E. Howard & Co., Boston, Massachusetts. Model Number 11 wall clock. The Keyhole.

This fine example was made by the E. Howard Clock Company and is cataloged as the Model No. 11. This model is often referred to as the “Keyhole” in the trade due to the case form and it’s resemblance to the shape of a keyhole found in most doors of the period.

This is a special order example in that the case is constructed in black walnut. The standard wood used is cherry and the vast majority of these clock made were constructed in that wood. This walnut example retains a very old surface of finish that exhibits the traditional areas of normal wear from usage. The case measures a full 31 inches in length. The nicely shaped bezel is fitted with glass. It is hinged and swings open to access the painted dial and the hands. The painted iron dial measures approximately eleven inches in diameter. It is signed by the clockmaker in a bold block letter format. The hours are indicated in Roman numerals. Behind the dial, the brass made movement is mounted to the backboard. This is excellent quality. It is weight powered or driven and features a recoil escapement. For its small size, it is considered a very accurate time keeper. This movement is die stamped on the front plate by the Maker. It reads, “E. HOWARD & COMPANY / BOSTON.” It is weight driven. The cast iron weight is original to this clock. The pendulum is mounted in front of the movement. The brass bob is supported by the original wooden rod and features a ring turned design. This design includes a fancy damascene pattern. This can be viewed through the original lower glass that is decorated in black and gold. It is my opinion that this glass is original to this example. There are a number of orders that exist in the E. Howard records that specify this glass color combination in several other models. The weight board, painted black, is original to the clock.

This fine clock was made circa 1865. It is approximately 31 inches long. At the bezel is measures 13.25 inches wide and 4.75 inches deep.

This clock is inventory number TT-115.

About Edward Howard of Boston, Massachusetts.

The E. Howard Clock Company has an outstanding reputation for making high quality weight driven wall timepieces, standing regulators, public clocks and electro-mechanical master and watchman clocks.

The E. Howard & Company succeeded the Howard & Davis firm in 1857. The Howard and Davis firm was comprised of Edward Howard and David P. Davis and was established in 1842. Both men served their apprenticeship with Aaron Willard Jr of Boston. This firm was involved in watch and clock manufacturing since 1842. This firm also made high grade clocks, precision balances, sewing machines and fire engines. After the dissolution of Howard and Davis, Edward Howard went on to become Boston’s leading manufacture of weight driven clocks. This included residential clocks, commercial clocks and tower clocks. They also sold a large number of watchman and salve clock systems. These sold well in the late 1800’s.

It has been said that the E. Howard Clock company never made an inexpensive clock and that everything they made was of very good quality. As a result, Howard clocks have become very collectible and are prized by their owners. Today, the E. Howard clock name enjoys outstanding name recognition.

For a more in depth reading of E. Howard and his various businesses, please read Paul Foley’s book, Willard’s Patent Time Pieces.

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