• <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>26th-29th of October 2021</b>
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th- 29th:</b><br>Books from XV to XX Century
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th:</b><br>Manuscripts and autographs
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th:</b><br>Artist books
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th:</b><br>Cars & more
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th:</b><br>Magazines
    <b>Gonnelli Auction 31, Oct. 28th- 29th:</b><br>Books from XV to XX Century
  • <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> STEVE JOBS REVEALS HIS SPIRITUAL SIDE. Autograph Letter to Tim Brown, 1974. $200,000 to $300,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> DIDEROT, DENIS. 1713-1784; & JEAN LE ROND D'ALEMBERT. 1717-1783, EDITORS. <i>Encyclopedie, ou dictionnaire raisonne des sciences, des arts et des metiers.</i> $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist. Evanston, Illinois: Library of Living Philosophers, 1949. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> APPLE MACINTOSH PROTOTYPE, 1982. Earliest known to appear at auction. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> TRINITY PROJECT: STAFFORD L. WARREN. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> JIMMY HARE PHOTOGRAPH OF WRIGHT FLYER SIGNED BY BOTH WRIGHT BROTHERS, 1908. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> HAGELIN CX-52 CIPHER MACHINE, Type D, Switzerland, Crypto AG, 1950s, no 33454. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> FEYNMAN WORKING ON QUARK THEORY. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> STEVE JOBS SETS THE STAGE FOR DESKTOP PUBLISHING. Signed document, 1982. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> MEMORYMOOG PLUS, THE CLASSIC ANALOG POLYSYNTH OF THE 1980S. $7,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Nov. 3:</b> WRIGHT BROTHERS: DAYTON 1909, <i>The Nation State and City Welcome the World's Greatest Aviators.</i> $12,000 to $18,000.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Ricky Jay Collection<br>October 27 & 28, 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 27-28:</b> "Remarkable Persons". A remarkable collection of remarkable characters. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 27-28:</b> Scot, Reginald. A serious debunking witchcraft and demonology. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 27-28:</b> (Buchinger, Matthias). Buchinger's own family tree. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 27-28:</b> Bibrowski, Stephan. Most likely reading A Midsummer Night's Dream. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Oct. 27-28:</b> Kellar, Harry (Heinrich Keller). Kellar loses his head. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <b><center>Hindman:<br>Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>November 9-10, 2021
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> HOOKE, Robert (1635-1702). <i>Micrographia: Or Some Psychological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses.</i> London: for James Allestry, 1667. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> [THE FEDERALIST PAPERS]. -- [HAMILTON, Alexander, James MADISON and John JAY. <i>The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution…</i> $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> FUCHS, Leonhart (1501-1566). <i>Histoire des Plantes de M. Leonhart Fuschsius, avec les noms Grecs, Latins & Fraçoys.</i> Paris: Arnold Byrkman, 1549. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b><center>Hindman:<br>Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>November 9-10, 2021
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> AUDEBERT, Jean Baptiste (1759-1800). <i>Histoire naturelle des singes et des makis.</i> Paris: Desray, An XIII [1799-1800]. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> [UNITED STATES CONTINENTAL CONGRESS]. <i>Journals of the Congress...</i>Volume I (Sept. 5, 1774-Jan. 1, 1776) through Volume XIII (November 1787-November 1788). $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> [UNITED STATES CONTINENTAL CONGRESS]. <i>The Journals of the Proceedings of Congress. Held at Philadelphia, from January to May, 1776.</i> $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b><center>Hindman:<br>Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>November 9-10, 2021
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> [TEXAS]. <i>Map of Bexar County, Texas.</i> San Antonio and Austin: Samuel Maverick & John H. Traynham, 1889. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> GARDNER, Alexander (1821-1882). Imperial albumen Photograph. <i>Scenes in the Indian Country</i> [Fort Laramie]. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> WILLIAMS, H. Noel. <i>Madame Recamier and her Friends.</i> London and New York: Harper & Brothers, 1906. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b><center>Hindman:<br>Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>November 9-10, 2021
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> [MOSER, Barry, illustrator]. <i>The Holy Bible. Containing All the Books of the Old and New Testaments.</i> North Hatfield, MA and New York City: Pennyroyal Caxton Press, 1999. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> [PRINTS]. MOSER, Barry. Alice in Her Sister’s Reverie. [1982]. 433 x 552 mm. Signed and captioned by Moser in pencil, designated artist’s proof (“ap”). $1,000 to $1,500.
    16 <b>Hindman, Nov. 9-10:</b> [MOSER, Barry, illustrator]. A group of 4 wood-engraved plates for the Pennyroyal Press edition <i>The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.</i> [West Hatfield, MA: Pennyroyal Press, 1985]. $600 to $800.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - August - 2020 Issue

A New Paltz Clock: a moving experience


A New Paltz Clock:  a moving experience


Almost two years ago I ran across an old clock described as “Rare Sidney Wall Clock” at auction at Fontaine’s Auctions online during the summer of 2018.  Advertisements were painted on its glass face and in its base there was provision for three separate advertisements to turn every 15 minutes as the clock reached the next quarter of the hour.  As I recall the estimate was $2,500 - $3,500 and was interested enough to contact the house to ask questions about it.  The description was carefully drawn to avoid disputes such as “best I can tell its' works look promising but we do not test or guarantee they work.”  That gentleman was a craftsman in packaging both hope and despair as snugly as peanut butter and jelly and the experience left me hungry for bidding. 


Shock of shocks this gentleman left others equally enthused to blunder into the dark into the never-never land of possibly complete and possibly broken clocks where hope lives in the repair of broken springs, arms, armatures, missing parts and gouges and scratches “that look they can magically disappear.”


On its painted face:


Mohonk Mountain House

Accommodations & Meals

Carriages to Station, Telegraph

Billiards & Boating


Read the

New Paltz Independent


Zacharia Bruyn

Harness Maker

Shoes Repaired



This clock punched all my buttons like a 7 year-old pressing the elevator stops coming down from the Empire State Building.  The ride into the auction was giddy and reality jarring once I exhausted other bidders and earned the right to exchange $6,000 to receive this collector’s flight of a fancy.  I thought because the starting price was much lower it wouldn’t rise to a level where enthusiasm would have to partner with competence.  Had I known I would have stepped back because my knowledge of clocks was next to nothing, actually nothing.  Well, what the hell.


This clock was exciting because it’s an old New Paltz clock and I’d never seen or even heard of such a thing.  And I should have as I grew up in that place and collected local material for decades.  Ah well.


After receiving the clock in the early fall of 2018 I realized I was in over my head and knew the answer would be to look in the yellow pages and online for antique clock repairers.  I found six in the Bay Area and called them many times, half still had phone numbers but no longer picked up.  In time one commiserated that it’s a shame the best and perhaps the only one left may be gone.  He didn’t remember his name but recalled he was German.  He wasn’t gone thank God.  Eventually I found him, John Kessel, whose dba is The German Clockmaker, who isn’t local but could be found.  And I did!


John, in his sunset years, in real life was once a college president, is now onto more important things than inspiring students, rather pursuing his passion to preserve interesting old clocks.  He loves them and wants challenges and I was able to provide one.  My auction optimism brought me the clock and my blind luck and his enthusiasm found the perfect match for this challenging exercise.  


After inspection in San Francisco, he collected the clock and its parts to take them to his shop in Monterey, in time providing estimates of time and money.  Within a month he was cautiously optimistic about the outcome but uncertain about the timing.  There were to be many separate steps and other specialists to consult, some who would repair or replace weak links.


We would catch up by phone from time to time but increasingly the goal was becoming perfection, just good would not be good enough.  Step by step the time went by and the prospect of completion loomed.  It was so very appealing.


And then when delivery and installation were scheduled he reminded me to think about where it will be installed because such a large hanging clock [62” h x 28” w x 10.25” d at widest points] could alter or enhance how spaces work because this example has volume and the stature to command the rooms around it.  There were three possibilities but I decided on the entry into the living room where a wall of Ulster county paintings catch the afternoon light.


Just a week or so ago it was installed and it’s a marvelous addition to my Ulster County collection.  I’m very fortunate.


As to the hagiography of the saint that repaired and restored this much appreciated relic I’ll now go on to try to contextualize this fragment of history.


And as to where it once was it’s only a guess.  The principal advertisers’ message painted on its face is Mohonk but it’s unlikely it was ever in the storied hotel.  The reason:  the founding families were Quakers and probably would have been uncomfortable to have their own or anyone else’s advertising on their walls.  That seems right.


As well, it’s a guess but expect it to be accurate that the clock dates to the 1880’s.


The transforming event in that era in New Paltz was the opening of the Wallkill Valley Railroad in stages, from the south in 1870 to New Paltz, then completing to Kingston in 1872.  In time, for a brief period, this railroad became part of a group of railroads that connected from New York to and beyond Buffalo.  For some years after, the line was quite busy, as travel times were shortened, and the frequency of trains increased.  Altogether it must have encouraged a boom in commerce.


As to where the clock might have been located, with trains running north and south on a busy schedule, the train station seems the perfect place, what with Mohonk delivering and picking up guests and cargo, such a clock would have been appropriate in the spacious waiting room in the railroad station where the convenience of a large clock an appropriate accommodation to those coming and going where arrivals and departures were measured in minutes as the railroad’s schedule followed precise times.  So too, the other advertisers the New Paltz Independent as well as, Zacharia Braun, Harness Maker, may have been seduced by the clockmaker’s representative that everyone uses the public clocks for reference where they’ll see your message.  Where their interests met were in the hamlet of New Paltz where the Independent’s offices were located, where stables were maintained nearby, and the hotel regularly discharged and picked up guests. 


In 1952 I joined my second grade class to walk down to the rail station to see it because rail service was going to be curtailed.  The lighting was dim, the air dusty, the only light I recall was through the station master’s ticket window in the waiting room where passengers could collect or consign cargo and purchase tickets going south toward Maybrook or north to Kingston.


Was there a clock on the far wall?  I cannot remember.  The room was dimly lit and very dusty.


Given three company identities were emblazoned on this clock I assume they all purchased clocks but I’m now getting into layering surmises onto other assumptions.  The railroad would have purchased one for the station and Mohonk may have bought one for their Gatehouse where incoming and outgoing guests transferred to other stages.  As to the Independent they were in their heyday, were making money, and Zacharias Bruyn may simply have been feeling his oats.


All this said there is one more project to recreate the advertising panels that rotate every 15 minutes in the clock’s base.  They were long gone.  For that I’ll be examining old ads in the archives of New Paltz’s newspapers and the Normal Review published by the school that has become today’s University at New Paltz.  Among them I hope to capture the spirit of that time.


My analysis is simply my view but it seems more likely than not.

Posted On: 2020-08-03 04:34
User Name: mairin

Interesting piece, Bruce, thank you for this, especially the images. A fine wall clock, indeed, with a rich history. Possibly the centerpiece of your Ulster County Collection. I admire your loyalty to personal history and to the place which shaped your interest in books and in upstate New York, as you ment'd in an earlier article. I hope you'll get this piece reprinted in the New Paltz newspapers -- that may lead to further information. One of my booksellers, Kevin Kelly, is based in your original hometown. I'll alert him to the article.
- Maureen E. Mulvihill.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Pancho Villa, passport for a news correspondent covering the Mexican revolution, signed, 1914. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Nirvana’s <i>Nevermind,</i> CD insert signed & inscribed days after release by Cobain, inscribed by Novoselic, 1991. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Robert Indiana, <i>The Book of Love,</i> complete portfolio, artist’s proof set, 1997. $100,000 to $125,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Marcel Vertés, Colette, <i>Chéri,</i> two volumes, deluxe edition, signed by the artist, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Virginia Woolf, <i>Orlando,</i> first trade edition, first impression, London, 1928. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Mark Twain, receipt for payment of the Mark Twain Public Library Tax, 1908. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 28:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk von Gustav Klimt,</i> portfolio, collotype plates, 1918. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <center><b>The 19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop<br></b>Catalogue 190:<br>Magnificent Books & Photographs<br><b>Free on request</b>
    <b>19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop:</b> William Shakespeare. <i>The Second Folio</i> (1632).
    <b>19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop:</b> Abraham Lincoln. Autograph note on Black troops in the Union Army (1865).
    <b>19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop:</b> Neil Armstrong. The largest known U.S. flag flown to the Moon on Apollo 11 (1969).
    <b>19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop:</b> William Henry Fox Talbot. <i>The Pencil of Nature</i> (1844-1846) the first photo illustrated book.
    <b>19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop:</b> Albert Einstein. Letter on relativity and the speed of light (1951).

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