Swiss ‘clock watch’ winding up for rare showing in Pa.

 

MALVERN, Pa. – Asian objects (such as Chinese furniture, fine arts and porcelains) will be sold alongside items from the Western culture (like traditional artwork, antique clock examples and period furniture) at an “East Meets West” auction slated for Friday, Oct. 4,

A rare Monnier & Mussard “clock watch," often confused with repeating watches, but it will strike like a clock, without needing action from the viewer, and they are believed to have originated as travel (or “coach”) watches. (Photo courtesy Gordon S. Converse & Co.)

A rare Monnier & Mussard “clock watch,” often confused with repeating watches, but it will strike like a clock, without needing action from the viewer, and they are believed to have originated as travel (or “coach”) watches. (Photo courtesy Gordon S. Converse & Co.)

by Gordon S. Converse & Company, at the People’s Light & Theater Company in Malvern, beginning at 1 p.m. (EST). There will also be about 35 lots from Africa. The themes of these diverse cultures will all come together in a well-rounded sale.

The auction offers bidders approximately 350 lots. The 15 or so lots of Chinese furniture includes a pair of 19th century wraparound arm rest hardwood chairs with carved and pierced back splats, 40 inches high, with a 29-inch matching end table (to be sold as a three-piece lot). Chinese decorative accessories include 16 1/2-inch-tall lidded vases with dramatic Ming-style dragons below two Phoenix birds. Other noteworthy Asian lots include a rare, richly decorated pair of circa 1900 Qing lidded cloisonné tureens made as a birthday gift for the Chinese Empress Tzu-Hsi, each measuring 11 inches by 15 1/2 inches by 11 1/2 inches; and a carved and finished triad set of spinach jade, all presented on a custom-carved stand, 15 inches tall overall.

Also offered is a Qing Period lantern with reverse painted glasses framed out in an ebonized hardwood with added jewelry. The piece is wired for electricity but still retains the original hardware.

The West lots include antique clocks from the estate of Academy Award-winning actor Dustin Hoffman, an important Federal tall case clock signed on the dial “E. Willard” (for Ephraim Willard, the brother of renowned clock maker Simon Willard), and a rare pocket “clock watch” (it strikes on the hour, like a clock), made circa 1780 by Monnier & Mussard (Geneva).

As is the case with all 18th century pocket “clock watches,” the Monnier & Mussard example is rare. People often confuse them with the so-called “repeating” watches because they chime on bells or gongs. But a “clock watch” will strike like a clock, without needing action from the viewer. “Clock watches” are believed to have originated as travel (or “coach”) watches.

The “E. Willard”-signed mahogany Federal tall case clock has a provenance nearly as intriguing as the clock itself. It’s been in the consignor’s family since it was first made more than 200 years ago, and comes with written documentation establishing provenance.

A unique 19th century “swinger” timepiece, French, hails from the estate of Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman. (Photo courtesy Gordon S. Converse & Co.)

A unique 19th century “swinger” timepiece, French, hails from the estate of Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman. (Photo courtesy Gordon S. Converse & Co.)

Clock expert Gordon Converse has personally cleaned and maintained the clock since the 1980s.

Internet bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com and Artfact.com. Previews will be held on Thursday, Oct. 3, starting at 5:30 p.m., and Friday, Oct. 4, the day of sale, from 9 a.m. until the first gavel falls at 1 p.m., plus during the auction on a limited basis. The People’s Light & Theater Company is located at 39 Conestoga Road in Malvern, Pa.

To learn more about Gordon S. Converse & Co., and the Oct. 4 auction, visit www.AuctionsatConverse.com or call 610-722-9004 or email Todd@ConverseClocks.com or Gordon@ConverseClocks.com.

Anyone interested in finding out what an antique item might be worth may do so by sending a photo of the item, along with a check for $50, to Gordon S. Converse & Co., Attn: Gordon S. Converse, 758 Mancill Rd., Wayne, PA 19087.

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