The original article about this sale of a grandfather clock appeared Sothebys Selling Antique Grandfather Clock. It is not one of the newer Howard Miller grandfather clocks or Hermle Grandfather Clock, or one of the American-made Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, but rather an American-made antique grandfather clock made in Long Island, New York, back around 1780.
A tall case or grandfather clock crafted by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1780 will be part of a sale of American antiques at Sotheby’s in Manhattan this weekend. The auction house has estimated that it will sell in the range of $30,000 to $50,000, which is a lot more than the most expensive grandfather clocks made today and offered by 1-800-4CLOCKS, most of which have many more features, including auto-night shut-off and tubular chime grandfather clocks.
The clock comes from the Hendrickson and Schellinger families of Bridgehampton and East Hampton. Sylvester Schellinger, who lived in Amagansett, bought the clock from an unknown East Hampton resident sometime during the early 19th century, according to the provenance provided by Sotheby’s. It then descended through the Schellinger family to Hattie Woodhull Schellinger.
When the family suffered some financial setbacks, she sold the clock to Howard F. Hendrickson “for a sum of $150, plus $50 to be paid in milk and eggs,” according to a bill of sale from May 29, 1939, referenced by Sotheby’s. The clock was most recently in the possession of Richard Hendrickson, a longtime Bridgehampton farmer and weather observer, who died last year at the age of 103.
Dominy made several clocks in the years 1775 to 1783, but the Schellinger clock was far more sophisticated in its design than the one-handed clocks he regularly sold. It has two hands and day and date indicators. The brass plates used on the clock to support the movement are also very rare for a Dominy piece, according to Charles Hummel, the author of “With Hammer in Hand: The Dominy Craftsmen of East Hampton, Long Island.”