The price eclipsed the previous record of $277,300.00, set almost exactly a year ago, also at Fontaine’s Auction.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. – An E. Howard & Company No. 47 wall-hanging astronomical regulator clock – one of only three examples known and so rare it doesn’t even appear in the E. Howard catalog – soared to a record price of $356,950.00 at a clock and watch auction held Nov. 22-23 by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery, in the firm’s showroom at 1485 West Housatonic Street in Pittsfield. It was the sale’s top lot.

watchThe previous record for an E. Howard clock (set about a year ago, also at Fontaine’s), was $277,300.00, for a No. 68 astronomical floor clock. The No. 47 wall hanger was expected to do well, having been assigned a pre-sale estimate of $200,000.00-$300,000.00, which some thought was lofty. In the end, the clock (listed in the E. Howard archives, as clock #122, a “No. 47 wall hanging”) approached the high end of the estimate.

The two-day, three session auction kicked off on Saturday morning, Nov. 22, with a 100-lot discovery auction, followed by a cataloged sale dedicated entirely to more than 425 antique and collector clocks. The Sunday, Nov. 23 session featured watches, fobs and chains. In all, more than 700 lots came up for bid in a sale that grossed over $1.5 million. Fontaine’s often holds successful antique clock & watch auctions.

The auction was packed with rare examples by makers such as Seth Thomas, Ansonia, Ithaca, Elmer O. Stennes, Foster Campos, Chelsea, Atkins, Walter Durfee, J. J. Elliot, Waltham, William Gilbert, F. Kroeber, New Haven, Waterbury, Eli Terry, E. N. Welch, E. Ingraham, Tiffany & Company, Sessions, LeCoultre and, of course, E. Howard & Company, the 19th century Boston maker coveted by collectors.

Following are additional highlights from the auction, which drew a large in-house crowd and saw hundreds of others participating online, via LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com. Phone and absentee (left) bids were also recorded. All prices quoted here include the 21 percent buyer’s premium.

The second top lot was also an E. Howard – a No. 25 drum head astronomical regulator that went for $121,000.00. The clock, 79 inches tall, boasted a 14-inch silvered bronze astronomical dial signed “E. Howard & Co. Makers, Boston, Patented May 11, 1858.” The original walnut case had a round “drum head” top and the arched front door’s original glass exposed the clock’s pendulum and beat indicator.

A George A. Jones (N.Y.) astronomical regulator, 92 inches tall and housed in a beautiful carved walnut case with a maiden’s head on the crest, burled panels and large teardrop finials, changed hands for $72,600.00. The clock featured an original 16-inch painted metal astronomical dial, good original hands, a quality brass 8-day weight-driven time-only movement with pyramid plates, and deadbeat escapement.

A Seth Thomas No. 8 office calendar clock, 63 inches tall in a large and gorgeous case with a missing canopy top, carved corner finials over turned-corner columns and raised beveled panels, realized $42,350.00. The clock had the original 14-inch panted metal dial, with black Roman hour numerals, black spade hands and sub-seconds dial. The 8-day brass weight-driven time-only movement was signed Seth Thomas.

A rare and unusual French industrial animated torpedo clock, mounted on a green onyx base alongside a compass and barometer, fetched $39,325.00. The clock’s silvered torpedo-shaped case had gilt brass trimmings and a 2 ½ inch silvered dial with black Roman numerals. The brass time-only movement with platform lever escapement was in good working order. A separate movement ran the propeller.

A scarce animated and musical figural clock with a monkey wearing French attire and playing the violin gaveled for $16,940.00. Displayed under a glass dome, in an unusual painted papier-mâché and carved wood case, the monkey figure was seen seated under a tree and his head and eyes moved as he played his instrument. The round French brass spring-driven movement was signed “Japy Freres.”

A model J. L. Reutter pendulum Atmos clock (non-running but highly collectible), with a 5-inch silvered dial signed “Atmos Perpetuelle” and signed by the retailer (“Kelyz, Bloch, Strasbourg”), rose to $9,680.00. The clock had applied brass hour numbers and jeweled hour markers, glow-in-the-dark painted hands and an open center exposing the front plates of the movement (numbered “5350”).

The star lot of the watch session was a Mathey Tissot perpetual split chronograph repeater 14kt yellow gold open face pocket watch that wowed the crowd for $22,990.00. The watch, a real beauty and in excellent working condition, had 56 round cut diamonds on the bezel and a chronograph start, stop and reset button on the crown. The two-tone metal dial and movement were signed “Mathey Tissot, Swiss.”

With over 40 years in the auction business, Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is a name that has earned the trust of collectors, investors and gallery owners around the world. Cataloged lots receive nationwide exposure to the firm’s sizeable database of more than 18,000 qualified buyers. Seven times Fontaine’s Auction Gallery has been voted “Best Antique Auction Gallery” by an appreciative and savvy public.

Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is actively seeking quality consignments for future sales. The firm also buys antiques, collections and entire estates outright. To consign an item, estate or collection, call (413) 448-8922 and ask for John Fontaine. Or, e-mail him at [email protected] Fontaine’s has 6 auctions scheduled for the 1st half of 2015, both specialty and estate auctions, to learn more about Fontaine’s Auction Gallery and the firm’s calendar of upcoming auction events, visit www.FontainesAuction.com