Mahogany, mahogany veneer, white pine, brass, glass
29 1/2 x 10 1/4 x 10 1/4 in. (74.9 x 26 x 26 cm)
Gift of Mary B. Walton, in memory of her husband John S. Walton, 1991
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 732
In 1822 the highly inventive and successful Massachusetts clockmaker Simon Willard advertised that "the President of the United States has granted him a PATENT for his newly invented ALARUM TIMEPIECE that will run for 8 days with one winding, and keep exact time." Accompanying the newspaper advertisement was a wood engraving of a clock identical to this one, down to its ball feet and gilded brass appliqué on the octagonal base. Nowhere in the advertisement is the timepiece referred to as a "lighthouse clock," a name assigned to it at a later date on account of its shape. This example retains its original blown-glass dome with applied swirl decoration. The clock has a dummy bell and no alarm, however, indicating that the latter was optional.