A wall timepiece made by the Boston Clockmaker Joshua Seward. Banjo clock. 216038

This is a very good and clean example and it is in very good original condition. The case is constructed in mahogany and appears to retain its original finish. The surface is dry and slightly crazed with age. The top of the case is fitted with a brass finial. An eagle, with its wings outstretched sits on top of a brass ball. This is a common theme for the period. The sidearms and the bezel are also cast in brass. The bezel is fitted with a convex piece of glass to protect the dial. The half rounded mahogany frames are fitted with glass panels or tablets. These are paint decorated from the back and are in good original condition. The lower tablet is excellent. The scene depicts Lady Liberty confidently crossing a body of water on the backs of two hippocamps. The border and coloring is somewhat traditional for the form. The throat frame features a traditional theme. With the passing of the years, the white background on the left has turned color and texture. This may be due to a candle that may have been placed near the clock? The current patina is now stable.

This painted iron dial is signed in script by the Maker, Seward. This signature is in excellent original condition and can be clearly viewed. The time ring is marked out in Roman style hour numerals. Behind the dial, is a brass weight driven movement.

This movement is designed to run eight-days on a full wind and is powered by the original cast iron weight. It is key wound. The gearing in the time train is nicely formed. The escapement is a recoil format. The pendulum features a brass faced bob.

This clock measures approximately 33 inches long and was made circa 1835.

For more information regarding Joshua Seward and wall timepieces, please read Paul J. Foley’s book, Willard’s Patent Time Pieces.

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About Joshua Seward of Boston, Massachusetts.

Joshua Seward was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on May 5, 1809 and died in Woburn, Massachusetts on July 21, 1885. Current research suggests that he was most likely an apprentice of John Sawin’s. Sawin was a prolific Boston clockmaker and trained a fair number of clockmakers. In 1832, Seward formed a partnership with Alva Skinner under the firm name, Skinner & Seward. In May of 1833, Seward advertised that he was working alone at 63 Congress Street in Boston. By 1836, it appears he gave up clockmaking to operate the livery stable at the Boylston Estate. This was located on School Street in Boston. In 1840 through 1842, Seward lived in Charlestown.

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