Simon Willard of Roxbury, Massachusetts
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. The waist is long and narrow. The tombstone shaped waist door is positioned in the center. Brass stopped fluted quarter columns flank the sides of the case. They end in brass quarter capitals. The bonnet features an open fretwork design that is surmounted with three brass ball and spiked finials. The bonnet door is arched in form, line inlaid and fitted with glass. Brass stop fluted bonnet columns support the upper bonnet molding. The eight-day time and strike movement is brass and is of fine quality. 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 the dial one will find a moon phase mechanism or lunar calendar.
This clock was made circa 1790 and stands approximately 7 feet 11 inches tall to the top of the center finial. 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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