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Boston Area Banjo Clock

Raymond Rice

NAWCC Member
Feb 14, 2011
I recently acquired, via a local online auction, what I believe to be an unmarked Boston area banjo timepiece. When I picked it up, my first impression was that it had been pretty well "botched", but I got it for cheap so no complaints. I was initially skeptical of the brass pendulum rod, lead weight, and the "velcro"to the lower door latch. (The previous owner had used a couple of strips of "velcro" to keep the lower door closed. When I removed the strips, the door latch works just fine for me.)
After a little investigating, I found a description of Boston area banjos on page 160 of Paul Foley's "Willard Patent Timepieces". He describes a "throat glass opening for visible curved brass pendulum rod", "painted iron dial with moon hands", and " a long straight click pawl".
The works in this clock are attached via two ears on the backplate, one on the lower left, and one on the upper right (ala Sawin banjos). There are no extraneous holes for mounting the works so I believe the works are original to the case.

The throat glass and the tablet have been repainted, but to my eye, they did a decent job.

The dimensions are 29 1/2" to the chimney top and another 2 1/4" for the eagle finial. I'm skeptical of the originality of the eagle finial. Probably should have been a turned wooden finial? The screw hole in the chimney fits the threads on the eagle and doesn't seem to have been modified.

The dial attaches with L shaped pins and the push button latches for the bezel and the bottom door appear to be original.

All things considered, the clock presents well (as I do), from a distance.

I'm here to learn, so comments/criticisms are appreciated.
Ray Rice
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