In January 2004 the Palladino's, owners of the Solvang Antique Center, set a new world record, selling an important Revolutionary War-period Philadelphia Rococo tall case clock for $803,200 at Sotheby's New York/Americana sale.
Within nine months, however, they lost that record to a Peter Stretch Philadelphia tall case clock. On October 28th, 2004 a new record was set of $1,688,000 - more than double the previous record!
Rimbault Philadelphia Tall Case Clock
Peter Stretch Philadelphia Tall Case Clock
A New World Record
The Latest New World Record
Purchased for their private collection at a small antiques shop in Arizona in 1987, this clock had not been shown publicly or offered for sale since that time.
This important Chippendale carved and figured mahogany tall case clock with musical works was inscribed on the dial Paul Rimbault, London. The carving was attributed to Nicholas Bernard and Martin Jugiez, Philadelphia, circa 1775. The dial was inscribed with the names of the songs: "Chiling O Guiry," "Ally Croaker," "Miller of Mansfield," "March," "God Save the King, "Lilebiraro," "Bedford Time," and "Meartune." Dimensions: height 9ft. 3 1/2 in. by width 20in. by depth 10 1/2 in. 286cm by 51cm by 26.5cm.
Monumentally proportioned and masterfully carved, this handsome clock was one of the finest surviving Rococo style tall-case clocks from Colonial Philadelphia. It was in remarkable condition, appearing to retain most of its original components, including its cartouche, finials, rosette terminals, appliqued scrollboard carving, musical movement and ogee bracket feet. The clock may have been displayed at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, the first major World’s Fair in this country which celebrated 100 years of American cultural and industrial progress, by Augustus Krueger, a clockmaker and possible former owner who cleaned the clock in March of 1876 and May of 1878. A letter attached to the inside of the case door indicated the clock may also have been owned at one time by a former minister of the First Presbyterian Church on West Madison Street in Baltimore, Maryland.
A Queen Anne Carved and Figured Mahogany Tall Case Clock, Peter Stretch, Philadelphia, Circa 1740
This sale represents a rare opportunity to purchase one of the most important and remarkably preserved early Philadelphia tall-case clocks ever to come on the marketplace. The magnificent case, with its stately proportions and rare blind fretwork carving, houses an elaborate movement, with a silvered dial with Roman chapters, date aperture, a seconds hand and a phases of the moon mechanism. It is the most sophisticated tall-case clock known by Peter Stretch (1670-1746), the talented and influential early Philadelphia clockmaker and pioneer of the famous clockmaking family.
The exceptional case of the present clock, with its sarcophagus top, baroque fretwork carving with unusual dragon motifs, flame finials, fluted colonnettes with Corinthian capitals, and arched door, represents the most fully developed Philadelphia interpretation of the form in the late Queen Anne style. It conforms in design to a popular local pattern and was probably made late in Stretch’s career.
Historically significant Philadelphia tall case clocks of this quality and rarity seldom come on the marketplace. A Rococo style example with a dial signed by Paul Rimbault of London and a case with carving attributed to Bernard and Jugiez was sold in these rooms, Important Americana , January 15, 16, and 18, 2004, sale 7959, lot 666 for $803,200, setting a world record for the form. Another Rococo style example with a movement by Jacob Godshalk and a case labeled by George Pickering was sold in these rooms, Masterpieces from the Time Museum , June 19, 2002, for $532,000. One with a Godshalk movement and a case attributed to the Garvan carver originally owned by John and Elizabeth Bringhurst was sold in these rooms, Highly Important Americana from the Stanley Paul Sax Collection , January 16-17, 1998, sale 7087, lot 519 for $442,500. All reflect the strength in the market for clocks of monumental importance.
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