Property of a Georgia Family
E. Howard & Co. No. 46 Astronomical Regulator Clock
Boston, Massachusetts, c. 1874
Case: H. 117 inches, W. 41 inches, D. 16 inches
Dial: 18 inches diameter
This E. Howard No. 46 Astronomical regulator is among the rarest and most sought after clocks in the world. Previously unknown, and numbered 11 on its pendulum, it is housed in an elaborately carved walnut case which is among the most sumptuous examples known. The architecturally inspired case, with portrait bust, fox’s head and a complex arrangement of cornices, brackets and moldings, is a monument to the Renaissance Revival style in America. Its presence in a residence or public place would have made the ultimate statement of sophistication, wealth and prestige at the time. In an era just prior to the horseless carriage, this clock– with its incredibly precise engine– would have been akin to an exotic motorcar in one’s garage……but in one's drawing room instead.
The elaborate walnut case of this clock is inspired by the Renaissance Revival style in America. It would have been among the most costly options available to a buyer at the time. The arched bonnet is crested by a floral triangular bracket and and capped by four fluted urn-shaped finials. The tympanum below is centered by a three dimensional portrait bust of a young gentleman wearing a feathered cap. Six reticulated brackets support the bold overhanging cornice.
The 18 inch white painted metal dial is inscribed “E. HOWARD & CO. BOSTON MASS,”, with perimeter minute track, hours indicated above the center and seconds below cutout around seconds bit to view escapement mechanism. With eight day brass weight driven time only movement featuring train style detached hour, minute & seconds cannons. The exterior rear -mounted barrelweight cable pickup and solid pallets with Graham’s deadbeat escapement with engraved top plate. The front hung steel and brass pendulum cradle supports a four-jar mercury pendulum with acorn drops, stamped “11” and “2945 -2”, indexed regulation nut and steel pointer, the works driven by a 3 ½ inch tall, 1 ¼ inch diameter weight with brass case and threaded acorn hanger. (Original mercury accompanies clock but is presently kept in secure container and will be given to purchaser.) With Silvered beat scale and scrolled walnut holder. Movement is clean and running
The dial and works all enclosed by a central case with three glass sides and mirrored back plate. The lower sarcophagi form case centered with Fox head medallion in relief, with plinth base decorated with a complex pattern of applied moldings.
Condition: This clock has survived in a remarkable state of preservation: The case is in its original configuration Each of these clocks was custom made and this example was ordered to be 117 in. (9 ft. 9 in.) The height has not been added to or reduced in height. The case was designed without open brackets above the cornice. The original undisturbed finish is witness to the fact that there are no elements missing from the bonnet. The dial retains its original paint with some craquelure and very minor flaking commensurate with its age. (please see photo of dial). The walnut case retains its desirable original varnish with layers of dirt. The beveled mirror plate and glass appear to be original. Six small sections of molding are missing from sides of the base. The winding arbor is with the clock and appears to be original
Provenance: The Pendulum marked “11” is one of the earliest known serial numbers on an E. Howard Regulator Clock.
Purchased by an Atlanta Businessman at auction in Decatur, GA circa 1919.
Thence by direct descent in the family of the purchaser to the present owner.
Provenance will be available to buyer.