- Nov 26, 2009
Not sure I agree in total.While I agree that a highly altered clock has become something different, the bottom line is that it up to the owner (or buyer) what he or she wants to trade their money for.
I generally agree with THT and CC. Some collectors seem adverse to witnessing the ravages of time. In my limited experience, those collectors happen to be relatively young.
Perhaps they will, as TH suggests, start using dye and getting botox injections when their hair turns grey and their youthful skin begins to wrinkle. Maybe they'll decide to zip around town in a candy apple red 1960 Corvette Stingray Convertible with multi-colored LED Running Lights. The fuzzy fur, however, would be their dyed mop flowing in the wind. Hopefully they'll have a smile on their face.
For my money, I prefer a well cared for clock in original condition. If it has been restored or repaired, that's better than having it trashed or perhaps parted out. If it's too "modern" for my taste, I'll just keep looking. If I find "it", hopefully I'll still have enough healthy time to smile and enjoy it. Tran Duy Ly published catalog reprints, not catalogs.
Getting back to the matter of a family heirloom, in the case of a highly altered clock, that would be a large part of the clock's history and probably a very small part of the family history. Perhaps someone was Mr. Fix-Anything to save a buck, or someone had quirky tastes and fancied themselves to be a folk artist. Thanks to you, the person who brought the clock to your shop has some good answers and probably a fair number of new questions to research the next time they visit with grandma.
Those answers are some of the intangibles which give the heirloom its real value. IF it is going to stay in the family, (for now), it doesn't really matter what we're willing to pay for it. If they would want to know market value for insurance purposes, each case would be unique but Insurance Companies don't pay out on sentimental value. One would probably need to provide receipts or some type of certified appraisal or proof of market value if the clock is worth the time. A Clock Shop's "opinion" may, or may not be enough. Being that Insurance Companies like premiums far more than claims, a clock repairer's opinion may be worth the paper it is written on, but only if the agent needs to take some quick notes.
Like an old family photo, it is priceless. Even if there's another mass produced example out there in "good" all-original condition, when Great Uncle Fix-It's work is gone, it is gone. For some of us in the market, that may be a good thing.
My experience has been that some of the older collectors, as evidenced by their statements & subsequently the state of their collections, were the worst offenders when it came to over restoration. Not long ago I saw an example @ a Chapter 8 meeting. A mirror clock heavily restored @ great expense, looking basically like a new repop. It was heart breaking. Many of those folks collected in an era when it was expected that antiques would be stripped, restored and so on.
Yes, I think many would like to find “that one rare all original piece”. But as you can see from postings on the Forum, it is certainly not the only thing. Enjoy nice clean ORIGINAL stuff, too.Most long time collectors are seeking that one rare all original piece that still looks good. Some are not so concerned with it being in running condition. Newer collectors tend to settle for lesser quality and/or restored clocks that look good, and over time will sell some when replacements become available. The clock in question is one of the latter types which will probably satisfy a newer collector for the time being. It's a handsome clock, and looks pretty good to someone who doesn't really know what he's looking at. I would expect it to sell north of $200 pretty easily, and possibly up to double that .... depending on the crowd at the auction.
No, I don’t agree. Enough platitudes. Quite a few of the few newer collectors I have encountered are looking for quality & guidance as to how to identify & find it. Junk is junk & it’s a put off & put down to them when that’s offered & pushed on them just because they are pegged as new or young collectors. These folks work hard for their money & want good value. And from experience I know that when treated right, you spend time educating & explaining, they become repeat customers who buy nice things.
$200?? To paraphrase Alan Greenspan, irrational exuberance!!