Simon Willard of Roxbury, Massachusetts. Warranted for Mr. Daniel Phillips.
This inlaid mahogany tall case clock was made by Simon Willard of Roxbury, Massachusetts.This mahogany case is nicely proportioned. It stands approximately 8 feet 1 inches tall to the top of the center finial. The case is constructed in mahogany and retains an older finish. The wood selected for the waist door and the base panel exhibits a nicely figured grain pattern that features long sweeping lines. The case stands up off the floor on nicely formed ogee bracket feet. They are applied to a double step molding. The front base panel is line inlaid around its perimeter. The four corners are fitted with quarter fan inlays. The waist section is long and narrow. It is fitted with a rectangular shaped door that is trimmed with an applied molding around the outer edge. The same inlay pattern exhibited in the base panel is also found in this waist door. The waist door is flanked by brass stop fluted quarter columns. These terminate in brass quarter capitals. The bonnet features a traditional Roxbury fretwork design. The three fluted chimney plinths support the three brass ball and spike finials. Fully turned and brass stop fluted bonnet columns ending in cast brass capitals flank the bonnet door. This door is an arched form and it is fitted with glass. It opens to a colorfully painted iron dial.
This dial features a moon phase or lunar calendar in the arch. Colorful floral decorations are positioned in each of the four spandrel areas. This dial is signed by the Clockmaker in script lettering. It also reads, "Warranted for Mr. Daniel Phillips." The time ring is formatted with Roman numeral hour markers. Arabic numerals are used to mark the five minute positions. A subsidiary seconds dial and calendar dial can be viewed inside the time ring in their traditional locations.
This fine 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 fine clock was made circa 1795.
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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