Simon Willard tall clock made in Roxbury, Massachusetts. This clock features a lunar calendar dial.

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

This is a fine example. The inlaid mahogany case exhibits excellent proportions and is decorated with line inlays. The case stands on four ogee bracket feet. These are applied to the base section under the double step molding. The base is inlaid with a subtle line pattern that follows the shape of the base. The waist section is long and narrow. It is fitted with a large rectangular shaped waist door. This door is trimmed with and applied molding. It is also decorated with a line inlay pattern. Brass stopped fluted quarter columns flank the sides of the case. These terminate in brass quarter capitals. The bonnet features an open fretwork design, capped finial plinths and three brass ball and spire finials. Fully turned and brass stop fluted bonnet columns or colonnettes visually support the upper bonnet molding. These are mounted in brass capitals and are free standing. The sides of the hood are fitted with side lights and they are fitted with glass. The arched bonnet door is also line inlaid and is fitted with glass. This door opens to access the dial.

The painted iron dial is signed by the Maker, “Simon Willard” in script lettering. The location of the signature is positioned just below the month calendar aperture. The place location is written below the signature in block lettering. This clock was made in “ROXBURY.” In the arch of this dial, one will find a moon phase mechanism or lunar calendar. The four spandrel areas are colorfully decorated. Blue medallions are centered in each corner. Traditional floral themes are also used. This dial also displays the hours, minutes, seconds and calendar date in the traditional locations.

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 clock was made circa 1790 and stands approximately 7 feet 8 inches or 92 inches tall to the top of the center finial.

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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