An extraordinary, never-before seen private collection of fine clocks, music boxes and musical instruments will be sold Saturday, October 22, 2011, by Great Gatsby’s, at 11 AM ET, in the Great Gatsby’s showroom at 5180 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Atlanta. An online preview with online bidding will be available October 5.
The extensive collection was amassed over the course of two generations and has been consigned by a prominent Alabama physician, whose father began the collection nearly 90 years ago. “It reached the point where the collection was owning me,” the physician said with a laugh, “and I just felt the time was right for these wonderful items to be enjoyed by other individuals.”
Offered will be over 200 fine antique clocks (most of them French), over 15 antique cylinder and disc music boxes, five baby grand pianos (three by Steinway & Sons), over 100 antique clock mechanisms (an excellent opportunity for antique clock restorers and repairers), more than 90 Duo Art player piano rolls and over 300 15.5-inch and 27-inch music box discs.
The seller’s father was fascinated with the intricacies of clock movements, and he passed this down to his son, who learned to repair and refurbish clocks by his father’s side. The two would go off in search of the next treasure – shopping at flea markets and auction houses in the U.S. and abroad. They both favored the delicate workings created by the French clock makers.
Since they often needed parts to properly refurbish their finds, the pair also collected fine clock movements. A second passion of the father’s – disc and cylinder music boxes, which were popular in his youth – led to yet another collection. And those of course include the discs (all are cataloged by title and artist). The physician continued these collections upon his father’s passing.
French clocks expected to do well include a 19th century silver and gold gilt over bronze figural cartel clock, maker marked “Barbedienne & Cie.” (Paris); a 19th century veneered tortoise shell and dore bronze mounted clock; a rare 19th century figural swinger clock, maker marked “Aug. Moreau”; and a 19th century gilt and patinated bronze Bacchus-themed putti mantel clock.
Expected top earners among the English clocks are a very fine 19th century black marble mantel clock with perpetual movement works for day, date, month, moon phase and leap year; and a mid-19th century month-going bronze skeleton clock, attributed to Charles McDowell. A star American clock promises to be a very rare late 19th century carved mahogany tall case clock with Herschedes 9-tube movement, a design winner at the 1884 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Mo.
Two music boxes should generate spirited bidding. One is an original late 19th century American Regina Corona automatic 27-inch disc music box, with 12 discs. The other is a fully restored, 19th century Swiss cylinder music box with orchestreon organ and four 16-inch interchangeable cylinders (the overall size, including table base, is 44” tall, 48” long, 28” deep).
Pianos will include a 20th century American Steinway & Sons ebonized baby grand piano, Model B; a 19th century English ebony and rosewood grand piano by John Broadwood & Sons (London); and a fine marquetry inlaid art case Steinway & Sons baby grand piano (Serial # M-235624).
But fine French clocks will most certainly dominate the day’s offerings. These will include a 19th century French dore and patinated bronze clock on a Thassos marble base; a superbly crafted 19th century French dore bronze and verde carrara marble clock, marked and sold by Theodore B. Starr; and an oversized 19th century French champlevé and dore bronze crystal regulator clock with mercury pendulum.
One clock certain to get paddles wagging is a very fine 19th century dore bronze and white marble three-piece figural clock set, the porcelain clock face maker marked "Hry. Marc, a Paris" and surmounted by a knight on horseback, all resting on an ebonized base with sterling silver medallion inscribed "Presented to Lieut. Colonel H. W. Newman Commandant of the Royal South Gloucester Light Infantry Regiment Militia....after 47 years of service, June 1860", accompanied by two candelabra in the form of lidded urns supporting five-light candle holders.
Also offered will be an early 19th century French Morbier Comois wall clock with enameled decorated clock face and pendulum; a gorgeous 19th century French gilt and patinated bronze three-piece figural clock set, 31” tall and 19” wide; a late 19th century dore bronze mounted French marble clock; a late 19th century French bronze figural clock, signed “Auguste Moreau”; and a 19th century dore bronze French rococo clock attributed to Francois Linke.
Rounding out the category is a monumental 19th century French gilt bronze cartel clock, maker marked “Cronier” (Paris); a 19th century French silver and gold gilt metal clock, with clock works maker marked “Japy Freres”; and a late 19th century French clock with the dore bronze pendulum in the form of a finely chased cherub on a swing (15” tall and 10 ¾” wide).
Exceptional English clocks will include a late 18th century George III tall case clock with moon phase movement (97” tall, 25” wide, 9” deep); and a mid-19th century barometer and thermometer in a finely carved oak case with adjustable ivory settings (45” tall and 10” wide).
Also sold will be a carved mahogany figural tall case clock, after the original by R.J. Horner, with a Herschedes 9-tube moon phase movement (116” tall); and a rare 19th century Italian carved walnut figural clock attributed to Italian master carver Luigi Fruttini (27” tall).
Great Gatsby’s next big sale after this one will be a Winter Auction slated for Saturday, Dec. 3, also in the firm’s Atlanta showroom at 11 AM. Already consigned is a nice offering of mid-century pieces, to include French Art Deco and Art Nouveau; a fine Victorian and American Renaissance Revival furniture; and a wonderful private collection of fine contemporary artwork.
Great Gatsby’s specializes in conducting successful personal property sales. The firm’s global marketing strategy ensures the personal property it represents receives the far-reaching exposure it deserves. It is ready to help anyone whose circumstances have created a change in lifestyle, forced the closing of an art or antiques business, or need to disperse an inherited estate.
Great Gatsby’s is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To inquire about consigning a single item, a collection or an entire estate, you may call them at (770) 457-1903; or, you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Great Gatsby’s and the firm’s big upcoming Oct. 22 auction, please log on to www.greatgatsbys.com.