Bonhams' largest ever auction of fine clocks will be highlighted by a stunning federal inlaid mahogany dwarf offering on September 24.
The auction house's New York saleroom is unique in that it is still offering dedicated clock sales, with the majority of its competitors replacing their auctions with more popular rare wristwatch sales, after the relatively young market sprang into life around 15 years ago.
The federal dwarf clock will provide one of the main draws of the auction, at $25,000-35,000. The magnificent piece has been signed by Reuben Tower, apprentice to the illustrious Massachusetts clockmaker Joshua Wilder, and its case is attributed to Henry Willard.
Dwarf clocks are said to be a distinctly American creation. They were produced in small quantities at the beginning of the 19th century and are highly coveted by collectors for their rarity. The idea to produce the clocks came as a result of the demand for a less costly replacement to the long case clock, though they were soon usurped with the advent of mass-produced shelf clocks.
English clockmaking will be represented by a Thomas Tompion oyster parquetry long case clock, which originates from the late 17th century. Once part of the famed Wetherfield Collection, the piece has not been seen at auction since the 1920s. It will sell with a $70,000-90,000 estimate.
The auction will also feature a rare gilt brass carriage clock from the luxury Swiss brand Breguet. Featuring a calendar, moon phases and alarm, no. 2443 is sure to attract strong attention at $12,000-18,000.
A better condition Breguet carriage clock, that featured the same functions as the current example, sold for an impressive $448,250 in May.