Published: May 18, 2021
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Blanchard’s Auction Service
POTSDAM, N.Y. – “Eighty percent of the value was in 20 percent of the material,” said Kip Blanchard, who with his wife Sue runs Blanchard’s Auction Service. He was speaking about the May 9 sale of the estate of Dr George Couch, in which a selection of the doctor’s cherished collection of antique clocks carried the day.
“Dr Couch, an OBGYN from Watertown, N.Y., in Jefferson County was there for decades,” said Blanchard. “Everybody knew him, and everyone knew the family. He had five boys and they were all very successful in the area as well. Just a very well-known, likeable family.”
Blanchard said many folks who participated in this sale said they “wanted to buy something from Dr Couch; he delivered me.”
The clocks were Couch’s pride and joy and there were about ten of them offered in this sale. The top selling example was a Simon Willard tall case clock, 91½ inches tall with a cherry case, which had been in the family since 1972. A New Hampshire dealer won it for $15,255. The doctor had purchased it in Massachusetts for $11,830. At the time, the seller, Heritage Clocks of Mass., attested that the clock had likely not been more than within a 40-mile radius of its original location.
Also from the Couch estate, an E. Taber, Roxbury, Mass., tall case clock sold to a New Jersey collector. With an inlaid mahogany case and standing 93½ inches tall, it sold for $8,475.
Fetching $593 was an early American banjo clock with mahogany case, 33 inches tall, including finial, that was attributed to E. Howard, while an Eli Terry & Sons pillar and scroll clock with a mahogany case and original reverse painted glass, 31½ inches tall, left the gallery at $565.
Other notable timepieces included a Sevres porcelain mantel clock that was artist-signed “Petit,” 16 inches tall, with pendulum and key that earned $509; a brass carriage clock by Tilden-Thurber Co., Providence, R.I,, 4½ inches tall, that took $136; and a 27-inch-tall oak wall regulator calendar clock that brought $107.
Furniture highlights included a pair of wing back yellow upholstered chairs. They went out at $904. And fetching the same price was a Chippendale-style settee and ottoman with a hand carved base.
Topping the fine art being offered from the Couch estate was an oil on canvas of a “Boy Feeding Chickens” by W. Bickum, 1881. The 14-by-19-inch work made $989.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction hose. For information, www.blanchardsauctionservice.com or 315-265-5070.
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