Fontaine's Auction Gallery to Offer Clocks & Watches at Nov. 17 Auction

Clocks & Watches at November 17 Auction

PITTSFIELD, MASS. — Time pieces from all over the world, of all sizes and types, and for everywhere in the home, from the wall to the floor to the mantle, will cross the block in Fontaine’s Auction Gallery’s best and biggest clocks and watches auction of the year. There is even a clock in the form of a painting that is both a clock and an artwork. The two-session sale will begin Saturday, November 17, at 10 am.

This auction will feature over 400 fine antique time pieces, including examples by E. Howard & Co., Seth Thomas, Walter Durfee, Ansonia, E.N. Welch, U.S. Clock Co., Elmer O. Stennes, Chelsea, Ingraham, S. B. Terry, French mystery clocks, French industrial, animated, Annular & Laterndluhr, early American wall and mantle clocks, advertising and tall case clocks, carriage clocks and watches along with a diversified selection of 20th Century collections. Auction previews the week of the sale are Friday 10 am to 5 pm, and Saturday, 8 am. to 10 am.

“We collect hundreds of great Clocks & Watches, specifically saving them for 3 specialized sales a year,” said John Fontaine, owner of Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. “We have magnificent examples of floor regulators, rare bracket and shelf clocks, fine clocks from renowned Europe and American clockmakers, wonderful pocket watches and more. The finest clockmakers are represented from E. Howard & Co. to Seth Thomas and Joseph Ives.”

is world renowned for the robust prices it has achieved on clocks and perhaps none so much as with E. Howard & Co. clocks, for which it holds several auction record prices. This auction will feature several choice E. Howard & Co. pieces, starting off with an E. Howard & Co. No. 49 hanging regulator ($100/150,000) having an original 14-inch painted metal dial signed “E. Howard & Co., Boston” in an oversized wall hanging special order carved walnut case with turned and carved finials, elaborate arched and filigree carved crest, 104 inches tall.

Also offered will be an E. Howard & Co. No. 60 wall regulator ($30/50,000) having a 14-inch in. silvered bronze dial in a carved walnut case with broken pediment crest, 65 ½ inches tall; and an E. Howard & Co. custom wall regulator ($20/30,000) having a large 24-inch painted wood faux marble dial with applied pierced brass Roman hour numerals and gilt pierced trefoil hands, in a custom carved wall hanging case with carved laurel wreath, filigree, cornucopia crest overflowing with fruit and initialed pediment, 74 inches tall.

The parade of regulator clocks across the block continues with a Franciscus Seiffner mahogany floor standing 8-day astronomical regulator ($40/50,000), circa 1830, with an 11-inch porcelain astronomical dial, 87 inches tall; a Seth Thomas No. 12 hanging regulator ($30/50,000) with its original 14-inch painted metal dial in a massive wall hanging walnut case with a carved crest and base, 72 inches tall; and a “Franz Lehrner” Biedermeier four-month mahogany floor standing regulator ($35/40,000), circa 1830, having a 12-inch porcelain dial in a mahogany floor standing clock case with architectural crest and fine maple striped inlays, 79 inches tall. Also offered, will be a Josef Steinbauer 30-day Laterndluhr regulator ($15/25,000) with a 7-inch porcelain in a rosewood Laterndluhr wall hanging case with carved urn finial, 53 inches tall.

Dating back to its founding in 1813, the Seth Thomas Clock Company was well known and is well represented in this auction. Besides the aforementioned Seth Thomas regulator, a Seth Thomas No. 8 office double dial calendar clock ($25/40,000) having two 14-inch painted metal dials, 67 inches tall, will cross the block.

Clocks offered in this auction are both functional, quite decorative and technological marvels such as the scenic animated porcelain and bronze clock ($20/30,000) featuring a porcelain and bronze fenced-in farm scene with miniature porcelain farm animals. The windmill has an animated rooster weathervane swiveling back and forth and the 3-inch porcelain dial is signed “Cronier Jeune, Rue de la Monnaie No. 6, a Paris,” 21 inches tall.

Other medium-size clocks fit for display on a shelf or mantle include a John Marriot English triple fusee bracket clock ($12/15,000), 26 inches tall, having a 7 3/4-inch painted metal dial signed “Marriot, Fleet Street.” Marriot set up trade at 175 Fleet Street, London circa 1790-1805. A rare Joseph Ives Brooklyn Model wagon spring shelf clock ($12/15,000), circa 1825-1830, has an original 10 ½-inch paper dial in a Duncan Phyfe style mahogany case, 28 inches tall.

In addition to English and American clocks, Austrian clocks will make their mark in the auction with as a bronze Grande Sonnerie mantle clock ($8/12,000), circa 1810, featuring a 2 ¾-inch porcelain dial and a quarter hour Grande Sonnerie (with repeater) strike on two miniature coiled gongs, a rare movement, large figural maiden bust legs and claw feet. A paper label on the bottom of the case reads “Gustav Freiherr von. Leutsch” and the clock stands 13½ inches tall.

Another Austrian standout is an early Jacob Happacher weight-driven mantle clock with dome ($8/10,000), circa 1810, in a black lacquer finish on a round wooden base, having a 7-inch porcelain dial signed “Jacob Happacher, in Wein.”

“We also like to include some surprises in our auctions and this sale will not disappoint, Fontaine said. While traditional clocks are in spades, there are several offerings that better resemble a piece of fine art or musical instrument. A Napoleon Bonaparte oil on canvas picture clock ($5/7,500) is one example, featuring a handpainted scene on canvas after the original painting “Napoleon’s Farewell to the Imperial Guard in the Cheval-Blanc Courtyard of the Palace of Fontainebleau” by Antoine Alphonse Montfort. The clock tower centered in one of the buildings has a 2-inch porcelain dial. The canvas measures 31½ by 38¾ inches.

Expected to hit a high note in the sale is a Hermann Bohn Viennese enamel decorated silver harp-form desk clock ($4/6,000). The case is in the form of a harp with a pierced decorated urn finial, enamel filigree and scenic panels, a 1¼-inch porcelain dial with black hour numerals and a time-only spring driven verge fusee movement, 7 ½ inches tall.

Rounding out the auction are a rare model J.L. Reutter perpetual pendulum Atmos clock ($6/8,000), 5-inch silvered dial with an open center, signed “Brevetes J.L. Reutter, SGDG,” 9¼ inches tall, a silver open face musical pocket watch ($1,5/2,000) with a 1¾-inch porcelain dial with musical instrument and filigree decorated sides, and a Waltham 18K open face pocket watch ($1,2/1,500).

Auction Gallery is the oldest operating auction gallery in Western Massachusetts. It has earned the trust of collectors, investors and gallery owners worldwide. All cataloged lots receive nationwide exposure to the firm’s database of more than 20,000 select buyers. Fontaine’s Auction Gallery has been voted “Best Antique Auction Gallery” eight times by the public.

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 the upcoming auctions.

The firm will buy outright or accept on consignment fine antiques, collections or entire estates. Call(413) 327-9686 and ask to speak with John Fontaine, or you can send Mr. Fontaine an e-mail to [email protected]. For more information about the company and the upcoming auction schedule, visit Updates are posted frequently.
Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is located at 1485 West Housatonic Street (Rte. 20), Pittsfield Mass. For more information, visit or call 413-448- 8922.