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Auction Reports - 2011/02/21 16:21 As a regular feature I list here those clocks which come up at auction.
Due to a computer glitch the history from October 2014to July 2015 has been lost and reconstructed.
On the 17th July 2015 two tavern clocks were auctioned in different venues on the same day. A black round dial was sold in Crewkerne made by Clidsdale of Edinburgh for 9000 inc. premium and another red lacquered with a black round dial by Morton of Aberford, dated 1764 on the front plate of a genuine two train movement went for 13000 inc. premium. The latter at Woolley & Wallis. One went for too much and the other for not enough, guess which was which.
In around April 2015 a white round dial ostensibly by Stevens of Cirencester was sold on Ebay. The lacquerwork appeared to be much more recent than when Stevens was alive.
A white round dial bearing the script Ye Anciente Bell was auctioned in the USA towards the end of 2014 as unsigned which turned out on cleaning to be a genuine 18th Century clock by a Maidstone maker, Thomas Sutton

Also in the USA, this time top of the tree auctioneers Christie's who are mostly out of the clock auction business, except at the very top end, will offer a shield dial on the 21st October at the Rockefeller Plaza in New York. Signed T Green with no town given the decoration and gilding is slightly over elaborate for a "typical form" case. Nicely done but quite likely improved rather than conserved. Numerous Greens known. Movement has nice shaped plates with cutaways in the top third of the plates. Estimate at $15000-25000 which is a very wide band. Sold for $15000

On the 5th October Ahlers and Ogletree in the USA will auction a white round dial by Gartly of Aberdeen. Scottish tavern clocks are rare indeed and this otherwise standard example has survived quite well. There is one thing that lets this clock down and that is that the door gilding is in the format which frames a paper print glued to the door with nice scrolling top and bottom of the door but no print just a black surface. Pity. The movement has unusual baluster pillars not often seen on tavern clocks, must be a Scottish thing. Estimate is 5000-6500. Difficult one as the print will have to be added to finish the clock and that will be rather obvious.

On the 10th September, Sworders will offer the replica miniature striking banjo with a signature, "Sterck". This last sold at Mallams for 1000. Read below. Either the last three buyers found issues, or sales fell through or there is a man in a garage knocking these out. Someone explain please. Estimate 300-500. Cannot wait! RESULT, amazingly Sworders report the lot as unsold.

At the end of August Dreweattes will offer the first known white round dial signed Mann & Wall. Nice case but the movement is a replacement striker. Three winding holes in the dial so no attempt to fool as the original winding hole remains unplugged. Mann & Wall listed as Coventry makers. Estimate is 1800-2500. Not one for the serious collector but the case is the business. INSPECTION: having now seen the clock it is a great pity that someone thought it appropriate to change the movement to a striker. Presumably the perpetrator aimed to improve the clock. Well he improved it worse to coin a phrase and in so doing wrecked the value of this otherwise desirable item. The additional holes required involved quite a bit of butchery, see back of the dial. Nonetheless, as the case is in very nice untouched condition this clock will find a good home but it will always be a conversion. OUTCOME: 4836 inc. premium, time you add travel and shipping 5k.

Woolley and Wallis sold in July '14 an unsigned black round dial with unmatched movement and trunk, i.e. all three components dial, movement and trunk were strangers. Hammer 1000 explained by the movement maker Handley & Moore.

I repeat the text from lower down in this forum as the "Sterck" makes reappearance, this time at Mallams. Now described as a Georgian style black tavern clock. Nothing about this clock is antique. The estimate is 200-300 which seems fair given the quality of the painting on the door. The lot did very well at 1000.

"The second clock is a "miniature" banjo bearing the name "Wm Sterck". The banjo door has a painting of a pastoral scene which is very well done and is the same image as that found on an original full size banjo by Sterck. This clock is either another example of a miniature copy or the same clock as that sold at Bellmans last year, see below. Described as antique and later. More accurately, it is 100% later, with a cheap German two train movement. Hammer 620. Bizarre that someone went to all this trouble. Copy, fake, replica, facsimile or just a piece of fun by a hobbyist who is a competent artist. Answers on a postcard: email will do! No miniature banjo has ever come to light and this is not the first."

On the 10th July Adam Partridge will auction an unsigned black round dial with an estimate of 5-7000. Described in the condition report as untouched, the image in the ATG appears completely repainted but not having seen the clock one must take the report as correct. The minute hand is not counterbalanced so it is assumed that the counterweighting is internal. Come back for news of the outcome; well the hammer was 5150. This was a high price for an unsigned clock. Better examples have sold for less.

Well well, after a dearth, 4 clocks come along in June 2014. Lacy's had an early rectangular shield notionally by John Dewe of Southwark. If it had been right, this would be the third early Dewe but the third in quality. The Henry Young of Swaffham teardrop makes its third appearance in two years, obviously not finding a permanent home; this time with Wilkinson, third time lucky? Then there is a first outing for a simple mahogany cased white round dial by Fletcher of Barnsley; this one with Hartley Auctioneers. And finally another outing for an unsigned tavern clock, never a favourite, also with Lacy's. Come back for results. Tavernicus will inspect the Dewe prior to auction. NEWSFLASH the "Dewe" was withdrawn following the Tavernicus inspection as no evidence of the 18th century could be found. The unsigned lot 889 failed to reach its reserve for the second time. NEWSFLASH II: The Young of Swaffham sold for 6534 inc. commission, the same as last time, let us hope the buyer is happy this third time around. NEWSFLASH III: The Fletcher Barnsley sold for 1850 hammer which from the image seems about right and a bit above estimate. Also the unsigned black round dial at Lacys has sold post the sale according to a correspondent.

Woolley & Wallis pulled it off again on the 19th February 2014 with the auction of lot 131, a teardrop all black lacquered tavern clock with chinoiserie by Josh Barber. Once sold by Strike One this time around the hammer was 9800 (12350 inc. premium. Lot 136 was withdrawn, an early shield dial by Ono Marsh which has come out of the Bear Hotel in Hungerford, watch this space.

Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury sold a good red lacquered black round dial tavern clock by Laurence of Bath on 30/10/13 for 11376 including commission. Previously shown at a major London Fair for considerably more. Showroom condition and ready to hang. Red lacquer clocks are very rare. This one has carved gilded ears which is also rare. Price at lower end of estimate.

A banjo trunk tavern clock reappears on 26/10/13 at Hutchinson Scott. Last auctioned by Tennants in March 2012 with a hammer of 4000. Better luck this time with a hammer of 5400 equating to 6534 including commission.

Christie's sold an unsigned white round dial with no apparent decoration to the trunk. Sold on 19/9/13 as part of the Professor Richardson sale for 3250, some decent provenance explains the price.

Bonhams Chester in one of its final horological auctions prior to closure sold a tavern clock bearing the signature Fladgate London, on the 25th September 2013. A curious example as the black dial (broken at the top) is paired with a trunk painted in faux mahogany. No ears. Movement contemporary. Numerous question marks but sold for 3625 including premium. If correct this is the first recorded TC by Fladgate and something of a one off as no other TC is known with a faux mahogany finish. I expect having said that many more will flood out!

Dreweatts offered a white round dial by William Gostling of Diss on 4/9/13. Totally repainted but well done and in shop ready condition it sold for 4712 inc. commission. Cheap for a clock that just needs hanging, winding and giving the pendulum a nudge.
Once again proves that restored tavern clocks do not perform well at auction for the seller.

Finally, something of interest came up at Christie's SK on 10/7/13, a black shield dial of standard type. Signed James Wilson, London of whom there were a few so an unremarkable maker. The door has a print in lieu of the more common chinoiserie. This same print appears on a shield dial being sold by a dealer. Enquire if you want to know more. Original door lock, good weight, replaced seatboard so movement may be associated but may not be. Price a surprising high 10625 inc. premium against an estimate of 3-5k.

After a dearth of lots there are two coming up next week. On the 14th May there is a much altered shield dial bearing the signature Daniel Ray, Manningtree, est 4-6k at Sworders. On the 15th Gorringes will offer a small unsigned round dial totally repainted with a starting price of 1200. Unsurprisingly neither of these clocks sold.

The highlight of the year occurred on 12/12/12 at Bonhams who auctioned an early shield dial, c.1740, by Gabril Holland of Coventry. This is the first early shield to be auctioned for years. Basically in original condition and would have been 100 points but for an inappropriate replacement base, pine dial boards, curiously altered seatboard cheeks, very thin japan on the dial in two tones, no pendulum and a longcase weight. However, it went for a stonking price of 23400 including premium, reflecting its rarity.

Just when you think nothing of interest is distracting one's attention something comes up. Skinner Inc. in the USA auctioned a white round dial on the 1/12/12. Lot 426 is by Abraham Bernard of Bristol with very fine chinoiserie to the trunk. The only chain driven movement on record. Dial repainted and not necessarily correct but the best TC this year thus far, $8400 inc. premium, nice. See also Lot 427 described as an Act of Parliament clock, you decide.

Nothing worth mentioning has come up in the second half of the year thus far, in fact nothing has interested me this year, apart from the Devis. In November we have already seen the late George Daniels' tavern clock auctioned for just over 2k; a decorative piece unsigned and totally repainted. A poor example given the provenance. Rowleys auctioned an unsigned black round dial on the 20th Nov, very uninspiring with incorrect lacquerwork with an estimate of 2-3k, (hammer 2000, seemingly the going rate for a low end clock). In the USA Bonhams are auctioning a large octagonal on the 3rd Dec with a high estimate of c.$6k. It bears a signature, Hopkins, on the dial which is a clue as it should be on the moulding surrounding the dial. Described as repainted, possibly the artist's name on the dial. Watch this space for results (hammer just over $5k). Bonhams London has something more interesting in December

On the 20th June, Bonhams auctioned an unsigned white round dial with mahogany trunk. Estimated at 2-3k.Sold for 2250 inc-premium, no surprise there then.

On May 25th 2012 Gardiner Houlgate sold two clocks as tavern clocks only one of which approximated to the title. Both were inspected and photographed by Tavernicus. Lot 1080 is interesting as it is the first clock with a movement stamped and numbered by Handley & Moore to be found in this format. Ostensibly a smallish white round dial in a mahogany drop-case. The movement has a short hour pipe and a very small barrel for the drop. The short pipe is a problem as without adaptation it would not pass through the wooden dial and allow the hands to be attached: hence the gouging out behind the dial. Not nice but seems to have been done a long time ago. Turn the dial over and there is abundant false crazing but underneath this the original base coat and crazing is evident. The dial is signed and the signature may have been added, as H&M made movements for many makers. It would need some forensic work on the paint layers to determine originality. The mahogany trunk is later and has been adapted to take this dial. Patination a bit dull. Hammer 3600 plus 18% premium.

The second clock is a "miniature" banjo bearing the name "Wm Sterck". The banjo door has a painting of a pastoral scene which is very well done and is the same image as that found on an original full size banjo by Sterck. This clock is either another example of a miniature copy or the same clock as that sold at Bellmans last year, see below. Described as antique and later. More accurately, it is 100% later, with a cheap German two train movement. Hammer 620. Bizarre that someone went to all this trouble. Copy, fake, replica, facsimile or just a piece of fun by a hobbyist who is a competent artist. Answers on a postcard: email will do! No miniature banjo has ever come to light and this is not the first.

Canterbury Auction Gallery sold an unsigned white round dial minus ears and minus any lacquer on the stripped trunk. Good original movement complete with hands and pendulum.23rd May 2012, hammer 1900.

Sunday 13th May 2012: EBAY 20:10 auction completed on genuine A-plated tavern clock movement missing its hour wheel. Sold for 699. No doubt an empty case will now have a movement but will we ever find out??

The first sleeper came awake on the 31st March at Taylors in Montrose in Scotland. A mahogany banjo with a bezelled brass dial was estimated as a 19thC clock at 300-500. Lazyness as to the dating as the maker is listed, John Devis of London 1770-85. Unsurprisingly the hammer was 4000. Probably the best clock this year so far. The case needs work but mostly tidying up. The brass dial will hopefully be silvered and a hand needs replacing. It will be a superb clock. Regrettably not mine!

On the 24th March 2012, Tennants auctioned the first banjo of the year by Young of Swaffham. From the images, the clock appears correct but it has been totally repainted so the hammer of 4000 proves, once again, that repainting these clocks destroys value. In other respects this clock ticked many boxes and structurally is infinitely superior to many of the clocks described below. Shame.

Christies New York auctioned a totally repainted white round dial with a red lacquered trunk bearing a signature Edmund Martin and a spurious date on the dial 1790AD. Why do people do that? Auctioned on the 29th Feb 2012 for a mere $2750 hammer reflecting the repaint which, in effect, makes the clock a decorator's bauble.

Gardiner Houlgate, nr Bath, sold a white round dial, 50 inch high but with a standard diameter dial, hence slightly out of proportion, on the 24th Feb 2012 for a hammer of 6500 (7670 inc premium).The modern painting of the sides of the clock which had been stripped was the major query over this one. Bearing the signature Hancock Bath who is not recorded in the definitive book on Bath clockmakers by Ian White.

January 2012.Bonhams NY auctioned a black round dial tavern clock bearing the inscription Dwerrihouse on the dial with the corrected description of "George III style". Sold for $5000 inc premium. The lacquered trunk has an unusual breakarch door and the ears are an afterthought seemingly in the wrong place as the dial and the ears are not co-ordinated. A-plated 4 wheel train movement sits on a seatboard attached to the dial. This is more Norfolk than tavern. Someone liked it.

December saw two tavern clocks sold at auction. Bonhams sold a "tavern timepiece" for 10650, inc premium. In reality, a brass bezelled dial clock with a long trunk with a bulge at the bottom, lacquered with chinoiserie. Signed JAMES TREGENT on the dial which had poor quality ink work there was evidence of the signature possibly having been below the dial in the lacquerwork. Interesting restoration detective work for someone. The other TC, sold by Martin & Pole in Wokingham, was a classic white round dial of about 1780-90 with a good movement and hopeless restoration in 1991; sold for 4200 plus 15%. definitely NO SIGNATURE, hence price for what could be a very nice clock in the right hands.

A USA auction house sold a late round dial tavern clock with a mahogany case, white round dial with brass bezel on 6th November 2011. This clock is signed James Howden of Edinburgh. It is a teardrop with added "elephant" ears but otherwise nearly identical to the example in my book (pg48) by James Cowan. Howden was Cowan's apprentice and everything about this clock, excluding the ears, is a derivative of the Cowan example, including the very unusual decorative hands. Interesting raised backcock. Hammer $1300

Tennants are auctioning a small round dial tavern clock bearing the signature John Hocker Reading, which they date to c.1750 in their 3 day sale starting on the 17th November 2011. This same clock was sold at auction in 2008 for a hammer price of 7000. It has been cleaned and generally smartened up since and is a great barometer of how the market is evolving. Estimated at 5-7k, watch this space, Lot 1182.Sold for 5200 hammer, 6292 with premium.

Sothebys auctioned a shield dial bearing the signature P Lloyd, Bristol, dated c.1775 on the 2nd November for 5625 including the premium. Ostensibly a shop ready example, with an estimate of 6-8k, exc premium. Hence sold below the lower estimate. Tavernicus did not see the clock in the flesh but has seen quite a number of images. The top corners of the front and rear plates have been cut out as scallops which I have not seen before; it would be fascinating to know whether this is a Lloyd trademark also evident on the other three known round dial Lloyd clocks. The hour hand is too short to have made the wear marks inside the chapter ring and the movement is on a new seatboard. The inside of the dial has had some work but it was not possible to get a clear image of exactly what has been done. The side doors have been replaced and the japan has replica crazing in parts. A very good decorative piece.

0n the 16th October 2011 Stair Galleries in the USA auctioned a replica teardrop tavern clock bearing the signature Just. Vulliamy. The clock is lacquered in vermillion with chinoiserie with victorian style hands. No details of the movement were given and the clock was described as in the George III style. The structure of the case looks fairly accurate although there is no cushion base. The lacquer work and the signature would fool no-one. The price was $1500.

On EBAY; as at 14/8/11 there is a large unusual black lacquered shield dial with a high quality case in fairly distressed and partially repainted condition. The dial bears a signature, John Elliott of Plymouth. The case has a cushion base which rarely survive; it is woodwormed and currently detached from the trunk. The movement is a fusee which is not the norm but the winding holes fit the movement whereas a standard movement would not fit to this dial. The dial seems ok. Lots of work to finish this clock. Starting price is 2995 and auction ends on the 17th.SOLD FOR 2995.

Christies came up trumps again with another unsigned tavern clock on July 31, 2011 at South Ken. This time a very large 65inch teardrop, seemingly late, as the dial is metal and the movement is attached via dial feet, but still sits on a seatboard. The case is japanned in black with the remnants of edge gilding. The A-plated movement has a deadbeat escapement which is a first and it is a 4-wheel train with an unusual winding ratchet. The pendulum is almost industrial with a heavy duty flat brass rod suspended on the backboard. There is a trace of an original signature on the damaged (bent) iron dial but even with UV it was not discernible. The movement slots into a drum-head case (broken but with the bits). The door is a mess with broken bits. Properly restored this will be a handsome clock but it will be expensive to sort, hence the estimate 1000-1500. AUCTION RESULT NOT SOLD. Elsewhere this month, two offerings on Ebay; the second outing for an early octagonal without signature but with a print or portrait of George III at c7000 and briefly a white round dial by Read of Tarporley which started at 8k. Neither sold

Christies auctioned an octagonal tavern clock on the 21st June, 2011 in their Interiors series at South Ken. It was the only clock in the auction and may have been missed by some. Viewed by Tavernicus, the clock is very similar to the 3 known octagonals by Orpheus Sumart. The dial and case structure of this clock are virtually identical to the others, 2 of which have been extensively examined and photographed. The offset wound movement's plates are identical to those shown on page 39 of "THE TAVERN CLOCK", but this example has a 5-wheel train as opposed to 4 in the other examples seen. There is no hour bridge which is a Sumart technique. The pendulum hangs from the front plate which is correct. The "door" section is fully removable as with the other examples and has the obligatory lentical but this section has been altered as has the base which no doubt was damaged by a falling weight. The clock was a gift in 1919 (brass plaque) to an official in the Lord Mayor's Pageant. The chinoiserie was probably all redone in 1919 and the signature probably lost at that time. UV examination shows no sign of a signature on the dial mouldings. Sold for just under 5k against an upper estimate of 2k, about right for a totally correct tavern clock with honest alterations but repainted and without a signature. There can be little or no doubt that, at the very least, this clock came from the "studio of" Orpheus Sumart of Clerkenwell.

Gardiner Houlgate sold (25/2/11) what they described as an Act of Parliament Clock of quite strange construction. The clock is a round dial with a very elongated tear drop trunk terminating at the base with a complicated stepped moulding ending in a point. The dial is split across the middle and is recently painted with a signature on the dial (Charles Harding Ashburton).The movement is A-plated with an ungrooved barrel. This same clock sold on ebay in January 2009. This time around the hammer was 2000. Tavernicus viewed the clock.

Earlier in the month, Bellmans sold a banjo style tavern clock by WILLIAM STERCK. The front of the trunk section looked original from the photos but nothing else, ie 20thC movement (two train spring winder!!) the back board and top sides of the trunk were new pine. Hammer was 500. A great shame that the bulk of this clock is lost as there is a near identical one including the door print in a council office.
In February 2010 a very distress early rectangular black shield signed Robert Lumpkin made national news as it sold for 8800 by Shapes of Edinburgh. It was a seriously mucked about clock with very poor decoration. It made the BBC news as it was an incredible amount of money for a wreck

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