Aaron Willard Jr., Boston, Massachusetts. An impressive gallery clock. -SOLD-

This important gilded case Gallery Clock was made by Aaron Willard Jr., of Boston, Massachusetts in 1831.  

The true weight driven gallery wall clock form is rarely offered for public sale. The vast majority of these clocks where originally sold to public halls, meeting places and houses of worship. They are usually prized possessions being originally purchased by the members or perhaps donated to the organization by a wealthy patron. As a result, this usually means that these clocks became an asset of the organization. As a result, it should take the vote of a committee to deaccession them. In many institutions, this is not an easy proposition. Therefore, this is a rare opportunity to purchase such a clock.

This outstanding example measures approximately 44.25 inches in diameter. The case is gilded and is in excellent condition.

The wooden mahogany dial measures approximately 37.25 inches in diameter. This is a convex form. In fact, it is a board that has had it’s edges planed thin. It is this tapering detail that add to the three dimension quality of the clock case. The dial is then fitted into a shallow recess and is held in place with brass screws. This dial retains it’s original paint. It is signed by the clockmaker, “A. Willard Jr. / Boston” in bold block lettering just below the center arbor. The Roman hour numerals measures 4.25 inches tall. They are large and easy to read. The quarter hours are marked with Arabic figures. The time is indicated by the two wonderfully shaped steel hands. Both hands appear to be original to this example.

The brass constructed movement is located behind the dial. Long trapezoidal shaped plates frame the movement. The front plate bears the Maker’s die stamp. It reads, “A. WILLARD Jr. / BOSTON / 1831.” The movement is weight driven and designed to run eight days on a full wind. This is possible because the original lead weight is compounded and hangs to the left of the movement. The gears are nicely made and the quality is excellent throughout. The large hands are counter balanced by a weight that is positioned behind the backplate. One can see the circular grove in the backboard that it travels in. The pendulum features a brass covered bob and the steel rod hangs from the bridge which is mounted to top of the front plate. The timing is adjustable from the top of the case. The gearing is well designed and this movement features a deadbeat escapement.

This very rare and important clock was made in 1831.

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.


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