French Mantle Clock, ca. 1815
Appraised Value: $40,000 - $50,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
A viewer recently pointed out that two different appraisals of clocks marked "Dubuc" posited differing information about Dubuc's role in the clocks' manufacture. One appraisal was from our Season 12 "Politically Collect" episode with appraiser Gordon Converse, and the second was from the Season 11 "Salt Lake City, Hour 2" with appraiser John Delaney.
Delaney clarified the point saying: "Was Dubuc responsible for making the entire clock? Most likely not." However, "The reality is that he must have had a major role in the form's construction or creation. He is credited as being a bronzier in several listings, but he was partly responsible for assembling the form as a whole and bringing [the clocks] into this country, and in many instances is credited with making this form."
Appraisal Video: (2:24)
Clocks & Watches
Delaney's Antique Clocks
GUEST: I inherited this clock from my father's side of the family. My father inherited it from, um, two great-aunts.
APPRAISER: And where was he from?
GUEST: And he was from Portsmouth, Virginia. I moved out West and brought it with me.
APPRAISER: So, do you know anything about it?
GUEST: I've heard two different stories. The first story I heard, that I've heard all my life, is that someone on my father's side of the family got it after the Revolutionary War, and...
APPRAISER: In... While he was in Virginia?
GUEST: Yes, in Virginia, and then, uh, the other story I heard, I read a newspaper article, and it said that, uh, my great-great-aunt's half-uncle brought it from Italy. He was a sea captain, and he lived in Portsmouth, too.
APPRAISER: Okay. Well, I can tell you it's unlikely that he bought this clock in Italy. This particular clock was made by James Dubuc, who was actually a French clockmaker who made mantel clocks for the American market. And his working dates are... between 1790 and about 1818 or 1820. Of course, during that time period, anything George Washington was really very, very popular. He was the father of our country. He was the first commander in the Continental Army, and a Virginia politician, great farmer, really a wonderful athlete. He actually made this model in two different sizes, and this is the smaller of the two. Originally, this clock would have been fire gilt and, uh, really a very, very flashy clock. Some of the interesting points about this clock-- this little monogram here. It says, "Washington, First in War, First in Peace, First in the Hearts of His Countrymen." And then also this interesting feature here-- this "E Pluribus Unum," which refers to the 13 states all coming together as one under the U.S. Constitution, and becoming our own nation. And that's actually symbolized with the shield and the arrows on the breast of the eagle. This particular clock, with the condition issues, I think you'd find in a retail store, probably in the $40,000 to $50,000 range.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness.
GUEST: I had heard at one time there were only six in the United States. Is that true?
APPRAISER: That's not true. No, no.
GUEST: That's not true. All right.
APPRAISER: I was talking with some of my colleagues, and I think between the three or four of us, we probably can think of at least 20 that have sold in the last ten or 15 years.
GUEST: Okay. Well, thank you.
APPRAISER: You're welcome. Thank you for coming to the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
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