Over 100 antique clocks and related items will be sold at auction Friday, June 18, by Gordon S. Converse & Co., in the Pennsylvania Banquet Room of The Expo Center in York, Pa. The event is timed to coincide with the opening of the annual convention of the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors, also to be held at The Expo Center in York.
“Variety is the key that will make this auction a success,” predicted Gordon Converse. “Our last sale was a surprise success because we had a great collection come in at the last minute. But this time we’ve been gathering dozens of quality consignments from numerous sources, over a period of many months. Serious clock collectors need to mark their calendars.”
Rare examples by such renowned clockmakers as Simon and Aaron Willard, George Hoff, Griffith Owen, Walter Durfee, James Marwick, Thomas Green, Gubelin and Twaites & Reed will be offered. Also sold will be horological books and clockmakers’ tools. Online bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com. Telephone and write-in bids will also be accepted.
Following are some anticipated top lots of the sale, which is scheduled to begin promptly at 4 p.m. To view an online catalog with full lot descriptions, go to www.auctionsatconverse.com.
Advanced collectors will get into a fierce bidding war over the Simon Willard tall case clock, but also featured will be a 42-inch presentation gilt wood and reverse painted glass banjo clock by Simon’s brother, Aaron. Two reeded front panels house a pair of fine reverse painted glass tablets, one showing “The Boston State House.” The restored dial is signed “A. Willard.”
A very early Pennsylvania American tall case clock, pre-dating the American Revolution and attributed to George Hoff, should also get paddles wagging. The steel-framed, 30-hour chain-wind clockworks support an engraved brass dial with pewter cast spandrels. Another Pennsylvania tall case clock, crafted by Griffith Owen, is also expected to attract keen interest.
Also offered will be a rare and fine set of twin clocks telling the world time and perpetual calendar by the Swiss firm Gubelin. The set, with its fine enameling and bold presentation, was one of only three made in the 1950s and this is the only set in the Western hemisphere. They are in excellent shape and ready for a prestigious new home (such as a hotel lobby or mall entrance).
An assortment of English table (or bracket) clocks will also cross the block on June 18. Of particular interest is a Queen Anne-style “basket top” clock by James Marwick of London. The example has an interesting provenance, in that it was purchased in the 1920s and sat in the office of industrialist Roy D. Chapin, who was Secretary of Commerce under President Hoover.
Other examples of English table clocks are signed Thomas Green, Barraud and Twaites & Reed. There will also be a chime hall clock with a solid oak case from the Edwardian era by Walter Durfee, and numerous decorative high-quality French-made mantel clocks, Chelsea ship’s clocks (made in Boston and loved by collectors), and 30-40 19th-century American clocks.
Two clocks are certainly worth noting. One is a Swiss singing mechanical feathered bird within a 19 inch by 10 inch square cage, on a gilt wood base. In the base is the label “Chevob & Co.” (the late Baker & Troll Co. of Geneva). The other is a beautiful late Georgian ebonized paneled arch-topped table clock with brass, cast brass and applied white enamel chapter rings.
Previews will be held on Thursday, June 17, from noon to 6 p.m. (EDT) and on Friday, the day of sale, from 11-4. Consignments are still being accepted for this and all future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call the firm directly, at (610) 722-9004; or, e-mail them at [email protected]. Mr. Converse replies promptly to all e-mailed inquiries.
Anyone interested in finding out what an antique item might be worth can find out by sending a photo of the item, along with a check for $40, to Gordon S. Converse & Co., Attn: Gordon S. Converse, 758 Mancill Rd., Strafford, PA 19087. For more information, please log on to www.AuctionsatConverse.com or www.ConverseClocks.com. Updates are posted frequently.