The top lot of the sale was a Tornek-Rayville TR-900 Dive Watch, c. 1965, (Lot 27, estimate $30,000-50,000). This is the fourth example Skinner has recently offered of this rare timepiece, originally made for the U.S. Navy and withdrawn because of the radium used in the dial. Consigned by the original owner, it sold for $123,000.
The extensive John F. Gelson collection of watches and watch components provided an important core of the auction.… Read More
Ingenuity abounds: Skinner’s October 27 auction of Clocks, Watches and Scientific Instruments starts with a classic 1934 Buick sedan. It ends with an antique treadle scroll saw.In between are 500 lots including timepieces of every description, myriad scopes and meters, and inventive devices for almost every scientific or technical pursuit.
Gallery Talk with Richard Ketchen, Clock & Scientific Instrument Conservator
THURSDAY, APRIL 27 | RECEPTION 5PM, GALLERY TALK 6PM
Richard Ketchen, of Carlisle, Massachusetts, will lead a gallery walk on Fasoldt clocks and the Holtzapffel ornamental turning lathe and rose engine featured in this sale. A leading clock and scientific instrument conservator, Richard is uniquely qualified to speak on these diverse subjects. Ketchen has restored a large and diverse collection of Fasoldt timekeepers and has made one from scratch to better understand the genius of the original maker.… Read More
To a small child, the stately “Grandfather clock” standing majestically in the corner more closely resembles a furniture skyscraper than a timekeeper. The iconic term “Grandfather clock” brings to mind antiquity, beautiful furniture, and mechanical marvels. But it is not the way scholars refer to these clocks. In fact, the name came from a popular song.
Henry Clay Work’s “Grandfather’s Clock/Song and Chorus” came out in 1876. To the background sounds of a clock ticking, the four-verse song included the lines: “My Grandfather’s Clock was too large for the shelf, so it stood ninety years on the floor…It was bot’ on the morn of day he was born, and was always his treasure and pride…But the clock stopped short, never to go again when the old man died.” This was a simpler time, without television, computers, or mobile phones to occupy people’s time, and the sheet music for this song sold over 800,000 copies!… Read More