Howard & Davis Boston, Massachusetts. Square Bottom Number 5.
This is a variant case style for the very popular model No. 5 which was first made by the Howard & Davis Company of Boston, Massachusetts and then later by the E. Howard Clock Company and others. This is considered an early example being manufactured sometime around 1850.
The Number 5 size is the smallest of the five banjo models that were offered by this firm. This example is unusual in that the bottom section features a square box rather than the more common example having rounded sides. Very few of these clocks must have been made in comparison to the more common or cataloged examples that incorporate rounded sides into the lower box design. We are lucky to see one example in this form every 2 or 3 years.
This clock has very pleasing proportions. The movement is made of brass and is excellent quality. This movement is not diestamped. Many of the early Howard & Davis clocks were not. It features a recoil escapement and is a very accurate time keeper. The clock is powered by the original cast iron weight. The pendulum is constructed with a wooden rod. The lead bob is cover in brass. The face of the bob retains it's original damascene design which is in excellent original condition. The design is boldly formatted. The motion of this bob can be viewed through the oval opening in the lower tablet. The zinc dial measures approximately seven inches in diameter. The decoration is printed on paper which is applied to the zinc pan. This dial is signed in block letters by the Maker in this location. The case is cherry and grained to simulate rosewood. The pattern is excellent. The glasses or tablets are reverse painted in black and gold which is the traditional format for this firm. They are original to this clock and are in excellent condition.
This clock measures two feet five inches long and was made circa 1850.
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. This 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 left. It is reported that both Howard and Davis served their apprenticeship in clockmaking to Aaron Willard Jr. of Roxbury, Massachusetts. Together, they built a reputation for building very high quality items which included in addition to various forms of clocks, fire pumpers, postal or balance scales, and other measuring devices. In 1856, the Howard and Davis firm dissolved yet Howard continued to use the name until 1857. It appears David Davis continued the business alone at a location on 15 Washington Street. Edward Howard formed the E. Howard Clock Company and enjoyed many prosperous years making clocks and latter watches until he retired in 1881.
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