An E. Howard & Company No. 47 wall-hanging astronomical regulator clock soars to a record $356,950 An E. Howard & Company No. 47 wall-hanging astronomical regulator clock – one of only three examples known and so rare it doesn’t even appear in the E. Howard catalog – soared to a record $356,950.
News-Antique.com - Dec 05,2014 - PITTSFIELD, Mass. – An E. Howard & Company No. 47 wall-hanging astronomical regulator clock – one of only three examples known and so rare it doesn’t even appear in the E. Howard catalog – soared to a record price of $356,950.00 at a clock and watch auction held Nov. 22-23 by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery, in the firm’s showroom at 1485 West Housatonic Street in Pittsfield. It was the sale’s top lot.
The previous record for an E. Howard clock (set about a year ago, also at Fontaine’s), was $277,300.00, for a No. 68 astronomical floor clock. The No. 47 wall hanger was expected to do well, having been assigned a pre-sale estimate of $200,000.00-$300,000.00, which some thought was lofty. In the end, the clock (listed in the E. Howard archives, as clock #122, a “No. 47 wall hanging”) approached the high end of the estimate.
The two-day, three session auction kicked off on Saturday morning, Nov. 22, with a 100-lot discovery auction, followed by a cataloged sale dedicated entirely to more than 425 antique and collector clocks. The Sunday, Nov. 23 session featured watches, fobs and chains. In all, more than 700 lots came up for bid in a sale that grossed over $1.5 million. Fontaine’s often holds successful antique clock & watch auctions.
The auction was packed with rare examples by makers such as Seth Thomas, Ansonia, Ithaca, Elmer O. Stennes, Foster Campos, Chelsea, Atkins, Walter Durfee, J. J. Elliot, Waltham, William Gilbert, F. Kroeber, New Haven, Waterbury, Eli Terry, E. N. Welch, E. Ingraham, Tiffany & Company, Sessions, LeCoultre and, of course, E. Howard & Company, the 19th century Boston maker coveted by collectors.
Following are additional highlights from the auction, which drew a large in-house crowd and saw hundreds of others participating online, via LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com. Phone and absentee (left) bids were also recorded. All prices quoted here include the 21 percent buyer’s premium.
The second top lot was also an E. Howard – a No. 25 drum head astronomical regulator that went for $121,000.00. The clock, 79 inches tall, boasted a 14-inch silvered bronze astronomical dial signed “E. Howard & Co. Makers, Boston, Patented May 11, 1858.” The original walnut case had a round “drum head” top and the arched front door’s original glass exposed the clock’s pendulum and beat indicator.
A George A. Jones (N.Y.) astronomical regulator, 92 inches tall and housed in a beautiful carved walnut case with a maiden’s head on the crest, burled panels and large teardrop finials, changed hands for $72,600.00. The clock featured an original 16-inch painted metal astronomical dial, good original hands, a quality brass 8-day weight-driven time-only movement with pyramid plates, and deadbeat escapement.
A Seth Thomas No. 8 office calendar clock, 63 inches tall in a large and gorgeous case with a missing canopy top, carved corner finials over turned-corner columns and raised beveled panels, realized $42,350.00. The clock had the original 14-inch panted metal dial, with black Roman hour numerals, black spade hands and sub-seconds