The banjo clock was developed at the beginning of the 19th Century by renowned clock maker Simon Willard in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He called it his "Willard's Improved Patent Time Piece". Known today as Banjo clocks, these elegant wall clocks are prized by collectors.
This reliable and affordable style quickly replaced the tall clock in many local regions and significantly influenced American clock making. Banjo clocks have never gone out of favor and numerous examples were produced into the 20th Century. The form is prone to restoration, especially to their glass "eglomise" panels and very few early examples survive in original condition.
Original timepieces made by the master, Simon Willard
, are the most highly sought after by collectors. Several important 19th century clock makers produced these antique banjo clocks (or timepieces). Some other prolific makers of banjo clocks include Simon’s brother Aaron Willard
, Lemuel Curtis
of Concord, Mass., Elnathan Taber
of Roxbury, Mass., and William Cummens
of Roxbury, Mass.
Click to learn about other early American clock styles.