E. Howard & Co. No. 61 regulator chimes to $161,000 at Fontaine’s


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The top earner among watches was this stunning Rolex Ref. 4500 register chronograph wristwatch ($8,625). Photos courtesy Fontaine's Auction Gallery.


astronomical no. 61 howard regulator
The top lot of the two days was this E. Howard & Co. #61 astronomical floor standing regulator clock ($161,000).
howard no 87 regulator clock
E. Howard & Co. #87 floor standing regulator clock ($80,500).

PITTSFIELD, Mass. – A rare and fine E. Howard & Co. No. 61 astronomical floor standing regulator clock sold for $161,000 at a sale of vintage clocks and watches held May 30-31 by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. It was the third such E. Howard No. 61 sold within a year by Fontaine’s. The other two sold for $195,500 in June of last year and $189,750, in November.

 “Being that three of these sold in such a short period of time, we were delighted that it performed so well and shows the sustained strength in the market for these rare timepieces,” said John Fontaine of Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. “Overall the auction was a great success, with dozens of clocks and watches exceeding their high estimates. It was a very good day.”

In all, over 1,000 lots crossed the block at the two-session sale. May 30 was dedicated to antique clocks, while May 31 saw vintage watches take center stage. The gross for both days was over $1.2 million. A standing room only crowd packed Fontaine’s showroom, while nearly 450 registered bidders participated online, via Artfact.com. Phone and absentee bidding was also active.

Another E. Howard & Co. clock – a massive No. 87 floor standing regulator clock with jeweled pallets, four-jar mercury pendulum and time-only brass movement – took runner-up honors, hammering for $80,500.

The top-selling watch was a rare Rolex Model Ref. 4500 two-tone chronograph ($8,625). Also, a Seth Thomas 25-jewel “Maiden Lane” open-face pocket watch found a new home for $3,738.

Following are additional highlights from the May 30 vintage clocks session. All prices quoted include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

A large porphyre and bronze annular clock on a pedestal (Raingo Paris) climbed to $28,750; a French figural silk thread “Atala & Chactas” clock (circa 1810) commanded $24,150; a French marble and bronze annular clock with father time depiction achieved $23,000; a French industrial steam clock and barometer rose to $19,550; and a figural carved 9-tube mahogany grandfather clock made $14,950.

Rounding out the top clocks: a French industrial rolling ball clock with figural lion breezed to $19,550; a French bronze annular mantel clock with serpents hit $13,800; a French animated singing bird mantel clock realized $12,650; a Chelsea 10-inch dial ship’s clock with patinated “Verde” brass case and dial brought $12,650; and a French figural owl gilt bronze 3-piece clock set reached $10,350.

Highlights from the May 31 watch auction include: a Hamilton 16 size box-hinge multi-colored pocket watch chalked up $2,588; a Dudley Masonic Model 2 pocket watch crossed the block for $2,300; a Patek Philippe 45 mm pocket watch gaveled for $2,013; a Waltham 18 size 14k solid gold box hinge hunting cased pocket watch went for $1,955; and an Oscar Waldan International NOS triple-date moon phase chronograph wristwatch topped out at $1,725.

Also, a Waltham 16 size 5-minute repeater went for $1,840; an E. Howard & Co. N Size 14k solid gold pocket watch earned $1,495; a Waltham Riverside Maximus 23-jewel, 14k solid gold case watch brought $1,495; a similar example went for $1,380; and an Omega Speedmaster professional chronograph sold for $1,323; a Seth Thomas 21-jewel Model 260 open-face pocket watch hit $1,380.

For more information or to learn more about Fontaine’s Auction Gallery and its calendar of upcoming events, visit www.fontainesauction.net.

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Large porphyre and bronze annular clock on a pedestal, Raingo Paris ($28,750).
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Seth Thomas 25-jewel "Maiden Lane" open-face pocket watch ($3,738).
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Waltham 16 size 14k five-minute repeater watch ($2,530).

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