Skinner Inc.’s Science, Technology & Clocks auction set for Nov. 20
LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding.
Of the many timepieces being offered, an important regulator by the Bond Shop leads the pack. The Regulator No. 396 has an amazing Boston history tied to it. It was one of three made; No. 394 was developed for the Harvard Observatory, No. 395 for an observatory in Liverpool, England, and No. 396 for the personal use of Bond in his chronometer shop. As the director of the Harvard Observatory, Bond was one of the first to work toward establishing standard time. Descended from the Bond shop Regulator No. 396 is estimated at $300,000-$500,000. A video of the inner workings of the clock in motion can be viewed on the Science, Technology & Clocks department page at Skinner’s website.
Other clock highlights include a Newport tall clock, circa 1725 by William Claggett of Newport, R.I., which is the earliest American clock being offered in the sale. The clock is estimated at $60,000-$80,000. The sale also sports a number of Willard clocks. According to Robert Cheney, director of the Science, Technology & Clocks department at Skinner Inc., “While there is nothing rare about early American clocks, what is extraordinary are American clocks that survive in pristine condition. We have numerous clocks with this level of condition, and it’s what collectors are calling for.”
A fine collection of early sundials will be up for bid, including a fairly important silver pocket sundial by Butterfield, estimated at $2,500-$3,500. Early surveying equipment, navigational equipment including chronometers, sextants and octants will be offered as well as an impressive collection of telescopes. One highlight within the science offerings is a pair of globes by J. & W. Cary of London. The globes possibly the largest that J. & W. Cary made, have survived in near perfect condition since 1815 and are estimated at $80,000-$100,000.
The sale features a strong offering of militaria. The C. Keith Wilbur collection boasts more than 150 lots of American Revolutionary War material. The 50-year-old collection established by Dr. Wilbur features firearms, swords, canteens, as well as a Revolutionary War discharge document signed by George Washington, estimated at $6,000-$8,000. Much of the collections’ material hasn’t been on the market in decades.
From another collection comes the Civil War campaign chest of 2nd Lt. John Davis Edgell. The remarkable collection includes Edgell’s uniform, sashes, a cap, and photographs of his wife, which he took to war. The entire lot provides a unique opportunity for a collector to own a representation of a soldier’s history. Edgell was born in Gardner, Mass., and worked for 50 years for the Gardner Savings Bank, where he was president. The contents of the campaign chest are estimated at $30,000-$40,000.
Previews for the auction will be held on Thursday, Nov. 18, from noon to 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 19, from noon to 7 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 20, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Illustrated catalog #2527M is available by mail for $35 ($42 for foreign requests) from the subscription department at 508-970-3240. It is also available at the gallery for $32. Prices realized will be available at www.skinnerinc.com during and after the sale. For details 508-970-3000.
A gallery walk and reception will be held in conjunction with a preview of Skinner’s Nov. 20 auction of Science, Technology & Clocks on Friday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. RSVP at 508-970-3000.
View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE