PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Time will be of the essence the weekend of Nov. 22nd and 23rd when Fontaine’s Auction Gallery will offer over 500 antique and collector clocks (on Saturday, Nov. 22) and watches, fobs and chains (on Sunday, Nov. 23). The auctions will be conducted in Fontaine’s gallery, located at 1485 West Housatonic Street in Pittsfield. Internet, phone and left bids will also be accepted.
A 100-lot discovery session will kick off the action on Saturday morning, at 10 a.m.
Eastern time. The cataloged auction will immediately follow, at 11 a.m. Start time for Sunday will be 11 a.m. Saturday’s clock session will include rare examples by E. Howard & Co., Seth Thomas, Ansonia, Ithaca, Elmer O. Stennes, Foster Campos, Chelsea, Atkins, Walter Durfee, J. J. Elliot, Waltham, Wm. Gilbert, F. Kroeber, New Haven, Waterbury, E. Terry, E. N. Welch, E. Ingraham, Tiffany & Co., Sessions, Lecoultre, French silk thread, industrial, mystery, annular and animated, English fusee, chronometers and barometers.
The undisputed headliner of the sale will be an exceedingly rare E. Howard & Company No. 47 wall-hanging astronomical regulator, so scarce it doesn’t appear in the E. Howard catalog. It is one of only three known examples as listed in the Howard archives, as clock #122, a “No. 47 wall hanging.” The clock’s pre-sale estimate is also astronomical: $200,000-$300,000.
There will be other E. Howard clocks in the sale. An important 90-day No. 25 astronomical “Drum Head” floor regulator with a 14-inch dial is estimated at $60,000-$80,000, an E. Howard No. 6 figure 8 regulator with signed and painted 14-inch dial, quality brass weight-driven movement and Geneva stop (est. $15,000-$25,000). Another is a No. 70 regulator with a large, original 24-inch painted wood dial signed “E. Howard & Co., Boston” estimated at $10,000 - $15,000.
Also in the sale is an E. Howard & Co. ship’s clock with a 12-inch signed silvered dial with Roman numerals and housed in a forged brass case with a gilt finish. Mounted on a mahogany stand, the clock should fetch $8,000-$12,000.
Also in the sale is an exceptional George A. Jones (N.Y.) astronomical regulator with original 16-inch painted metal dial, signed, and a beautiful carved walnut case with a maiden’s head on the crest, 92 inches tall (est. $40,000-$60,000); and an astronomical regulator by the English maker F. W. Clerke (London). The clock has a 12-inch silvered, signed astronomical dial, Graham deadbeat escapement with jeweled pallets and clean
case and parts (est. $15,000-$25,000).
A Seth Thomas No. 8 office calendar clock with the original 14-inch painted metal dial and an 8-day brass weight driven time-only movement signed with the maker’s trademark, in excellent condition but for the missing “pagoda” roof, should fetch $35,000-$50,000. Also, an animated and musical clock housed in an unusual painted papier-mâché and carved wood case with a figural monkey in French attire, should realize $10,000-$15,000.
Industrial clocks are always a draw. A French industrial animated torpedo clock in a silvered, torpedo-shaped case with gilt brass trimmings, a compass and barometer mounted on the green onyx base, is expected to garner $20,000-$30,000; while a French industrial animated steam engine clock with tri-tone bronze and rouge marble case, aneroid barometer and thermometer, should hit $20,000-$25,000.
Grandfather clocks also get paddles wagging. A signed Effingham Embree (N.Y.) Federal grandfather clock, circa 1780-1790, housed in an inlaid mahogany Hepplewhite case with a beautiful French polished finish, should bring $15,000-$25,000; and a Joseph Jennens (London, England) 9-tube grandfather clock in a mahogany case attributed to R. J. Horner, should command $18,000-$22,000.
A pair of Austrian-made Laterndluhr clocks should attract attention. They are an 8-day wall regulator with 6 ½-inch silvered metal dial signed “Josef Eisner, in Wien,” in a mahogany Biedermeier-style case with maple inlaid borders (est. $12,000-$15,000); and a 7-inch wall regulator with a porcelain dial signed “Franz Schieszel, in Wien” (circa 1820) also in a Biedermeier-style case (est. $10,000-$15,000).
A Thuillier (Paris) bracket clock with relief decorated filigree gilt brass 11-inch dial with a signed porcelain center, housed in a beautiful boulle and brass inlaid case with gilt bronze filigree mounts, is expected to finish at $8,000-$12,000; while an Elmer O. Stennes oak weight-driven clock, originally given by Stennes to his wife on the promise that she would never sell it, should make $8,000-$12,000.
Rounding out just some of the expected top lots in the Saturday session is a Paulus Bramer Dutch tall case clock (circa 1757) in a 103-inch-tall walnut case and in excellent running condition with a cleaned and enhanced original finish (est. $12,000-$15,000).
Expected top lots of the Sunday watch session include a Mathey Tissot 14K yellow gold Perpetual Calendar Split Chronograph & Minute Repeater (est. $15,000 - $20,000), a high-grade, unsigned Swiss triple date moon phase chronograph minute repeater, with the outer dust cover inscribed in German and dated 1907 (est. $3,500-$4,500); and a large (over 50cm) private label L. Kramer & Co. LeClaire Longines 30-minute chronograph in an 18kt gold Longines hunter case, also with engraved dust cover (est. $2,500-$3,500).
Four watches all carry the same pre-sale estimate of $2,000-$3,000. The first is a triple-signed (dial movement and case) Tiffany & Company (N.Y.) split second chronograph in a hallmarked 18kt gold case with script monogram on the case back. The second is a triple signed Humbert-Ramuz & Co. pin set stem-wind medical chronometer marked ”(Paris, 1889)”, with both dust covers marked 18kt gold.
The third is an unsigned Swiss-made hunter case minute repeater in a large (52mm) overall case that is hallmarked, possibly made for the Middle Eastern market due to what appears to be Arabic script. The fourth is another large (60cm) unsigned hunter case chronograph in a case marked 18kt gold on all three covers, with a clean porcelain dial but some minor dents and a movement that might need service.
Previews are scheduled for Friday, Nov. 21st, from 10-5, and Saturday and Sunday, auction days, from 8 a.m. until the first gavel falls at 11 a.m. For those unable to attend the auction in person, internet bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com. and Invaluable.com. A buyer’s premium will be applied to all purchases.
With over 40 years in the auction business, Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is a name that has earned the trust of collectors, investors and gallery owners around the world. Cataloged lots get coveted nationwide exposure to the firm’s sizable database of more than 18,000 qualified buyers. Seven times Fontaine’s Auction Gallery has been voted “Best Antique Auction Gallery” by the public.
Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is actively seeking quality consignments for future sales. The firm also buys antiques, collections and entire estates outright. To consign an item, estate or collection, call (413) 448-8922 and ask for John Fontaine. Or, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info about the Nov. 22 (antique clocks) and Nov. 23 (watches, chains and fobs) auctions, visit www.FontainesAuction.com.