Rare antique Chinese animated triple fusee bracket clock makes $1.27 million at Fontaine's, May 21st A rare antique Chinese animated triple fusee bracket clock roared past its pre-sale estimate of $500,000-$750,000 to sell for $1.27 million at Fontaine's Auction Gallery's May 21st auction.
News-Antique.com - May 25,2016 - PITTSFIELD, Mass. – A rare antique Chinese animated triple fusee bracket clock roared past its pre-sale estimate of $500,000-$750,000 to sell for $1.27 million at Fontaine's Auction Gallery's cataloged antique and clock auction held May 21st in the firm's Pittsfield showroom. It was the top lot in a sale that grossed $2.5 million, drew 150 people to the room and had over 4,300 registered online bidders.
The clock, which was running and striking, with all animated mechanisms working, was both beautiful and functional. Standing 36 ½ inches tall, the large gilt bronze case had extravagant filigree mounts throughout, with mythical heads above the corners, seashell handles and jeweled floral mounts. A 6 ½ inch porcelain dial featured black Roman hour numbers, fancy pierced brass hands and sweep seconds.
The animation made the clock irresistible. On the hour, the clock activated an animated mechanism of swimming ducks. Spinning glass rods simulated a waterfall in the open frieze panel, and a cylindrical cluster of spinning glass rods formed a fountain in the top of the case. A large spinning pinwheel was surrounded by 10 smaller pinwheels, and a jeweled teardrop finial rotated clockwise at the top.
The winning bidder was a buyer in the room who had traveled some distance to the sale, but asked not to be identified. The 4,300-plus qualified registered online bidders broke down as follows: 2,694 on Invaluable.com, 887 on LiveAuctioneers.com, 563 on Auctionzip.com and 162 on eBay. Some people were able to bid live through Fontaine's website, at www.FontainesAuction.com, for the first time ever.
The 500-lot auction featured not just a superb clock collection, but watches, music boxes, lamps (by Tiffany, Duffner & Kimberly, Unique, Bigelow & Kennard, Suess, Handel and others), paintings, bronzes and marble statuary, art glass, fine estate jewelry, fine silver, porcelain, Royal Vienna, Lalique, sterling and gold items, bird boxes, automatons and exceptional period furniture by makers such as J. H. Belter, J. &. J.W. Meeks, R. J. Horner, Herter Brothers, Mitchell & Rammelsberg and John Jeliff.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 21 percent buyer's premium. In addition to live and internet bidding, telephone and absentee bids were also accepted.
A Tiffany Studios Arrowroot table lamp with a 20-inch diameter conical shade having 16 large green three-panel arrowroot leaves and white opaque mottled glass flowers with translucent yellow centers, on a signed bronze library base, went for $48,400; and a Tiffany Studios Turtleback desk lamp on a fine bronze base with a leafy platform and art glass jewels around the edge, also signed, 14 inches high with a bronze shade and two large panels of yellow-gold iridescent turtleback glass, topped out at $12,705.
A French animated locomotive industrial clock with an excellent bronze case in the form of a steam locomotive on a black marble base with wheels that were animated by an independent spring driven movement, plus a thermometer and barometer, rose to $30,250. Also, a French industrial animated clock known as “The Bollard,” with