News-Antique.com - Apr 26,2013 - MARLBOROUGH, Mass. – April 26, 2013 – Skinner, Inc. will host an auction of Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments on Saturday, May 4th in its Marlborough gallery. The sale features an eclectic variety of French, English and American clocks, early watches and science material. In conjunction with this sale, Skinner is proud to announce the first auction of Historic Arms & Militaria presented by expert Joel Bohy. The militaria portion of the auction features flintlock and percussion muskets, pistols, and Civil War archives.
The auction’s cover lot is a French white marble and ormolu annular dial clock from the third quarter of the 19th century (lot 361, estimated between $15,000 and $25,000). The clock depicts a bronze standing cherub with gilt quiver and an outstretched arm that points to the current time. In addition to the sophistication of its timekeeping mechanism, the piece is a magnificent work of art – with classical ormolu friezes and foliate figures among the many designs adorning the piece.
A classical French lyre clock and garniture circa 1870 (lot 360, $8,000 to $12,000) marries precision timekeeping with beautiful period decoration. The variegated green-marble lyre-form case is decorated with applied ormolu beading and a figural sunburst at the top. Two matching vase-form candelabra complete this functional and decorative set.
A Morris Tobias binnacle timepiece with fusee movement, London, circa 1795 (lot 320, $4,000 to $6,000) provides a fine example of nautical timepieces offered in the sale. It comes to Skinner from the Time Museum which was open to the public for nearly 30 years in Rockford, Illinois. After it closed, the collection was moved to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry where it was exhibited from 2001 to 2004.
American clock offerings include unique and unusual pieces. An American rocking ship tall clock by Simon Willard circa 1810 features a painted arch with a rocking ship automaton (lot 449, $10,000 to $15,000). Willard’s eight-day clocks were sold with painted moon’s age and rocking ship automaton arches. While the moon’s age arch had practical implications, automaton arches were very popular with a clientele fascinated and amused by ships moving with the swing of the pendulum, as if by magic.
A classic New Hampshire mirror clock circa 1825 by Joseph Chadwick (lot 458, $2,000 to $3,000) comes to Skinner in an excellent state of preservation, with undisturbed dial and signature, and original glazing. A mahogany “Brooklyn” lever spring shelf clock is an extremely rare example by Joseph Ives (lot 484, $10,000 to $15,000). This experimental clock was designed to utilize a wagon spring to run the clock.
Navigational tools of note include a T.S. & J.D. Negus brass telltale ship’s compass circa 1870 (lot 508, $1,500 to $2,000). This type of compass was designed to be suspended over the bed of the ship’s captain so a ship’s bearing could be monitored during periods of rest by captain and crew. A mahogany and boxwood 15-inch octant circa 1782 (lot 507, $2,500 to