Howard & Davis Model No. 2. A wall timepiece or banjo clock. ZZ25

This clock, the Model Number 2, is the most difficult of the five Howard & Davis style banjo clocks sizes to find. It is a rare clock. It measures 3 feet 8 inches long and is the second to the largest of the five separate or individual models.

The Howard & Davis firm was formed in Boston, Massachusetts by Edward Howard and David Potter Davis some time in 1842. Interestingly, it is reported that both men served their apprenticeship to Aaron Willard in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Together, Howard & Davis built a reputation for building very high quality items which included in addition to clocks, fire pumpers, postal or balance scales, and other measuring devices. In 1854, the Howard & Davis firm dissolved. It appears David P. 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 later watches. This example is typical of the type of clock they produced.

The case is made in cherry and is grained with India ink. This is a process were ink is applied to the case with a feather. The intention is to simulate the grain pattern exhibited in the exotic wood called rosewood. Much of the originally graining remains and the woodwork has an excellent surface. The upper bezel is wood and nicely formed. It is fitted with glass and opens to a 10 inch diameter dial. The dial is iron and painted. It features a Roman numeral time track and a block style signature. The weight driven movement is brass and of very good quality. The plates are in the shape of a trapezoid. The taper at the top. The front plate is die-stamped with the Maker’s name. It reads, "Howard & / Davis / Boston." This movement is designed to run for eight days on a full wind. It weight powered. The cast iron weight is the correct form. The pendulum rod is made of wood. It supports a bob that is zinc and covered in brass. This movement mounted to the back of the case with a screw. It is considered to be an excellent time keeper. Both the throat and lower tablets are original to this clock. They are decorated in the traditional Howard & Davis colors of black and gold. Much of the black paint has been restored. The glasses look great from the front. Inside this case, a weight board guides the weight and protects the pendulum from contacting it. The pendulum tie down is mounted on this board.

This fine example of a difficult model to find 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. 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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