Simon Willard of Roxbury, Massachusetts. An outstanding tall case clock.

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

This is an outstanding example. This mahogany case exhibits the finest proportions and an older if not original finish. The case stands on four ogee bracket feet that are applied to the base as part of double step molding. The mahogany found in the base panel is formatted in a horizontal position. The waist is long and narrow and fitted with a large tombstone shaped waist door. This door is trimmed with and applied molding. Brass stopped fluted quarter columns flank the sides of the case. These end in brass quarter capitals. The bonnet features an open fretwork design that is surmounted with three brass ball and spiked finials. Fully turned and brass stop fluted bonnet columns or colonnettes visually support the upper bonnet molding. They are mounted in brass capitals and are free standing.  Nicely turned quarter columns are set into the back of the bonnet. These are smoothly shaped and terminate in ring turned wooden capitals. The sides of the hood are fitted with tombstone shaped side lights and they are fitted with glass. The arched bonnet door is also fitted with glass and opens to access the dial.

The painted iron dial is signed by the Maker, "Sim Willard" in block lettering. The location of the signature is positioned just below the calendar aperture. In the arch of this dial one will find a moon phase mechanism or lunar calendar.

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 11 inches or 95 inches tall to the top of the center finial. Measured at the upper bonnet molding this clock is 20.5 inches wide and 10.25 inches deep. It is inventory No. NN-72.

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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