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Bob Burke (Fontaine's Auction)



(Pittsfield, Mass.) - Four auctions that will feature a galaxy of quality antiques, collectibles and vintage clocks are slated for the first half of 2009 by Fontaine's Auction Gallery. An antique estate sale will be held Saturday, Jan. 10; a cataloged antique auction will be held Saturday, Feb. 7; a cataloged antique auction will be conducted Saturday, April 4; and vintage clocks will reign on Saturday, May 9.
“If these auctions turn out to be anything like the ones we had in 2008, they'll be great,” said John Fontaine of Fontaine's Auction Gallery. “We've been very busy, securing consignments and getting ready for a banner year in 2009. I know the news regarding the economy generally isn't good, but we've done very well in spite of it all. When you offer quality merchandise, people will bid on it.”
The Jan. 10 antique estate auction will begin promptly at 11 a.m., with a preview that morning from 8-11. The sale will feature over 500 lots of antiques and accessories from prominent local estates. Items will include early American, Victorian, Arts & Crafts, custom mahogany, period Empire, carved oak furniture, sterling silver, art glass, paintings, Tiffany, Handel and Pairpoint lamps, clocks and more.
The cataloged antique auction slated for Feb. 7 will begin at 11 a.m., with previews on Friday, Feb. 6, from 10-5, and Saturday morning, the day of sale, from 8-11. Featured will be around 500 lots of fine antiques, in an array of categories. Sold will be high-end Victorian, custom mahogany, figural carved R.J. Horner, period Empire, faux bamboo, rosewood Rococo and nice early American furniture.
The sale will also include over 100 pieces of Arts & Crafts furniture and accessories by Gustav Stickley, L. & J.G. Stickley, Limbert and Stickley Brothers. There will also be a selection of Arts & Crafts metalwork and pottery by Roycroft, Grueby, Rookwood, Fulper and more. Over 50 lamps will be sold, by Tiffany, Handel, Pairpoint, Moe Bridges Wilkinsen, Jefferson, Chicago Mosaic and more.
Rounding out the Feb. 7 sale will be art glass and cameo glass, KPM porcelain plaques, fine bronzes, marble statuary, oil paintings and hundreds of accessories. The second cataloged auction, on April 4, will feature an outstanding “Rosalie” table by John H. Belter; a phenomenal oak sideboard by R.J. Horner (circa 1885); and a great oak dining room set with cherubs, also by Horner (circa 1885).
In all, 500 lots of quality antiques will cross the block. The auction starts at 11 a.m., with previews on Friday, April 3 (10-5) and Saturday (8-11). Another session was recently added that will see 80-100 lots of antique firearms come under the gavel. “We sold a few vintage weapons at one of our recent multi-estate sales,” Mr. Fontaine said, “and it resulted in some wonderful consignments.”
On May 9, Fontaine's will hold a two-session Spring Antique Clock Auction. Already consigned is a Howard #61 astronomical regulator. Two of these coveted clocks were sold in previous Fontaine's auctions. One went for $195,500 in June, while another example went for $189,750 in November. Also to be sold in April will be a Howard #79 clock with 20-inch dial, in the original finish chestnut case.
The Saturday, May 9 event will be split up into two sessions. Beginning at 10 a.m., a Discovery Session will feature many uncataloged clocks. Bidders are required to be in person at the gallery to preview and bid, as these clocks will be sold as-is. Then, starting at 1 p.m., the Main Catalog Session will commence. Offered will be many cataloged antique and rare clocks, to be sold in numbered order.
The centerpiece of the sale promises to be the Howard #61 astronomical regulator. The original owner of the clock, A.F. Robertson, was a lifelong craftsman in the art of watchmaking. In 1861, at age 16, he began to learn his craft under Louis Spaulding, formerly with the Waltham Watch Factory in San Francisco. He moved to Minnesota six years later and started his own jewelry business in St. Cloud.
The clock to be sold in May was purchased by Mr. Robertson for his store in the 1860s. The front glass pane read “A. F. Robertson.” In 1907, he moved to Harlowton, Mont., where he founded the Robertson Jewelry Firm. He lived there until his death. Two of his four sons continued to operate the business. One of them, William, changed the “A.F.” on the glass to “W.A.”, where it remains today.
The Robertson family took great care of the clock over the years, setting it on a protected custom pedestal in the store and keeping meticulous maintenance records. This continued up until William's passing, in 1971, and with his niece, Betti, and her daughter (the current owner). “The provenance on this clock is impeccable and every record is intact,” Mr. Fontaine commented.
In addition to the Howard #61 astronomical regulator, approximately 500 other clocks – many of them rare, museum-quality pieces – will come up for bid on May 9. Fontaine's is still accepting quality consignments for this and the other auctions slated for the first half of 2009. Clocks of every style, type and maker – provided they are vintage and collectible – are wanted for the May 9 auction.
Fontaine's Auction Gallery conducts all of its sales in a spacious gallery facility, located at 1485 West Housatonic Street in Pittsfield, Mass. The firm is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call them directly, at (413) 448-8922, or e-mail them at info@fontaineauction.com. To learn more, you may log on to www.fontainesauction.net.

Howard #61 Astronomical:
This rare and coveted Howard #61 astronomical regulator clock will be sold at the May 9 sale.

Horner dining set:
Carved cherub from an R.J. Horner carved oak dining set (circa 1885), to be sold at the Feb. 7 sale.

Antique firearms:
Over 100 antique firearms, some of them exceedingly rare, will be offered in the April 4 auction.

Winged griffin sideboard:
Phenomenal winged griffin oak sideboard by R.J. Horner, with carved crystal cabinets (Feb. 7 sale).

Belter Rosalie table:
Outstanding “Rosalie” marble-top table by John H. Belter in exceptional condition (Feb. 7 sale).

Howard #70 clock:
Howard #70 clock with 20-inch dial, in the original finish chestnut case (May 9 Spring Clock Auction).

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