19th Anniversary

19th Anniversary 134 www.afamag.com |  www.incollect.com Banjo clock (the “Improved Timepiece”), Simon Willard (1753– 1848), (active early 1780s–1823), Roxbury, Mass., about 1805. Wood, gessoed and partially gilded and painted white, with églomisé glass panels, brass, painted dial, glass, and clock mecha- nism. H. 42⅞, W. 10⅞, D. 5⅝8 in. Signed and inscribed (in gold, on the lower glass panel): S. WILLARD’S PATENT. Simon Willard, maker of tall-case (“grandfather”) clocks, thirty-hour Grafton wall clocks, shelf clocks, banjo clocks (“improved timepieces”), and patent alarm (“lighthouse”) clocks, was a member of a large and prominent family of clockmakers. He received a patent in 1802 for his “improved timepiece,” known today as a “banjo clock,” which was to be an upgrade to the thirty- hour wall clock, having to be wound only once a week. A review of the account books of Willard’s Roxbury neighbor John Doggett (1780–1857), who was a noted frame and mirror maker, has confirmed an important working relationship between them. Clearly, Doggett supplied Willard with some — possibly all — of the components of his clocks, likely including the cases themselves. Specifically, between 1804 and 1809, the period during which this clock was made, Doggett billed Willard for more than eighty brackets, or “pedestals,” for his “timepieces,” at prices ranging from $3.25 to $4.00 for pedestals without balls, to $4.50 for those with balls, as seen in this example. Doggett also billed $0.75 for gilding “small” eagles, likely for use as the finials on Willard’s clocks, which were possibly supplied by Salem carver Samuel McIntire (1757–1811).