Revolutionary War Officer who was on George Washington's Staff as "Major Andrew Billing" that later returned to Poughkeepsie,NY. as a Silversmith, Watch & Clock maker from 1780 to 1800 !!!
This Tall Case Clock is from the First Half of his 20 year career as a clock maker, since he "Engraved a Floral & Rococo Scrolls on the Brass Dial", instead of the later popular "White Painted Iron Dials". Customer was inclined to order this earlier American Version of a "Queen Ann Style" case with Broken Arch Top & 3 Finials.Tapered & Fluted full Columns on front of Hood, with Quarter Columns recessed in both rear corners. Fabulous Waist has Fluted Corner Columns, a Complex Cut Door Top & Opening, Flame Mahogany surrounded by String inlay and Banded Veneers. The Base also is Veneered in High Style, with Squat or suppressed Ball Feet underneath. Movement has been Cleaned & Oiled, and Restrung. The only debit is a missing "Linkage Arm" for the "Strike * Silent" Selector Arrow.
Stands Overall 96 inches High, from Floor to top of center Finial.
Andrew Billings was quite an interesting & accomplished colonial gentleman, as can be seen from his illustrious career.
He was also known to have worked 4 Years on making a "Spectacular Pocket Watch" that not only told the Time, but contained an Hourly Musical Movement, Repeater, Time Alarm or Silent, and a built in Barometer which could automatically adjust the Speed of the watch due to changes in the Temperature or Climate !!!
Historical Notes about : Major “Andrew Billings” ; Clockmaker & Watchmaker * Poughkeepsie, NY. (Working Years Circa 1780 to 1800)
Birthplace: Stonington, New London County, CT, USA. : Nov. 24, 1743 ? / Died : April 28, 1808 Poughkeepsie, NY.
Immediate Family: Son of John & Elizabeth Billings / Husband of Cornelia Billings / Father of Cornelia Street / Brother of Daniel Billings & Sabra Brown.
Made Clocks in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, NY. USA. 1780 to 1800. Also known to have made a Watch & an Engraved Quarter Hour Repeating / Bracket Clock.
Book Ref.: “Clockmakers & Watchmakers of America” By Spitler & Bailey NAWCC. Pg. 42
(Sold his Shop in Fishkill in 1805, and worked as a Silversmith in Poughkeepsie until his death in 1808)
Masonic Records with 44 refs. ; A man of note who was one of the early Masters of the Lodge was “Major Andrew Billings”,
a member of General George Washington's staff.
He was evidently an earnest worker in the cause of Masonry, as it is recorded of him that he organized Steuben Lodge, No. 18, at Newburgh, soon after the close of the war of the Revolution. Maj. Andrew Billings
Ref: Transactions of the American Lodge of Research, Vol. III, No. 1, 31 Oct 1938-30 Oct 1939, page 107.
He was initiated in American Union Lodge 24 Jun 1776, later affiliating with Solomon Lodge No. 1 of which he became Master in 1801. He was a silversmith, die-sinder (sic) die- grinder and engraver. He is reported to have made silver cups and did other work for General Washington, Lord Sterling and other prominent Revolutionary War notables.
French & Indian War Service ;
In 1755 he raised a company of recruits and was directed to put himself under the command of Colonel Clinton. American Archive noted that “Capt. Andrew Billings”, the eldest Captain in the Regiment (3rd Regiment of New York), has done duty as Major for several months past – served as a Captain in the last campaign with the reputation of a good officer, is recommended to fill this vacancy.
Revolutionary War Duty ; “Major of the 3rd Regt..” Later in 1776 he withdrew from the Army, but was active in connection with the “Council of Safety”. His duties in this connection placed on him the very unpleasant duty of sending the Rev. John Beardsley to New York as a “suspect.” He and Peter Tappan had endeavored to have the severity of orders mitigated – family connections being a strong factor of the rector. There is extant a Letter from George Washington dated *. A cordial Letter keeping in touch with the major years after the War, whereas he requested a "Small File or Two as to get between the Teeth, and some Black Sealing Wax". George knew that these are 2 things that a Clock & watchmaker would have in stock. Also noting that "Martha Washington has enclosed a lock of their Hair in this envelope" as a Gift.
He also served as Trustee of Poughkeepsie,NY. and as its President in 1803.
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