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Extraordinary Collection of Clocks, Music Boxes & Instruments to have Buyers Singing

by WorthPoint Staff (10/13/11).

This 19th-century silver and gold gilt over bronze figural cartel clock, maker marked “Barbedienne & Cie.” (Paris) is just one of many clocks, music boxes and musical instruments that are part of a private collection that will be sold at auction on Saturday, Oct. 22, by Great Gatsby’s in Atlanta.

ATLANTA – An extraordinary, never-before seen private collection of fine clocks, music boxes and musical instruments—amassed over the course of two generations and has been consigned by a prominent Alabama physician—will be sold at auction on Saturday, Oct. 22, by Great Gatsby’s.

The extensive collection has been consigned by the Alabama physician, whose father began the collection nearly 90 years ago. “It reached the point where the collection was owning me,” the physician said with a laugh, “and I just felt the time was right for these wonderful items to be enjoyed by other individuals.”

Offered will be more than 200 fine antique clocks (most of them French), more than 15 antique cylinder and disc music boxes, five baby grand pianos (three by Steinway & Sons), more than 100 antique clock mechanisms (an excellent opportunity for antique clock restorers and repairers), more than 90 Duo Art player piano rolls and some 300 15.5-inch and 27-inch music box discs.

The seller’s father was fascinated with the intricacies of clock movements, and he passed this down to his son, who learned to repair and refurbish clocks by his father’s side. The two would go off in search of the next treasure—shopping at flea markets and auction houses in the U.S. and abroad. They both favored the delicate workings created by the French clock makers.

Since they often needed parts to properly refurbish their finds, the pair also collected fine clock movements. A second passion of the father’s—disc and cylinder music boxes, which were popular in his youth—led to yet another collection. And those of course include the discs (all are cataloged by title and artist). The physician continued these collections upon his father’s passing.

A fully chased 19th century bronze Bacchus-themed putti clock will have paddles waving.

French clocks expected to do well include a 19th-century silver and gold gilt over bronze figural cartel clock, maker marked “Barbedienne & Cie.” (Paris); a 19th-century veneered tortoise shell and dore bronze mounted clock; a rare 19th-century figural swinger clock, maker marked “Aug. Moreau”; and a 19th-century gilt and patinated bronze Bacchus-themed putti mantel clock.

Expected top earners among the English clocks are a very fine 19th-century black marble mantel clock with perpetual movement works for day, date, month, moon phase and leap year; and a mid-19th century month-going bronze skeleton clock, attributed to Charles McDowell. A star American clock promises to be a very rare late 19th-century carved mahogany tall case clock with Herschedes 9-tube movement, a design winner at the 1884 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Mo.

Two music boxes should generate spirited bidding. One is an original late 19th century American Regina Corona automatic 27-inch disc music box, with 12 discs. The other is a fully restored, 19th-century Swiss cylinder music box with orchestreon organ and four 16-inch interchangeable cylinders (the overall size, including table base, is 44 inches tall, 48 inches long, 28 inches deep).

Pianos will include a 20th-century American Steinway & Sons ebonized baby grand piano, Model B; a 19th-century English ebony and rosewood grand piano by John Broadwood & Sons (London); and a fine marquetry inlaid art case Steinway & Sons baby grand piano (Serial # M-235624).

One of five pianos in the auction is this magnificent marquetry inlaid art case Steinway & Sons baby grand piano.

But fine French clocks will most certainly dominate the day’s offerings. These will include a 19th-century French dore and patinated bronze clock on a Thassos marble base; a superbly crafted 19th-century French dore bronze and verde carrara marble clock, marked and sold by Theodore B. Starr; and an oversized 19th-century French champlevé and dore bronze crystal regulator clock with mercury pendulum.

One clock certain to get paddles wagging is a very fine 19th-century dore bronze and white marble three-piece figural clock set, the porcelain clock face maker marked “Hry. Marc, a Paris” and surmounted by a knight on horseback, all resting on an ebonized base with sterling silver medallion inscribed “Presented to Lieut. Colonel H. W. Newman Commandant of the Royal South Gloucester Light Infantry Regiment Militia . . . after 47 years of service, June 1860,” accompanied by two candelabra in the form of lidded urns supporting five-light candle holders.

Also offered will be an early 19th-century French Morbier Comois wall clock with enameled decorated clock face and pendulum; a gorgeous 19th century French gilt and patinated bronze three-piece figural clock set, 31 inches tall and 19 inches wide; a late 19th-century dore bronze mounted French marble clock; a late 19th-century French bronze figural clock, signed “Auguste Moreau”; and a 19th-century dore bronze French rococo clock attributed to Francois Linke.

Rounding out the category is a monumental 19th century French gilt bronze cartel clock, maker marked “Cronier” (Paris); a 19th-century French silver and gold gilt metal clock, with clock works maker marked “Japy Freres”; and a late 19th-century French clock with the dore bronze pendulum in the form of a finely chased cherub on a swing (15 inches tall and 10 ¾ inches wide).

This 19th-century American Regina Corona 27-inch disc music box with automatic changer is among the many mechanical music-making machines in the auction.

Exceptional English clocks will include a late 18th-century George III tall case clock with moon phase movement (97 inches tall, 25 inches wide, 9 inches deep); and a mid-19th century barometer and thermometer in a finely carved oak case with adjustable ivory settings (45 inches tall and 10 inches wide).

Also sold will be a carved mahogany figural tall case clock, after the original by R.J. Horner, with a Herschedes 9-tube moon phase movement (116 inches tall); and a rare 19th-century Italian carved walnut figural clock attributed to Italian master carver Luigi Fruttini (27 inches tall).

An online preview with online bidding is available on the Great Gatsby’s website. For more information, call 770.457.1903 or e-mail to auction@greatgatsbys.com.

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