OFFERED WITHOUT RESERVE: PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF PATRICIA M. SAX
Some of Simon Willard's later banjo clocks, as well as his patented alarm, or "lighthouse," clocks, bear the signature of Simon Willard & Son, the "Son" being Simon Willard, Jr. (1795- 1874), who is known to have joined his father in business in the years 1824-26. Among the most elaborate cases that accompany Simon Willard's "Improved Timepieces" are those that date from the period of "Simon Willard & Son." As in this example (see also Nutting, II, fig. 3361), parts of the mahogany case are often painted with a black background, which is then ornamented with a variety of gilded and bronzed leaves and scrolls, to achieve a rich and decorative effect. At the bottom there is often a gilded bracket with a pendant acorn that here repeats the pattern of the acorn finial at the top. The curved brass side rails are usually ornamented with three diamond motifs. And whereas the two glass panels follow the geometric designs of the earlier clocks, gilded rocaille borders now dominate the composition of both the panel on the waist and the door below.
Several Simon Willard & Son clocks of this design have appeared, including not only the one published by Nutting, but also one included in Stuart P. Feld, Boston in the Age of Neo-Classicism, exhib. cat. (Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, 1999), p. 58, illus. in color; one formerly with Thomas Pierce, West Palm Beach, Florida (adv., Maine Antiques Digest, Nov. 1995), which is stated to be the one published by Nutting, but is not; and one formerly with Nathan Liverant & Son, Colchester, Connecticut (adv., Antiques, 89, Jan. 1966, p. 62 illus.), with a slightly more elongated finial. Although most cases of this design have appeared with works that are signed by Simon Willard & Son, a similar case with a brass ball finial and lacking the skirt bears the name of Levi Hutchins. A similar case at Winterthur, with more elaborate carved sidepieces and different glass panels, is unsigned but bears an inscription indicating that it was cleaned by Willard's successor, Elnathan Taber, in 1847 (see Dean A. Fales, Jr., American Painted Furniture 1660-1880, [Bonanza Books, New York, 1986], p. 174, fig. 279).
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