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E. Howard #61 Astronomical Regulator Clock, Period Furniture Highlight Fontaine Auction

by WorthPoint Staff (11/09/10).

This E. Howard #61 astronomical regulator, one of the rarest and most desirable clocks in the world, will be among the 500 or so fresh-to-market lots up for bid in a sale to be facilitated by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. – A cataloged antique auction featuring more than 500 quality lots—including an E. Howard #61 astronomical regulator clock and several pieces of period furniture by makers such as John H. Belter, J. & J.W. Meeks, R.J. Horner, John Jeliff and others—will be held Saturday, Nov. 13, at 11 a.m. by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery here in Pittsfield.

“It’s obvious why the E. Howard & Company clocks and watches fetch such high dollars at auction,” said John Fontaine of Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. “It’s because the company took pride in making only the best timepieces of its era. We have been fortunate to attract several wonderful examples of the E. Howard & Company #61 astronomical floor standing regulators and other models in our sales.”

The E. Howard & Company has been producing high-grade watches, regulators and marine clocks since its inception in 1842. Today, E. Howard Company clocks have evolved into the Holy Grail of American manufacturers in the burgeoning genre of vintage clocks and watch collecting. The firm still exists today, but collectors mainly seek out fine examples from the 19th century.

Among other exceptional clocks in this auction will be a George A. Jones wall clock, a Seth Thomas #60 wall clock, a U.S. Clock Co. wall clock, a Charles Frodsham astronomical wall clock, a three-piece French bronze clock set boasting an owl with a clock face in its breastplate flanked by a pair of owl-themed candelabra, and an elaborate 20-inch-tall figural French mantel clock with nice gilt accents and male and female figures presiding on the top plus others.

Also sold will be lighting by Tiffany Studios, Duffner & Kimberly, Handel, Pairpoint and others, cameo glass, art glass, music boxes, sterling silver, porcelains, Russian enamels, jewelry, fine paintings, bronzes, gold coins, a large collection of Mettlach steins, gaming items, pedal cars, rare carnival glass and hundreds of decorative accessories.

Internet bids may be placed via Live Auctioneers.com. A full catalog can be found on the Fontaine’s Web site.

Antique furniture will include a J.&J.W. Meeks laminated and carved rosewood turtle top marble-top center table, a selection of sofas by Meeks & Belter, and a matching pair of John H. Belter meridiennes in the Henry Clay pattern, as well as a very rare “Patent” Belter armchair.

A J. & J.W. Meeks rosewood marble-top center table, heavily carved and extremely ornate, will be auctioned on Nov. 13, 2010.

“Many of these furniture items have great provenance and were consigned by prominent estates and collections,” Fontaine said. “The condition and original finish on many pieces are among the best I’ve seen.”

Of the more than two dozen lamps in the auction, there will be several by Tiffany Studios, to include a rare 14-inch Damascene floor lamp, and a 16-inch Poinsettia shade with beautiful colors and floral design. The Handel examples include a rare riverbed scenic as well as several florals.

Bronzes will include an inkwell showing a woman in repose by Francois-Raoul Larche (Fr., 1860-1912), an Art Nouveau sculptor whose work included several figures of Christ but who is best known for his numerous female figures, both nude and draped. Also offered will be a figural bronze work by Anton Chotka (Austrian, 1852-1925) of two people under a street lamp.

A figural bronze by Anton Chotka (Austrian, 1852-1925) of two people under a street lamp.

Another figural work expected to do well is a marble sculpture of two women, one carrying the head of a beheaded man, the other looking wistful and forlorn. Art glass will include a multi-hued Quezal cabinet vase and a striking 31-inch Daum Nancy floor vase with yellow and amber coloration and floral décor. Jewelry will feature a spectacular 3-carat brilliant cut diamond ring, a 1.85 carat platinum and diamond pendant, a diamond cluster ring of seven carats plus about 20 period gold coins.

Rounding out the list of expected top lots is an Emile Puiforcat silver tankard with figural cherub on top and grape leaf and other figural decorations; a stunning Faberge letter opener with purple and gold handle and gold-colored presentation case; and an inlaid National Cash Register cash register in remarkable condition, with all the characters intact, ready for prominent display.

Previews will be held on Friday, Nov. 12, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 13, from 8 a.m. until the start of sale (11 a.m. EST). In addition to Telephone and absentee bidding will also be accepted. A buyer’s premium of 15 percent will be applied to all purchases made.

For more information about this auction, call 413.448.8922, e-mail to info@fontaineauction.com or visit the Fontaine’s Auction Gallery Web site.

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