Published: October 17, 2017
Review and Onsite Photos by Rick Russack, Additional Photos Courtesy Jones & Horan
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Jones & Horan sold $703,000 worth of coins, watches and jewelry on October 1. It was a fast-paced sale, moving 386 lots in under four hours. Wristwatches, especially Rolex, led the day, followed by pocket watches and jewelry. Jones & Horan does not charge a buyer’s premium, perhaps unique in this day and age, and all items are sold without reserve. There is no internet bidding during the sale, but interested bidders can leave internet bids prior to the live auction. There were numerous absentee bids and several phone lines were in use.
George and Patty Jones, along with Diana Levesque, run about four live sales a year, and they run an online-only sale every two weeks. The company has been in business 34 years. Catalog descriptions are extensive and include extremely detailed reports on condition. The company uses social media to promote its sales, namely Facebook and Instagram.
Use of Instagram began when a potential consignor asked if the firm used that platform to promote its sales and offered to help the company get started with it. This sale had bidders from 13 countries and between 3,000 to 4,000 bids before the live sale began.
Material in the sale came from major collectors, including Doug Tessier, Kenneth Ray, Donald Wing and Wayne Arcuri. Leading the sale was a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner wristwatch, famous as the James Bond model. Sean Connery wore this type of watch in the first of the Bond movies, the 1962 Dr No. The watch was triple-signed and came with its Rolex service papers. Reaching $28,000, final price exceeded the $16,000 high estimate. The second highest price of the day was earned by a pocket watch, a “Grand Complication” minute repeater with a perpetual calendar, and a chronograph with moonphases, in an 18K gold case. It had been made by the short-lived Non-Magnetic Watch Co, of Geneva and the United States. The company was in business only from 1887 to 1905. The watch, in good running order, had recently been serviced and sold for $18,000.
The sale started with gold coins. Lot number 1 was a 1904 $20 gold coin on a 14K gold chain. The coin was in almost uncirculated condition and it sold for $2,200. Jewelry followed coins, and the lot most viewed by online shoppers was an 18K white gold ring with a dark pink sapphire weighing approximately 2 carats and set with diamonds. It realized $1,600.
The collection of American and European pocket watches came next. The Charles Fasoldt pocket watches did very well, with multiple absentee bids, as well as multiple phone and live bidders. All were from the collection of Donald Wing. Fasoldt was a maker of fine watches, active in the Albany, N.Y., area in the Nineteenth Century. He held numerous patents for improvements to the movements.
One, with a very rare tandem escapement, sold for $10,000. Another, with a co-axial double wheel escapement chronometer and a duo-in-uno hairspring, realized $9,200. The catalog’s description for these two rarities was more than a page in length. A group of Fasoldt parts brought $6,200.
Wristwatches, in addition to the “James Bond” Rolex, did well, with several exceeding their estimates. An Heur Carrera chronograph, retailed by Abercrombie and Fitch, finished at $10,500, and an A Lange & Söhne Sax-O-Mat in 18K gold, was hammered down for $11,000.
Also selling well over the estimate was a Patek Philippe wristwatch with an 18K yellow gold case and an 18K gold mesh bracelet. With the original inner and outer boxes, it went out at $8,000.
Moderately priced Omega watches also did well, as an Omega Cosmic triple calendar watch with moonphase went for $1,500.
Several of the watches came from the collection of Peter “Doug” Tessier, who, with his wife, was present for the sale. Asked how he decided to have Jones & Horan sell his collection, he said, “I first met Patty Jones when I was starting to collect about 34 years ago. My children have no interest in the collection, and when I decided to sell, I remembered Patty and looked online to see if she was still active in the business. I contacted her. [The firm] is easy to deal with and I like doing business with people where a handshake is all it takes. They’re old-fashioned New Hampshire people. And I’m very happy with the prices they’re getting for my stuff.”
George Jones is that text-book New Hampshire native, having grown up on a 200-acre dairy farm, milking cows and doing all the other work a farm needs. About social media, he said that he views the use of Facebook as a “way to educate newer collectors. We post to groups that are aimed at collectors of wristwatches, pocket watches and Rolexes.
“There are more than two dozen Facebook groups for Rolex collectors alone. Our online sales are designed to encourage new bidders. We do not charge for shipping for the online sales. As with our live auctions, there are no reserves. All our sales are in New Hampshire, so there’s no sales tax. By not charging a buyer’s premium, I think we maximize the return to our consignors and we let them know about that. Our income comes from our sales commissions.”
For additional information, www.jones-horan.com or 800-622-8120.
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