Simon Willard & Son Regulator clock or timepiece. Boston, Massachusetts. REGULATOR.

This is an impressive wall timepiece or regulator that was made by the partnership of Simon Willard & Son in Boston, Massachusetts circa 1835. This example is signed on the dial by the Makers.

Simon Willard & Son provide us with the first introduction of the timepiece built to this scale. It becomes a very popular form in later years and is made in significant numbers by the clock companies of Howard & Davis and the E. Howard Clock. Company in Boston.

This case is constructed in mahogany and mahogany veneers over New England white pine. It retains what looks to be its original finish. The case form was originally called a timepiece or regulator. Today, it is often referred to as a large banjo clock.

The dial bezel is decoratively turned out of mahogany. It is fitted with glass. It opens to allow one access to the finely crafted steel hands and the painted iron dial. This dial is signed “Simon Willard & Son” across the center. The time track is displayed with Roman style hour numerals and a closed minute ring.

The time only weight driven movement is brass construction. It is designed to run eight days on a full wind. The heavy brass trapezoidal shaped plates are are held together with four turned pillars or posts. The back plate is mounted to the backboard with tabs. This movement is also supported by a seat board which rests on the rail extensions that make up the sides of the case. The gearing is well made. The teeth in the gear train deeply cut and features a deadbeat escapement. The pendulum hangs from a T-bridge suspension that hangs from a bridge that is mounted to the front of the movement. The pendulum is constructed with a shaped wooden rod that retains much of its original gilding. This rod supports a heavy brass faced bob that measures 8.5 inches in diameter. A large brass rated nut is used to adjust the length. This pendulum beats seconds or sixty beats a minute. Clocks that are designed like this one are generally excellent timekeepers and vary only seconds a month. It is designed to run eight days on a full wind

The half round mahogany door frames are hinged and are also fitted with glass. The black and gold paint found on these glasses is original to this clock. They have survived in wonderful original condition. The gold decoration frames the clear openings in the glass. This allows one to see motion when the clock is operating. The throat frame locks with a key. Through the glass, one will see the gilded pendulum rod moving side to side. The lower door is secured with a hook. Through this glass one will beable to view the large brass bob which is clearly visible.

A carved mahogany wooden finial is mounted to the top of the case. This finial is impressive. The carving is very well done and exhibits good detail and depth.

This very collectible wall clock is approximately 58.5 inches long, 19 inches wide at the bottom door and 5.5 inches deep.

About Simon Willard & Son of Boston, Massachusetts.

On January 13, 1795, Simon Jr. was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He served his first clock apprenticeship to his father, Simon. Sometime during 1810-1812, he went to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to train in the art of watchmaking under the stewardship of John Pond. In 1813, Simon Jr entered West Point Military Academy and graduated two years later in March. He was commissioned in the Ordnance Corps and sent to the Pittsburgh Arsenal on the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania. In May of 1816, he resigned at the rank of Lieutenant and returned to Roxbury in 1817. At that time, he started a glassware and Crockery business. On December 6, 1821, he Married Eliza Adams. Together they had seven children. As early as 1823, Simon Jr. was in business with his father as Simon Willard & Son. In 1826-27, Junior moved and lived in New York City to train as a chronometer maker under the stewardship of Dominick Eggert. When he returned from his apprenticeship in chronometer making, he set up his own shop on No. 9 Congress Street in Boston. Here he became very successful as a merchant and a chronometer repairman. He became well-known among sea captains and sailors as a weather prophet. Simon Jr. was a talented person and financially successful.


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