|Eric C. Rodenberg
YPSILANTI, Mich. – The annual Fall Antique Watch & Clock Auction by Schmidt Auctions made for a lively exchange among some 45 inhouse and 90 online bidders
This year’s collection of consignment and estate watches was bolstered by the personal collection of Lester Phillips, a long-time member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC).
“This is becoming a very shrinking group of collectors,” Jay Schmidt, who co-owns the business with his two brothers, said. “There’s a lot of good collections, like this one, coming on the market because a lot of the collectors are downsizing.”
One of the categories the Schmidt brothers specialize in is timepieces. Their annual clock auction in early November was a good indication of the vibrancy in the clock market.
The more complex watches with highly-crafted works for repeater and chronograph features sold at a premium. “It’s that old story, if you buy quality, it will hold its value,” Schmidt said.
Underscoring Schmidt’s statement was a Tiffany 18K gold, minute repeater watch with 29 jewels and 6 adjustments, which more than doubled the pre-sale estimate ($1,000-$2,000) selling for $4,250.]
A Swiss 18K minute repeater/chronograph sold for $3,000, while an L. Smith & Son 18K gold minute repeater sold for $2,300.
Three other quality 14K-gold pocket, all minute repeater and chronograph watches sold well. The J. Ullmann & Co., a Swiss-made and E. Mathey watch, each sold for $2,100.
Clocks did respectfully well, with a French Bronze and Marble set selling for $3,000; a Gilbert hanging Regulator clock brought $1,300 and an Ithaca No. 31/2 calendar shelf clock sold for $1,500.
Schmidt will be conducting an auction Dec. 8, featuring items from the Albert M. Todd Collection in Kalamazoo, the Walter O. Briggs family in Detroit and other estates and private collections. A 19080 single-owner Mercedes 450 SEL automobile, 18th and 19th century furnishings, Asian antiques, and sterling silver and accessories.
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