Auctioneers and Appraisers

Walnut Astronomical Regulator by E. Howard

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Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 2447
Date / Time :
July 25, 2009 10:00AM


Walnut Astronomical Regulator by E. Howard, Boston, c. 1865, the special order Gothic case having a pitched pediment, freestanding turned columns with carved acanthus leaf capitals flanking the bayonette mounted bezel and 16 1/2-in. reverse-painted glass dial marked E. Howard & Co. Makers. Boston. with perimeter minute track, hours indicated above the center and seconds below with aperture for viewing the escapement, original blued steel hands, trefoil case buttresses provide visual support for the dial, the waist glazed door framed by a molded lancet arch over the mirrored back, silvered beat scale and walnut holder all flanked by freestanding turned and carved columns, the base with center applied quatrafoil panel framed by diamond-shaped spandrels and flanked by pitched buttresses on a molded and flat plinth, the damascened eight-day brass movement enclosed within three dust covers, Graham's deadbeat escapement, maintaining power, Geneva stop, straight line four-wheel train, the great wheel with 300 teeth and rear-mounted winding drum, jewelled escape wheel, pallet pivots and pallets all mounted in an engraved cock, front hung steel and brass pendulum cradle supports the four-jar mercury pendulum marked 2830 and 9, indexed regulation nut and blued steel pointer, all powered by a 3 1/2 lg., 1 1/4 in. dia. brass- cased weight with threaded acorn hanger, ht. 103, wd. 33, dp. 14 in.

Provenance: The pendulum marked "9" documents the earliest known serial number on a Howard astronomical regulator. In 1867, this clock was part of the original furnishings of Herkner Jewelers, Grand Rapids, the oldest continiously operating jewelry store in Michigan. The clock is barely visible in an image dating circa 1909 of the interior of the store, in the same position it remained for one hundred forty-one years until removed in August 2008.
Estimate $175,000-200,000

Dial: repainted

Case: No significant repairs or replacements; gothic beat scale holder appears to be the original; appears to retain the first finish with remnants of room painting colors green and salmon near edges of backboard; lacking rear molding on object right comprised of a 1 1/4 in. section and a mating 3 in. section in area just above waist column; lacking a 3 1/2 in. molding section, object right rear just below level of waist door; age consistent wear and use.


E. Howard & Co., blued steel hands, front hung steel, steel pointer, Grand Rapids, Clock, Movement, Pendulum, Wheel train