Outstanding clocks wind up in Fontaine’s auction Nov. 17

This oil painting depicting Napoleon Bonaparte has a working clock in the clock tower. Estimate: $5,000-$7,500. Fontaine’s Auction Gallery image

PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Clocks from all over the world, of all sizes and types, and for everywhere in the home, from the wall to the floor to the mantel, 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 (above) that is both a clock and an artwork. The sale will begin Saturday, Nov. 17, at 10 a.m. Eastern time. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

“We collect hundreds of great clocks and watches, specifically saving them for three 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 European and American clockmakers, wonderful pocket watches and more. The finest clockmakers are represented from E. Howard & Co. to Seth Thomas and Joseph Ives.”

Fontaine’s is 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. clocks, starting off with an E. Howard & Co. No. 49 hanging regulator (below) 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. It is expected to sell for more than $100,000.

E. Howard & Co. No. 49 hanging regulator. Fontaine’s Auction Gallery image

Also offered will be an E. Howard & Co. No. 60 wall regulator (est. $30,000-$50,000) having a 14-inch silvered bronze dial in a carved walnut case with broken pediment crest, 65½ inches tall; and an E. Howard & Co. custom wall regulator ($20,000-$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 continues:

– Franciscus Seiffner mahogany floor standing 8-day astronomical regulator ($40,000-$50,000), circa 1830, with an 11-inch porcelain astronomical dial, 87 inches tall.

Franciscus Seiffner eight-day astronomical regulator. Fontaine’s Auction Gallery image

– Seth Thomas No. 12 hanging regulator ($30,000-$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.

– Franz Lehrner Biedermeier four-month mahogany regulator ($35,000-$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.

– Josef Steinbauer 30-day Laterndluhr regulator ($15,000-$25,000) with a 7-inch porcelain face in a rosewood Laterndluhr wall hanging case with carved urn finial, 53 inches tall.

– Seth Thomas No. 12 hanging regulator ($30,000-$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.

Seth Thomas No. 12 hanging regulator clock. Estimate: $30,000-$50,000. Fontaine’s Auction Gallery image

Dating back to its founding in 1813, the Seth Thomas Clock Co. 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 ($25,000-$40,000) having two 14-inch painted metal dials, 67 inches tall, will cross the block.

Clocks offered in this auction are both functional, decorative and technological marvels such as the scenic animated porcelain and bronze clock ($20,000-$30,000) featuring a porcelain and bronze fenced-in farm scene with miniature porcelain farm animals. The windmill has an animated rooster weather vane 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.

A rare Joseph Ives Brooklyn Model wagon spring shelf clock ($12,000-$15,000), circa 1825-1830, has an original 10½-inch paper dial in a Duncan Phyfe style mahogany case, 28 inches tall.

Joseph Ives Brooklyn model shelf clock. Estimate: $12,000-$15,000. Fontaine’s Auction Gallery image

“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 ($5,000-$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.

For details contact Fontaine’s Auction Gallery at 413-448-8922 or info@fontainesauction.com.