Rare French Orrery Clock Brings $180,000 At Schmitt Horan

CANDIA, NH – Raingo Freres, Paris, probably produced less than 30 clocks with an orrery and perhaps fewer than six had music boxes, as did one at Schmitt Horan. Finishing at $ 180,000, it was the star of the June 11-12 sale that had several fine clocks and other material. Made about 1830, King George IV reportedly owned four of these clocks and a 1927 auction catalog stated that one was in Windsor castle. The clock had a double fusee movement; one power train driving the clock and the rotating orrery that showed the relative position of the earth, moon and sun at different times of the day. The second power train drove a leap-year disc operating four years on a single winding. Underneath a 30-inch glass dome, it was veneered with burl amboyna, an exotic wood native to tropical regions and decorated with gilt bronze figures of the zodiac. Needless to say, it was a very beautiful clock and in operating condition, including the music box. The sale included a heavily carved gothic style regulator just under 9 feet tall which earned $ 78,000 and numerous other fine clocks and watches. There were also other items such as a small Bellamy eagle that realized $ 22,800, gold coins, art glass, music boxes, automata, and more. A full report will follow.


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