Fontaine’s has become synonymous with blockbuster antique clock auctions and in recent years has established several new world records for fine examples. In November 2013, an E. Howard & Co. No. 68 floor standing astronomical regulator that was descended from the original family sold at Fontaine’s for $277,300. It was a new world auction record for an E. Howard clock at auction, besting the previous mark of $230,100, also set by Fontaine’s a year earlier.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the expected top lot of the May 17 sale is an E. Howard example – a No. 48 astronomical floor standing regulator expected to fetch $100,000-$150,000. The clock boasts the 14-inch painted iron astronomical dial, pierced diamond hands and signed movement, in a beautifully refinished walnut case with carved crest.
Another E. Howard clock is also expected to get paddles wagging. It’s a No. 60 wall regulator with a 14-inch signed silvered dial, incised Roman hour numerals, Arabic five-minute markers outside, original pierced diamond hands and a signed brass weight-driven time-only movement. The clock, in a carved walnut case with broken pediment crest, should bring $50,000-$75,000.
A signed Pottier & Stymus carved parlor floor clock housed in a Renaissance Revival rosewood case that’s 81 inches tall carries a pre-sale estimate of $30,000-$50,000. The clock has gilt spade hands and applied brass Roman numerals, with an original French movement signed “L’Marti & Cie.” The top of the case has a bronze figural bust of Cleopatra with long hair flowing below her headdress.
A French industrial animated steam engine clock in a tri-tone bronze and rouge marble case, 16 ½ inches tall by 14 ¾ inches wide, should hammer for $15,000-$25,000. The case is in the form of a steam pump engine, with a piston in the center front driven by a large flywheel and governor assembly at the top. The clock, in working condition, has a nice gilt, silvered and brown patina.
A magnificent carved R. J. Horner oak 9-tube grandfather clock, 101 inches tall, with a dial signed by the movement maker (“Elliot, London”) and retailed by Dureay & Potter (N.Y.) has a pre-sale estimate of $50,000-$75,000. The large brass dial has a silvered 12-inch chapter ring with applied brass hour numbers. The case is in the original finish and has an arched bonnet top.
A French Chronos & Amour (“Father Time and Love”) silk thread figural mantle clock, in a gilt bronze finish and in excellent overall condition, 21 inches in height, should command $15,000-$25,000. It shows a large boat with swans’ heads, Amour at the stern and Father Time seated at the bow with staff and hour glass. The clock rests on a bronze base with winged lions’ paw feet.
An unusual carved mahogany 9-tube triple fusee bracket clock, 27 inches tall, with a quality brass triple fusee spring-driven movement by Winterhalder & Hofmeier (Germany), should rise to $8,000-$12,000;
Two lots share identical pre-sale estimates of $6,500-$8,500. One is a four-bird automaton clock with four birds perched within a blossoming tree and a typical French round brass movement signed Japy Freres and Brevetes. The other is a Gubelin (Swiss) inclined plane clock that sits on a long, wrought iron inclined plane with swirling filigree decoration, signed and numbered 3134, the clock is gravity powered by its own weight descending the inclined plane.
A French bronze animated gothic steeple clock with round brass 8-day movement signed “Pons” in a bronze two-tone gilt and patinated case in the form of a tall gothic cathedral is expected to hit $4,500-$6,500. Also, a Sonora Chime Company mahogany bracket clock giving beautiful sound from 12 tunes on 10 cupped bells playing from a cylinder should realize $3,000-$5,000.
Rounding out a few of the day’s expected top lots are a Strauss Brothers advertising wall clock with 11-inch paper dial and Roman hour numerals that reads: “Strauss Bros. America’s Leading Taylors” and “Chicago, Orders Taken Here” (est. $3,000-$4,000);
The auction will get underway at 11 a.m. Eastern time, with previews scheduled for Friday, May 16th, from 10-5, and Saturday, the date of auction, from 8 a.m. until the first gavel falls at 11 a.m. Phone and absentee bids will also be taken. For those unable to attend in person, internet bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com & Invaluable.
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 sizeable 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 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 email@example.com. For more information about the upcoming May 17th auction, please log on to www.FontainesAuction.com.