The firm Howell James & Co was one of the best known jewellers of 19th Century Victorian England. They gained the prestigious title of being official suppliers of jewellery to the Queen, a position they held at the time of retailing this fantastic luxury mantel clock. The clock is a fine work in silvered bronze and ormolu (gilt bronze) and features outstanding decorative detailing throughout.
In particular, the models of winged horses at either side of the base and the cherub blowing the horn at the top of the piece are exquisite works of sculpture and bronze casting, and they are beautifully silvered to finish. The shell motif on the base and the scrolling handles either side of the clock case are further charming touches.
The circular clock dial sits in the centre of the piece within an oval shaped case, and bears Roman numerals as well as an inscription for ‘Howell James & Co / To the Queen / London – Paris’. The case is decorated with silvered bronze panels which are inset with small pieces of the semi-precious gemstone agate. To the reverse, the clock’s movement also bears a stamp for Howell James & Co.