SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – Good things came in small packages at Stephenson’s Jan. 1 auction in suburban Philadelphia. An early 19th-century Henry Bower “dwarf” clock standing only 50 inches tall rang in the New Year with a buoyant selling price of $31,625. All prices quoted include the 15 percent buyer’s premium.
The diminutive walnut clock was sourced from an estate in Pennsylvania’s Poconos region;
it had passed by descent to the estate from which it came, but no other information was known about its ownership history. Cindy Stephenson, owner of Stephenson’s Auctioneers, indicated, “All of the top clock people were here looking at it. One expert spent half an hour inspecting it. Another customer pulled out an old clock book that explained the meaning of ‘Feste Swome,’ which was written on the clock. Feste Swome is Pennsylvania German for ‘Falkner Swamp’ and refers to the location in Douglass Township, Pennsylvania, where Henry Bower manufactured his clocks.”
The winning bidder, an antique dealer and clock collector, called Cindy Stephenson a few days after the auction and told her he was having a gear made for the clock to ensure it would be in perfect running order going forward. “He was very happy with the clock. He told me he had sold a few other dwarf clocks over the years, but never one by that particular maker,” Stephenson said.
Of the antique silver offered in the sale, a circa-1814 George III inkstand with winged paw feet, hallmarked for Rebecca Emes and Edward Barnard, London, more than doubled expectations at $1,725.
The top jewelry lot was a man’s hand-made 18-karat gold ring with a bezel-set center diamond weighing approximately 2.0 carats, surrounded by 58 round champagne and white diamonds; it surpassed its estimate, selling for $5,015.
For more information on Stephenson’s, contact 215-322-6182 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit