Cottone’s (20% buyer’s premium) spring auction in Geneseo, New York, featured an impressive horological focus.
It included 50 examples of French and European clocks from the collection of Dr William Thomas of Naples, Florida, most of them acquired from the horological consultant Jim Cipra of Long Beach, California.
Two of these, both fine examples of late 18th/French Empire period precision clockmaking, provided some of the top prices of the entire auction on March 31.
Robin's royal appointments
Selling for $205,000 (£165,320) against a guide of $100,000-150,000 was a 15in (38cm) Louis XVI month-going regulator with equation of time and remontoire from c.1785, by a royal clockmaker, Robert Robin (1741-99), in a case attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire.
Robin, who received a number of royal appointments during the reign of Louis XVI, produced luxury timekeepers for wealthy clients and this particular model was his most successful.
Dr Thomas’ version featured a jewelled and enamelled porcelain dial decorated with the signs of the zodiac by the highly regarded enameller Joseph Coteau and is signed both by Robin and Coteau.
Raingo of Paris
A second major attraction was a two-train orrery clock of c.1820 by Zacherie-Nicholas-Amé-Joseph Raingo. It has a separately wound musical box in the base and is set on an amboyna pedestal.
The ormolu-mounted clock, which is signed Raingo. A Paris to the dial, is fashioned in the form of an ormolu mounted rotunda surmounted by the solar system display which also features three horizontal dials indicating the zodiac and month divisions, lunar divisions and the divisions of the four years including leap years.
It sold for $170,000 (£137,095) against a $150,000-250,000 guide.
Another precision timekeeper, but this time of British manufacture, was a 19th century 6ft 4in (1.9m) astronomical regulator showing mean and sidereal time signed T Cooke & Sons York and London to the silvered 13in dial.
It features a rare seven-legged gravity escapement and a weight-driven movement, and is contained in a mahogany, brass and glass case.
The regulator had a provenance to The Norman Lockyer Observatory Corporation, The Hill Observatory, Salcombe Regis, Sidmouth, Devon before being acquired by Dr Thomas from Mr Cipra. It sold at Cottone for $45,000 (£36,290).
Among the other consignments in the 220-lot sale was a selection of Tiffany glassware ranging from lamps and vases to Tiffany studios windows.
One of a latter, a 5ft 9in x 1ft 11½in (1.75m x 59cm) Impressionist sunset landscape window from 1915 set in a gothic-style wood frame, provided another of the day’s top prices when it took $230,000 (£185,485).
£1 = $1.24