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E. Howard & Co. #61 Astronomical Clock Leads Fontaine Auctions

by WorthPoint Staff (06/15/09).

The top lot from the Fontaine’s Auction Gallery two-day clock & watch auction was this E. Howard & Co. #61 astronomical floor standing regulator clock, which sold for $161,000 (including a 15-percent buyer’s premium).

The top lot from the Fontaine’s Auction Gallery two-day clock & watch auction was this E. Howard & Co. #61 astronomical floor standing regulator clock, which sold for $161,000 (including a 15-percent buyer’s premium).

PITTSFIELD, Mass. – A rare and fine E. Howard & Co. #61 astronomical floor standing regulator clock sold for $161,000 at a sale of vintage clocks and watches held by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. It was the third such E. Howard #61 sold within a year by Fontaine’s. The other two sold for $195,500 in June of last year and $189,750, in November.

“Being that three of these sold in such a short period of time, we were delighted that it performed so well and shows the sustained strength in the market for these rare timepieces,” said John Fontaine of Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. “Overall the auction was a great success, with dozens of clocks and watches exceeding their high estimates. It was a very good day.”

In all, more than 1,000 lots crossed the block at the two-session sale held on May 30-31. The gross for the two-day event was more than $1.2 million. A standing-room only crowd packed Fontaine’s showroom, while nearly 450 registered bidders participated online, via Artfact.com. Phone and absentee bidding was also active.

Another E. Howard & Co. clock—a massive #87 floor standing regulator clock with jeweled pallets, four-jar mercury pendulum and time-only brass movement—took runner-up honors, hammering for $80,500. The top-selling watch was a rare Rolex Model Ref. 4500 two-tone chronograph ($8,625). Also, a Seth Thomas 25-jewel “Maiden Lane” open-face pocket watch found a new home for $3,738.

Additional highlights from included (all prices quoted include a 15-percent buyer’s premium):

• a large porphyre and bronze annular clock on a pedestal (Raingo Paris) climbed to $28,750;
• a French figural silk thread “Atala & Chactas” clock (circa 1810) commanded $24,150;
• a French marble and bronze annular clock with father time depiction achieved $23,000;
• a French industrial steam clock and barometer rose to $19,550;
• a figural carved 9-tube mahogany grandfather clock made $14,950.
• a French industrial rolling ball clock with figural lion breezed to $19,550;
• a French bronze annular mantle clock with serpents hit $13,800;
• a French animated singing bird mantle clock realized $12,650;
• a Chelsea 10-inch dial ship’s clock with patinated “Verde” brass case and dial brought $12,650;
• and a French figural owl gilt bronze 3-piece clock set reached $10,350.

This Waltham 16 size 14k five-minute repeater watch sold for $2,530.

This Waltham 16 size 14k five-minute repeater watch sold for $2,530.

Among the watches sold during the auction included:

• A Hamilton 16 size box-hinge multi-colored pocket watch chalked up $2,588;
• a Dudley Masonic Model 2 pocket watch crossed the block for $2,300;
• a Patek Philippe 45 mm pocket watch gaveled for $2,013;
• a Waltham 18 size 14k solid gold box hinge hunting cased pocket watch went for $1,955;
• and an Oscar Waldan International NOS triple-date moon phase chronograph wristwatch topped out at $1,725.

Fontaine’s Auction Gallery’s next big sale will be an important Civil War, Firearms and Military Auction, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 15. Featured among the lots will be the lifetime collection of George J. Bisacca of Eastover, Mass., which was accumulated from the 1950s until his passing in 1983. It has remained virtually untouched since, and will be offered without reserve. A fully illustrated color catalogue with prices realized is available for this auction.

Fontaine’s Auction Gallery’s next Vintage Clocks and Watches Sale will be held the weekend of Nov. 21-22. For more information, call Fontaine’s at (413) 448-8922 or e-mail them at info@fontaineauction.com. To learn more about Fontaine’s Auction Gallery and its calendar of upcoming events, please log on to www.fontainesauction.net.

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