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Clock Prices Realized at Auction

Tim Orr

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Good evening, all!

With the permission of Greg Gould of Chapter 36, here's a link to a recent Soülis auction of clocks owned by a chapter member (excellent photos with amounts paid):

Living Estate Clock Auction

Best regards!

Tim Orr
 

Ralph B

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That would have been a very costly auction for me had I attended !
In years to come people will look at those prices and wish they'd been there.

Ralph.
 

MLS

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I would have bought myself broke if I were there.

With all due respect......most of those sold for dumpster fire prices. And most all were very nice looking clocks.
 

Ralph B

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P.S.
I forgot to add, thanks for putting this link up Tim.
Real world prices are always more interesting than dreamtime Ebay prices.
Cheers,
Ralph.
 

leeinv66

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I would have cried if that had been my collection.
 

novicetimekeeper

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Is this the guy that had to sell to pay medical bills? I hope he got enough to help.
 

Dave T

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Very disappointing to see such dismal numbers. I would expect we might see a lot of these clocks for sale soon on the net.
 

Bruce Alexander

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Well, we snagged the Ansonia Cabinet F and we didn't exactly get it for a steal. You won't see that one on the net anytime soon (I hope). Win or lose, that was going to be my final bid. It's a very nice clock. The finish isn't original (poly) which was a little disappointing but a pretty nice example none-the-less. We're happy to have it in our collection. Hope the previous owner is okay. He, She or They obviously took good care of the collection.

The Auction House, btw, was very pleasant to deal with and they provided a good, seamless and reasonable shipping service. I wouldn't hesitate to bid in their auctions in the future.
 

Jim DuBois

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Another auction was held in GA this week end; here are some notes from a fellow collector who was there and bought 10 or so clocks. There were about 165 clocks in the auction and theywere mostly with Southern labels and that drove the bidding;

"When the Greensborough labels went for sale, this is when prices started to skyrocket, and I was glad I purchased my clocks early. The same clocks I bought (Augusta, and Savannah labels) , with worse labels, and a lot more issues were going for triple what I paid after the momentum picked up. The Greensboro label triple decker’s were crazy! $3700, $4200 and I think the most expensive was $4700! He bought lot #103 that hardly had any label in it for $3700! Nice clock but waaaaayyyyyyy tooo much! One guy, who didn’t even know what he was buying other than they said Greensboro and he lives there…… he bought three totaling $12500. "

So, there is life in some markets and some clocks. $4700 for a triple decker anything is a bit much.....and several of these clocks were not museum quality, some having replaced glasses, not well refinished, or over refinished. And the auction was poorly advertised in my opinion, the photos online were very poor and the descriptions were non existant....go figure.....
 

Bruce Alexander

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Sometimes I think you might as well go to a Casino to get your kicks.
I very seldom get a really low price on a clock we're interested in. Sometimes we get lucky as a Buyer, but not as often as one would think in a "Buyer's Market".
Anything can happen in an auction. Go for what you like and keep your fingers crossed.
 

Dick C

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Yes, the prices at the Soulis auction appear to be low.

Are they still low when one factors in the 18% buyers premium, the 8.1% sales tax and possibly the shipping.

Shipping costs are not cheap.
 

Bruce Alexander

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Yes, the prices at the Soulis auction appear to be low.

Are they still low when one factors in the 18% buyers premium, the 8.1% sales tax and possibly the shipping.

Shipping costs are not cheap.
Eighteen percent is a relatively low Buyer's Premium. I routinely see them at or in excess of 25% these days. I imagine 30% will be the next "goal" for some Auction Houses.

As you say, pick-up, packing, shipping and insurance is not cheap. Soülis packs in house, so no pick-up charge. They provide a reasonable charge on top of their actual shipping costs. We were pleasantly surprised. I expected to pay $20-$30 more than what they charged. I've no doubt I would have paid much more if I needed some UPS Store Franchise to handle it for us. No sales tax charged on out of State Buyer's *if* shipping is handled by a third party. If you're present for the auction or if you go to pick up your lot(s), you'll be charged sales tax if you don't have a tax id exemption.
 

brian fisher

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there were some really good deals there.....seems like after around lot 66 all the bidders either ran out of money or lost interest.

I really would have liked to have had lot #8 for the 120.00 it sold for even though the woodwork on the top looks like a replacement.
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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Another auction was held in GA this week end; here are some notes from a fellow collector who was there and bought 10 or so clocks. There were about 165 clocks in the auction and theywere mostly with Southern labels and that drove the bidding;

"When the Greensborough labels went for sale, this is when prices started to skyrocket, and I was glad I purchased my clocks early. The same clocks I bought (Augusta, and Savannah labels) , with worse labels, and a lot more issues were going for triple what I paid after the momentum picked up. The Greensboro label triple decker’s were crazy! $3700, $4200 and I think the most expensive was $4700! He bought lot #103 that hardly had any label in it for $3700! Nice clock but waaaaayyyyyyy tooo much! One guy, who didn’t even know what he was buying other than they said Greensboro and he lives there…… he bought three totaling $12500. "

So, there is life in some markets and some clocks. $4700 for a triple decker anything is a bit much.....and several of these clocks were not museum quality, some having replaced glasses, not well refinished, or over refinished. And the auction was poorly advertised in my opinion, the photos online were very poor and the descriptions were non existant....go figure.....
Jim, is there a link you can provide to that auction?

I hear you!

However, here's one Southern clock I would love to be able to afford:

1996-107_TC97-177.jpg

And another:

resize:format=full.jpg

This pic is pre-restoration. Note that a messed up dial and significant losses to the feet didn't stop the charge to acquire this one.

Southern tall case clocks, whether plain, carved, inlaid (as in this example attributed to Peter Rife) or paint decorated ( e.g., this one decorated by Spitler) appear to make the rumors of the death of tall case clocks to be greatly exaggerated. That would appear to be true for the later Southern shelf clocks to which you have alluded. I too have been, well, shocked at what a difference a Southern label makes in terms of what someone is willing to pay with much apparent forgiveness for sometimes significant condition issues.

For chuckles, see more examples here: Clocks and Compasses

In fact, it seems that anything Southern brings very strong prices? Southern furniture brings strong prices especially when it is a form considered to be relatively uniquely Southern, e.g., sugar chests and hunt boards. Seems to be true of a variety of Southern decorative arts even if the corresponding form say from NE brings a much lower price.

A number of reasons have been suggested. An exceptionally strong sense of "regionalism" and that much was destroyed by climate, hurricanes and the Civil War making it scarcer.

RM
 
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woodlawndon

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Well, we snagged the Ansonia Cabinet F and we didn't exactly get it for a steal. You won't see that one on the net anytime soon (I hope). Win or lose, that was going to be my final bid. It's a very nice clock. The finish isn't original (poly) which was a little disappointing but a pretty nice example none-the-less. We're happy to have it in our collection. Hope the previous owner is okay. He, She or They obviously took good care of the collection.

The Auction House, btw, was very pleasant to deal with and they provided a good, seamless and reasonable shipping service. I wouldn't hesitate to bid in their auctions in the future.
You got a beautiful clock, that one caught my eye as I was scrolling through, nice one.

There were some good deals here. While it is a shame to see the market so poor, it is a good thing that those that still appreciate them can enjoy them with a reasonable outlay.
Don
 
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rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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RM, the auction list of clocks seems to have been taken down, but here is a link to the overall PAST auction, 7000 sq ft Victorian Home Liquidation starts on 5/4/2018 As you can see a lot of clocks and many were not what I would call "crisp". I am not seeing any $4700 triple deckers......
Here is a link to the auction at Invaluable.com.

You may have to create a free account in order to see the prices:

Onsite Auction Clock Collection, Furniture & More - Braxton

Thanks to you both for the links.

I have an Invaluable account so I was able to view the prices.

Whomever these folks were, they had an interesting collection. Strong on clocks with Southern labels with a smattering of NYS and Torrington clocks. I think the concentration of so many clocks with Southern labels in one auction in GA really brought the serious collectors out of the woodwork (not wooden works). That may have increased competition. I also wonder if some of the locals had been trying to buy stuff from the owner for a while and were turned down. Sometimes when that happens and then things become available, people go a bit nuts as they try to acquire an object of a longtime desire.

With regards to the clocks with Southern labels based upon a rather quick and cursory survey. As Jim indicated, most if not all of the lots had condition issues. A number of them went for little money. There were many in the $400-1000 range, +/-, that would be rather strong prices if they were for the corresponding example with a more common CT label.

Then, well to quote the late Phil Rizzuto, "Holy Cow". Some of those triple deckers. In USD, I assume these are the "hammer" prices:

Lot 89: 2000
Lot 102: 3900
Lot 103: 3600

Then there were some clocks where somebody must have drank 2 glasses of the Koolaid. See lot 101, a ST sleigh front with some of the worst embellishments I have seen for which someone paid nearly $1000.

I did like lot 104, the Hills and Goodrich gilt column ogee...even if the repro glass was rather over the top.

RM
 
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Jim DuBois

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I liked 104 a bit also. However, I liked the S.C. Spring clock more, lot 127. I would have pursued that one if I had been at the auction. I have been looking for a good example of one of those for some time. It represents the last of the Ives roller pinion clocks and was made well after Ives passed away. I have a couple of things to investigate on one of these clocks, hence the interest.

Some fair number of these clocks were less than pure to state the obvious, and that includes a number that went for some stiff prices, already noted....
 

Bruce Alexander

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All one needs are two serious, affluent and stubborn collectors and you can throw "market value" out of the window. The Auction House might make a little more money selling fresh popcorn to the rest of us. Those prices are pretty rounded so I think these must be hammer prices so add 18% B.P. plus 7% sales tax for locals...so potentially another 25%! o_O To each, his/her own. I would like to acquire a Pillar and Scroll some day before I'm done collecting. It looks like this collector may have had several of the tablets repainted. They look to be in extremely nice condition for their age and several of the clocks have very similar (and bright) colors. Lots 59, 95. 96. 98. 99, 102 & 103 all look like they may have been done by the same hand. Does anyone else think so? I'm not that familiar with these types of clocks so I'm not sure but based on what I can see, I don't see these paintings dating back to the early to mid 1800's. Nicely done, but not original is what I think. (Captain Obvious?)
 

Jim DuBois

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Jim, is there a link you can provide to that auction?

I hear you!

However, here's one Southern clock I would love to be able to afford:

View attachment 475945

And another:

View attachment 475946

This pic is pre-restoration. Note that a messed up dial and significant losses to the feet didn't stop the charge to acquire this one.

Southern tall case clocks, whether plain, carved, inlaid (as in this example attributed to Peter Rife) or paint decorated ( e.g., this one decorated by Spitler) appear to make the rumors of the death of tall case clocks to be greatly exaggerated. That would appear to be true for the later Southern shelf clocks to which you have alluded. I too have been, well, shocked at what a difference a Southern label makes in terms of what someone is willing to pay with much apparent forgiveness for sometimes significant condition issues.

For chuckles, see more examples here: Clocks and Compasses

In fact, it seems that anything Southern brings very strong prices? Southern furniture brings strong prices especially when it is a form considered to be relatively uniquely Southern, e.g., sugar chests and hunt boards. Seems to be true of a variety of Southern decorative arts even if the corresponding form say from NE brings a much lower price.

A number of reasons have been suggested. An exceptionally strong sense of "regionalism" and that much was destroyed by climate, hurricanes and the Civil War making it scarcer.

RM
While I would like to able to afford the first clock, if I could afford it I would buy something else. Just don't like it. The 2nd one I do like. As always thanks for the excellent input RM!
 

Dick C

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96 was not a triple decker and it sold for 1900.

The triple deckers and this one were all done by Davis & Barber, Greensborough.

With respect to high prices I have seen estates set up where the heirs are unable to take or purchase any of the items in the estate directly. It has been set up that if the heirs want particular items they can bid at auction along with everyone else. That way there are no arguments by the heirs. If they feel strongly about a particular item they can bid high, knowing that the funds to purchase will eventually be returned when the estate assets are distributed. Some will get more, some less; depends upon their priorities.
 

Jim DuBois

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At least one wag has said all it takes sell something at auction for big money is a good auctioneer and a person with a big ego. Here is a photo of a good Dyer label that an eBay magnate said the case was not worth saving, he burned it with the label too...I recently ended up with the movement from the clock, and was far too late regards the case...already burnt up....wonder what he would think now, what with some of these auction prices on GA labeled clocks? And here is the movement from that clock...

Dyer.jpg dyer clock.JPG
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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I liked 104 a bit also. However, I liked the S.C. Spring clock more, lot 127. I would have pursued that one if I had been at the auction. I have been looking for a good example of one of those for some time. It represents the last of the Ives roller pinion clocks and was made well after Ives passed away. I have a couple of things to investigate on one of these clocks, hence the interest.

Some fair number of these clocks were less than pure to state the obvious, and that includes a number that went for some stiff prices, already noted....
Yes, that's pretty decent though the replaced dial might make me hesitate. However, it did go reasonably and a proper dial might come along.

While I would like to able to afford the first clock, if I could afford it I would buy something else. Just don't like it. The 2nd one I do like. As always thanks for the excellent input RM!
Thanks for your kind comment.

No, definitely not everyone's cup of tea. But so unique and out there and that's kind of what I like.

96 was not a triple decker and it sold for 1900.

The triple deckers and this one were all done by Davis & Barber, Greensborough.

With respect to high prices I have seen estates set up where the heirs are unable to take or purchase any of the items in the estate directly. It has been set up that if the heirs want particular items they can bid at auction along with everyone else. That way there are no arguments by the heirs. If they feel strongly about a particular item they can bid high, knowing that the funds to purchase will eventually be returned when the estate assets are distributed. Some will get more, some less; depends upon their priorities.
Yes, I saw that. I have a feeling that 8 day ww with a Southern label don't turn up very often.

I have to chuckle. I have an E.C. Brewster & Co clock with one of his serial #'ed rack and snail strike weight driven movements in virtually the same case as lot 102...but acquired at a fraction of the cost:

IMG_4854.JPG IMG_4873.JPG

...and I think I would rather have mine. For more info, see the thread I started a while back about it.



RM
 

Bruce Alexander

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I have to chuckle. I have an E.C. Brewster & Co clock with one of his serial #'ed rack and snail strike weight driven movements in virtually the same case as lot 102...but acquired at a fraction of the cost:
The painted glass tablets in your Brewster look pretty pristine to my eyes also RM. Are they original or have they been restored/repainted?
 

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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The painted glass tablets in your Brewster look pretty pristine to my eyes also RM. Are they original or have they been restored/repainted?
They were done by Linda Abrams of Waltham, MA. In the thread covering this clock, I provide her contact info.

The glasses that came with the clock were no good and one was broken due to moronic packing. It was amazing that the clock survived shipping.

It was otherwise so nice, I felt it deserved proper restoration. Linda does museum quality restoration and reproduction. She has a photo library of original clock tablets which she will reproduce. These were based upon a set in a triple decker that I selected. They are done on old glass.

RM.
 

Bruce Alexander

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They were done by Linda Abrams of Waltham, MA. In the thread covering this clock, I provide her contact info.
Very nice example RM. Ms. Abrams does beautiful work and your clock is obviously pampered. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that she worked on some of the clocks in the auction as well. If it wasn't her, it was some other reproduction artist that the Collector had on "retainer". :)
 

Jim DuBois

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The quality of many of the repainted glasses at the subject auction do not seem to be of the same quality as done by those done by Linda, or Tom Moberg, or Lee Davis. The photos leave a lot to be desired, but the repainted glasses just don't look right, the colors are not quite period like, the finer details appear lacking, they don't seem to have the grace of the work of the above-mentioned folks. They just come across as a copy of a copy and seem lacking to me...and I like good glasses and am drawn to them and have been known to buy a clock or two just for the glass.
 
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rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

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Very nice example RM. Ms. Abrams does beautiful work and your clock is obviously pampered. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that she worked on some of the clocks in the auction as well. If it wasn't her, it was some other reproduction artist that the Collector had on "retainer". :)
The quality of many of the repainted glasses at the subject auction do not seem to be of the same quality as done by those done by Linda, or Tom Moberg, or Lee Davis. The photos leave a lot to be desired, but the repainted glasses just don't look right, the colors are not quite period like, the finer details appear lacking, they don't seem to have the grace of the work of the above-mentioned folks. They just come across as a copy of a copy and seem lacking to me...and I like good glasses and am drawn to them and have been known to buy a clock or two just for the glass.
I agree with Jim here. Overall, the quality of the replacement glasses in the clocks in the GA auction were not up to the standards of Abrams, Moberg or Davis. In fact, if really hard pressed to choose from amongst the very best mentioned here (not to knock anyone else, mind you), I think that I personally would give the nod to Linda. She has done some important restoration work of American, English, European, etc. and even Chinese export objects. She has a real wealth of experience and a "feel" for it.

RM
 

Jim DuBois

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Linda has done some tremendous work. A couple of months ago a resoration project I was working on had a badly broken glass, missing one small piece of glass and many complete breaks. A lot of paint was missing and or chipped away etc. She reglued the various pieces, let in a piece of glass to replace the missing piece, and then filled in all the missing paint. The glass is remarkable as she completed it. It is nearly impossible to see the repairs as normally viewed. If the owner approves I will share the before and after....
 

Jim DuBois

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Approval given. This work is by Linda Abrams....need I say more? Other than work of this caliber is not cheap...

ives dial as sold.jpg IMG_7673.JPG Ives glass dial in repair.jpg Ives dial after restoration.jpg 20180118_121145.jpg
 

Bruce Alexander

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I agree with Jim here. Overall, the quality of the replacement glasses in the clocks in the GA auction were not up to the standards of Abrams, Moberg or Davis. In fact, if really hard pressed to choose from amongst the very best mentioned here (not to knock anyone else, mind you), I think that I personally would give the nod to Linda. She has done some important restoration work of American, English, European, etc. and even Chinese export objects. She has a real wealth of experience and a "feel" for it.

RM
I suppose I would just have to see them side by side to see and appreciate what you're talking about. The blues were very "intense" on many of the Auction examples and the styles (from what I could tell) were very similar. In my opinion, the blue shades used were pretty intense on your clock's tablets too RM. While the glass didn't stand out as much, I thought that it looked pretty fresh. As Jim mentions, there's only so much one can see or appreciate from a photo. I think that if you're going to restore a clock, you should try to meet or exceed the quality of the original. The Dial House does great work too, but evidently there's no hiding the fact that a dial has been restored. I suppose that is the most ethical way to restore a clock rather than to try and pass it off as "all original".
Regards,
Bruce
 

Bruce Alexander

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3 Sonora clocks for the regular price of one. It's salt on the wound for the guy - I would be distraught if I was the seller.

Nice restoration on the face - it looks brand new!
 

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