheel of the strike train, visible just above the gathering arm, is set in motion and "sets" or "warns" the strike train.

Inside the pendulum case door is a modern penciled inscription which reads, This clock was made for Miller Dayton / in 1797 by Nathl Dominy for $90.00 / Nathl Dominy [VII] bought it of his son / Ralph [Dayton] in 1857. Bought it for $20.00 / Felix Dominy [VIII] bought it in 1910 / for $150.00. One of the present owners is a daughter of Felix Dominy VIII (1860–1935). Nathaniel IV's accounts reveal that on June 8, 1797, he billed Miller Dayton £38 for "a repeating Telltale Clock."52 At $2.50 a pound, the clock would have cost $95.00. It is possible that the pencil inscription errs because no dollar figure was recorded in the original account.

Description Height, 87; width, 18; depth, 9. Cherry case; pine backboard and seat board; enameled sheet-iron dial; cast-iron dial plate with Osborne's (script) MANUFCTORY/BIRMINGHAM cast into it; brass plates, wheels, and alarm dial; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, levers, and hands; brass pendulum; lead alarm weight; cast-iron weights. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1797 for Miller Dayton (1766–1847). Subsequent owners: Ralph Dayton, Nathaniel Dominy VII, Felix Dominy VIII, Mr. and Mrs. James H. Mulford [Sybel Dominy]. Present owner: Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities.

Black and white photograph of an eight-day, strike, repeater, alarm clock.
217 A
Black and white photograph of the gear system from an eight-day, strike, repeater, alarm clock.
217 B
p. [299]
Black and white photograph of Nathaniel Dominy's signature and date on an eight-day, strike, repeater, alarm clock.
217 C
Black and white photograph of cast iron dial plate stamped "Osborne's MANUFACTORY BIRMINGHAM."
217 D
p. [300]

218 (Not illustrated)

Eight-Day, Strike, Repeater, Alarm Clock

Every detail of this clockcase is identical with another made in 1797 (No. 217) except the crest on the pediment. This clock has four swanneck arches separated by a pointed, sharply curved scallop which gives the effect of a mirror–rather than a clock–crest.

Its English enameled dial is completely different, however, from those found on other elaborate clocks made by Nathaniel Dominy IV (Nos. 210, 216, 217, 220). Gilt leaf and scroll corner spandrels are painted over the white enamel, and the same airy foliage appears in the curved dome portion of the dial. This clock has a "Strike" or "Silent" indicator in that dial area. Below the brass alarm dial is an open, curved, day-of-the-month calendar window. Its S-shaped minute hand is like that on a clock made in 1796 (No. 216). The alarm dial is engraved N. Dominy (script) / 1797 and is identical with another example shown in Number 217.

This clock had descended in the Hedges family, and there is no doubt that it is the clock made for Joseph Hedges, of Patchogue. He was billed the sum of £38 by Nathaniel IV on October 5, 1797, for a "Repeating, Alarm, Tell-Tale Clock."53

The writer has not examined the clock, but the present owner has generously supplied photographs and descriptions.

Description Height, 86; width, 17⅞; depth, 8¾. Cherry case, enameled sheet-iron dial, probably from Birmingham, England; brass plates, wheels, and alarm dial; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; brass pendulum; cast-iron weights. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1797 for Joseph Hedges, of Patchogue. Subsequent owners: Hannah Hedges, William Beale Hedges, Charles Mulford Hedges, Marion Sophia Bartow. Present owner: Elsie E. Bartow.

219 (Not illustrated)

Timepiece

On April 21, 1798, Nathaniel IV billed Samuel H. Pierson, of Bridgehampton, £8 for "a small Clock or Timepiece 20 dollars." This is one of a number of entries which indicate that the pound-dollar exchange was maintained at a constant rate of $2.50 a pound by the Dominys.

A few years ago a letter was received from a descendant of Samuel Pierson offering to sell this clock to the Museum without its case, pendulum, and weights. Only the dial and works had survived transportation from Bridgehampton, Long Island, to Troy, New York, and from there to Stanton, Michigan. From a description furnished with the letter and from photographs supplied by the present owner, it is clear that it has but one hand, a pewter dial painted white, and brass works. Painted on the dial is the inscription N. DOMINY. 1798. Its movement is the standard one used by Nathaniel IV for other timepieces illustrated in Number 209. The clock’s hood is a reconstruction but its pendulum case and base are original.

Description Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1798 for Samuel H. Pierson. Subsequent owners: John Pierson, Dr. Job Pierson, John W.S. Pierson, John H. Pierson, Charles A. Niles, Mrs. Charles A. Niles. Present owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell.

p. [301]

220

Eight-Day, Strike, Repeater, Alarm Clock

Black and white photograph of an eight-day, strike, repeater, alarm clock.
220

The mahogany used by Nathaniel Dominy V to make the case for this clock has a rich, handsome grain. He did not design an unusual case, however, and, with two exceptions, it is little different from others made by him in this period. Here, cyma-recta and reversa curves were cut on the applied molding bracket to form a skirt and bracket feet for the clock. This is one of the few examples in which the case does not run behind this bracket to rest on a floor. It employed a simple pagoda-shaped pediment, not quite as elaborate as the one used for the case of John Lyon Gardiner's clock (No. 210). The detail photographs of the hood show that the pediment of this clock never had a cresting. It is probably that the brass ball and steeple finials are replacements for wooden ones like those seen on Number 210.

Some idea of the intricate construction of the hood is obtained from the detail picture. Twenty-four separate pieces of wood, not including the brace blocks, were used in its construction. An inner frame consists of ¾-inch stock for top and sides. It is held together with ⅞-inch dovetails visible on top and rests on a platform the outer edge of which has bold half-round moldings formed by a hollow plane. This platform slides over the top of the pendulum case. Fixed to the inner frame are four pieces (two on each side) of 5/16-inch stock. An applied hollow and bead molding, ¾-inch thick, decorates the exterior surface of sides and front. The hood doorframe is made of ⅞-inch mahogany and rests against four pieces of the same wood of a thinner dimension. Behind the lower rail of the doorstop is an iron staple. This fits into an oval hole set into a rail just below the seat board, and it can be seen in the detail view of the movement. When the hood was in place, a wedge could be inserted into this staple from inside the pendulum case to lock the hood in place.

Another enameled dial from Thomas Osborne's Birmingham "manufactory" was used for this clock, and except for the fact that it displays painted flowers and leaves instead of gilt work the design is like that used for Miller Dayton's clock (No. 217). The hands (except for the second hand) are familiar and were used on clocks shown earlier in this catalogue. The brass alarm dial not only has the clockmaker's name and date of manufacture p. [302]

Black and white photograph of an eight-day, strike, repeater, alarm clock.
220 A
Black and white photograph of the hood of an eight-day, strike, repeater, alarm clock.
220 B
Black and white photograph of Nathaniel Dominy's signature and date on an eight-day, strike, repeater, alarm clock.
220 C
Black and white photograph of the gear system from an eight-day, strike, repeater, alarm clock.
220 D
p. [303] engraved on it, but also the location of Nathaniel's business. The rear portion of the hour hand is slotted and filed as an indicator for the alarm dial.

In the illustration of this clock's movement can be seen the tension spring and ratchet in place in the escape wheel that drives the calendar hand. The brass pulley for the time-train weight and its iron frame are visible below the seat board. A silvered brass bell with pierced openings is used. Other features have been pointed out in discussion of the movements previously illustrated.

On November 7, 1799, Nathaniel IV billed David Gardiner £36 for "1 clock."54 When the Museum acquired the clock in 1957, it was also fortunate to obtain the original bill, dated May 16, 1800, rendered by the clockmaker to "David Gardiner of Flushing." The bill indicates that David, like his brother, John Lyon Gardiner, obtained the clock face in New York. He was credited with a payment of £26 4s., which consisted of £24 in cash, £1 16s. for the clock face, and 8 shillings for weights. Nathaniel Dominy IV asked that the balance of £9 16s. be sent in care of Dr. Nathaniel Gardiner, to whom he would give a receipt.55

Two very informative letters about the shipping and setting up of this clock have survived. One, written by John Lyon Gardiner to David Gardiner, reads:

Dear Brother,

Your Clock is ready & he [Nathaniel Dominy IV] wishes to know how You want it carried — he says he can put it into a case & it will go safe by Water — You had better write to him by whom it can be sent & where it must be left — He says the price must be thirty six pounds, but out of this must be deducted the face You bought & two cast iron weights that you can get in N York at Yules Air furnace. Enquire at Hinturns Water Street near Beekmans slip 1656 — they must weigh from 12 to 14 lb each on account of the heft.57

The other letter was written by the clockmaker to David Gardiner and states:

Sir

I send the Clock by Capt. Moses Clark with the following (but perhaps needless) instructions for seting it up — Viz 1st Take out those things which are deposited in the bottom of the Case — then take it out of ye Box & Rear it where you intend it shall stand — next Relieve the Pendulum Rod & hang the Bob thereon. Erect the Case by the lower end of the Bob-spear & the black perpendicular line on the middle of the Back — leaving it a little back, that the Allarm Weight may bear lightly against the back & also that the large Weights may ye better clear the top of ye Pedestal — Thus fixed, secure it to the Wall thro' ye back near the top of the lower Door, & at bottom steddy it by cleats on the Room floor — now Relieve the Cords, let ye staples over the Alarm-cords remain, hang ye Weights on & put her in motion—

From your Friend Nathl Dominy

N.B.

You must draw ye nails from the top of ye Head & the Key at the bottom within the front of Do before the Sd head can be taken of — also the Bolt which peeps thro' ye Face must be drawn downward before she'll Strike

David Gardiner to Nathl Dominy Dtr To an Horologiographical, Repeating, Alarm, Monition Clock at 90 Dollars £36–0–058

Description Height, 92; width, 17; depth, 9. Mahogany case; white pine backboard and blocks; cherry seat board (all microanalysis); enameled sheet-iron dial; iron dial plate stamped Osborne's (script) MANUFACTORY/BIRMINGHAM; brass plates, wheels, and alarm dial; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, levers, and hands; lead pendulum; cast-iron weights. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1799 for David Gardiner. Subsequent owners: John Lyon Gardiner, Mrs. John Lyon (Sarah) Gardiner, David Johnson Gardiner, John Griswold Gardiner, Samuel Buell Gardiner, John Lyon Gardiner, Lion Gardiner, Frances Gardiner Collins. Present owner: Winterthur Museum. Museum accession: 57.34.1

p. [304]

221 (Not illustrated)

Silent Clock

Only one clock is recorded in the Dominy accounts for the year 1803. On June 11 of that year Nathaniel IV billed Doctor Ebenezer Sage £8 for "1 Silent Clock" and 5 shillings 6 pence for "Glass for ye front of Do & Turning ye Do Sash." Neither of the two surviving silent clocks bearing this date has a history relating it to Doctor Sage.

An envelope in the clock bears the remarks of Coles Terry, a previous owner:

Grandfathers Clock. Built 1803 by Nathaniel Dominy, at Easthampton, Long Island, New York.

Just who was the original owner is not known, although it is possible that it was purchased from Dominy By Caleb Green, who I believe was my grandmother's (Sarah Green Terry) brother, or it could be he was her uncle.

His home was on Candee Avenue south of Maple Street. The clock was removed from his home prior to his death by my father's older brother, Doctor Louis W. Terry, born Dec. 19, 1841, and taken to Patchogue where it remained until his death May 26, 1894. It was then removed to the old Terry home on Main St. Sayville (now the Oystermen's Bank & Trust Co.) by Morris James Terry, my father's twin brother, born Dec. 15, 1843, where it again remained until his death Jan. 7, 1923.

At that time I came in possession of the clock and since then it has been with me.

This clock has not been examined by the writer, but from photographs and descriptions furnished by the present owner its case, stained a dark black-brown, appears to be identical to one made for a silent clock about 1804 (No. 223). The minute and hour hands of this clock are identical with those used on the other silent clock made in 1803.

Description Height, 84; width, 12½; depth, 7⅞. Pine case; enameled sheet-iron or tin dial; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; iron pendulum; iron weight. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1803. Previous owners: Caleb Green, Dr. Louis W. Terry, Morris James Terry, Coles C. Terry, David U. Gurney. Present owner: East Hampton Historical Society.

222 (Not illustrated)

Silent Clock

The pediment crest, minute hand, and inscription on the dial of this clock are different from those seen on other Dominy clocks of this period. They provide the small touch of variety of which Nathaniel IV was fond. These touches enabled him to produce a standardized clock, yet one individualized for each customer.

The center of the pediment crest has a broken, swanneck arch flanking a small stepped-and-rounded triangle. Frequently used on the cases of Dominy clocks, the device is here, in turn, joined to a Cupid's-bow crest running on either side. The result is a crest applied to the full dome of the hood instead of a center decoration. Most minute hands of this period are like one on a silent clock made in 1804 (No. 224). This clock, however, has a crescent, or C-shaped, scroll at one end. Its dial has been repainted; the owners stated that the original dial had been copied. Nathaniel's name and the placement of the date on the dial are not usual. The painted inscription reads DOMINY / 1803. Family history states that this clock was made for a member of the Sherrill family or perhaps for a member of the Conkling family. Dominy records do not list a clock made for the Sherrills, but in their watch and clock register "N. Conklin[g] Esqr" was billed £1 for repair of a Dominy clock owned by him on October 17, 1803.59 Stephen Sherrill married Jerusha Conkling in 1827 and the clock, therefore, could have come into the family in this manner.60

Unfortunately, the hood of this clock was tied to the wall and it was impossible to examine its works. According to the owners, it has the andiron-type brass plates and anchor escapement used by Nathaniel IV. Its case is stained the dark reddish-brown color found on other Dominy clocks.

Description Height, 85⅝; width, 12¾; depth, 7⅞. Pine case and backboard; enameled sheet-iron or tin dial; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; lead pendulum; cast-iron weight. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV, possibly for Nathan Conkling. Previous owners: Probably Jerusha Conkling Sherrill, probably Stephen Sherrill, Nathaniel Huntting Sherrill, Abram Elisha Sherrill, Edwin L. Sherrill. Present owner: Linus and Marilyn Sherrill

p. [305]

223

Silent Clock

It is not surprising that clocks made by Nathaniel Dominy IV during the last years of his life have a quality of sameness about them. He made the clock shown here during his sixty-seventh year and the pattern is evident. About the only difference in the case treatment was the use of a dark-brown stain instead of the usual reddish-brown or reddish-black color. Otherwise the base, pendulum case, and hood are identical to other Dominy silent clocks of this period (No. 227). The swanneck cresting on the domed pediment of the hood has been broken and lost.

Arabic numerals instead of Roman numerals on the dial provide the only change. The movement was an efficient, proven design in use for almost twenty years when the clock was made. In front of the plate is the hour wheel (top), which is probably a replacement of the original. Nathaniel IV's wheels have a U-shaped space between the teeth, the bottom of which is a straight line. It is obvious from the photograph that the bottom line of the space on this wheel is curved.

Although the dial of this clock bears the date 1804, Nathaniel IV did not bill its purchaser, Abraham Hedges, until April 24, 1805.61 Abraham Hedges died in 1807 and, according to family history, the clock was inherited by his brother, Deacon Jacob Hedges. It passed in a direct line of descent to its present owner.62 The price paid for this clock was £10.

Description Height, 83; width, 13; depth, 8. Pine case, backboard, and seat board; enameled sheet-iron dial, brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; lead pendulum; cast-iron weight. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1804 for Abraham Hedges. Subsequent owners: Deacon Jacob Hedges V, Jacob Hedges VI, Charles D. Hedges, Mary Esther Hedges Talmage. Present owner: Charles D. Talmage.

Black and white photograph of a silent clock.
223
p. [306]
Black and white photograph of a silent clock.
223 A
Black and white photograph of a silent clock gear system.
223 B

224 (Not illustrated)

Small Clock or Timepiece

This clock has been restored and, in the process of restoration, the year of its manufacture was evidently changed from 1806 to 1808. A card tacked to the inside of the case door notes that the clock had been purchased from N.H. Dayton. On January 30, 1806, Nathaniel Dominy IV sold a "Timepiece" to Josiah Dayton, great-grandfather of N.H. Dayton, at a cost of £10 ($25).63

The original front bracket feet and broken-arch pediment crest have been restored. The red stain found on so many Dominy clockcases has been removed and its dial has been repainted.

Description Height (restored), 89; width, 13; depth, 8. Pine case, backboard, and seat board; enameled sheet-iron dial (repainted); brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; lead pendulum; cast-iron weight. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1806 for Josiah Dayton (1766–1839). Subsequent owners: John Thomas Dayton, Edward Dayton VIII, Nathan Hedges Dayton, James De Graft. Present owner: Mulford House, East Hampton Historical Society (gift of Eleanor De Graft Carr).

225 (Not illustrated)

One-Stroke Clock

According to the present owner, this clock has always been owned by the Howell family. It is quite possible that it is one of the clocks unrecorded in Dominy accounts. Nathaniel IV's record on October 15, 1807, showing a debt of £10 16s. ($27) for "a one Stroke Clock" next to the name of Jeremiah Bennett, Jr., may be only a coincidence.64

The design is identical to another one-stroke clock shown as Number 228. Its case is painted with the original dark reddish-brown stain and varnish. The clock's pewter dial, originally covered with yellow paint, has now been repainted white.

Description Height, 86½; width, 14; depth, 8 13/16. Pine case, backboard, and seat board; pewter dial repainted with black and white paint; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; lead pendulum; cast-iron weight. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV. Present owner: Mrs. Edward H. Howell.

p. [307]

226 (Not illustrated)

Silent Clock

The only major difference between this clock and Number 227 lies in the material used for its dial and the date recorded on it. Painted tin or sheet iron was used for this dial while a painted pine dial was employed by Nathaniel Dominy IV for the silent clock he made in 1809.

Across the dome portion of the dial is painted N. DOMINY. E. HAMPTON, 1807. Family history maintains that this clock was originally made for Jonathan Tuthill, and the Dominy accounts so document it. On April 25, 1808, Nathaniel IV entered a debit against Jonathan Tuthill for £10 for "1 silent clock ready cash."65 According to the present owner, Tuthill was blind and his fingering of the clock's dial to find the position of its hands is responsible for the pocked condition of the paint on the dial.

The case is stained a dark brown and its pediment crest is broken.

Description Height, 85; width, 13; depth, 8 1/16. Pine case, seat board, and backboard; enameled sheet-iron or tin dial; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, pivots, arbors, and hands; lead pendulum; cast-iron weight. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1807–1808 for Jonathan Tuthill. Subsequent owners: Mrs. C. Louis Edwards (Abbie Tuthill), C. Louis Edwards. Present owners: Mr. and Mrs. Louis T. Edwards.

227

Silent Clock

None of the ten clocks entered in Nathaniel IV's ledger between 1801 and his death in 1812 were more complex than a one-stroke clock (No. 228). Seven of these clocks were apparently two-handed silent clocks, like the one shown here, which was probably made for Abraham Edwards in 1809. On February 3, 1809, Nathaniel IV billed Isaac Edwards £7 for a "Small Clock," while on April 20 of the same year Abraham Edwards was charged £11 for "a clock or Timepiece."66 The latter price is close to the sum usually charged for a silent clock while the former indicates that Isaac Edwards's clock was a one-hand timepiece. These

Black and white photograph of a silent clock.
227
p. [308] entries serve to remind the researcher that consistency was not always a virtue of our ancestors.

The split condition of the swanneck pediment cresting is indicative of what happened to those now missing from the hoods of other Dominy clocks. It is fortunate that the template used by Nathaniel IV to make this design survives in the tool collection (No. 531). A wood dial, made of

Black and white photograph of a pediment cresting template.
[53 I]
pine, was used for this clock and its face bears Roman numerals. Nathaniel IV used wooded dials from time to time throughout his career but not as frequently as his grandson Felix, whose dials always seem to be made of wood.

A photograph of the movement shows the usual andiron, or inverted Y-shaped, plates with arms projecting to the right. The winding arbor leading from the weight drum is evident, as is the winding ratchet brake lever and spring to keep the lever in place at the rear of the drum. The bottom to top relationship of great wheel to pinion, center wheel to pinion, third wheel to pinions, and escape wheel to anchor escapement is also well illustrated. This photograph also shows the balance cock and crutch at the top of the rear plate and the unusually long pendulum spring held in the crutch.

Description Height, 86 1/16; width, 14; depth, 8¼. Pine case, backboard, and seat board; pine dial painted black and white; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; lead pendulum; cast-iron weight. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1809, probably for Abraham Edwards. Present owner: purchased in 1950 from a member of the Edwards family by Henry de V. Williams, Jr. Sold, Sotheby’s New York, June 20, 1996, lot 232. East Hampton Historical Society (accession 99. 201)

Black and white photograph of a silent clock.
227 A
Black and white photograph of a silent clock gear system.
227 B
p. [309]

228

One-Stroke Clock

This clock is important because it illustrates the one-stroke type of movement made by Nathaniel IV only three years before his death in 1812. To avoid confusion, this is not the clock listed in Nathaniel V's accounts as that made for Joseph Osborn in 1812 at a cost of £11.67 There were several Joseph Osborns in the nineteenth century, but family history indicates that the original owner of the clock illustrated was Joseph Osborn VI (1754–1844). Published genealogies support the conclusion.68 It is unfortunate that this clock is not listed in Nathaniel IV's accounts.

The sides of its pendulum case rest on the floor, but the front of the case has been cut and shaped to conform to the design of the applied bracket molding. While not a typical practice, it can be seen on other Dominy clockcases (Nos. 236, 239, 240). Brass hinges on the hood door are probably replacements of the original staple hinges. A slight change occurred in the minute-hand design with the substitution of a raked outer crosspiece for the usually perpendicular type. The pointed tip of the hour hand was also given a pronounced lozenge shape not seen on preceding examples (Nos. 223, 227). Cherry was used instead of pine in making the dial.

No change occurred in the pattern used for plates and time train but the photograph of the movement clearly shows how the strike mechanism was mounted for the one-stroke clock. Once each hour the lever to which the hammer is attached is forced against a long spring connected to one leg of the plate. The spring forces the hammer back to strike the bell. In an unusual mounting the bell is supported by a steel rod fastened to the other leg of the front plate. The sound emitted by this "one-stroke" is rather weak compared to the normal horizontal mounted bell on elaborate Dominy clocks.

Description Height, 85⅞; width, 14¼; depth, 8½. Pine case, backboard, and seat board; cherry dial painted black and white; brass plates and wheels; steel arbors, escapement, pivots, levers, and hands; brass bell; lead pendulum; cast-iron weight. Made by Nathaniel Dominy in 1809 for Joseph Osborn VI (1754–1844). Subsequent owners: Joseph Osborn VII, Sylvanus Osborn VIII, David Edwin Osborn, S. Gardner Osborn, Margaret Eichhorn, sold Sotheby’s, sale no. 9300, Important Americana, session two, January 25, 2015, lot no. 925. Present owners: Charles Keller, Glenn Purcell.

Black and white photograph of a one-stroke clock.
228
p. [310]
Black and white photograph of a one-stroke clock.
228 A
Black and white photograph of a one-stroke clock gear system.
228 B

229 (Not illustrated)

Silent, Thirty-Hour Clock

This clock bears a painted cherry dial, hands, and dark reddish-brown stained pine case identical to a silent clock with an eight-day movement made by Nathaniel IV in 1809 (No. 227). Its movement plates have the basic andiron shapes used on that clock, but the arms do not project to the right. Two circular steel plates on the weight drum, or barrel, separate the cords of its weight and counterweight. The maple used for its weight pulley contrasts to the brass that was usually employed.

Although no clocks with thirty-hour movements are mentioned in the Dominy accounts, there is often a variation of £3 or £4 in the prices entered for small clocks. A difference in movements might explain the varying amounts charged for clocks essentially of the same type. The paint on the dial of this clock is quite worn and it cannot be determined that it ever bore Nathaniel IV's name and a date.

Description Height, 81 11/16; width, 14; depth, 7¼. Pine case, backboard, and seat board; cherry dial painted black and white; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; maple weight pulley; lead pendulum and counterweight; cast-iron weight. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV. Previous owners: Ross Fanning (purchased in Sag Harbor), Mrs. Kerr, Florence Mulford, E. Courtland Mulford. Present owner: Stephen Mulford.

230

Silent Clock

Between Nathaniel IV's death in October, 1812, and the first clock made by Felix Dominy for Elisha Osborn, Jr., in 1817, four clocks were recorded in Dominy accounts. These appear in ledgers owned by Nathaniel V, and he must have had a brief career as a clockmaker before his son was ready to take over work in the clock shop (see list in Chapter V). None of the clocks made by Nathaniel V have been identified.

The fact that this is the second clock made by Felix is well documented by stamped inscriptions on the lead pendulum. His initials, FD, appear in script at the center of the bob. To the right appears p. [311]

Black and white photograph of a silent clock.
230
Black and white photograph of a silent clock.
230 A
Black and white photograph of a silent clock.
230 B
p. [312]
Black and white photograph of a silent clock pendulum.
230 C
Nπ̊2 and below, the date 1818/august 4th. The Dominy accounts record that on August 8, 1818, Jacob Hedges, Jr., was billed $25 for a "Timepiece."69 At the value of $2.50 a pound, the charge would have been £10—the price that Felix's grandfather often charged for a silent clock.70

Nathaniel V made the same type of case for his son that he had made for his father, and he continued to use a dark reddish-brown stain to finish it. An oval wood knob, attached to a circular wooden latch on the back of the pndulum case door, began to appear with regularity. Felix used wooden dials consistently and preferred to sign them on the back, as shown in the detail ilustration, instead of in the dome portion of the face. A template for the hour hand illustrated here has survived (No. 164). Little change occurred in the design of the movements and plates but one innovation is apparent. Felix eliminated the connecting section of the arms projecting from the right side of the plate, effecting a savings in brass never made by his grandfather.

This clockmaker certainly inherited his family's penchant for recording dates on objects they owned or produced. In addition to the year indicated on the back of the dial and on the pendulum bob, the cast-iron weight is also inscribed 1817.

Description Height, 85½; width, 12⅞; depth, 7¾. Pine case, backboard, and seat board; pine dial painted black and white; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; lead pendulum; cast-iron weight. Made by Felix Dominy in 1817–1818 for Jacob Hedges, Jr. Subsequent owners: Albert L. Hedges, Abram E. Hedges. Present owner: Mrs. John D. Flannery (Bessie Miller Hedges).

Black and white photograph of a silent clock gear system.
230 D
p. [313]

231 (Not illustrated)

Timepiece

Its pine case and dial, flat-topped hood, and oval knob on the door of the case relate this clock to a timepiece owned by Stanley MacConnell in New Hampshire (see No. 234). The present clock has a dark-brown stain and varnish decorating its case. The lead pendulum is stamped FD (script) in a circle. Of all the Dominy clocks examined by the author this was the only example not in running order. All parts were operable, however; once cleaned and set in order, it could resume its function.

This clock was made for Elisha Osborn, Jr., in 1817 at a cost of £6 ($15).71

Description Height, 73¾; width, 12⅝; depth, 7½. Pine case, backboard, and seat board; pine dial painted black and white; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, and pivots; lead pendulum; cast-iron weight. Made by Felix Dominy in 1817 for Elisha Osborn, Jr. Subsequent owners: Thomas Osborn VII, Oliver Sayre Osborn. Present owner: Leroy Hedges Osborn.

232 (Not illustrated)

Silent Clock

Family history maintains that Felix Dominy made this clock for Mulford Parsons in 1817. A manuscript bill held by the present owners records Mulford Parsons's statement, "December 29th 1817 our timepiece was / set up that cost me 25 dollars first cost / and 25 cents for setting up." Some confusion, however, enters the picture. Either Mr. Parsons wrote his bill at a later date—and with failing memory—or Felix Dominy was a poor bookkeeper. Felix's accounts record "Novr 1818 Mulford Parsons To Timepiece 25.00."72

Other than missing bracket feet, a split in the case, and a broken crest, this clock is almost identical to that shown as Number 230. The hour and minute hands are different and resemble the templates shown in the tool catalogue as Number 164. The lead pendulum is stamped FD in both block letters and script. A dark reddish-brown stain was used on the case.

Description Height, 81⅛; width, 14¼; depth, 8 11/16. Pine case, backboard, and seat board; pine dial painted black and white; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; lead pendulum; cast-iron weight. Made by Felix Dominy in 1817–1818 for Mulford Parsons (1786–1841). Subsequent owners: Redfield Parsons, Deacon Sineus C.M. Talmage, Baldwin Cook Talmage, Lawrence Stanley Talmage. Present owner: Richard T. Talmage.

233

One-Stroke Clock

This clock is illustrated because it is so representative of the enigmas encountered by researchers probing the activity of eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century families of craftsmen. In this instance the clock's history supplied by the present owner states that it was made for Jeremiah Bennett and eventually inherited by a direct descendant, Dr. William Watson Bennett. Nathaniel Dominy IV's accounts indicate that a "one Stroke Clock" was made for Jeremiah Bennett, Jr., in 1807 at a cost of £10 16s.73

Early investigation led the writer to believe that it was the one made for Jeremiah Bennett. When the whole group was assembled and analyzed, however, it became apparent that this clock was made by Felix Dominy and so could not have been made in 1807, The domed portion of the face bears the name N.DOMINY, but the dial has been repainted and it is possible that the dial carried no name originally.

In a letter of December 1, 1998, from Richard A. Bennett, Fort Worth, Texas to Dorothy T. King, Librarian, Long Island Collection, East Hampton Free Library, he stated that his father, Newton L. Bennett, duplicated a Dominy clock case into which Ross Fanning installed the works, face, and weights. Richard Bennett also stated that someone wanted a Dominy grandfather/hall clock but couldn’t find one available. That ‘someone’ likely was Dr. W.W. Bennett from whom Mrs. William Gaylor obtained this clock.

The movement, however, more than any other feature, indicates that the clockworks were made by Felix Dominy. Even if his initials were not stamped on one arm of the front plate, the absence of brass connecting these arms would identify it as his product. In the photograph of the movement the hour p. [314]

Black and white photograph of a one-stroke clock.
233
wheel has been removed from its shaft and rests on the seat board. This was done in order to show the strike wheel, normally hidden, with the single pin which trips the hammer lever once each hour to sound "one stroke" from the bell. The striking mechanism and the position of the bell supported by a twisted shaft are not designs used by Nathaniel IV. It is quite evident, then, that this clock must have been made by Felix Dominy for someone other than Jeremiah Bennett.74

Description Height, 85¼; width, 14⅛; depth, 8 13/16. Pine case, backboard, and seat board; sheet-iron dial painted black and white (repainted); brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; lead pendulum; cast-iron weight. Clockworks by Felix Dominy. Reproduction case by Newton L. Bennett. Previous owners: descended in Bennett family to Dr. W.W. Bennett. Purchased by Mrs. William Gaylor, Sag Harbor, New York. Present owner: Miss Catherine MacVeady (purchased in 1942).

Black and white photograph of the base of a one-stroke clock.
233 A
p. [315]
Black and white photograph of a one-stroke clock gear system.
233 B

234 (Not illustrated)

Timepiece

This clock, now owned in New Hampshire, is Felix Dominy's version of the timepieces made by his grandfather about 1788 and 1789 (Nos. 208, 209). Like those clocks, no winding arbor from the weight barrel or keyhole is provided. The plates, however, are characteristic of Felix Dominy's work and resemble those illustrated as Number 230.

It is entirely possible that in 1821, Felix Dominy refitted his new clockworks into an earlier case made by his father, Nathaniel V. Felix made a timepiece for Matthew T. Huntting in 1821. His account book entry for that timepiece was for the sum of $8.00, much less than the usual charge for a timepiece. The account book entry notes that the clock was to be paid for in six months. $8.00, therefore, was probably a deposit with the balance to be paid later.

Its pine case, stained red with a flat-topped hood, is largely similar to Nathaniel Dominy IV's except for an oval wood knob on the long rectangular door. One of Felix Dominy's watch papers (Illus. XXXIII) has been tacked to the inside rear of the case. It is not original but was placed there by one of this clock's owners. Repair or cleaning inscriptions on the case door read: P.Pratt / Sag Harbor / Nov. 17th 1851 (script); C. H. Pratt / 4 (undecipherable) / N. York / Jan. 17th 1870 (script); P. Woolworth, Apr. 84 / Nov. 99 (script).

Description Height, 79¾; width, 12 7/16; depth, 7¼. Pine case, backboard, and seat board; pine dial painted black on white; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, pivots, and arbors; iron hand (batwing type); lead pendulum, weight, and counterweight. Made by Felix Dominy. Previous owner: Frederick Selchow, Stanley MacConnell, Herschel B. Burt. Present owner: probably Warren H. Haber.

235 (Not illustrated)

"One-Stroke" Timepiece with a Bell

This clock's pine case has been stained a dark reddish-brown and varnished. In that respect it resembles the finish of several Dominy clocks, but the cresting atop its hood is unique. A broken arch with pointed inner ends has an urn and a diamond at its center. The design creates a heart-shaped void effect. The cresting perches at the center of a dome-shaped hood.

One of Felix Dominy's watch papers (Illus. XXXIII), pasted on the inside surface of the case door, was probably applied at a later date to indicate which Dominy had made the clock. It was not Felix's custom to place a watch-paper label in the cases of his clocks. The writer was unable to examine the movement of this clock. The bell-ringing p. [316] pattern (one stroke for each hour) was described by the present owner.

Description Height, 87; width, 12½; depth, 7⅝. Pine case; pine dial painted black and white; steel hour and minute hands; lead pendulum; cast-iron weight. Made by Felix Dominy. Previous owners: Jeremiah Huntting, J. Edward Huntting, William A. Lockwood. Present owner: East Hampton Free Library.

236

Silent Clock

Clockcases made in the 1820's by Nathaniel V suddenly show a burst of fancy in an elaborate sawed cresting atop the pediment of the hood. The rest of the case, including the base seen in the detail view, shows no departure from previous designs, but the cresting on this and another surviving example (No. 239) conjure up pictures of dolphins and whales frolicking among ocean waves. An abstract picture, perhaps, but one altogether fitting for a community allied closely to marine pursuits.

Felix Dominy here changed his usual design—painted on wood dials—enclosing Arabic numerals within two painted rings and using a painted black lozenge to help mark the hours. The hands are unlike any used by the Dominys and are probably replacements for the originals. In addition to the date 1824 stamped in the domed portion of the face, the back of the dial is also marked with Felix Dominy / 1824 (script).

Several features of Felix's work are shown in the photograph of the movement with the dial attached to the front plate. The thickness of the wooden cherry dial, compared to the usual dimension of metal dials, is readily apparent. It is also obvious that Felix retained the wide pallets on the anchor escapement— a method much favored by the Dominy clockmakers. At the rear of the movement is a clear view of the long crutch, pendulum suspension spring, and balance-cock mechanism used by the Dominys.

Inscribed on back of the pendulum case door is the name Everett H. Osborne (script) followed by a notation presumably about the town in which he lived, Center Moriches, and the date when he inherited the clock, 9/25.'81. It has been impossible to place this member of the Osborn family in the

Black and white photograph of a silent clock.
236
p. [317]
Black and white photograph of the base of a silent clock.
236 A
Black and white photograph of a silent clock.
236 B
genealogy published in East Hampton History.75 Significantly, however, the last clock entered in Dominy accounts is a "timepiece" for which "Jonathan Osborn 3rd" was billed $25 on October 8, 1825.76 It is quite likely that the clock listed in the ledger is the one illustrated here.

Description Height, 86 7/16; width, 14¼; depth, 7½. Pine case, backboard, and seat board; cherry dial painted black and white; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; lead pendulum; cast-iron weights. Made by Felix Dominy in 1824–1825, probably for Jonathan Osborn 3rd. Subsequent owners: Everett H. Osborne, Center Moriches; Leslie Loper (purchased from Osborn House, Moriches, New York). Present owner: Mrs. George P. Morse.

Black and white photograph of a silent clock gear system.
236 C
p. [318]

237 (Not illustrated)

Silent Clock

A clock with hour and minute hands, but minus a striking mechanism, bridges the gap between silent clocks made in 1817 and 1827 by Felix Dominy. The dial and hands are identical with those of Number 230 except for a painted crest similar—but not identical with—the decoration at the top of the dial on Number 239. The differences are seen in the substitution of a flame and a loop for an hourglass and a globe.

At the top of the hood is a series of cone shapes, one large pointed cone flanked by two smaller ones, forming a crest. The door in front of the case has a mortise lock and on the inside surface of the door are penciled inscriptions indicating cleaning or repairing dates: August 4, 1842 (script) by Josiah Green (script) and by Robert Woolworth (script) on Dec. 2 1873 (script).

Description Height, 85; width, 14⅛; depth, 7⅛. Cherry case; pine backboard and seat board; cherry dial painted black, white, and gilt; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; lead pendulum and weight. Made by Felix Dominy, probably for Sylvanus Strong (1792–1873). Subsequent owners: John Strong, Mrs. Henry Morgan Topping (Mary Emily Strong). Present owners: Mr. and Mrs. Henry Stewart Topping.

238 (Not illustrated)

Silent Clock

The case and the dial, in this instance, are identical with those of Number 239. A modern stepped-molding base has been substituted for the original bracket feet and arched molding board usually applied to the cases of Dominy clocks of this type. Constructing the case of pine, Nathaniel Dominy V applied black stain and varnish to hide the unmistakable grain of that wood. Felix's name is stamped with individual letters on a brass weight pulley and DOMINY in a serrated rectangle is stamped three times on this clock's lead weight. The date 1827 is also stamped on the weight.

Description Height, 76 1/1; width, 13⅞; depth, 7⅞. Pine case, backboard, and seat board; cherry dial painted black, white, and yellow; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; lead pendulum and weight. Made by Felix Dominy in 1827, probably for Elisha Hedges Conklin, (1797–1840). Subsequent owners: George Washington Conklin, Henry G. Conklin. Present owner: Mrs. Russell Simons (Maria Louise Conklin).

239

Silent Clock

While this clock is not documented in Dominy records, examination of its components demonstrates conclusively that it was made in their woodworking and clock shops. The case has its old dark reddish-brown stain and its base, pendulum case, and hood are by now comfortably familiar. Although the sawed pediment cresting is slightly different from that of Number 236, it is close enough to be obviously related. Moreover, elements seen on this cresting derive from surviving patterns in the Dominy Tool Collection (No. 53H).

Black and white photograph of a cresting pattern.
[53 H]

Felix embellished the dial of this clock with painted volute-and-leaf spandrels. In an obvious reference to the importance of time, an hourglass was placed atop a flattened lozenge over a representation of a globe. Patterns for the hour and minute hands also survive as additional evidence for attribution to one of the Dominys (No. 164). On the back of the dial the best possible evidence is visible in the form of the clockmaker's signature, F. Dominy (script), and the date of manufacture 1827. The dial was finished before the lead pendulum bob, which is dated 1828 and stamped with Nathaniel V's die, DOMINY in a serrated rectangle. The brass pulley wheel for the weight is stamped with Felix's initials, FD. There are no p. [319]

Black and white photograph of a silent clock.
239
Black and white photograph of a silent clock.
239 A
Black and white photograph of Felix Dominy's signature and date on a silent clock.
239 B
p. [320]
Black and white photograph of a silent clock pendulum.
239 C
Black and white photograph of a silent clock gear system.
239 D
surprises in the movement design (which Felix had been using for almost eleven years).

A direct line of descent for this clock can be traced back to George Alexander Osborn (1824–1899), but this clock could not have been made for him in 1827 because at that time he was only three years old. He was the only child of Harvey (1789–1858) and Mary Osborn; and it is likely, therefore, that the clock was originally made for Harvey Osborn.77 This suggestion was supported by David E. Mulford, June 17, 2011, in an e-mail message to the author. He stated that the clock was made for Harvey Osborn (1789–1858) who married Mary Fithian in 1822.

Description Height, 85 11/16; width, 14; depth, 7 13/16. Pine case, backboard, and seat board; cherry dial painted black, white, and yellow; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; lead pendulum; cast-iron weight. Made by Felix Dominy in 1827 for Harvey Osborn. Subsequent owners: George Alexander Osborn, Elizabeth Osborn Mulford, David Green Mulford, Miss Florence Mulford. Present owner: David E. Mulford.

p. [321]

240

One-Stroke Clock

Black and white photograph of a one-stroke clock.
240

The case of this clock is identical to one made by Nathaniel V in 1824 (No. 236) except for the use here of a round wood knob and latch on the pendulum case door. Even the pediment cresting is the same, although it is partially broken.

In the dome section of the wood dial are painted scrolls and an hourglass like those used on another clock made in 1828. The spandrels, however, are only outlined. Felix Dominy stamped his initials on the weight and recorded its twelve-pound weight by scratching the Roman numeral XII on its surface. It will be recalled that the Dominys recommended the use of a twelve- to fourteen-pound weight for their clock movements (see No. 220). The date 1828 is stamped on the lead pendulum bob and Nathaniel V's die, DOMINY in a serrated rectangle, was also pressed into the lead.

In making this clock Felix used the same plate design that supported Nathaniel IV's wheel trains. Perhaps experience had taught him that the projecting arms were weakened by removing the connecting portion. It is also possible that he found it necessary to have a complete curved arm when the bell was supported at the side.

This clock and Number 239 are the latest dated examples that have come to the attention of the writer. Felix Dominy did not leave East Hampton until 1835, and it would seem improbable that he made no clocks for a period of seven years. On the other hand, it was in 1828 that Sarah Nicoll, of Islip, New York, canceled an order for a clock by telling Felix that her friends thought it "a piece of folly" to have him make an expensive clock for her (see Chapter V).78

Description Height, 84; width, 12⅝; depth, 6⅞. Pine case, backboard, and seat board, case stained with original dark reddish-brown color; pine dial painted black, white, and yellow; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, pivots, and hands; lead pendulum; cast-iron and lead weight. Made by Felix Dominy in 1828 for Benjamin Miller (6) (1750–1833) of Springy Banks. Subsequent owners: Isaac Barnes Miller (7) (1787–1870), son of Benjamin Miller; S. Hedges Miller (8) (1814-1888), adopted son of Isaac Barnes Miller; Harriet Elizabeth Miller (9) daughter of S. Hedges Miller, who married David H. Huntting, 1871; Bessie E. Huntting, their daughter, who married Raymond A. Smith, Sr. Present owner: East Hampton Historical Society, accession 87.11, gift of Lila Smith Odell.

p. [322]
Black and white photograph of a one-stroke clock.
240 A
Black and white photograph of a one-stroke clock pendulum.
240 B
Black and white photograph of a one-stroke clock gear system.
240 C

241 (Not illustrated)

Silent Clock

This case is like other cases for silent clocks made by the Dominys (No. 223) except for the absence of ornamentation atop the hood. A black stain and varnish on the pine case is original. Its wood dial has been replaced and its works, unmistakably Dominy, have been altered at least once. The clock's lead pendulum is stamped 1828 on one side and DOMINY in a serrated rectangle on the other.

Description Height, 79⅝; width, 13⅞; depth, 7¾. Pine case, backboard, and seat board; brass plates and wheels; steel escapement, arbors, and pivots; lead pendulum; cast-iron weight. Made by Felix Dominy in 1828, possibly for Jeremiah Dayton VI (1783–1867). Present owner: Mrs. Lawrence La Pointe, who inherited the clock from her great-uncle, Jeremiah Dayton VII (1818–1906).

p. [323]

DESKS

242

Desk

Black and white photograph of a desk.
242

John Lyon Gardiner, seventh proprietor of Gardiner's Island and a contemporary of Nathaniel Dominy V (they were both born in 1770), was one of the craftsmen's best patrons and several objects made for him by the Dominys have survived (Nos. 210, 244, 245, 249).

This desk is well documented. The back of the upper left-hand drawer in the lower section bears a pencil inscription which reads Nathaniel Domine Junr fecit Jany-1802 – / For John Lyon Gardiner Esqr – Price 27 $ – 50 cts (script). In Nathaniel V's ledger an entry made on January 15, 1802, billed John Lyon Gardiner £11 for a "desk."79 Moreover, the template used to produce the bracket feet which support the desk (No. 53F) has survived in the tool collection at the Winterthur Museum.

Six desks are recorded in Dominy accounts. Two were made by Nathaniel IV in 1770 and 1771. The other four were made by his son, Nathaniel V, in 1802, 1810, and 1811. Relevant to this desk is the record of another example, made for Mulford Hand in June, 1802; it also cost £11 and was described as being made of "mahoggany."80

The surface of this desk is almost undecorated. A strip of ogee molding is applied to the base and each of the drawer edges is finished with a slight thumbnail molding. On the drawer fronts are the original post-and-bail handles with circular backplates. The absence of sliding rests for the fall-front lid is explained when the lid is opened. It is supported by iron rods and chain links, a construction technique used on another case piece made by Nathaniel V (see No. 245).

The desk's interior is also plain. Its starkness is relieved only by the valance inserts in the letter p. [324]

Black and white photograph of an inscription on a desk.
242 A
Black and white photograph of a desk foot.
242 B
Black and white photograph of a bracket foot pattern.
[53 F]
Black and white photograph of a desk.
242 C
holes, a double-bead molding on the edge of the vertical dividers (see No. 244), and the brass ring-and-screw drawer pulls.

Description Height, 41; width, 37¼; depth, 19⅞. Mahogany desk; white-pine drawer sides and bottoms (large drawers); cherry drawer sides and bottoms (small drawers); all microanalysis. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1802 for John Lyon Gardiner. Subsequent owners: Mrs. John Lyon (Sarah) Gardiner; Samuel Buell Gardiner, John Lyon Gardiner IX, Lion Gardiner. Present owner: Winthrop Gardiner, Sr.

p. [325]

243

Desk and Bookcase

Family history and certain construction features of this desk attest to its manufacture by Nathaniel Dominy V. The present owner is a direct descendant and has personal knowledge of the desk's presence in the Dominy house at East Hampton. A template in the Dominy Tool Collection (No. 53F) is the obvious pattern for the bracket feet used on this desk and other case pieces made by Nathaniel V (Nos. 242, 245). Double-bead molding across the front of the bookcase section's shelves is also used to decorate the interiors of other desks made by him. Elongated cyma-recta and cyma-reversa curves used to shape the dividers of this piece indicate that the cabinetmaker was simulating the same decorative pattern used on a desk and bookcase made for John Lyon Gardiner (No. 244). Family tradition credits the making of this desk to Nathaniel Dominy IV, but its resemblance to cabinetwork produced by his son, Nathaniel V, makes the latter a more likely candidate.

Two alterations have changed the appearance of this piece. Originally the bookcase doors consisted of large, individual recessed panels outlined by heavy quarter-round molding. In an effort to repair large cracks in the panels, stiles and rails were apparently added in this century as reinforcement. A heavy rail with a molded edge was tacked to the front edge of the bottom of the bookcase section probably at the same time.

The brass escutcheons and bail handle pulls on the drawer fronts of the desk section are original. As on other case furniture made by Nathaniel V, a slight thumbnail molding finishes the edges of these drawers and the same molding decorates the edges of the fall-front lid. The present owner has gradually removed some of the black paint covering the cherry surface, accounting for the light drawer fronts in the illustration.

A number of clues to the finishes which the Dominy craftsmen applied to cabinetwork appear in their accounts. Their finishes and those described by Mills Brown, a former member of the Colonial Williamsburg research staff, in his booklet, The Cabinetmaker in Eighteenth-Century Williamsburg, are similar. Brown relates that most eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century cabinetmakers finished their pieces with "beeswax melted and mixed with turpentine, linseed oil thinned with turpentine,"

Black and white photograph of a desk and bookcase.
243
p. [326]
Black and white photograph of a desk and bookcase.
243 A
Black and white photograph of a desk and bookcase.
243 B
Black and white photograph of a desk and bookcase.
243 C
Black and white photograph of a desk and bookcase.
243 D
p. [327] and "oil and spirit varnishes." Oil varnishes were made by dissolving a natural resin in hot oil and thinning it with turpentine. Spirit varnish was prepared from shell, seed, or stick lac dissolved in alcohol. Pulverized chalk was sometimes used to fill the pores of coarse-grained woods.81 From 1765 to 1818 Dominy accounts list purchases of "linseed oil, Rosin, Coperas, bees-wax, chalk, Varnish, Lacker, White lead, red lead, Lamp Black, [and] Spanish Brown."82 The Dominys painted much of their furniture, especially clockcases, as the last four items on the purchase list attest.

The interior of the desk section of this bookcase is quite plain and contains a number of cabinetmaking tricks. A sliding panel in front of the drawers gives access to a hidden well. At the center is a locked door which pivots on pintle hinges at its base and falls forward when unlocked. Behind it is a series of three drawers, one of which conceals a secret drawer at the rear. The lower left- and right-hand drawers also contain secret drawers. Four more drawers are located in the lower part of the bookcase. Above them dividers provide space for eight large ledgers. Sixteen compartments in the top section gave ample storage for bills, receipts, and correspondence. This desk and bookcase was apparently designed to handle the needs of a flourishing business.

It is unfortunate that another Dominy family desk and bookcase could not be included in this book. At the completion of this study, Robert Palmiter, of Bouckville, New York, made known to the author the existence of a handsome cherry and tulipwood desk and bookcase owned originally by Henry Dominy. Its over-all appearance is similar to the piece illustrated here, but details are quite different. The bookcase doors have fielded panels. Herringbone inlay outlines its doors, door panels, drawer fronts, and lid. Scalloped valances decorate the interior compartments of both sections of the piece, and early engraved escutcheons survive on a drawer and on the doors. Its feet—and a section of the cornice—have been replaced. The desk and a brass clock made by Nathaniel Dominy IV (see No. 216) are listed in the inventory of Henry Dominy's estate taken in 1817.83

Henry Dominy was the younger brother of Nathaniel IV who moved to Beekmantown, New York, in 1796. The desk and bookcase was already considered "old" in that year because it was so described by Nathaniel V when he billed his uncle 12 shillings for its repair.84

Description Height, 77¾; width, 36; depth, 20⅛. Cherry desk and bookcase; pine drawer bottoms, sides, and dividers. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V for family use. Subsequent owners: Nathaniel Dominy VII, Jeremiah Miller Dominy, W. Tyson Dominy. Present owner: Val Jacobsen (dealer)

244

Desk and Bookcase

On May 5, 1800, Nathaniel Dominy V billed John Lyon Gardiner £20 8s. for making a "desk-bookcase" and for carting it to Fireplace, just opposite Gardiner's Island. There it was undoubtedly loaded aboard a sloop and carried over the water to the island. The present owner inherited the desk about 1933 and brought it back to the mainland village where it was originally made.

This was probably the most ambitious piece of furniture produced by Nathaniel V, and it is certainly the costliest listed in the Dominy account books. Much of the cost involved the making of its thirteen drawers. Its manufacturing time, about twenty days, is discussed in Chapter V.

The bonnet top has a broken-arch pediment whose curved strips of applied molding are made in six sections: one at each side and two flanking the center finial at the front. The finial was thought to be a replacement, but a similar form was used by the cabinetmaker as a drop under the shaft of a candlestand (see No. 250). Fielded panels under the pediment repeat its shape in a technique quite similar to that of Rhode Island cabinetmakers. Robert Gardiner, current proprietor of Gardiner's Island, owns a handsome Rhode Island high chest of drawers that once belonged to John Lyon Gardiner. The pediment of the Dominy desk may have been copied from that piece.

This piece is a curious mixture of sophistication and naïveté. The bookcase doors, for example, are fielded and surrounded by a decorative thumbnail molding. But the same molding in a smaller size, used for the edges of the drawers and fall-front lid, is barely visible. Another indication of unusual quality, however, is seen in the sliding shelves for candles provided by the cabinetmaker. A detail that shows careful planning on Nathaniel V's part is the p. [328]

Black and white photograph of a desk and bookcase.
244
p. [329]
Black and white photograph of a desk and bookcase.
244 A
Black and white photograph of a desk and bookcase.
244 B
Black and white photograph of a desk and bookcase.
244 C
p. [330]
Black and white photograph of a desk and bookcase.
244 D
use of a nicely shaped bracket applied to the rear of the desk. This enabled the piece to be pushed flush against a chair rail so that both bookcase and desk fit snugly against the wall.

Shaped dividers and arched valances provide relief for the plain interior of both sections. The long oval arch with a horizontal break at the top, used for the left and right valances of the desk, is a design used on molding brackets applied to the bases of Dominy clocks (No. 198). All but one of the cyma-curved dividers in the bookcase section are missing. Similar examples can be seen on another desk and bookcase made by Nathaniel V (No. 243). The small wooden catch between the candle shelves is a replacement, as are the bracket feet supporting the piece.

Description Height, 87¼; width, 37¾; depth, 20⅝. Maple desk; cherry drawer sides; white-pine drawer bottoms and backboards. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1800 for John Lyon Gardiner. Subsequent owners: Mrs. John Lyon (Sarah) Gardiner, Samuel Buell Gardiner, John Lyon Gardiner IX, Lion Gardiner, Jonathan Thompson Gardiner, Winthrop Gardiner, Jr. Present owner: Winterthur Museum (Accession 92.66).

245

Desk and Bookcase

This piece of furniture is assigned to Nathaniel Dominy V on the basis of three construction features. The reader is certainly familiar by now with the distinctive bracket foot which was used on other case pieces by this craftsman (Nos. 242, 243) and for which a template has survived in the Dominy Tool Collection. The feet on this piece have been cut down at some time in the past.

Hand-wrought iron rods and chain links act as hinges and supports for the fall-front lid. The same rods and links were used on a desk by Nathaniel Dominy V for John Lyon Gardiner in 1802 (No. 242); apparently he was the only craftsman to employ them. Visible through the glass panes of the bookcase section are three shelves, each bearing a small bead on its front edge. The same bead decorates the pilasters of some Dominy clockcases (Nos. 217, 220). No documentation exists for this desk and bookcase, but there is no doubt in the writer's opinion that it was made by Nathaniel V, probably for John Lyon Gardiner. The present owner has inherited three other examples of Dominy craftsmanship (Nos. 210, 242, 249).

p. [331]
Black and white photograph of a desk and bookcase.
245
p. [332]
Black and white photograph of a desk and bookcase.
245 A

The pierced brass lockplates appear to be original, but the glass panes in the bookcase doors have been replaced. According to its owner, a pierced gallery—now missing—rested on top of the bookcase. Line inlay and dark mahogany veneer ornament a door at the center of the interior. They are the only examples of the use of this decorative technique by Nathaniel V known to the writer. Behind this door is one small drawer. Ivory or bone inlay surrounds the keyhole.

Description Height, 85; width, 48⅝; depth, 19¼. Mahogany desk and bookcase, shelves, drawer fronts; white-pine drawer sides and bottoms. Probably made by Nathaniel Dominy V, for John Lyon Gardiner. Subsequent owners: Mrs. John Lyon (Sarah) Gardiner, John Griswold Gardiner, Samuel Buell Gardiner, David Johnson Gardiner. Present owner: Winthrop Gardiner, Sr.

PITCH PIPE

246

The Dominys' interest in music is substantiated by this mahogany pitch pipe. It was made by Nathaniel Dominy V, who stamped his last name, DOMINY, in a serrated rectangle, and the date 1803 on the front of the slide at the left of the illustration. A simple instrument, it is basically a rectangular sounding box with chamfered edges. A projection for the lips at one end contains a whistle opening, and a rectangular sliding frame with a channel on its top holds paper on which notes of the musical scale are written in ink. A concave finger grip moves the frame easily in and out of the sounding box.

Description Height, 2⅞; width, 1; length, 6⅜. Mahogany, paper, and ink. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1803 for James Terry, 0-8-0. Subsequent owners: Nathaniel Dominy VII, Charles M. Dominy, Gustav H. Buek. Present owner: "Home Sweet Home."

Black and white photograph of a pitch pipe.
246
p. [333]

STANDS

247

Stand

Black and white photograph of a stand.
247
Black and white photograph of a stand with the top tilted.
247 A

The only evidence regarding the maker of this tilt-top stand is the fact that the legs and feet were produced with the aid of a matching template that has survived (No. 54E). This leg was used frequently by Nathaniel V on his stands. The construction of the tilt top—pintles from the rectangular block into the adjoining braces—is the same as that used on the tea table made for his own family in 1796 (No. 255) and similar to that on a tripod-base table with an oval top owned by "Home Sweet Home" in East Hampton. Both of those tables, however, have brass latches and catches. There is no evidence that this stand ever had a latch, which is proof that a candlestick or other very light object was intended to be set on its top. Anything heavier would have caused the top to tilt unexpectedly. All of the surviving tea tables and stands with circular tops are dished.

Description Diameter, 17½; height, 25⅛. Cherry. Probably made by Nathaniel Dominy V. Present owner: Mrs. Alice Extance (purchased by her husband in Sag Harbor about 1920).

Black and white photograph of a template for tilt-top stand legs and feet.
[54 E]
p. [334]

248

Stand

Black and white photograph of a stand.
248

The stands made by Nathaniel Dominy V from about 1790 to 1810 or 1815 have a certain quality of sameness. This judgment seems truest when the pieces are separated and only a general memory of the design of the stands is retained. When brought together in a group, however, differences in design are at once apparent. The legs and feet may be the same—for example, the template used on so many other candlestands was also employed here—but the baluster-shaped pedestal has its own unique combination of ring, spool, and disc turnings. At some time in this century the top split and a rectangular brace underneath was replaced. Metal braces were also used to pull the three separate pieces of the top together in a tight joint.

Family history says that this stand was originally made for General Jeremiah Miller. This is a distict possibility since on December 20, 1796, Nathaniel V billed Jeremiah Miller, Jr., £1 4s. for "2 Stands @ 12/."85 Twelve shillings was the usual price charged for a cherry stand.

Description Diameter, 16¼; height, 24⅝.

Black and white photograph of a stand's legs.
248 A
Maple legs and pedestal; cherry top. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V about 1796, probably for General Jeremiah Miller. Subsequent owners: Mrs. Jeremiah Miller (Phebe Baker), Mrs. Edward M. Baker VII (Rosalie Miller), Edward Mulford Baker VIII, Mrs. John Young Strong (Fanny Miller Baker). Present owner: Edward Mulford Baker Strong.

249

Stand

This mahogany stand was brought to the mainland from Gardiner's Island by the present owner in 1936. It is undoubtedly the "stand" made for John Lyon Gardiner for which he was billed £1 by Nathaniel V on March 30, 1799. Another stand, made for the same purchaser in 1809, was made of "cherry" and it cost only 12 shillings.86 Intriguingly, the piece illustrated cost 4 shillings more than another almost identical mahogany stand made in 1800 for Huntting Miller.87 The difference may have stemmed from the size. The diameter of the top is slightly larger than that of other surviving candlestands and could account for the additional charge. The stand is certainly plain enough and its decoration would not have warranted the additional cost.

Its legs and feet are a familiar pattern taken from p. [335]

Black and white photograph of a stand.
249
the template shown as Number 54E. A slight incised line marks the upper limit of the leg joint on the bottom of the pedestal. The baluster-shaped column has a turned spool below and a ring above. An oak brace, screwed to the top, is a replacement for the original, which was probably mahogany. The rim of the dished top is decorated with an incised line and concave molding.

Description Diameter, 18½; height, 25⅛. Mahogany (microanalysis); oak brace (replacement). Made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1799 for John Lyon Gardiner. Subsequent owners: Mrs. John Lyon (Sarah) Gardiner, David Johnson Gardiner, John Griswold Gardiner, Samuel Buell Gardiner, John Lyon Gardiner, Lion Gardiner. Present owner: Winthrop Gardiner, Sr.

250

Stand

In the discussion of chairs made by Nathaniel

Black and white photograph of a stand.
250
Dominy V, it has been noted that much of his turned work bore a surface resemblance to late-seventeenth- and early-eighteenth-century design. Analysis of individual parts makes it evident that the pieces were made in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. This candlestand illustrates the point. A glance at the table, with its turned drop under the pedestal, vase-and-baluster-turned shaft, and bold disc, spool, and ring turnings, leaves the impression of an early-eighteenth-century table.

The legs were outlined from a template surviving in the Dominy Tool Collection (No. 54C). This pattern was made by Nathaniel V and, as recorded in Chapter V, the earliest stand listed in his records was made in 1789. Moreover, the drop bears some resemblance to the turned finial used on the desk and bookcase made for John Lyon Gardiner in 1800 (No. 244). It is a curious table, not nearly as pleasing aesthetically as Nathaniel V's other candlestands. The vase- or teardrop-shaped turning at the center of the pedestal resembles those found on spider-leg candlestands made by this craftsman from about 1810 to 1830 (Nos. 251A, B). It is possible, of course, that this stand was ordered by one of the cabinetmaker's patrons who wanted a piece resembling an older one that was beyond repair.

According to the present owner, this stand was made for General Jeremiah Miller (see No. 248). It p. [336]

Black and white photograph of a stand's legs.
250 A
has already been demonstrated, however, that the stands made for him were produced in 1796, and it is the writer's opinion that this piece was made after 1800. In July, 1811, Timothy Miller was billed 10 shillings for a stand, and on May 26, 1812, Joel Miller was charged the same amount for a candlestand.
Black and white photograph of a pattern for a stand leg template.
[54C]
It is probable, however, that the stand came to be owned by General Miller through his marriage in 1798 to Phebe Baker, daughter of Thomas Baker. Nathaniel Dominy V made at least six stands for Baker, in the years 1795, 1799, 1807, 1809, and 1813.88 The inventory of Thomas Baker’s estate, 1825, lists ‘2 Stands’ valued at $1.00. Phebe Baker Miller's youngest daughter, Rosalie, was the great-grandmother of the present owner.

Description Diameter, 15⅛; height, 25⅝. Maple legs and pedestal; cherry top. Traces of original black stain still visible on this piece. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V, about 1800 to 1815, probably for Thomas Baker. Subsequent owners: Mrs. Jeremiah Miller (Phebe Baker), Mrs. Edward M. Baker VII (Rosalie Miller), Edward Mulford Baker VIII, Mrs. John Young Strong (Fanny Miller Baker). Present owner: Edward Mulford Baker Strong.

251

Stands

In households from Amagansett to Southampton, New York, there are a number of tripod-base stands that share the same type of so-called spider leg and rectangular top with curved or "swept" corners. The legs of the seven candlestands illustrated match a template that has survived in the Dominy Tool Collection (No. 54D) and presumably were made by Nathaniel V with its assistance.

According to his accounts, Nathaniel V made a total of twenty-nine stands between 1810 and 1833, an average of slightly more than one a year. One of the few frustrating aspects of research on the Dominys was the vagueness of the histories supplied by the present owners of these stands. That circumstance has prevented linking the stands with specific entries in Dominy records. The type of leg used on these candlestands did not become popular with American cabinetmakers until about 1800. Considering the conservative nature of East Hampton's residents and the obvious stylistic lag demonstrated on furniture made by the Dominys, it is not likely that any of the stands illustrated were made before 1810 or 1815.

While the stands appear outwardly to be quite similar, they illustrate once again the Dominys' ability to play upon a theme with infinite variety. The bottom edge of all the pedestals except A and E was notched with a chisel to give a saw-tooth effect. The lower edge of A's pedestal is plain, while E's has been given a single deep notch between its legs. The turned pedestals gave Nathaniel V his greatest opportunity for creativity. Compare, for example, the bulbous vase-shaped turning on A and B, the Doric column on C and D, and the tapered trumpet-shaped turning on E, F, and G. By changing the position of spool, ring, and disc turnings, he produced a recognizable, comfortable form for his customers and still maintained individuality for the piece.

A note of caution to the reader must be inserted here. The arrangement of the stands indicates the writer's belief that there is some progression of design from early stands to later ones. This is based upon stylistic evidence only. Stands F and G have heavy turnings of the type that are expected on furniture produced in the Empire period. Because no direct connection has been made tying these pieces to Dominy accounts, there is no real proof p. [337]

Black and white photograph of a stand.
251 A
Black and white photograph of a stand.
251 B
Black and white photograph of a stand.
251 C
Black and white photograph of a stand's legs.
251 C detail
Black and white photograph of a template for stand legs.
[54 D]
p. [338]
Black and white photograph of a stand.
251 D
p. [339]
Black and white photograph of a stand.
251 E
Black and white photograph of a stand.
251 F
Black and white photograph of a stand.
251 G
that, for example, G was made later than A.

Description A: Height, 27¾; top width, 18; width (across feet), 17½. Cherry. History of continuous ownership in the Schellinger family. Present owner: George V. Schellinger. B: Height, 27⅛; top width, 16⅞; width (across feet), 19⅛. Maple. Purchased in East Hampton by Dr. William Efner Wheelock in the 1890's. Present owner: John Hall Wheelock. C: Height, 27¾; top width, 20 7/16. Maple. Present owner: The Southhampton Colonial Society, Halsey House. D: Height, 27¼; top width, 18 5/16; width (across feet), 18⅜. Mahogany. History of ownership in the Thomas Talmage family. Present owner: Edward Mulford Baker Strong. E: Height, 28⅛; top width, 19 9/16; pedestal diameter, 3½. Cherry. History of ownership in the Strong and Halsey families. Present owner: Private individual. F: Height, 25⅞; top width, 18 3/16; width (across feet), 19½. Maple with mahogany top (probably replaced). Purchased by Gustav Buek from the Parsons family. Inscribed under top is J. H. Parsons 1865 (script) and modern initials JKP. Present owner: "Home Sweet Home." G: Height, 28⅛; top width, 19⅜; width (across feet) 19½. Cherry or mahogany. Descended in Edwards family. Previous owners: Charles Porter Edwards, Charles F. Edwards. Present owner: Mrs. Charles F. Edwards. All probably made by Nathaniel Dominy V.

p. [340]

SWIFT

252

Black and white photograph of a swift.
252

This swift, which family tradition states was made by Nathaniel V for his wife, Temperance, reveals his familiarity with the neoclassical designs— fashionable during much of the craftsman's working period—better than any other object that has survived. It was acquired by the Winterthur Museum as part of the great lot of Dominy tools and household equipment. In 1796 a reel and woolen wheel were made for family use, and the swift was probably produced shortly thereafter. Its purpose was to wind wool yarn into skeins and skeins of wool into useful balls.89

It operates on an umbrella principle with a series of collapsing and expanding ribs pushing out or pulling in the whalebone stays. The feet, small urns, columns, acorn finials, thumbscrew heads, shaft collars, and large urn finial are all made of whalebone, which was in plentiful supply in the Sag Harbor—East Hampton area.90 A number of swifts were made by the Dominys for their customers, as recorded in their accounts. Other whalebone swifts, owned in East Hampton, can be seen in the museum of the local historical society, Clinton Academy. Unfortunately the material used in making their swifts was not described by the Dominys.

Description Height, 28 9/16; width (base), 7⅝; depth (base), 7¼; diameter (open) 19. Mahogany base, turned block and shaft; whalebone feet, urns, columns, finials, ribs, stays, thumbscrew heads; brass screws; copper rivets. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V about 1800. Subsequent owners; Nathaniel Dominy VII, Charles M. Dominy. Present owner: Winterthur Museum (gift of the Crestlea Foundation, 1963). Museum accession: 63.156.1.

p. [341]

TABLES

253

Breakfast Table

Black and white photograph of a breakfast table.
253

From 1794 to 1823 Nathaniel Dominy V recorded a total of thirteen "breakfast" tables in his accounts. Templates for making the various parts of these tables have not survived, and if members of the Dominy family had not rescued this table from the Dominy house in East Hampton, no example could be illustrated. The writer saw several breakfast tables during the course of research, but in the absence of family histories substantiated by Dominy accounts—and without patterns—it was impossible to link the tables to these craftsmen.

This table was probably made for family use and its "late-Sheraton" design indicates that it must have been produced in the 1820's. Felix Dominy married Phebe Miller in 1826, and the table might have been a gift from his talented cabinetmaking father. The table top, leaves, and ring-and-disc-turned legs are solid mahogany. Both the front and back of the frame are covered with mahogany veneer cut 1/16 inch thick. It is the only veneered piece of furniture made by the Dominys to come to the writer's attention. The brass casters are original, as is the drawer pull.

An inverted view of the table shows one of the hinged flaps, made of cherry, that support the leaves. The drawer is prevented from sliding too far into the frame by stops nailed to the side rails. For some reason, wide sections of the leaves were cut to receive hinges, but there is no evidence that hinges larger than those shown were ever used. The usual charge for a breakfast table in Nathaniel V's accounts is £1 10s. or £1 12s., but one made in 1803 for Abraham Hand, described as "mahogany," cost £2 16s.91

Description Height, 27⅞; width (closed), 18 11/16; width (open) 40¼; depth, 35 9/16. Mahogany legs, top, and leaves; mahogany veneer on white-pine apron (front and back); white-pine frame; cherry leaf supports; tulip drawer (all woods microanalyzed); brass casters and drawer pull. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V about 1815 to 1830, probably for family use. Subsequent owners: Nathaniel Dominy VII, Charles M. Dominy, Robert M. Dominy. Present owner: Winterthur Museum. Museum accession: 68.16.

p. [342]
Black and white photograph of the sliding drawer of a breakfast table.
253 A
p. [343]

254

Tea Table

Black and white photo of a tea table.
234

There is no doubt that Nathaniel Dominy V made this tea table. On July 9, 1792, he billed Sylvester Dearing £1 4s. "To makeing 1 mahogany tea Table."92 The Dering family (the letter a has long since been dropped from their name) prized this table highly, and it has survived intact. It descended in a direct line to its present owner, who also has one of the mahogany Windsor armchairs made for William Rysam in 1794 (No. 185).

The legs were fashioned from a template that survives in the Dominy Tool Collection (No. 54E). They are only 3 of an inch thick and are like many of the cabriole legs of the same pattern used by this cabinetmaker for stands. An iron triangle, of later date, is visible under the pedestal and legs. It served to brace and strengthen the leg joints. Although cabinetmakers often put metal plates over the leg joints when they made tables of this type, there is no evidence that the Dominys provided the same service.93

Nathaniel V's love of wood turning is very well revealed in his tripod-base tables and stands. While the legs are mechanically produced and somewhat stiff in appearance, the variety of turned columns found on these pieces indicates that the craftsman played freely with wood stock whirling between lathe puppets. The base of this column has little decoration. A simple arch or notch is chiseled on three sides in a very slight scalloped effect. Above the incised lines which decorate the lower part of the pedestal, however, are deep spool, ring, and disc turnings on a tapered baluster, or vase-shaped, design. The top of the pedestal fits into a rectangular chamfered-edge brace screwed to the dished top.

Description Diameter, 23⅛; height, 26⅜. Mahogany (microanalysis). Made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1792 for Sylvester Dearing. Subsequent owners: Henry Dering, Lodowick Dering, Edward Mulford Dering, Miss Marion Raynor Dering. Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, Dering Customs House. Sag Harbor, N.Y.

p. [344]

255

Tea Table, Tilt-Top

Black and white photo of a tilt-top tea table.
235

Analysis of Dominy accounts to see the kinds of furniture made by Nathaniel IV and Nathaniel V reveals that tables and stands formed a great part of their production (see Chapter V). The table illustrated is probably one of two made for family use, by Nathaniel V in April, 1796, at a total cost of £3 12s.94 It is shown in the living room of the Dominy house in an old photograph illustrating the Dominy family genealogy.95 It is similar to tripod-base candlestands also shown in this chapter but its larger size is an indication that it is a table rather than a "stand." The manuscript list records an evaluation of 10 shillings for a stand, but the craftsman's usual price for a mahogany candlestand was 16 shillings. Only three tea tables are listed in Dominy business records and all were made in 1792 at a cost of £1 4s. or £1 14s. Because it is a tilt-top table requiring a brass latch and extra cabinetmaking, a slight additional value was placed on it by Nathaniel V (see No. 247).96

The template used to outline the cabriole legs and snake feet unfortunately has not survived. The fact that this table is documented, however, affords evidence for a type of leg design not present in the surviving patterns. A well-defined platform has been cut under the snake feet to give the appearance of extra support. It and the feet resting on it are actually made of one piece. Dovetail-shaped

Black and white photo of a tilt-top tea table's legs.
235 A
tenons fit into similarly shaped mortises to hold the legs in place. A sturdy turned Doric column, decorated with circular rings, fits into a heavy rectangular block. The dished top, turned with the aid of a special lathe arbor and puppet (No. 47), rests on this block. Pintles from this block are attached to narrow braces adjoining it and this arrangement permits the top to be tilted up (see No. 247). Nathaniel V began with raw stock more than one inch thick and reduced the top to a thickness of about ⅞ inch. After the top was dished, enough mahogany was removed from the edge to give the appearance of a half-round molding or bead. The line visible across the top foreground marks a split along the wood grain.

Description Diameter, 26¼; height, 27⅛. Mahogany (microanalysis). Made by Nathaniel Dominy V, in 1796, as part of a group for family use. Subsequent owners: Nathaniel Dominy VII, Charles M. Dominy, Nathaniel M. Dominy. Present owner: Winterthur Museum. Museum accession: 57.80.1.

p. [345]

Notes

1 Newton J. Dominy, Genealogical History of the Dominy's Family (Dublin, Ohio, 1956), p. 76. In describing a visit to the Dominy house, Newton Dominy stated: "We saw a big wooden bowl, shapped [sic] from a knot of an appletree on the Dominy place; long ago sombody told one Felix Dominy that he couldn't carve one out in one piece like that; so he did it!"
2 Account Book and Day Book, Nathaniel Dominy V, 1798–1847 (DMMC, MS 59x6), pp. 45, 78, 82, 118, 140, 16o, 172; Account Book, Nathaniel Dominy V, Felix Dominy, and Nathaniel Dominy VII, 1809–1862 (DMMC, Microfilm 310, original manuscript in Long Island Collection, EHFL), pp. 35, 73, 89.
3 Rattray, EHH, p. 318.
4 Account Book and Day Book (DMMC, MS 59x6), p. 82.
5 Huyler Held, "Long Island Dutch Splat Backs," Antiques, XXX (Oct., 1936), 169–70.
6 Account Book and Day Book (DMMC, MS 59x6), p. 78.
7 See genealogy in Rattray, EHH, pp. 497–98.
8 Ibid., pp. 113–14.
9 Day Book pages, 1796 (DMMC, MS 59x9.1).
10 Account Book and Day Book (DMMC, MS 59x6), p.5.
11 Ibid., pp. 36, 42; Account Book, 1809–1862 (DMMC, M 310), p. 1.
12 Day Book pages, 1796 (DMMC, MS 59x9.1); Account Book and Day Book (DMMC, MS 59x6), pp. 43, 100; Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), pp. 22, 88.
13 Held, Figure 7, p. 169.
14 Ibid., p. 168.
15 Helen Comstock, American Furniture: Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Century Styles (New York, 1962), Figures 163–64.
16 Norman S. Rice, New York Furniture before 1840 in the Collection of the Albany Institute of History and Art (Albany, 1962), p. 38.
17 Held, Figures 7, 9.
18 Day Book pages, 1796 (DMMC, MS 59x9.1).
19 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), pp. 100, 110.
20 Ibid., p. 57.
21 Similar construction is shown on a New York dressing table pictured in an advertisement in Antiques, XC (July, 1966), p. 25.
22 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), pp. 51, 250. The dates 1768–1772 are represented for other entries on p. 250.
23 Ibid., p. 160.
24 The physical incapacity of the present owner has limited correspondence, but the author is indebted to Frederick Selchow, Chester, N.H., who examined this clock when it was still on Long Island and who kindly lent a number of snapshots of its various parts.
25 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 3.
26 Ibid., pp. 3, 170.
27 Ibid., p. 198.
28 Rattray, EHH, pp. 289, 516–18, 520.
29 Thomas Reid, Treatise on Clock and Watch Making, Theoretical and Practical (Philadelphia, 1832), p. 328.
30 Thomas Hatton, An Introduction to the Mechanical Part of Clock and Watch Work (London, 1773), p. 17: Reid, pp. 328–33; Edward E. Chandlee, Six Quaker Clockmakers (Philadelphia, 1943), pp. 239–40.
31 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p, 95.
32 Ibid., p. 88.
33 Ibid., p. 89.
34 Ibid., p. 99.
35 Rattray, EHH, pp. 223, 378.
36 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 94.
37 Ibid., pp. 2, 122.
38 Rattray, EHH, p. 517.
39 Ibid., pp. 331–32.
40 Dials by this English firm are found on a number of American clocks. In 1800 Thomas Osborn was listed in a Birmingham directory as an "astronomical & musical clock maker, Watch Repairer & constructor of Experimental & Philosophical apparatus," with a shop on Vauxhall Street. See J. Bisset, A Poetic Survey Round Birmingham (Birmingham, Eng., ca. 1800), Plate I.
41 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 131.
42 Letter, Fred A. Dominy, New Bern, N.C., to the author, Nov. 19, 1963. See also letter, John A. Dominy, Alexandria, Va., to Elizabeth R. Brown, East Hampton, N.Y., Nov. 14, 1960.
43 Account Book, 1818–1827 (DMMC, MS 59x9.21), pp. 66, 114, 123. See also Account Book, 1809–1862 (DMMC, M 310), p. 23.
44 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 79.
45 Elizabeth R. Brown, "East Hampton's Dominy Clocks," Bulletin of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc., VIII (Feb., 1959), 412.
46 Will of Felix Dominy, June 17, 1868. Admitted to probate, Feb. 16, 1869. See Record of Wills, Suffolk County Surrogate's Court, Book 10, p. 163.
47 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 42.
48 Ibid., "Watch & Clock Register," p. 238. This clock is illustrated in color in an article about Southampton, N.Y., which appeared in Holiday, VIII (Aug., 1950), 94–99.
49 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), pp. 190, 201–2, 214–15, 217–19, 223, 226, 229, 245.
50 Dominy, pp. 36–39. See also Rattray, EHH, 293–95.
51 Day Book pages, 1796 (DMMC, MS 59x9.1).
52 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 155.
53 Ibid., Index, opposite letter M.
54 Ibid., Index.
55 Bill to David Gardiner (DMMC, MS 57.34.2).
56 John Youle, iron founder and proprietor of the air furnaces at Corlaer's Hook. "Hinturn" is probably John Hinton, cutler, at 212 Water Street. See David Longworth, Longworth's American Almanack, New-York Register, and City Directory, for the Twenty-Fourth Year of American Independence (New York, 1799), pp. 252, 395.
57 John Lyon Gardiner, East Hampton, to David Gardiner, Flushing, N.Y., 1799 (EHFL, MS NH/13).
58 Nathaniel Dominy IV, East Hampton, to David Gardiner, Flushing, N.Y., 1799 (EHFL, MS [x] WB/54).
59 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 238.
p. [346]
60 Rattray, EHH, p. 546.
61 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 170.
62 For genealogy of the Hedges family, see Rattray, EHH, pp. 368–88.
63 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 147.
64 Ibid., p. 133.
65 Ibid., p. 96.
66 Ibid., pp. 18, 96, 120, 133, 137, 147, 153, 160, 170, Index, opposite letter M.
67 Account Book, 1818–1827 (DMMC, MS 59x9.21), p. 120.
68 Rattray, EHH, pp. 491, 497–98, 508–9.
69 Account Book, 1818–1827 (DMMC, MS 59x9.21), p. 10.
70 April 25, 1808, Jonathan Tuthill, "To 1 silent clock ready cash," £10. See DMMC, MS 59x9a, p. 96.
71 Account Book, 1818–1827 (DMMC, MS 59x9.21), p. 181. "A Timepiece with hour hand" was entered on Dec. 19, 1817.
72 Ibid., p. 13.
73 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 133.
74 Jeremiah Bennett (1754–1823) had 10 children, 6 daughters and 4 sons. Three sons outlived the fourth, Jonathan Parker Bennett, who would have had to inherit the clock made in 1807 to pass it on eventually to Dr. Bennett. See Rattray, EHH, pp. 228, 230, 233.
75 Ibid., pp. 489–509.
76 Account Book, 1818–1827 (DMMC, MS 59x9.21), p. 30.
77 Rattray, EHH, pp. 481, 498.
78 DMMC, MS 59x9.35.
79 Account Book and Day Book (DMMC, MS 59x6), p. 27. The ratio of £1 equals $2.50, used by the Dominys, still held in in 1802.
80 Ibid., p. 30.
81 (Williamsburg, Va., 1963), pp. 26–29.
82 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), pp. 100–101, 103, 105. See also Account Book, 1809–1862 (DMMC, M 310), pp. 33, 38.
83 Robert H. Palmiter, Bouckville, N.Y., to the author, June 11, 1966.
84 Day Book pages, 1796 (DMMC, MS 59x9.1).
85 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), p. 62.
86 Account Book and Day Book (DMMC, MS 59x6), pp. 8, 147.
87 Ibid., p. 15.
88 Ibid., pp. 11, 62, 72, 78, 108; DMMC, MS 59x9a, p. 152.
89 Day Book pages, 1796 (DMMC, MS 59x9.1). The reel and woolen wheel are probably those shown in Dominy, p .64.
90 Rattray, "Whales and Wefts," EHH, pp. 64–68.
91 Account Book and Day Book (DMMC, MS 59x6), p. 170.
92 Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), Index, reverse side of letter M.
93 A charge of 1 shilling was made for "Screwing a plate on the bottom of the pillar and claws." See New-York Revised Prices, p. 24.
94 Day Book pages, 1796 (DMMC, MS 59x9.1).
95 Dominy, p. 64.
96 Account Book and Day Book (DMMC, MS 59x6), p. 15, and Account Book B (DMMC, MS 59x9a), Index, reverse side of letter M, pp. 28, 38.

  1. Known today.
  2. Known today.
  3. The same clock is noted on April 10, 1792.
  4. Known today.
  5. Known today.
  6. The same clock is noted on May 23, 1786.
  7. Known today.
  8. Known today.
  9. Known today.
  10. Known today.
  11. Known today.
  12. Known today.
  13. Known today.
  14. Known today.
  15. Known today.
  16. A bill to David Gardiner, dated May 16, 1800, is for a "Horologiographical, Repeating, Alarm, Monition" clock (MS 59x9.2).
  17. Known today.
  18. Known today.
  19. Known today.
  20. Known today.
  21. Known today.
  22. Known today.
  23. Known today.
  24. He was billed for a clock made in 1788. That clock, therefore, could not have been repaired in 1785.
  25. In 2000 U.S. dollars. See Table I, John J. McCusker, How much is That in Real Money (Worcester, MA: American Antiquarian Society, 2001).
  26. Asterisks designate types for which examples have survived.
  27. Asterisks designate types for which examples have survived.
  28. Asterisks designate types for which examples have survived.
  29. Asterisks designate types for which examples have survived.
  30. Asterisks designate types for which examples have survived.
  31. Asterisks designate types for which examples have survived.
  32. Asterisks designate types for which examples have survived.
  33. Asterisks designate types for which examples have survived.
  34. Asterisks designate types for which examples have survived.
  35. Asterisks designate types for which examples have survived.
  36. Asterisks designate types for which examples have survived.
  37. The clocks in this section are listed chronologically rather than alphabetically.