Banjo Clock Identity - Simon Willard School?

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by cwherry, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. cwherry

    cwherry Registered User

    Jul 13, 2012
    5
    0
    0
    We have this clock in our family. My father had received it as a gift from one of his patients - a prominent citizen who originally came from Connecticut. A clockmaker who repaired the works for my parents in the 80's said it was "from the Simon Willard School".
    The red border under the ship says "Voyage of Captain Hall" and inside the front, under the pendulum, are the initials "DLW".
    I knew nothing about Simon Willard and his clocks until recently and am now totally intrigued. Can anyone help identify this one - its age or its maker perhaps?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    21,150
    718
    113
    Male
    Ne’er do well
    Here and there
    Country Flag:
    Welcome to the message board. A nice looking banjo. To really help you, our banjo experts will undoubtedly insist on pictures of the movement and perhaps closer pictures of the dial. Don't be surprised, as well, that they ask for pictures of other things to help them ID it for you, if possible. But certainly, pictures of the movement are paramount.
     
  3. cwherry

    cwherry Registered User

    Jul 13, 2012
    5
    0
    0
    Thanks! I'll take some more photos when I'm at my mom's tomorrow. REALLY interesting to have learned something about patent timepieces!
     
  4. Weight Driven

    Weight Driven Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    May 24, 2004
    760
    2
    18
    Country Flag:
    really need more photos to determine what maker/school it might be. The DLW stands for David Wood, I believe.
     
  5. Joe Hollen

    Joe Hollen Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 26, 2005
    259
    2
    18
    Male
    Network Engineer
    Weare, NH
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    If I'm not mistaken, the DLW stands for "David L. Williams". He produced Banjo Clocks in Newport R.I. in the early 1800's.

    If it's one of his, just look at the movement. If it is in the shape of an "A-Frame", then it's a 99% definite that it's his work... As always, that other 1% takes into account parts that have been added, detracted, changed, etc...

    More pics will definitely help !

    Joe
     
  6. Joe Hollen

    Joe Hollen Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 26, 2005
    259
    2
    18
    Male
    Network Engineer
    Weare, NH
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
  7. Joe Hollen

    Joe Hollen Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 26, 2005
    259
    2
    18
    Male
    Network Engineer
    Weare, NH
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Whoops ! Got my "David Williams-ses" screwed up ! ! ! :-( David " L " Williams was an "Attleboro" maker... David Williams (no "L" :) is the Rhode Island maker...

    Sorry 'bout that !

    Joe
     
  8. cwherry

    cwherry Registered User

    Jul 13, 2012
    5
    0
    0
    Hi Joe!

    Thanks for the info on David Williams and David L Williams. If the initials are "DLW" on it, that means David L Williams, correct? My mom is trying to decide what to do with the clock as she downsizes into a senior residence from a large house. I haven't been able to get there to take more photos. Is it ok to take the back off to look at the movement? Or is that not a good idea for me to try as a non-clock person (but relatively handy). I'm finding all of this to be fascinating!
    Cheryl
     
  9. gilbert

    gilbert Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Aug 25, 2009
    432
    3
    18
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Not sure trying to take the back off is a good idea. However if you can take the dial off it may provide a good look at the movement. The hands should be held on with taper pin, pull (or push) that out (if it is tapered, fat end out first). The minute hand should pull straight off, the hour hand should be friction fit, wiggle it as you pull it off. Then there is likely screws that hold dial pan on, remove those and dial should com off, revealing movement. Hopefully there is a name/ letters/numbers where you can see them, if not you may see screws holding movement in case which could be removed to take movement out for a look at backside. Others will correct me if I am leading you down the wrong path.
     
  10. Joe Hollen

    Joe Hollen Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 26, 2005
    259
    2
    18
    Male
    Network Engineer
    Weare, NH
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Cheryl:

    As gilbert said, you will need to take the hands off, then take the dial out to access the movement. The "back" of most if not all weight-driven Banjos is "solid"...read that as "no way to get into the clockhead from that direction"...

    Also, as I look at the pics, I see no "pendulum tiedown" on the metal plate in back of the pendulum bob. A tiedown is used to secure the pendulum for transport of the clock. It can double as a type of "beat-scale" also... You will want to be very careful if / when you do anything like "take it off the wall" or remove the bezel, or dial, etc... The best way to take if off the wall for inspecting it, or for moving it would be to 1. Wind it up till it (the weight) stops. There should be a screw or protruding peg, etc. that stops the weight when winding it up. This stops the weight from encroaching on the gears of the movement. 2. Take the hands off, then the dial. 3. Remove the "throat section" i.e. the "trapizoidal (sp?) shaped frame / painted glass section. 4. Once those two items are removed you can take the pendulum off. Once the pendulum is off, and the weight is all the way to the top, you can remove it from the wall and transport it with no problem... There is one thing to look out for... IF the weigh is not secured at the top of the throat with a weight baffle, or a couple of strips of wood that hold it in the weight channel, then you'll also want to remove the weight... Also, if you're able to keep the weight in place, keep the clockhead higher than the pendulum box at all times while moving it. You'll want to avoid a "birds nest" of the weight cable, or weight cord at all costs!!! ...

    Moving around a weight driven Banjo Clock is not the easiest thing in the world... You can easily get into trouble doing it...

    Joe
     
  11. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

    Mar 20, 2004
    1,863
    19
    38
    One of the large auction houses has a banjo clock by this maker listed.............nice looking clock too.
    bruce
     
  12. cwherry

    cwherry Registered User

    Jul 13, 2012
    5
    0
    0
    Sounds too dangerous for me to do it. I don't want to damage the clock. REALLY appreciate all of your input.
     
  13. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Mar 3, 2006
    1,646
    12
    38
    Male
    Restorer of antique clocks.
    Rhode Island
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #13 Peter A. Nunes, Aug 14, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
    David L. Williams of Attleborough was a case maker, and was in partnership with George Hatch from about 1867 to 1871, according to Spittlers and Bailey. Many of his banjo timepieces are extant (I have one, and they generally feature black and gold Attleborough or Howard style tablets. Many of these were converted to Willard style timepieces by replacing the frames and tablets, starting during the Colonial Revival period and continuing right up into the twentieth century. This timepiece is probably an example of that type of conversion. It has no features of an early Willard School banjo (see Paul Foley's wonderful book, Willard's Patent Timepieces.) Here are three pictures of a DLW banjo from my collection. Note the pendulum attachment method. I've seen square box examples as well as this type.
    williams2.jpg williamsdlw.jpg williams.jpg
     
  14. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

    Mar 20, 2004
    1,863
    19
    38
    samuel eaton.jpg And here is mine attributed to Samuel Eaton..........same throat and a little different tablet. Mine has a backboard,full length,made entirely of tin,secured with handmade nails and is original.
    Bruce
     
  15. cwherry

    cwherry Registered User

    Jul 13, 2012
    5
    0
    0
    Fascinating! My mom is in the final stages of moving out of her house. The antique auction people are coming today actually. However, I'm going to hold onto the clock for now as we continue to investigate its maker, and so I can learn more about this type of clock. Maybe I'll soon be a collector. Really appreciate all of the comments and photos.
     

Share This Page