Rare 1850s Scale Howard & Davis Later E Howard Clock Boston Antique Auburn Mass For Sale
Please note that these scales were housed in huge cabinets measuring over six feet tall so the new owner will need to make a plinth/box for the scale to sit on allowing the center rod and brass balance arm to drop to the proper height. Something roughly 12 inches square should be more than enough.
Offered for sale is an extremely hard to come by scale manufactured by Howard and Davis of Boston as part of their contract to supply the towns of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with highly accurate instruments for determining official weights and measures. A historian of weights and measures wrote to tell me that this is only one of two of these scales which he knows of in private hands. This example was made for the town of Auburn. The brass beam is stamped “CM” for Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Howard and Davis existed from 1842 to1858 placing it in this time period.
The height as photographed is about 44 inches high but the beam will lower about five inches once the scale is placed on a stand/plinth/box. The brass beam is about 31.5 inches long. The plinth base is about 7 3/8 square excluding the mounting tabs. The pans are about 12 5/8 inches in diameter. The complete instrument weighs about 62 pounds unboxed and will probably ship in two separate packages. Pickup in person is welcome.
Condition. One of the four cast iron mounting tabs is broken. One of the pans is suspended with three brass knurled knobs the other two – so presumable one is missing. As seen in the last photograph one of the small steel plates which cover the bearing surface from which the pans are suspended is missing. It also appears that the bearing is now upside down. A pin appears to hold it in place and could be tapped out allowing the bearing to be reoriented to its proper position and finally the very point of the finial has a slight bend. Overall this scale is in very fine barn fresh condition and could use a further cleaning. The paint appears original and has traces of gold detailing.
Most of the surviving examples of these are held by towns and state offices. Only two in private hands including this example are know to a historian who has studied these matters for over 25 years. A rare piece indeed and by a storied company eventually to become the famed E Howard company -- builders of clocks and other instruments.
Please see my other sale to view to lots of official state of Massachusetts measures which are original to this lot.
Thank you for looking and feel free to ask questions.
Search words – antique vintage rare historic Auburn Howard & Davis Boston Howard and Davis Boston E Howard clock tower clock gold scale Auburn Massachusetts
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