E. Howard & Co. No. 68 floor standing astronomical regulator clock realizes $277,300 at Fontaine's An E. Howard & Company No. 68 floor standing astronomical regulator clock descending over the course of many decades from the original family sold for $277,300 at Fontaine's Auction Gallery, Nov. 23rd
News-Antique.com - Dec 03,2013 - (PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – An E. Howard & Company No. 68 floor standing astronomical regulator clock descending over the course of many decades from the original family sold for $277,300 at an antique clock auction held Nov. 23 by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. It was a new world auction record for an E. Howard clock, shattering the old record set in November 2012 of $230,100, also at Fontaine’s. The auction was conducted in Fontaine's spacious Pittsfield gallery.
The E. Howard No. 68 was the top lot in an auction that saw 370 rare and important clocks from several prominent collections come up for bid. Overall, the auction grossed more than $1 million. “The best items in this auction went well beyond our expectations, with new clients participating at every level,” said John Fontaine, owner of Fontaine's Auction Gallery. “Fine examples of rare clocks are at the highest selling point I can remember over the course of my 40 years in the industry.”
Of the top ten earners, three were E. Howards, a testament to the Boston-based brand’s star power among bidders seeking only the finest in antique timepieces. In addition to the No. 68 model, a No. 25 drum head astronomical regulator brought $94,400 and a No. 74 astronomical observatory regulator made $41,300.
But the No. 68 standing astronomical regulator was the undisputed champ of the sale. The 105-inch-tall carved walnut case with a figural maidens head crest and #2 gravity escapement movement was ordered from E. Howard & Company on March 24, 1884. It was delivered to the great grandfather of the consignor in Stamford, Conn., on April 18, 1884. The clock was expected to do well, having been assigned a pre-sale estimate of $100,000-$150,000.
Approximately 1,750 total bidders participated live in the gallery, by telephone, on the internet and absentee. Internet bidding was facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com, Artfact.com and iCollector.com. Following are additional highlights from the auction.
Two clocks with magnificent cases attributed to the renowned 19th century American cabinet maker R.J. Horner both did well. The first was a 9-tube grandfather clock, 107 inches tall, in good original condition and with the original finish ($44,250). The brass weight-driven 8-day movement was by Bawo & Dotter (N.Y.) and the case was heavily and beautifully carved.
The second was another grandfather clock, this one 105 inches tall, with quality brass movement strikes on five silvered tubes signed “Walter H. Durfee” and signed “Tiffany & Co.” on a silvered plaque ($23,600). The clock, in good running condition, featured a silvered chapter ring with applied brass Arabic hour numbers, and a serpentine form case with broken arch crest.
Returning to the E. Howards, the No. 25 drum head astronomical regulator that gaveled for $94,400 was 75 inches high and in excellent condition, with a cleaned and polished finish. The 14-inch silvered bronze astronomical dial had black incised five-minute numbers and was signed “E. Howard & Co., Makers, Boston.” The No. 25 case showed a round “drum head” top.