Tiffany & Co. tall-case clock should top $50K in 1000-lot auction

ORANGE, Calif. – This weekend, June 9-10, Don Presley Auctions of Orange, Calif., will offer to the public more than 1,000 lots of antiques, fine art and quality collectibles from Beverly Hills and Newport Beach estates. All of the goods are fresh to the market and will be available to the highest bidder through a variety of bidding methods, including live in the gallery, by phone, absentee or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com.

Tiffany & Co. tall-case clock, 99 inches, Walter H. Durfee movement.

Tiffany & Co. tall-case clock, 99 inches, Walter H. Durfee movement. Photo courtesy Don Presley Auctions

The 12 noon (Pacific) start time will be marked by the sounds emanating from a superb Tiffany & Co. tall-case clock with Walter H. Durfee movement. The stately timepiece, which stands 99 inches tall, appears to be complete with pendulum, tubes and weights.

“A similar clock with the same type of movement sold in a 2007 auction in New Orleans for $92,500,” said auctioneer and company owner Don Presley. “We’ve placed a conservative estimate of $30,000-$50,000 on the clock in our sale.”


This article originally appeared in Antique Trader magazine

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Several ornate French clock sets are entered in the sale, including a magnificent 19th-century gilt bronze suite that comprises an elaborately decorated mantel clock with a pair of flanking 36-inch-tall candelabra. It is expected to make $12,000-$25,000. Additional clock lots include antique Italian and American productions.

The decorative art section continues with a 48-inch P.E. Fiaschi marble statue of a nude woman, a 26-inch bronze nude signed by artist Auguste Seysses (1862-1946), and six exquisite KPM porcelain plaques, some with elaborately carved Italian giltwood frames. Estimates range from $3,500-$8,000.

Other highlights include coveted designs by Tiffany Studios including a pair of signed Tiffany floor lamps crafted as birds with Favrile glass shades suspended from their necks will be offered with a $5,000-$7,000 estimate.

Two outstanding mirror lots will be up for bid, one of which consists of a pair of Italian oval mirrors in a gilt-wood frame, each with a four-branch candelabrum and classical decorative elements. The estimate on the pair is $8,000-$10,000. Also of note is a 19th-century Meissen mirror with a cabriole shape and extraordinary Meissen porcelain flora and putti embellishing the frame. Estimate $25,000-$35,000.

Italian giltwood cassone with hand-painted scenes on three sides.

Italian giltwood cassone with hand-painted scenes on three sides.

huanghuali bookcase

One of a pair of huanghuali bookcases with secondary woods.

The top painting in the sale is a monumental oil-on-canvas framed portrait of Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I (1830-1916). The emperor is attired in full military dress with medals and is posed in a parlor setting. The unique artwork measuring 9ft 1in by 5ft 10in (framed) is entered in the sale with a $15,00-$20,000 estimate.

An abundance of high-end furniture is led by a 19th-century Guillaume Benneman marble-top ormulu commode, estimate $15,000-$25,000; and a fine 19th-century Italian giltwood cassone crafted in Renaissance style with gilt claw feet and painted panels on three sides. Each panel depicts a gathering of maidens with bows and arrows. Estimate: $12,000-$18,000.

A three-piece Aubusson parlor set features carved legs and lions’ heads on the arms of the settee and chairs. The suite is estimated at $7,000-$10,000. Asian furniture is led by a pair of 67-inch-tall huanghuali and secondary wood bookcases, lot estimate $6,500-$8,500.

The gilt-bronze embellishments on a Knabe & Co. 9-foot grand piano are reminiscent of the premier artistry of Linke. The  musical instrument with lyre-shape foot pedal mount is valued for auction purposes at $60,000-$75,000. Also merging entertainment with classical design, an extravagantly decorated French billiard table with gilt-bronze ormolu trim on the side panels and cabriole legs is marked with a diamond-shape silver tag that says “Medailles D’Argent – Poulain, 72 Rue Amelot, Paris.” The auction estimate is $20,000-$30,000.

KPM framed porcelain plaque

One of several fine KPM framed porcelain plaques.

The two-day auction also features a tremendous selection of Chinese decorative art, sterling silver (including Tiffany) and a unique consignment of space memorabilia that will be apportioned into three successive lots. The space-related items are flight logs and flight plans for the Apollo 11 flight and Apollo Soyuz test flight. All are the property of Guy Sinclair, who was a flight engineer in the aerospace industry for 41 years in Downey, Calif., beginning with North American Aviation and following through its various corporate changes that culminated in being bought by Boeing.

Sinclair and his colleagues in the Flight Crew Support Division sat at consoles and monitored NASA’s Apollo 11 flight in real time, maintaining logs and adding handwritten notes to the logs as the flight progressed.

“A flight plan was developed in two stages,” Sinclair explained. “First there would be a preliminary flight plan, then a final flight plan that would be used for the actual voyage to the moon.”

Lot 822, the preliminary flight plan for Apollo 11, is dated May 9, 1969 and presented in a ring binder. The estimate is $1,200-$1,800. Lot 821 is the similarly packaged final flight plan. It is dated July 1, 1969 and also carries an estimate of $1,200-$1,800. Lot 823 is the final 1975 Apollo Soyuz flight plan for the docking of American and Russian modules in space. It contains a highly detailed timetable for the crews of both Apollo and Soyuz and an internal letter on North American Rockwell letterhead signed by the supervisor of System Performance & Procedures, Integration & Systems Projects. Estimate: $400-$800.

The auction will commence at 12 noon Pacific Time June 9-10, 2012, at 1319 W. Katella Ave., Orange, CA 92867. All forms of bidding will be available, including live at the gallery, by phone, absentee or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com. For additional information, call Don Presley at 714-633-2437 or e-mail info[at]donpresleyauction.com.

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