Sunday, June 16, 2013

The object of the day: Carved Fragment (1550 to 1580 Flemish)

190.00cm wide 36.00cm high (74.80 inches wide 14.17 inches high)
Description / Expertise Central section of a large Flemish Oak top frieze from either a cupboard or a screen. It is Flemish Oak, circa 1550 - 1580. The central panel is applied and has immense energy in its depiction of Cupid with his quiver of arrows and a downward flaming torch held towards a brazier. He is flanked by a cloven hooved Satyr on his left and a large and menacing bearded man, possibly Mars, to his right. It is probable from this Classical array that it is a scene representing the punishment of Cupid for the mischeif that his arrows have caused.

The outer sections both have wonderfully carved Renaissance representations, with Mythical Beasts and a fantastical head embedded within foliate motifs together with Classical figures either side of them set within oval framing.
Price gbp 3750.00 (Pound Sterling)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Heckler live auction of antique glass

Heckler Live Auction - Friday, June 21st at Noon  

Fruit Jars, Historical Flasks, Inks, Barber Bottles, Medicines, Utilities, Demijohns, Whiskeys, Hat Whimsies, Sodas and Mineral Waters, Bitters, Black Glass, Chestnuts, Lamps, Decanters, Figurals, Stoneware & More.

June Live Auction

Items to be sold individually, in small groupings & table lots.
No Reserves

A number of the items in this auction are from the collections of
Dr. Paul Andreson, Gary Hatstat, Kris Kernozicky, Al McVay, and
Anna & Bill Villa.
Wed. June 19th (9 AM-5 PM)
Thurs. June 20th (9 AM-5 PM)
Fri. June 21st (11:15 AM)

 Auction Location   
The Heckler Offices
79 Bradford Corner Road
Woodstock Valley, CT 06282

Absentee Bids Will Be Accepted For This Auction  
Call us to discuss the Absentee Bid service for this auction.  

Please feel free to call or email our office for additional information on  individual items presented in this sale.
Norman C. Heckler & Company
79 Bradford Corner Road, Woodstock Valley, CT 06282
T: 860.974.1634  F:860.974.2003
website:   email:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Antique clock mechanisms

The motive-power  of a clock is a either a weight, or fusee and spring which drives a train of wheels.
The fusee is conical-shaped brass drum, with the gut line from the spring wound round it like a spindle filled with thread, which controls, by different ratios, the power output of the spring  to enable the clock to keep a regular time. Fusees were used on clock and watches until the late 19th century, not given up until slimmer Swiss watches became fashionable in early 20th century. 

The escapement is the part of the clock, watch or timepiece which allows the power driving the mechanism to escape, and controls the speed at which a clock runs down. The various forms of escapement release the escape wheel at regular short intervals (giving a tick-tock sound), allowing the driving force to operate, lock and release again, in a regulated sequence.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Antique glass epergne

The epergne is a table centrepiece, which may have a large central bowl or dish, and a series of smaller bowls suspended from a central stem or branches, with the smaller bowls used to display sweetmeats. Some of the grander examples were made in silver, but epergnes were also made in ceramic and glass. The name came probably from the French "épargne" meaning "saving", the idea being that dinner guests were saved the trouble of passing dishes. In traditional use, an epergne is a fancy way to display side dishes, fruit, or sweetmeats, or can be used for chips, dips, or other finger foods etc.
An epergne generally has a large central "bowl" or basket sitting on three to five feet. From this center "bowl" radiate branches supporting small baskets, dishes, or candleholders. There may be between two and seven branches. Epergnes were traditionally made from silver, however from around the start of the 20th century glass was also employed.

The object of the day: Piguet and Meylan Pocket Watch

We don’t often talk about pocket watches on Longitude because wristwatches are “of our time”. However, we do plan to bring to your attention pieces that are noteworthy, especially because they offer good value in the present market. For example, a watch with  with elaborate decorative elements or those with complications such as a minute repeater, tourbillon and perpetual calendar will cost a fraction of the same combination in a watch.

On November 12, 2012 at Christie’s Important Watches auction is a wondrous collection of  pocket watches made in Switzerland for the Chinese market. A couple spent several decades putting together this collection of enamel pocket watches from the 19th century made for the Chinese market. Specially curated for their unique beauty, they not only display intricate scenes and designs but also important movements.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Italian Renaissance Frames

The study of picture frames in general, and of Renaissance frames in particular, is a discipline in its infancy. Historic frames have always been the poor cousins of important collections of paintings and drawings. Throughout most of the modern (that is, post-medieval) era, original frames were discarded whenever a painting changed ownership, and a new frame more suitable to the work of art's new surroundings was provided. Only in the late nineteenth century did museums and private collectors develop an interest in historical authenticity that extended to frames as well as to the objects they contained, by which time frames more than one or two hundred years old had grown exceedingly rare.

Structure and Design

The development of frame design is inextricably tied to that of architecture. Whether intended for use on paintings, reliefs, or mirrors, frames were invariably designed as parts of an architectural interior and were frequently meant to harmonize with door and window surrounds. Their color, shape, and ornament were generally determined as much by their settings as by what they contained. Not only did frame design evolve with architectural taste, but frames were also often changed as interior decor was updated in order to conform to the demands of an altered context. No matter whether an eighteenth-century "Salvator Rosa" frame is appropriate to a cinquecento Crucifixion, or whether a Velázquez portrait is flattered by an English Rococo frame: pictures have always been required to live unobtrusively among furnishings of a period not their own, and frames have always been the vehicle enabling them to do so.

Collecting tips for antique cutlery collectors

As well as checking for worn tines on forks, check the bowls of spoons for sign of wear. A worn bowl will have an angled, almost cut-off appearance. The rounded-bowl soup spoon didn’t come into being until c 1900, so what we call a tablespoon actually started life as a soup spoon. 

Set of 5 pieces of odd silver plated cutlery including 2 Christofle spoons

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Antique silver candlesticks

We take the convenience of electric light so much for granted that it is easy to forget how dependent our ancestors were on candlelight. The earliest surviving silver candlesticks werer made solely for ecclesiastical use, as it was only the church who could afford such luxuries. Early candles were both smoky and smelly, made from beewax or tallow, with those made in France considered far superior to the English variety. 

Victorian Silver Candlesticks
A pretty pair of antique sterling silver candle holders with stepped square bases and Corinthian tops. The columns are decorated with trailing harebells. Height 16 cms. Base 8 x 8 cms. London 1892. Maker Martin, Hall & Co.
Price £765

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Royal Doulton Bunnykins figures by Christopher Proudlove

Ever eager to keep these columns current, I felt compelled to find something to do with Easter. Inspiration came following a local auction sale in which this trio of pottery Bunnykins figures were offered. In the event, they were knocked down for a staggering total of £2,810. If nothing else, the sale proved there is no upper limit to the prices some hard-bitten collectors are prepared to pay for Royal Doulton rarities.

The bunny rabbit, whose propensity for breeding is legendary, has long served as a fertility symbol for the Spring. Bunnykins figures came from the fertile imagination of a young woman whose father, Cuthbert Bailey, happened to be the managing director of Royal Doulton. As a child, Barbara Vernon Bailey had filled sketchbooks with drawings of the countryside, and of the animals kept by her four brothers and two sisters including pigs, cows, horses and ferrets, as well as the more cuddly dogs, cats and guinea-pigs. But it was the wild rabbits, brought to life by her father’s exciting and sometimes frightening bedtime stories, that really delighted her. When, in 1934, Cuthbert Bailey hit on a new line of children’s nurseryware, he turned to Barbara for illustrations rather than a professional artist.

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