Published: June 17, 2008
A bidder on the phone from Texas and another in Fontaine’s Auction Gallery’s saleroom battled over a Howard #61 astronomical floor clock on June 14, pushing it to a final price of $195,000.
The clock came from an estate in Baltimore, Md., and had never before been offered for sale. It was estimated at $50/75,000. “It is the second most expensive astro sold,” said John Fontaine, auction house owner.
Standing nearly 8 feet tall, with a solid brass movement and mercury pendulum, the Nineteenth Century clock was the marquee lot of more than 500 clocks offered in two sessions, one uncataloged and the other a catalog sale, to a packed gallery and with more than 100 other bidders competing by phone and Internet.
A new record was set for a Howard Figure Eight at $42,500. It had come out of a Hyde Park, N.Y., estate among a group of 50 clocks. “These clocks had 30 years of dust on them,” said Fontaine, referring to collection that had hung on the wall untouched after owner died 30 years ago. Also, a Seth Thomas Bank Model #8 sold for $54,000 in the antique clock sale, which grossed more than $1.2 million.
A full review will appear in an upcoming issue.
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