A. Willard

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by Jeff Hantman, Apr 23, 2018.

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  1. Jeff Hantman

    Jeff Hantman Registered User
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    Good afternoon, recently found this beauty, just wondering if someone can authenticate if this is Aaron Or Alexander Willard & if the hands are original.....I'm thinking the tablet is a reproduction & many thanks

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  2. WRabbit

    WRabbit Registered User
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    Pictures of the movement may help determine who made the clock.
     
  3. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    I suspect the signature is spurious. The throat tablet paint may be original.
     
  4. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    #4 Jim DuBois, Apr 24, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
    Regards the hands, they are of a style not usually found on banjo clocks, or more properly put, timepieces. It is also extremely uncommon to have a name over the center of the dial, the very vast majority of timepieces with known original signatures have them located below the dial center. Those two features are not of any assistance in telling us who may have made the timepiece, but do suggest that prior owners or repairers have struggled a bit and attempted to make the clock into what they wanted rather than what the orignal maker intended.

    Here is a style of hands more often found on earlier Willard timepieces, later hands tended to fall toward moon styles and the like. The Tee hands on your timepiece I have seen on New Hampshire mirror clocks a couple of times, one set on a Mass shelf clock, but never on a period and correct Willard. But, they could be correct and the clock is really an Aaron Willard, but the few clues we have do not suggest that to be the case. Also, a more simplified version of the "Tee" hands here...

    barbed willard style hands.JPG S_1611_D.JPG
     
  5. JDCKent

    JDCKent Registered User

    I have a timepiece from the same c1820 period that is also signed “A. Willard”, but with the town of Boston beneath. Here are a couple photos, to compare. Justin

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  6. Joe Hollen

    Joe Hollen Registered User
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    I'm 99.999% sure this is a "fake". I suspect this is a re-done Horace Tifft (Attleboro) banjo clock that has been made to look like an Aaron Willard clock. Please see the picture below of a Horace Tifft (Attleboro) pendulum box. The dial, even though it looks old (crazed), is not correct for an Aaron Willard. As noted above, they never signed their dials above the canon post ! Notice below that the glue blocks, the tin weight baffle and and pendulum tie-down look VERY similar to your clock. This was a common "rework" i.e. "making an Attleboro clock look like an original Willard clock"...

    Just my $.02 ... :)
    Joe...

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  7. Joe Hollen

    Joe Hollen Registered User
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    I noticed a couple of other things... The finial AND the finial chimney are obvious replacements. Also, look at the throat and door frames. The trim wood is done in a "crossbanded" pattern. This was typical for Attleboro clocks. Also, on Attleboro clocks the frames were usually done in an "inward bevel". Your clock appears to have been "sanded" on the "outside of the frames" so as to take away the "beveled look". Also, Willard banjo clock door and throat frames were not the same width. The throat frame was typically "thinner" than the door frames. Subtle things like this added to the "graceful look" of a Willard clock as opposed to the later Attleboro clocks. The sidearms are not "Willard sidearms" also... Pictures of the door and throat frame latches would be good, and as mentioned earlier, pictures of the movement... One other thing that may be a dead giveaway of a Tifft / Attleboro clock is the weight. If it's "cast iron", and ESPECIALLY if it has " H.T. " cast into the weight, that would clinch it as being a Tifft (Attleboro) clock...

    Another $.02 cents ! Total of $.04 now ! :)

    Joe
     
  8. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    #8 bruce linde, Apr 25, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
    when i got my tifft from my clock mentor i posted it here... where i was informed that the finial, hands, side rails, weight and glasses had been replaced, and the dial repainted... but that it was a nice clock! :cool:

    didn't faze me... i love it. here's a side by side of my tifft and what the original would have looked like.

    we still really need to see the movement in yours. the hands are obviously correctly. the signature is definitely wrong... wrong position, too big, never seen another like it... especially in the foley book (for example).

    i've also include a photo of the inside bottom of mine, for comparison... btw, that's a real willard hour hand on mine...

    horace_tifft_and_original.jpg inside_bottom.jpg

    whipped up a quick side-by-side comparison of the box insides... similar, but you have extra blocks on the side... could have been added later


    asdfasdf.jpg
     
  9. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    The half round door and throat frame moldings are seen in a fair number of timepieces by a number of makers including Dunning, Willard, Tower, and others. The chimney is most likely correct with other details seen in the what we can see of the case. The finial is a replacement, the dial is likely a repaint, and the lower glass is more recent. The hands remain in my thinking, questionable. From what I can see I think much of the clock is correct and as originally sold...less the finial, the repainted dial, and the lower glass....
     
  10. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    it would also be nice to see a photo that shows the entire clock...
     
  11. Joe Hollen

    Joe Hollen Registered User
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    I respectfully disagree on a couple of your points Jim. :) The chimney is a definite replacement. it does not show the same "age" as the clock head when viewed in the highest magnification. It looks "manufactured", not something from the 1840s (assuming this is an Attleboro clock)... Eagle finial is definitely as you noted, a replacement. The glasses are definitely a "paired set" though. They're not original to the clock, be it a Tifft or a Willard, but they are "a pair". Again, magnify the picture that shows both the door glass and the throat glass. The "outline" pattern is exactly the same on both throat and door glasses... Frames. Most banjo makers made half-round frames of course, but you don't see half-round frames made showing the grain in the "cross" pattern that these are. In the ultra-vast-majority of half-round frames, the grain goes with the length of the piece. Tifft clocks typically had the cross-grain pattern as seen in Bruce's pictures. These frames on the "supposed Willard" do not look like they "began life" in a "round pattern". They appear to be "sanded" to a round pattern after the fact... Another indication that this is a "redone Tifft clock made to look like a Willard" is that both door frame and throat frame are the same width. This is not something you would see in a Federal era (Willard) clock. Throat frames are typically 1/4" less in width than the door frame in a Federal era clock, especially a Willard clock... The dial has a fair amount of crazing, but the signature is an obvious forgery, and the numbers have been "strengthened"... The sidearms and especially the hands are not correct Willard either... As Jim noted, they're more of the style found on NH mirror clocks...

    The bottom line is this... This clock is NOT an original Willard in any way, shape, or form. To Jeff (the originator of this thread): I would strongly suggest you pass on this clock "if you think you are buying a Willard banjo clock". It would be a nice clock to have of course ! ...but "$$$-wise and knowledge-wise", you should know what you are acquiring if that's your intent...

    Joe
     
  12. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Well, here we have several examples of cross grain half round or rounded glass frame clocks. You will notice the frames are the same width, and at least 2 of them are Willards. I didn't have to look far to find these. I have owned a couple with the half rounded frames and have restored a couple also and have seen quite some number of them in the past. Some timepieces can be seen in Paul Foley's book with the rounded cross grain frames and I suspect you can find one or two examples just to your south in West Townsend Mass, for sale, today. I see what you refer to regarding the chimney, you may be entirely correct on that. The throat and lower frames cannot be sanded Tiff style frames as the Tiff's and assocated flat bevel features are of a thin veneer, not a solid wood. Sanding them to a rounded shape would not yield anything like what we see here.These half round frame pieces are a thicker wood applied cross grain to straight grain frames. The straight grain frame details can be seen in the OP's 3rd photo showing the back of the lower door. I see nothing to suggest the door or the throat piece to be reworked or not original to the rest of the case. We have a number of examples shown here of a very similar style. And we are in agreement the clock has a number of issues that bar it from being accepted as a Willard as is, or on face value (litterally speaking). And to your point of the grain running longways in banjo clock frames, that is certainly true in many later timepieces, just not the period of this clock.

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  13. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    hopefully this isn't an active auction or listing somewhere, as we're not supposed to talk about those... either way, though, the right price is the right price, especially if you love a clock.

    they don't make 'em like they used to, and this one has survived for a very long time.

    i like it, too... but would still like to see a photo that shows the entire clock.

    jeff - come back and give us more info and photos, pls!
     
  14. Joe Hollen

    Joe Hollen Registered User
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    Jim ! You are correct sir :) I will have to check my books again and look for "Willard Clocks from the federal period (up to 1820) with half-round crossbanded frames of the same width (throat and door frame)... I was thinking more of the early Willard clocks than the clocks from the later period where they had to start competing with Connecticut timepieces....which necessitated cutting corners and "details". This clock attempts to replicate the Federal / earlier type Willard clocks (in my opinion) :) , and doesn't quite cut it... :) (also IMHO)...

    Thanks for the correction !

    joe
     

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