Skinner Inc. recorded strong results from its June 2, 2012 science, technology and clocks auction. The sale grossed just more than $1 million, including buyer’s premium. The following highlights represent the top lots in their categories:
Tornek-Rayville TR-900 Dive Watch, c. 1965, rare stainless steel water-resistant anti-magnetic dive watch with sweep center second made for the U.S. Navy, bi-directional revolving black bezel with luminous unit indication, screw-back engraved with military markings, “MIL-W-22176.”
Notes: This watch was used on patrol in Vietnam in 1967-1968 by the consignor; crystal and band are original and show age.
E. Howard No. 12 Wall Regulator, E. Howard & Company, Boston, c. 1875, black walnut case with turned molded bezel over the 15-in. dia. painted zinc Roman numeral dial inscribed E. Howard & Co. Boston., lower door with black, gold and maroon painted tablet, eight-day damascened brass plate, time only movement with dead-beat escapement, maintaining power and Geneva stop, iron weight and four jar etched glass mercury temperature compensating pendulum and looking glass behind, 62 in. h.
Elnathan Taber Mahogany Tall Clock, Roxbury, Massachusetts, c. 1790, case attributed to Stephen Badlam (1751-1815), dial signed by John Minott (1772-1826) J Minott 89, painted iron dial signed Elnathan Taber, Roman numerals, floral spandrels and moon’s age dial in the arch, pierced and blind fret at the cornice, brass stop fluted free standing columns flanking the dial, banded inlaid rectangular waist door with cut corners and fan spandrels flanked by brass stop-fluted quarter columns, the base with banded, line, segmented, and fan inlays all on ogee feet, eight-day time and strike movement with tin cased weights and pendulum, 97 in. h.
Notes: The front plate of the movement is inscribed This clock cleaned by E. Taber Roxbury, 27 Nov, 1812, it then being 20 years old. Marked Stephen Badlam cases are known with blind fret, complicated inlays, waist doors and side frets with cut corners. For a closely related case and signed Minott dial, see Robinson and Burt, The Willard House and Clock Museum and Willard Family Clockmakers, p. 57. Information on dial painter John Minott is found in Paul J. Foley, Willard’s Patent Timepieces, pp. 283-84.
Stephen Taber Mahogany Tall Clock, New Bedford, Massachusetts, c. 1800, painted iron dial inscribed S. Taber, Roman numerals, gilt corner spandrels and moon’s age in the arch, pierced fret top with brass stop fluted free-standing columns flanking the glazed hood door, fan inlaid rectangular waist, brass stop- fluted quarter columns and fan inlaid base on ogee feet, eight-day time and strike brass movement with pendulum and two iron weights, 89 1/2 in. h.
Notes: According to Jobe, Sullivan and Obrien, Harbor & Home, Furniture of Southeastern Massachusetts 1710-1850, Stephen Taber (1777-1862) was trained by Boston clockmaker Aaron Willard and moved to New Bedford to make clocks in 1799. His interesting clock career, which ended about 1810, is described on pp. 174-175.
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