19th-Century Chinese Clock Fetches $526,750 at Auction
By Donna Hardy
A rare 19th-century Chinese gilt bronze with enamel automaton clock sold for $526,750 at an auction held at S & S Auction, Inc., in Swedesboro, New Jersey, May 17 and 18. The price includes a 22.5% buyer’s premium.
The surprising thing was that the clock’s pre-sale estimate was $20,000-$30,000. Glenn Sweeney of S & S Auction, Inc., said, “The owner of the clock said before the auction he’d be happy if he got $30,000 for it, so it’s safe to say he was pleased with the outcome.”
The clock has elaborate jewel work and stands 33” tall and 15 1/4” inches wide. It features a mechanical spinning dial on the top, spinning trees, and simulated waterfalls. It was originally made for the Chinese Imperial market. The buyer is a collector who asked to not be identified. He intends to install the clock in a planned clock museum that’s not yet built, after he gives it a good cleaning and adjustment.
Donna Hardy is Managing Editor of Horological Times.