A Federal Mahogany and Eglomisé Patent Time Piece, by Simon Willard, Roxbury, Massachusetts, Circa 1805-10.
This handsome clock is among the first generation of these patent time pieces produced by the innovative clockmaker Simon Willard [1753-1858] of Roxbury, Massachusetts. This successful form was patented by Willard in 1802 as the “Improved Timepiece” but is more commonly referred to as a “banjo” clock. Examples like this, with cross-banded frames and geometric eglomisé panels, were made in the shops of Simon Willard during the first years of his patent. This example is augment by the inclusion of a thermometer within the throat panel. This clock retains a pleasing old surface with mellow color. The drum-form head is fitted with a fire gilt brass spread-wing finial on a mahogany plinth. This finial rests above a glazed and molded brass bezel. The bezel opens to a painted iron dial with Roman numerals to demark the hour. Pierced brass sidearms, with diamond-form spacers, flank a tapered trapezoidal throat panel. The panel has a line inlaid, mahogany and rosewood cross-banded frame around a reverse painted glass tablet. The glass tablet is painted with a soft blue border with black piping around a repeating leaf and bead motif on a white ground. This border frames a clear aperture that is set with a thermometer secured to a painted iron panel, marked with a temperature register. To accommodate the thermometer, the wood frame has a concave molded edge, which creates a deeper frame than what is typical to other banjo clocks. The hinged lower box door is decorated similarly to the throat, with an inlaid and cross-banded frame, around a reverse painted glass panel. The lower reverse painted panel also has a soft blue border with black piping around a repeating leaf and bead motif on a white ground. This border centers a rectangular oculus with a gilt foliate border around a demi-lune window framed with a soft blue border and blossom form spandrel devices. Below this, the panel is signed in block lettering “S. WILLARD’S PATENT”.
Height with finial: 41 12””; Width 10 34”; Depth 3 1/2"
Call 781.784.9914 or E-mail us for questions or pricing on this item. Please reference inventory number 14019.