Simon Willard of Roxbury, Massachusetts. A cross banded tall case clock. UU64.

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

This impressive case exhibits excellent proportions and is constructed in the finest mahogany veneers. The case measures approximately 7 feet 11 inches or 95 inches tall to the top of the center finial, 19 inches wide and 10 inches deep. The dial measures 12 inches across.

This fine mahogany case stands on four nicely formed applied French feet. The feet are well formed, exhibiting a subtle flare in the form that is joined with a sweeping drop apron. This element is applied to the base or the bottom of the case. A broad satin wood banding frames the base section. This lighter wood is richly figured and contrasts with the darker center panel of mahogany. The rectangular waist door is constructed in a similar manner. The veneer selected for this location is a vibrant crotch pattern that is vertically positioned. This is also framed with a cross-banded satin wood border. The outer edge of the door is fitted with an applied molding that frames it. One would open this door in order to gain access to the inside of the case. The sides of the waist or case are fitted with brass stop fluted quarter columns. These terminate in brass quarter capitals. Rectangular shaped satin wood panels are positioned under each quarter column. The bonnet features traditional New England pierced and open fret work design. This is supported by three fluted plinths that are surmounted by three brass finials. Fully turned and brass stop fluted bonnet columns visually support the upper bonnet molding. They are mounted in brass capitals and are free standing. The sides of the bonnet are fitted with tombstone shaped side lights. The arched bonnet door is fitted with glass and opens to access the painted iron dial.

This dial is signed by the Clockmaker. In large flowing script it reads "Simon Willard." This is positioned below the calendar aperture. The four spandrel areas are decorated with bird themes. One of the two birds resembles a pheasant. Depicted in the arch is a wire basket that is filled with fruit and floral themes. These painted designs are presented in multiple shades of grays, browns, black and gilt paint. The unusual colors are actually very successfully presented. The time ring is formatted with Arabic hour numerals and Arabic style five minute markers. The minute ring is divided by slashes. A subsidiary second dial and calendar date display are located in the traditional positions. The hands are very well formed and features a heart in their design.

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 beautiful clock was made circa 1815. It stands approximately 7 feet 11 inches tall to the top of the center finial. It is 19 inches wide and 10 inches deep.

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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