Rare Clocks Head to Bonhams New York Fine Watches Sale
Preview of the Elliot Collection to Be Shown in Bonhams New York Fine Watches Sale

New York – Bonhams is to offer a small private collection of 17th and early 18th century English clocks featuring designs by Tompion, East and Fromanteel that will feature in the New York Watches sale on October 20. Alongside the sale, Bonhams will preview the finest selection of antique and vintage clocks from the Elliot Collection, including rare clocks by the Father of English clockmaking, Thomas Tompion (1639-1713) and Joseph Knibb (1640–1711) featuring timepieces that will later head to the London salerooms in November.

Jonathan Snellenburg, Bonhams Director Watches and Clocks, New York said: "We are delighted to be able to offer rare and important timepieces from some of the leading names in the field, including Bourdier and Blondeau, alongside previewing exceptional designs by Tompion and Knibb before they head to London. The collection in the forthcoming New York Watches sale really shows a plethora of quality and craftsmanship which is appealing to the market."

Leading the New York clock offering is a Jean-Simon Bourdier (1760-1839), fine mahogany month-going longcase regulator with remontoire, equation of time and revolutionary calendar, circa 1800. The regulator is an important example of late 18th century French precision clock making with the design incorporating a superb gridiron pendulum. The clock displays true Solar Time, as seen on a sundial, in addition to the Mean Time measured by a mechanical clock, by using an equation of time linked to the additional hand. Equation clocks are recognised as being the true test of a master clockmaker. The calendar displays both the conventional months of the year and months of the French Republican calendar. This design is steeped in French history, often referred to by the French Revolutionary calendar as the piece was created during the French Revolution. Offered with an estimate of US$40,000-60,000.

Also on offer is an Antoine Blondeau, circa 1825, rare parcel gilt silver cased carriage clock striking grande sonnerie and quarter repeating with calendar, moon phase and power reserve with original red leather travelling case. Records show that the Parisian horloger-mécanicien, exhibited a pendule de voyage with the same complications as the present clock in the Paris Exposition of 1827. With its silver case it is an outstanding example of Blondeau's clockmaking skills featuring a gilt double baluster handle rising from a pair of lion's masks above a frieze, with applied gilt foliate scrolls and gilt rosettes supported by fluted pilasters flanking glazed panels on the four sides on a conforming plinth with further applied gilt scrolling foliage and rosettes. The clock is offered with an estimate of US$25,000-35,000.

Other highlights include:

• A Tiffany & Co. giant grande sonnerie quarter repeating alarm carriage clock with Limoges panels, circa late 19th century. The dial Limoges panel depicts a landscape of a huntsman and dog by a castle while the finely painted case panels show a lady and gentleman hawking, each on white steeds. Offered with an estimate of US$5,000-8,000.

• An early 18th century ebony veneered quarter repeating table clock, signed Daniel Delander (circa 1678-1733). Delander was apprenticed to Charles Halstead of London then later transferred to Thomas Tompion, the finest clockmaker of his day. He later worked at Devereux Court and finally within Temple Bar. Offered with an estimate of US$15,000-25,000.

• A fine and rare walnut longcase clock with mirrored door, by eminent maker of luxurious clocks, British, Charles Clay, circa 1725. Mirrored case doors were an unusual feature: mirror plates were an expensive commodity in the 18th century. Charles Clay styled himself as a "Machine Watchmaker", and is best known for his musical organ clocks, which can be found in the British Royal Collection. Offered with an estimate of US$10,000-15,000.

The Elliot Collection of Rare Clocks to Be Showcased in Bonhams New York Fine Watches Sale

Also, on view at the New York Watches pre-sale are highlights from the Elliot Collection where exquisite timepieces form part of the collection being offered in the London Fine Clocks sale at Bonhams on 30 November. These masterpieces of clockmaking will be offered as part of two days of sales to include Old Master and 19th century paintings and classic English decorative arts from Alan and Tara Elliot's historic country home. Highlights include:

• A fine and rare late 17th century ebony cased quarter repeating striking table clock by Thomas Tompion. The timepiece features a 'Phase Two' style case surmounted by a bold gilt brass handle centred with a cast foliate bud on internal pommels on a low caddy over-elaborate cornice moulding. The sides have silk-backed sound frets and long glazed apertures on a moulded base on block feet, the rear door has a central glazed panel while the front is finished with gilt brass escutcheons. Offered with an estimate of £200,000-300,000 (US$223,000-335,000 approximately).

• An important late 17th century Joseph Knibb, ebony veneered longcase clock of three-month duration with Roman striking and one-and-a-quarter second pendulum. The square brass dial features winged cherub head spandrels interspersed by engraved foliate boughs framing the Roman skeletonised chapter ring. The fine timepiece is one of only four known examples in ebony cases and within the group, it is the only one with its original skeletonised chapter ring. Offered with an estimate of £120,000-180,000 (US$134,000-200,000 approximately).

• A rare early 18th century Thomas Tompion and Edward Banger walnut longcase. The design showcases a stepped caddy top surmounted by three large orb finials and twin sound frets supported by brass-mounted Doric columns over a long door with D-moulded frame and side herringbone cross-banded panels. Offered with an estimate of £100,000-200,000 (US$110,000-223,000 approximately).


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