10-19-2020 10-27-2020
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3475T Marlborough
October 19, 2020 12:00 PM - October 27, 2020 07:00 PMCalender

Simon Willard (1753-1848) Inlaid Mahogany Tall Clock with Isaiah Thomas Jr. (1749-1831) Printed Label and Case Attributed to Thomas Sey

Auction: Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 3475T Location: Marlborough Date / Time: October 19, 2020 12:00PM


Simon Willard (1753-1848) Inlaid Mahogany Tall Clock with Isaiah Thomas Jr. (1749-1831) Printed Label and Case Attributed to Thomas Seymour, Roxbury, Massachusetts, c. 1795, pierced fret-top hood with three brass finials surmounting the glazed hood door flanked by freestanding brass stop-fluted columns, over the painted iron roman numeral dial inscribed "Warranted-By S. Willard" in block lettering, floral spandrels, running seconds dial, moon's phase dial in the arch and pierced blued-steel hands, the molded edge full-length rectangular waist door with string and crossbanded inlaid decoration flanked by brass stop-fluted quarter columns and carrying an interior Isaiah Thomas Jr. printed label stating in part: "Simon Willard at his clock dial in Roxbury Street, manufactures every kind of clockwork...," similarly decorated base section resting on high, flared, French feet, eight-day time and hour-strike brass movement with recoil escapement and rack and snail strike system powered by two tin-cased weights and regulated by a brass-faced pendulum bob and iron rod, ht. 94 1/2 in.

Note: For further information about this period of Willard tall clock manufacturing, please see: Philip Zea and Robert C. Cheney, Clockmaking in New England, 1725-1825, pp. 37-43, with an illustration of another Isaiah Thomas Jr. label on p. 41.

By 1795, Isaiah Thomas Jr. had a dozen printing presses in his Worcester, Massachusetts, shop. It is likely that the Willard label pasted inside the door of the present example was printed by "Old No. 1," a London press made in 1747, used by Thomas as an apprentice and later purchased by him. This historic press was the centerpiece of the Thomas shop, which the British described as the "sedition factory." It was spirited out of Boston the night of April 16, 1775, and brought to Worcester for safer usage as it continued to play an important role in the American Revolution. It was bequeathed to the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester by Thomas where it remains today.
Estimate $20,000-30,000

nice old case finish, dial signature undisturbed, touch up on 6 & 7 numerals, fret with some pieces off but present, two period finials, original feet, untouched label.

Items may have wear and tear, imperfections, or the effects of aging. Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Simon Willard, Thomas Seymour, Isaiah Thomas Jr., Philip Zea, Robert C. Cheney, Roxbury, London