Published: February 1, 2022
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photos Courtesy William Bunch Auctions
CHADDS FORD, PENN. – In its first sale of the New Year, William Bunch Auctions offered a small but choice selection of clocks in all forms and vintages with strong results on January 18. It was the first sale dedicated exclusively to clocks that the firm has offered in quite some time, but when an estate within an hour of Chadds Ford presented itself, Bill Bunch took advantage of the opportunity.
“We usually work clocks into our other sales but we had this particular estate collection, and added some clocks from other sellers, and it came together. We’re happy with how the sale did. The clocks created some interest and activity and they sold. As always, the good things took care of themselves and created a lot of competition achieving, in my view, pretty good results.”
Wall clocks dominated the leaderboard with eight of the top ten lots, including the highest priced example at $4,500 for an oak wall regulator by E. Howard Company of Boston. The clock had been made for the Central National Bank of Greencastle, Ind., as indicated on its white dial. It sold to a private collector in Pennsylvania.
Clocks made for a specific original customer proved popular with bidders, who took a rosewood Seth Thomas Number two weight regulator to $3,360. The white dial had the B&O railroad local while the door was reverse painted “The Webb C. Ball Co. / Jewelers / Cleveland O.” The price realized was less than it was originally acquired for but still nearly triple its high estimate. A similar example, also made for the Webb C. Ball Co., brought $3,240. The same price was realized by a Seth Thomas Watch Company oak clock that had doubled as an advertisement for the B&O Railroad.
French examples were led by a late Nineteenth Century wall clock in a Classical Revival gilt metal mounted example in oak case that featured a painted white dial signed Planchon a Paris. Bidders wound it up to $2,280. Going out with a bang at $780 was a bronze desk clock in the form of an artillery cannon that had a dial signed JE Caldwell & Co of France and was signed on the base “A Jourdain.”
A few Scottish examples in the sale topped expectations. Bringing $1,800 was one made by Benjamin King of Glasgow, the Victorian mahogany tall case example featured a rested carved drum-head bonnet, and seconds and calendar subsidiary dials. Also made in Edinburgh, by Thomas Reid & William Auld, was a Regency twin fusee silvered brass dial “balloon” bracket clock that went out at $1,920.
Standing floor clocks – described variously such as tall case, long case or grandfather – were fewer than wall or tabletop forms but nonetheless brought strong results. The group was led at $1,800 by a Scottish Victorian mahogany example by Benjamin King of Glasgow, followed at $1,440 by a William Scott Lauder standing regulator eight-day clock from the mid-Nineteenth Century. Rounding out the third place tall clock was a John Taylor Carlton hall clock with an Eighteenth Century brass dial in a mid-Nineteenth Century Regency-style mahogany case.
Rolex is a name more frequently found in a watch, rather than clock, but this sale offered three options for collectors of the luxury brand. All were wall clocks that had been made for dealer showrooms. Each were estimated at $100/200 but all exceeded expectations; a Hulk Submariner example with green bezel brought $780. A GMT Master II example ran to $660, while a Daytona model brought up the rear at $450.
The next quarterly auction at William Bunch will take place towards the end of March.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house.
For information, 610-558-1800, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.bunchauctions.com.
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