Adorned with an arrangement of skillfully inlaid ornament, this tall-case clock is a superb example of Federal era cabinetmaking. Its urbane design and high quality workmanship reflect the sophistication of its attributed makers, Robert Wood and James S. or Jacob Taylor, cabinetmakers who worked separately in New York City during the early nineteenth century before establishing a partnership in rural Orange County in about 1810. In the Federal Census of that year, a Robert Wood and a James S. Taylor are listed in Goshen and Warwick, respectively; both towns are approximately six miles from Florida. It is also possible that the second partner was Jacob Taylor, who is listed in Goshen in the 1820 census. All three are listed as cabinetmakers in the New York City directories at various times earlier in the century (John L. Scherer, New York Furniture at the New York State Museum (Alexandria, Virginia, 1983), pp. 36-37). During their collaboration in Orange County, it is likely that they maintained ties with allied craftsmen in New York City; their inlaid ornament was supplied by a specialist in the City.
Based upon a case with a paper label reading Wood & Taylor Cabinetmakers Florida now in the collection of the New York State Museum, the case of the present lot, along with three others, can be attributed to the same woodworking shop. All display highly arched and star-inlaid pediments, case doors with distinctive crests with flattened arches, quarter columns and a similar configuration of border stringing. These three related examples can be seen in the collection of the Winterthur Museum, Sotheby Parke Bernet, Inc., New York, 30 April - 3 May 1980, lot 1387, and Christie's, New York, 21 January 2006, lot 568.