In October 2004 Sotheby's sold for $ 1.7M including premium a clock made around 1740 by Peter Stretch in Philadelphia. The catalog does not indicate any complication but insists on the magnificence of its 2.73 m high mahogany case.
At the same time the families of cabinetmakers Townsend and Goddard have their workshops in the Quaker district of Newport. They develop for their high quality furniture the Block and Shell decoration which is certainly also imitated by their local competitors and becomes the signature feature of the furniture from that city.
The clockmaker William Claggett was established near Townsend and Goddard. He died in 1749. James Wady who was his apprentice and son-in-law continued his clock models for a few years and died in 1759. Thomas Claggett, son of William, in turn rented a shop in 1755 to make similar clocks.
Wady's activity as a shop owner appears as brief, perhaps only the time to settle the estate of William Claggett who was deemed a bad payer. Towards the end of his career Wady adds the phases of the moon above the main dial and improves the readability of the sub-dial of seconds and of his signature, allowing now to classify in four chronological groups his nine surviving clocks.
A 2.35 m high clock from the third group with a mahogany block and shell case attributed to one of the Townsends was sold for $ 670K including premium by Christie's in January 2002.
A clock of similar size and design but from the last group was sold for $ 440K including premium by Christie's in New York on January 21, 2000. It is estimated beyond $ 200K in the same auction room on January 19, lot 159. It includes a very rare complication which was favored in Newport, the time of the tides.
SOLD for $ 610K including premium