Aaron Willard Jr., Boston, Massachusetts. An inlaid and cross-banded mahogany case tall clock.

This fine inlaid mahogany case tall clock was made by Aaron Willard Jr. of Boston, Massachusetts.

Aaron Willard Jr. was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts on June 29, 1783. He had the good fortune of being born into America’s leading clockmaking family. His father Aaron and uncle Simon had recently moved from the rural community of Grafton and began a productive career of manufacturing high quality clocks in this new ideal location. Based on the traditions of the day, it is thought that Aaron Jr. probably learned the skill of clockmaking from his family. We have owned a large number of wall timepieces or more commonly called banjo clocks that were made by this talented maker. Based on the numbers seen in the marketplace, it is logical to assume he was one of the most prolific makers of this form. We have also owned a fair number of tall case clocks, Massachusetts shelf clocks and gallery clocks. Aaron Jr. retired from clockmaking sometime around 1850 and moved to Newton, Massachusetts. He died on May 2nd, 1864.

This inlaid mahogany case is nicely proportioned and retains an older finish that has nicely mellowed over the years. This finish accentuates the fluid grain patterns exhibited in the wood used in the construction of this fine case. Four flared French feet elevate the case off the floor. These are constructed as a separate unit and applied to the bottom of the case. A shaped molding is used to make the transition. The feet are nicely shaped and incorporate a drop apron that appears to hang from the base section. The front base panel is framed with a cross-banded mahogany border. This is trimmed with a delicate line inlaid that features an interesting and multi colored pattern. A variation of this can also be found incorporated in the design of the waist and bonnet doors. The center panel features a fine selection of crotch veneer where the grain pattern is formatted in an verticle fashion. The waist section is long and narrow. Brass stop-fluted quarter columns flank the sides of the case. They terminate in brass quarter capitals. The lower capitals are supported by wonderfully figured veneered plinths. The two quarter columns help center a rectangular shaped door that is trimmed with an applied molding. The decorative veneer formatting used in this location is similar to the design exhibited in the base panel. The open fretwork style bonnet is surmounted with three brass ball and spiked finials. They are supported by fluted chimney plinths. Turned and brass stopped fluted mahogany bonnet columns are positioned on both sides of the door. They are free standing and mounted in brass capitals. The bonnet door is an arched form. It is also decorated with a line inlay pattern. The large opening is fitted with glass.

The painted iron dial was most likely painted by the Boston ornamental artist Spencer Nolen. This 12 inch wide American dial is wonderfully decorated. The bead worked is made from gesso that is applied to the dial. It is then coated with gilt paint. Please note the cross hatching and the radiants. This intricate pattern was also used on Simon Willard’s early presentation time-pieces. A floral bouquet is depicted in the lunette. The time ring is formatted with large Roman style hour numerals. Arabic numerals are used to indicated the five-minute markers. A subsidiary seconds dial is located in the traditional location. The hands are filed from steel and have been blued. They are very nicely shaped. This dial is signed by the clockmaker, “Aaron Willard Jr. / BOSTON.”

This fine movement is constructed in brass and is good quality. Four turned pillars support the two brass plates. Hardened steel shafts support the polished steel pinions and brass gearing. The winding drums are grooved. The escapement is designed as a recoil format. The movement is weight driven and designed to run eight days on a full wind. It is a two train or a time and strike design having a rack and snail striking system. As a result, it will strike each hour on the hour. This is done on a cast iron bell which is mounted above the movement. This movement design is very reliable and the clock is an excellent time keeper.

This clock was made circa 1810 and stands approximately 7 feet 9 inches tall to the top of the center finial. It is inventory number PP-125.

About Aaron Willard Junior of Boston, Massachusetts.

Aaron Willard Jr. was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts on June 29, 1783. He had the good fortune of being born into America’s leading clockmaking family. His father Aaron and uncle Simon had recently moved from the rural community of Grafton and began a productive career of manufacturing high quality clocks in this new ideal location. Based on the traditions of the day, it is thought that Aaron Jr. probably learned the skill of clockmaking from his family. We have owned a large number of wall timepieces or more commonly called banjo clocks that were made by this talented maker. Based on the numbers seen in the marketplace, it is logical to assume he was one of the most prolific makers of this form. We have also owned a fair number of tall case clocks, Massachusetts shelf clocks and gallery clocks. Aaron Jr. retired from clockmaking sometime around 1850 and moved to Newton, Massachusetts. He died on May 2nd, 1864.

For more information about this clock click  here .