One that got away

NigelW

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Jan 2, 2015
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Auctions have been rare things since the start of lockdown but one clock caught my eye - a rather sweet early 18th C lantern clock by John Buffet of Colchester. The engraved side doors look original but the finial on top clearly isn't and the bell may not be. The hand looks wrong too, but a nice thing nevertheless. After much deliberation I decided not to put in a bid, not because I didn't like it but because I need to focus my time and attention on the many unfinished projects I already have on the go.

63.jpg
 

Andy Dervan

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Hi Nigel,

The clock has some issues and if you looked more closely there might have might more serious issues with it.

Here are two pieces of advise that I was given many years ago:

John Delaney from Delaney's Antique Clocks: "If a clock has condition issues - pass on it. You never want have to apologize for a clock that you purchased." This is more important today as condtion is so much more important than 15 - 20 years ago.

My wife's advise: "If you can't touch and see it - please don't buy it!" I generally followed her advise as it saves a lot of grief and avoids mistakes..

Andy Dervan
 
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NigelW

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Great advice - thank you. I hadn't seen it in person although I did request more photos. It sold for more than the auctioneer's top estimate.
 

rstl99

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Good advice indeed.
And another example of how antique watches and clocks seem to be rather HOT on the seller's block these days, investors looking to park their money into something they regard as "safe" (art, antiques). Good time to sell, maybe not a great time to buy...
 
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P.Hageman

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Good advice indeed.
And another example of how antique watches and clocks seem to be rather HOT on the seller's block these days, investors looking to park their money into something they regard as "safe" (art, antiques). Good time to sell, maybe not a great time to buy...
:???: I really don't know what you mean by this statement. As far as I can see clocks are going for a lot less then some time ago, even the very good original clocks don't fetch the "old" prizes. Only the last few years I could buy good clocks on English auctions for very reasonable prizes. Am I missing your point?
 

novicetimekeeper

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Jul 26, 2015
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Hi Nigel,

The clock has some issues and if you looked more closely there might have might more serious issues with it.
Here are two pieces of advise that I was given many years ago:

John Delaney from Delaney's Antique Clocks: "If a clock has condition issues - pass on it. You never want have to apologize for a clock that you purchased." This is more important today as condtion is so much more important than 15 - 20 years ago.
Whilst this is a fair point in most areas of clock buying lanterns are a bit of an oddball. particularly 17th century ones. Basically they have virtually all been messed with. They were a really eye wateringly expensive bit of kit in their day and their owners wanted the best so they got updated. Had they not been then they would have been lost forever. Many that survived have been altered more than once, and some have been altered back. The Victorians even ran out of ones to alter and started making new ones!

My wife's advise: "If you can't touch and see it - please don't buy it!" I generally followed her advise as it saves a lot of grief and avoids mistakes..

Andy Dervan
Since Covid 19 this has become rather difficult, but many of us have a lot of experience buying online before that.
 

DeanT

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Nick's point is a very good one. There are few 17thC lanterns which haven't been messed with especially anything that originally had a balance wheel. Some books even conclude that there are no original balance wheel English lanterns remaining. Even the 17thC ones which have been altered bring decent prices.

Without online bidding I wouldn't owe a clock so very rarely get to touch them first. Get lots of photos and if you have any concerns don't bid and finally pray the shipper doesn't smash it in transit.
 

jmclaugh

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Jun 1, 2006
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I'm not at all sure as to what the issues are with this lantern clock based on a single photo. Did anyone buy it and if so for what?
 

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