Aaron Willard Jr. of Boston, Massachusetts
This fine inlaid mahogany case tall clock was made by Aaron Willard Jr. of Boston, Massachusetts.
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. This case stands on four flared French feet that are applied to the lower base panel. The feet are connected by a nicely shaped apron that appears to hang from the base section. The front base panel is framed with a cross banded mahogany border. The wood used in this cross banding detail is figured mahogany. This is trimmed with a delicate line inlaid pattern 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 crotch section were the grain pattern is formatted in an upwards direction. 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 formatting used in this location is similar to the pattern found 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. The bonnet door is an arched form and is fitted with glass. 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 iron dial is nicely painted and is signed by the maker, “Aaron Willard Jr. Boston.” This dial is of local origin. It was most likely made and decorated by the Spencer Nolen a well known Boston dial artist. The weight driven movement, located behind the dial. It is constructed in brass and is designed to run eight days on a full wind. This clock will also strike each hour on a cast iron bell. The movement is good quality.
This clock was made circa 1810 and stands approximately 7 feet 9 inches tall. It is inventory No. PP-125.
About Aaron Willard Junior of Boston, Massachusetts.
Aaron Willard Jr. was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts on June 29, 1803. He had the good fortune of being born into AmericaÕs 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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