E. Howard & Company of Boston, Massachusetts. The Model 95 wall timepiece or Banjo clock. 221210

This is a fine Massachusetts Improved Timepiece or “Banjo clock” was made by the E. Howard Clock Company of Boston, Massachusetts and it features reverse painted tablets by D J Steele.

The case is mahogany and retains its original finish. It features flat mahogany frames and a decorative presentation bracket. The bracket is applied to the lower section of the case. The design features three carved flutes and eleven turned wooden balls. Cast brass decorative side arms are fitted to the waist. The dial bezel is also cast in brass. This is fitted with a convex piece of clear glass to protect the dial. Atop the case is an eagle finial which is mounted on a mahogany plinth. The case lot of 11 is die-stamped into several locations including the frames. Tin is used to separate the weight channel from the pendulum. This is painted black. A pendulum tie-down is mounted on the lower tin. The Clockmaker’s setup label is tacked in the bottom of the case.

Both flat mahogany frames are fitted with very colorful reverse painted tablets. These exhibit a very high level of skill. The lower tablet is signed by the artist. He is D J Steele. Daniel J Steele was born in Nova Scotia and immigrated to America. He was working in Boston as early as 1903 and died young in 1827. His work is occasionally found in Waltham made timepieces as well as an small number of Walter Durfee clocks. He is considered by many collectors to have been the most talented painter of his era and clocks with his work are often sold for a premium. The tablets exhibited are hand painted in good color from the back and feature traditional themes. Both tablets are original to the clock and are in fine condition The lower tablet is titled, "AURORA." Aurora was the Roman goddess of a new dawn. In her gilded chariot, she traveled across the sky announcing a new day or the arrival of the sun. Her chariot being pulled by two winged horses.

The bezel is fitted with convex glass and opens to access the flat painted iron dial. It features a time ring that is formatted with Roman style hour numerals and a closed minute ring. This dial is signed , " E. Howard & Co. / BOSTON."

The brass movement is weight driven and is designed to run for eight-days on a full wind. It is mounted to the clock with four screws that attach the backplate to a brass mounting plate. This plate is mounted directly to the case. The plates that frame the gearing retain their original nickel finish. The front plate is die-stamped by the Maker. It reads, "E. Howard & Co. / BOSTON / 5." This can be easily seen in the upper left corner of the front plate. In addition, this high quality movement features maintaining or retaining power and a Geneva Stop winding mechanism. The Geneva stop gear has been removed. The works are weight powered. The weight in this example is lead. The pendulum hangs from the front of the movement. The wooden rod supports a brass faced bob. The bob retains its original ring turned design.

This clock case measures approximately 43 inches long. It was made circa 1925. This clock is Inventory number 221210.

About Edward Howard of Boston, Massachusetts.

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 clock apprenticeship under the guidance of Aaron Willard Jr in Boston. The Howard & Davis firm made high-grade clocks, precision balances, sewing machines, fire engines, watches. After the dissolution of Howard and Davis, Edward Howard became Boston’s leading manufacturer of weight-driven residential, commercial, and tower clocks. Howard also sold a large number of watchman and salve clock systems. These sold well in the late 1800s.

It has been said that the E. Howard Clock company never made an inexpensive clock, and 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 Edward Howard and his various businesses, please read “Willard’s Patent Time Pieces” written by Paul Foley.

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