Published: February 20, 2001
‘Grungy’ Clock Elicits $51,750 from Massachusetts Dealer at Gustave White
PORTSMOUTH, R.I. – A rare late Eighteenth Century tall-case clock, with silvered dial inscribed “Barzillai Davidson, Norwich,” and a grungy cherry case untouched, was the top-selling article in Gustave White’s February 7 auction.
Noted clock specialist John Delaney, Jr, paid $51,750 for the lot, outbidding dealer Arthur Liverant on the phone.
“The bid was hammered before I could react,” said Liverant. “So I went back to get it.” Liverant has since purchased the clock from Delaney.
It had been consigned by the grandson-in-law of Dr Witter Kinney Tingley, a Norwich physician.
Delaney went back to his West Townsend, Mass., gallery with a full van, after purchasing the sale’s two other tall clocks: an English clock with moon phases, for $4,025 and a New Hampshire clock with painted dial and pine case for $2,875.
The gallery’s auctioneer, Michael Corcoran, said an auction record was probably set when he gaveled down a luminous Marshall Johnson marine oil for $26,450. The 22-by- 36-inch canvas depicted a full-rigged schooner and a sailing dinghy in a flat calm, with several other ships in the distance. Three phone bidders competed for the painting, with The Greenwich Gallery winning out.
ADEC (1999, Ehrmann) lists a high of $6,500 for Johnson’s work.
William Vareika Fine Arts of Newport paid $7,475 each for two John J. Enneking sunset “after-glow” oils in their original frames. They were consigned by a Barrington, R.I., resident whose husband had been a friend of Enneking. Gustave White had sold two similar paintings for the same client in their December 13 auction.
Other paintings included a large Ernest Albert winterscape that had surface problems but sold for $6,900. A sum of $2,500 was realized for a steam-sailor in stormy seas, signed K. Muller; and $2,800 won a small portrait of a man wearing a beret by Franz vonDeFregger.
A Regina coin-operated music box with 41 discs brought a $6,900, and a 16 by 24-inch diorama of a ketch also did well at $1,840.
Furniture prices were slightly off. Restorations did not help several pieces. A badly refinished William & Mary highboy with its two cases the work of different cabinetmakers realized $1,820, and a mahogany slant front desk with replaced lid fetched $1,900.
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