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MARLBOROUGH, Mass – May 17, 2012 – Skinner, Inc. will host an auction of Science, Technology, and Clocks on Saturday, June 2nd in its Marlborough gallery. The sale features an important 19th century English fossil collection, as well as several prominent antique clock and watch collections.
Natural History Collection Featuring English Fossils
The natural history collection featured in the June sale is composed of more than 125 lots, including complete dinosaur skeletons, eggs and other bone fragments, a wooly mammoth tusk, fossilized fish, sharks’ teeth, a sea scorpion, ammonites, trilobites, crinoids, and more. With so many lots on offer at various price points, everyone from the museum collector to the new hobbyist has an opportunity to own a piece of natural history.
Many lots of classic Jurassic fossils from the Lyme Regis, Dorset England were the property of pioneer collector Mary Anning. Others carry the original catalogue labels of famed mid-19th century London dealer Bryce McMurdo Wright. Highlights include a Jurassic ammonite with catalogue label and conservation photography by Tom Rich (lot 36, estimated between $3,000 and $5,000), two Psittacosaurus dinosaur skeletons (lot 75, $3,000 to $5,000), and two dinosaur eggs (lot 76, $1,000 to $1,500).
Antique Clocks & Watches
Clocks featured at the sale range from the modestly priced mantle clock to the high-end precision regulator. For the collector of domestic clocks, the sale features an excellent assortment of American tall clocks, including one by Benjamin Willard (lot 386, $15,000 to $25,000). The Willards were a famous family of clockmakers during the 18th and 19th centuries from Roxbury, Massachusetts. Benjamin was the eldest of the four brothers and examples of his clocks are very rare.
The Skinner department of Science, Technology, and Clocks is well known for offering precision astronomical regulators at auction. The June sale is no exception. Notable precision astronomical regulators include a Riefler precision astronomical regulator (lot 309, $6,000 to $8,000), and an E. Howard No. 74 astronomical regulator with gravity escapement (lot 310, $35,000 to $50,000). An Edward Prior triple case watch, created for the Turkish market (lot 238, $1,000 to $2,000) will also be offered.
For the clockmaker or watchmaker seeking precision machinery, there is a large collection of tools available that would be ideal for anyone starting out in clock and watch repair.
Exploring & Surveying Tools
Notable exploring and surveying lots include a brass mountain barometer by Cary (lot 202, $2,000 to $4,000), and a Ramsden brass reflecting telescope (lot 201, $3,000 to $5,000). A spectacular 100-blade exposition knife by Pius Lang (lot 227, $8,000 to $12,000) will also be offered. Between the mother-of pearl grips are 100 individual tools ranging from pocket-knife standards, such as a scissors and bottle opener, to the more unique earwax spoon and bone toothpick.