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Tall Case Clock
1768-72
Benjamin Willard
USA: Massachusetts, Lexington
Mahogany, brass, steel
overall: 94 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 10 1/2 in.; 229.87 x 52.07 x 26.67 cm
Gift of Robert T. Dann in Memory of Dr. James R. and Constance D. Gallagher
98.028a-g

Tall Case Clock; :a: movement, 8-day, key-wind brass movement, with anchor excapement, has rack and pinion hours strike; front and rear movement plates have been cast and hand-plannished; cable winding drums are grooved; b: mahogany case; c: "hollow-top" bonnet; arched door, and plain base; brass composite dial has applied cast brass foliated spandrels, and trepanium with an applied brass rondel engraved with an American eagle and the motto "Tempus Fugit."; dial composed of an applied chapter ring with Roman hours, and Arabic minutes around the circumference, and open work steel hands; inside the ring, above the main arbor, is a round aperature for a seconds dial which is engraved in script "B. Willard/ Lexington/ Fecit No. 80"; below the arbor, is a square date aperature; in center of dial has been given a non-reflective matted surface; d: tall weight; e: short weight; f: winder; bag of bits; g: pendulum is composed of a wood rod with a brass-faced lead bob.


Nathanial Mulliken (1722–1767) of Lexington, Massachusetts, is thought to have trained Benjamin Willard, the maker of this clock—but not for long. Only a year into Willard’s apprenticeship, Mulliken died. Willard stayed in Lexington to make clocks with Mulliken’s teenaged son for four years. Willard made over 20 clocks per year before tensions with Britain, scarce metal supplies and an uncertain economy disrupted his work.