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Time: November 20, 2010 all day
Location: Skinner's Marlborough Gallery
Street: 274 Cedar Hill Street
City/Town: Marlborough, MA
Website or Map: http://www.skinnerinc.com
Event Type: auction, of, science, technology, and, clocks
Organized By: Darlene Hollywood
Latest Activity: Nov 10, 2010
Skinner, Inc. will host its annual auction of Science, Technology & Clocks on November 20th in its Marlborough gallery, located at 274 Cedar Hill Street. The sale, which starts at 10 a.m., includes an impressive collection of rare clocks and timepieces, a strong offering of militaria including Revolutionary and Civil War material, and a wide array of scientific instruments. Nearly 700 lots will be up for bid.
Of the many timepieces being offered, a very important regulator by the Bond Shop leads the pack. The Regulator No. 396 has an amazing Boston history tied to it. It was one of three made; No. 394 was developed for the Harvard Observatory, No. 395 for an observatory in Liverpool, England, and No. 396 for the personal use of Bond in his chronometer shop. As the director of the Harvard Observatory, Bond was one of the first to work towards establishing standard time. Descended from the Bond shop Regulator No. 396 is estimated at $300,000 to $500,000. A video of the inner workings of the clock in motion can be viewed on the Science, Technology & Clocks department page at Skinner’s website.
Other clock highlights include a Newport tall clock, c. 1725 by William Claggett of Newport, RI, which is the earliest American clock being offered in the sale. The piece is estimated at $60,000 to $80,000. The sale also sports a number of Willard clocks. According to Robert Cheney, director of the Science, Technology & Clocks department at Skinner, Inc., “While there is nothing rare about early American clocks, what is extraordinary are American clocks that survive in pristine condition. We have numerous clocks with this level of condition, and it’s what collectors are calling for.”
A fine collection of early sundials will be up for bid, including a fairly important silver pocket sundial by Butterfield, estimated at $2,500 to $3,500. Early surveying equipment, navigational equipment including chronometers, sextants and octants will be offered as well as an impressive collection of telescopes. One highlight within the science offerings is a pair of globes by J. & W. Cary of London. The globes possibly the largest that J. & W. Cary made, have survived in near perfect condition since 1815 and are estimated at $80,000 to $100,000.
The November sale features a strong offering of militaria. The C. Keith Wilbur collection boasts more than 150 lots of American Revolutionary War material. The 50-year-old collection established by Dr. Wilbur features firearms, swords, canteens, as well as a Revolutionary War discharge document signed by George Washington, estimated at $6,000 to $8,000. Much of the collections’ material hasn’t been on the market in decades.
From another collection comes the Civil War campaign chest of 2nd Lt. John Davis Edgell. The remarkable collection includes Edgell’s uniform, sashes, a cap, and photographs of his wife, which he took to war. The entire lot provides a unique opportunity for a collector to own a representation of a soldier’s history. Edgell was born in Gardner, MA and worked for 50 years for the Gardner Savings Bank, where he was President. The contents of the campaign chest are estimated at $30,000 to $40,000.