Joshua Wilder shelf clock to reach $50,000 in Skinner auction?

A Joshua Wilder mahogany shelf clock, valued at $30,000-50,000, is to highlight an auction of Clocks, Watches and Scientific Instruments at Skinner in Boston on November 2.

The clock dates to 1815, and is a classic example of New England folk art - featuring a painting of a child feeding chickens.

Joshua Wilder shelf clock
The shelf clock was made in around 1815

Wilder's scaled down versions of tall case clocks, known as dwarf clocks, are highly prized by collectors.

A mahogany and veneer example sold for $160,000 against a $30,000-50,000 valuation at Skinner in 2011 - an increase of 220%.

An Aaron Willard painted shelf clock, also circa 1815, carries an identical estimate. Willard worked from Roxbury, Boston, where he produced some of the first timepieces priced affordably for ordinary people.

He is best known for his tall clocks, referred to as Roxbury cases and considered the definitive form for their type. An example sold for $100,000 against a $40,000-60,000 estimate at Skinner in 2011.

A French floor regulator by Allard is likely to be another highlight of the sale, valued at $20,000-40,000.

The piece calculates mechanical time and sun time, making it highly accurate - particularly impressive considering that it was produced in the early 19th century.

A collection of militaria pertaining to rear admiral Frank Wilkes, offered as a single lot, will also feature at the sale.

The lot includes an 18k gold presentation sword given by the city of Boston in 1901, in recognition for his gallantry in the Spanish-American war, and is expected to make $20,000-30,000.

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