Howard & Davis Model No. 5 wall clock. Boston, Massachusetts. ZZ-27.

This very attractive Model No. 5 wall timepiece was made by the Howard & Davis Company of Boston, Massachusetts. This is the smallest example of five separate banjo sizes that were manufactured by this firm. This model measures 29 inches long, 12 inches wide in the lower box and just under 4 inches deep. The dial is approximately 7 inches in diameter. The other four models that this company offered were constructed on a graduating scale. The largest of the five models is cataloged as the No. 1 Regulator. This regulator clock is approximately 50 inches in length, 20 inches wide across the lower box and features a 12 inch diameter dial. All five sizes are traditionally constructed in cherry wood and grained with ink to simulate the vibrant pattern found in rosewood.

The proportions of the Model No. 5 are quite pleasing. The case is constructed in cherry and retains its’ original grain decoration. The pattern is done in ink and simulates the grain exhibited in rosewood. The condition of this is outstanding. The frames and the sides of the case are vibrantly decorated. The glasses are reverse painted in the traditional Howard & Davis colors of black and gold and are original to this example. The center section of the throat tablet and the oval in the lower glass are left undecorated. Through these clear sections one can view the gilded pendulum rod and the brass faced bob respectively. The pendulum swings in front of a wooden weight board the separates it from the weight. This wooden board is painted black and is original to this example. Very few examples of this size feature the open throat glass and the gilded pendulum rod. This must have been a special request by the original purchaser. The movement is constructed of brass and is excellent quality. The brass back plate is mounted to the case from the back with a single screw. Both plates retain their damascene design. This movement is not die-stamped by the Maker on the front plate as is the case with a large number of Howard & Davis clocks. The works are constructed with a recoil escapement and is considered an accurate time keeper fro such a small clock. The movement is weight powered by the original cast iron weight which drops from the center. The pendulum hangs from a bridge that is mounted to the top of movement. The pendulum is constructed with a wooden rod. The lead bob is cover in brass. The dial is original to the clock. It is a paper dial that is glued to a zinc pan. The paper is in good overall condition. There are a few small areas of loss and has yellowed slightly due to an old overcoat of varnish. This dial is signed in block letters by the Maker.

This fine clock was made circa 1855.

About Howard & Davis of Boston, Massachusetts.

The Howard & Davis firm was formed in Boston, Massachusetts by Edward Howard and David Potter Davis some time in 1842. Both men were trained and served their apprenticeship in clockmaking to Aaron Willard Jr. of Roxbury, Massachusetts. Their partnership lasted approximately ten years. In 1844 through 1847, Luther S. Stephenson joined the partnership which was then called Stephenson, Howard & Davis. It is now currently thought that the Howard & Davis name was not used until after Stephenson departed. The Howard & Davis Clock Company was located at No 34 Water Street. Here they built a reputation for building very high quality items which included various forms of high grade clocks and precision balances or scales. Gold standard balances were used by banks. Letter balances were built under contract for the United States Government. These were used in state and county offices. Town standards (scales) and Druggist’s balances were also manufactured along with the necessary weights. The company also made sewing machines and fire pumpers. In 1857, the Howard & Davis firm was dissolved when D. P. Davis left to peruse other ventures. In 1857, Davis was part of Davis, Polsey & Co. This firm identified itself as the “late Howard and Davis.” They manufactured clocks and a line of pull cord, pin registration watch clocks. This firm lasted until 1860. Posley continued to make these clocks on his own. In 1858, E. Howard began to sign his clocks, E. Howard & Co. This firm enjoyed many prosperous years making clocks and latter watches until he retired in 1881.

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