05-03-2014 05-03-2014
Skinner Auctions
Skinner Auctions Marlborough MA
2724M Marlborough
May 3, 2014 10:00AMCalender

Louis Bernhard Thirty-day Wall Regulator

Auction: Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 2724M Location: Marlborough Date / Time: May 03, 2014 10:00AM


Louis Bernhard Thirty-day Wall Regulator, Bloomsburg (Columbia County), Pennsylvania, 1875, walnut and burl walnut veneered case with carved crest depicting "Columbia" and flanking finials, full-length glass door opens to the glass dial with Roman numerals and seconds dial, lower removable pedestal with carved stylized lion's head, thirty-day skeletonized movement signed on the front plate Louis Bernhard, Bloomsburg, Pa., with front-mounted escape wheel, maintaining power and gravity escapement with pivoted detent arms similar to "Reids spring pallet" escapement, single faceted jar mercury temperature-compensating pendulum signed and dated Louis Bernhard/1875 and powered by a brass-cased weight, a separate skeletonized striking movement mounted in the base is also signed Louis Bernhard, Bloomsburg, Pa and carries a front-mounted count-wheel strike and rear-mounted hammer striking on a bell inside the case powered by a separate brass-cased weight, ht. 95, wd. 32 in.

Note: Louis Bernhard (1839-1921) was a German immigrant finally settling in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. Of the three timekeepers extant by this maker, one is a chronometer, the other two regulators. The present example remains the only one in private hands and is possibly the example in his home described in J.H. Battle's History of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania, p. 323, as "a most elaborately finished case of black walnut, an astronomical clock of the most perfect workmanship...valued upwards of $500."

For a discussion of Bernhard's life and work please see James W. Gibbs, Pennsylvania Clocks and Watches, pp. 243-44; for a similar escapement please see Derek Roberts, The Quest for Accurate Timekeeping p. 124.
Estimate $30,000-50,000

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Louis Bernhard, Pennsylvania, Bloomsburg, Columbia, head, Wilkes Barre, James W. Gibbs, Derek Roberts