PITTSFIELD, Mass. – A one-of-a-kind Howard & Davis astronomical regulator clock and a rare Seth Thomas No. 20 standing regulator clock with Grande Sonnerie strike and repeat could both reach or surpass $100,000 at a cataloged antique auction scheduled for Saturday, May 30th, by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery, at 1485 West Housatonic Street, starting at 11 a.m. Eastern time.
The clocks are part of a massive assemblage of more than 500 items in many categories. In addition to over 200 antique clocks (a specialty of Fontaine’s), these categories will include antique lamps by makers such as Tiffany Studios and others, fine period furniture, over 15 porcelain plaques by KPM, Royal Vienna etc., marble and bronze statuary, gold and diamond jewelry, sterling silver, art glass, cameo glass, Asian and Russian items and more.
Also sold will be rare victrolas, phonographs, music boxes, automatons, clockwork nodders, slot machines, coin-op, country store plus hundreds of related accessories. “A couple of weeks ago, we thought this was going to be a 400-lot auction,” remarked John Fontaine of Fontaine’s Auction Gallery, “but great new merchandise continues to pour in, practically on a daily basis.”
With a pre-sale estimate of $125,000-$175,000, the Howard & Davis astronomical regulator is the expected top lot of the auction. The clock has a 16-inch silvered astronomical dial, signed “Howard & Davis, Makers, Boston,” and a Geneva stop Graham deadbeat escapement. The excellent Victorian and Gothic carved walnut case, built around 1850, stands 86 ½ inches tall.
Seth Thomas was the only American clock maker to produce a weight-driven regulator with a Grande Sonnerie strike and repeater movement, striking the quarter and hour every 15 minutes. The back of the dial is inscribed in pencil, “This clock from family of M.S. Blake of Norwell, Ma. - once property of the S.S. Pierce Company and in office building now destroyed, near Copely Square.” The No. 20 standing regulator in the sale should hit $75,000-$125,000. Also sold will be a Seth Thomas No. 8 office calendar clock in an original finish walnut case with painted metal dial (est. $20,000-$30,000).
Two additional astronomical regulators are sure to get paddles wagging. One is signed “Blunt & Nichols, New York” (circa 1868), 78 inches tall, with dial an case both in untouched, original condition (est. $30,000-$50,000). The other is attributed to the U.S. Clock Company and stands 112 inches tall with a silvered 18-inch bronze dial. It has a pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$15,000.
An E. Howard & Company (Boston) No. 1 banjo clock, 50 inches tall, with black Roman hour numerals, a quality brass weight driven time only 8-day movement, should realize $6,000-$8,000. Also, a floor standing Biedermeier regulator clock with quarter-hour repeating Grand Sonnerie strike and an 11 ½ inch porcelain dial signed “Joseph Hubner in Wien,” 83 ½ inches tall, with the original finish, should hit $15,000-$20,000.
Several Laterndluhr wall regulator clocks, all made in the first half of the 19th century, should find new homes. One is a very rare one-year Biedermeier model, with 9-inch porcelain dial signed “J. Goyz in Gleisdorf” (est. $20,000-$30,000). Another is a mahogany 8-day regulator with silvered metal dial signed “Josef Elsner, In Wein” (est. $10,000-$12,000). A third is a mahogany 90-day regulator with 7-inch porcelain dial, signed, with black Roman numerals (est. $10,000-$15,000).
A French industrial water wheel clock having a marble and bronze animated case in the form of a water wheel engine with 16 wooden paddles and a walkway around the wheel that raises and lowers via a valve gear, should bring $18,000-$22,000; while a 3-piece French mystery swinger clock set, titled Idylle Printanerie (Idylls of Spring), by Geo Maxim, having a spelter sculpture with two figures swinging from trees, all on a marble base, should bring $10,000-$15,000.
A Juvet & Company (Canajoharie, N.Y.) time globe, made circa 1883 and featuring a movement that’s contained within the 11-inch diameter terrestrial globe and rides on the arrow axis shaft, 43 ½ inches tall, is expected to fetch $15,000-$20,000; and a rococo figural hour repeater carriage clock in a gilt bronze case with fancy filigree, cornucopias and figural putti, should make $10,000-$15,000.
Rounding out the clock category is a French industrial foundryman mantle clock with a bronze case on a black marble base, in excellent working condition and signed with “GLT” – the mark for Guilmet (est. $8,000-$12,000). Fans of antique music boxes will be impressed by the Regina automatic disc changer music box, playing 27-inch discs on a duplex comb. The unit is housed in a beautiful oak case and plays like new, with 12 discs included (est. $12,000-$15,000).
The star lot of the lamps category is a Tiffany Studios hanging lamp, 30 inches tall and with an 18-inch in diameter shade in the swirling pink Tyler pattern and a bronze beaded lower rim (est. $20,000-$30,000). Also will be a Williamson rose leaded table lamp, 25 inches tall, with an 18-inch gilt leaded and highly decorated glass domical shade (est. $5,000-$7,500).
Bronze creations always do well. Sold will be a bronze bust of Ludmilla Pitoeff (1895-1951), the Russian-born French actress, by Chana Orloff (Fr., 1888-1968), 20 ¼ inches tall (est. $15,000-$25,000); a bronze grouping by Eugeny Lanceray (Russ., 1848-1886), titled Winter Troika, of a horse-drawn sleigh, two men and a young boy (est. $10,000-$15,000); and a bronze grouping of two horses by French artist Pierre J. Mene (1810-1879), titled L’Accolade (est. $6,000-$8,000).
A Caille Brothers Co. (Detroit) one-cent coin-operated baseball trade stimulator, single reel type with five payout slots (for single, double, triple, home run and game won), in very good working condition, should bring $12,000-$15,000; while an H.C. Evens & Company (Chicago) horse race gambling wheel on a cast-iron base, with an interior barrel that rotates along with the wheel and through a series of gears and indicates the payout odds, should earn $4,000-$6,000.
From the furniture category, an unusual carved walnut marble-top bedroom set, with a high back bed having several carved animals in the headboard and footboard and a matching marble-top well drop dresser should rise to $8,000-$12,000. A gilt bronze marble-top one-drawer writing table with elegant tapered legs, is expected to command $8,000-$12,000.
Two desks are certain to wow the crowd. One is a Wooten No. 10 extra grade cylinder top rotary desk with carved gallery top, arched crest and seashell carvings at the corners, all restored and ready to use (est. $20,000-$30,000). The other is a desk known as the “Moore Counting House Desk” – designed to accommodate a customer or store clerk standing at the “service window” located in the gallery portion, and the executive seated between the 2 swing open banks containing the interior drawers, cubby holes & work surface. There is also a mail slot to accommodate after hour customers when the desk is closed and locked (est. $15,000-$20,000).
For those unable to attend the auction live, internet bidding will be facilitated by Invaluable.com and LiveAuctioneers.com. Phone and absentee (left) bids will also be accepted. See the website for terms and conditions: www.FontainesAuction.com. Previews will be held on Friday, May 29, from 10-5, and Saturday, May 30, the date of sale from 8 a.m. until the first gavel falls at 11 a.m.
With over 45 years in the auction business, Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is the oldest operating auction gallery in Western Massachusetts and a name that has earned the trust of collectors, investors and gallery owners around the world. All cataloged lots receive nationwide exposure to the firm’s expansive database of more than 19,000 select 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 items, to include furniture, lighting, clocks and watches, paintings, porcelains, bronze and marble statuary, Asian items, art glass and cameo glass, Russian objects, silver, musical, coin-op, advertising, toys, banks, gaming and carousel items for future sales. Consignments are currently being accepted for all upcoming auctions.
The firm will buy outright or accept on consignment fine antiques, collections or entire estates. Call (413) 448-8922 and ask to speak with John Fontaine, or you can send Mr. Fontaine an e-mail to email@example.com. For more information about the company and the upcoming Saturday, May 30th auction, please visit www.FontainesAuction.com. Updates are posted often.
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Fontaine's Auction Gallery
1485 West Housatonic Street
Fontaine's Auction Gallery
P: (413) 448-8922