French Bracket Clock, ca. 1900
Appraised Value: $15,000 - $20,000 (2007)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:05)
GUEST: My grandfather was the owner of the Philipsburg Mines, in Philipsburg, Montana. It was a silver mine. I don't know much more about this, that it's been in our family for about a hundred years.
APPRAISER: Did he have a home in St. Louis? Because I noticed on the dial here
APPRAISER: that this came from Saccard Jewelry in St. Louis and Paris. So there was a St. Louis connection?
GUEST: He did have a house in St. Louis.
APPRAISER: Mm-hmm. Well, this is a Louis XIV-style clock, although it doesn't date from 1725. This dates right around the turn of the 20th century, around 1900. It's made out of a solid chunk of white onyx, which is a remarkable feat in and of itself. It has a French mechanism in there, probably made by Marti, who was a commonly found French clockmaker in high-quality clocks. But it was retailed by this jewelry store that's listed on the dial. It has fire-gilt brass elements to it, and it is very, very heavy. And you've carried this around, haven't you?
GUEST: Yes, 20 years.
APPRAISER: For 20 years. And what does it weigh?
GUEST: Oh, about 200, 225.
APPRAISER: Tell me about where you put this at home.
GUEST: It's in my living room.
APPRAISER: On a mantel?
GUEST: On a mantel, yeah.
GUEST: Yeah, on a wooden mantel.
APPRAISER: On a wooden mantel?
GUEST: Thick, wooden mantel, yeah.
APPRAISER: And as we were talking earlier, there was a Richard Burton connection?
GUEST: Yes. Well, probably mid-'60s, uh, there was an antique dealer in Polson, Montana. And what I was told by my parents is that he sent a blank check to my parents with an attorney and wanted to buy the clock for Elizabeth Taylor.
APPRAISER: Sounds-- that's an interesting...
GUEST: For her birthday.
APPRAISER: For her birthday? Ah, there you go. Well, it's probably cheaper than diamonds.
GUEST: It was.
APPRAISER: So it dates around the turn of the century. It's fabulous quality. It's a wonderful clock. In today's auction world, it would probably fetch $15,000 to $20,000.
GUEST: Oh, great. Great. Thank you very much.
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