Simon Willard tall case clock. Roxbury, Massachusetts. Inlaid mahogany case featuring a dial wit a lunar calendar.

This inlaid mahogany case tall clock was made by Simon Willard of Roxbury, Massachusetts.

This is an outstanding example. This inlaid mahogany case exhibits the finest proportions. The case stands on four ogee bracket feet that are applied to the base. The base panel is delicately line inlaid and features a large paterae in the front panel. The waist is long and narrow. The tombstone shaped waist door is positioned in the center. it is also line inlaid. The pattern follows the shape of the door. Brass stopped fluted quarter columns flank the sides of the case. They end in brass quarter capitals. The bonnet features an open fretwork design that is surmounted with three brass ball and spiked finials. The bonnet door is arched in form, line inlaid and fitted with glass. Brass stop fluted bonnet columns support the upper bonnet molding.

The painted iron dial is signed by the Maker, “Simon Willard” in script. The location of the signature is positioned just below the calendar aperture. In the arch of the dial one will find a moon phase mechanism or lunar calendar.

The weight driven 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 clock was made circa 1790 and stands 7 feet 10.5 inches tall to the top of the center finial. This clock is inventory number 23238.

About Simon Willard of Grafton and Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Simon Willard was born in Grafton, Massachusetts on April 3, 1753. It is in Grafton that Simon learned and began a successful career as a Clockmaker. On April 19, 1775 Simon answered the Lexington alarm along with his brothers. It is thought that by 1780 he moved from Grafton and took up residence in Roxbury. Simon was a Master Clockmaker as well as an Inventor. Some of his designs or inventions include “The Improved Timepiece” or Banjo clock, a roasting jack patent that rotated meat as it cooked in the fireplace, and an alarm clock patent. In addition, he trained many men to make clocks who intern became well known Clockmakers once their apprenticeships were served. Some of which include William Cummens, Elnathan Taber, and the brothers Levi and Able Hutchins. Some of the more notable public clocks Simon built include the clock that is in The United States Capital, the one located in the U. S. Senate, and the one located in the House of Representatives. As a result, his clock were searched out by many affluent New England citizens of his day. Simon died on August 30, 1848 at the age of 95.


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