The Incredible Rare Clock Collection of Dr. William Thomas will Headline Cottone’s March 31 Auction



Dr. Thomas’s outstanding collection showcases 50 of the finest examples of French and European clock masterpieces. The auction, at 12 Eastern time, contains 220 choice lots.

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Geneseo, NY, USA, March 19, 2023 — Cottone Auctions’ Important Timepieces & Decorative Arts auction, on Friday, March 31st, will feature the incredible collection of Dr. William Thomas of Naples, Florida, showcasing 50 of the finest examples of French and European clock masterpieces. The auction, starting promptly at 12 o’clock Eastern time, features 220 choice lots.

Both rarity and condition were important to Dr. Thomas. Highlighting his collection, assembled over a period of 50 years, is an extremely rare Raingo orrery clock and music box, with original matching pedestal. The clock and music box are in fine running order with beautiful patina and gilt bronze mounts, in remarkably original condition, possibly one of the finest known examples.

An orrery is a mechanical model of the solar system, one that illustrates or predicts the relative positions and motions of the planets and moons. Orreries are typically driven by a clockwork mechanism with a globe representing the sun at the center, and with a planet at the end of each of the arms. It is widely believed that perhaps as few as twenty orrery clocks exist.

Most known examples, like the present clock, are in the form of a gilt mounted, four column rotunda, veneered with mahogany or amboyna. Few rest on a musical base, playing on the hour or at will. A well-known example, now at Windsor Castle was purchased by King George IV in 1824. Other examples can be found in the Spanish Royal Collection at the Palacio Real de Madrid, the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris, the Musée International de l’Hologerie, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, the Science Museum, London and the Sir John Soane Museum, London. The clock was purchased from renowned horologist, Jim Cipra of Long Beach, California, who acquired it from an important Portuguese collection.

For more information about Cottone Auctions’ Friday, March 31st auction, please visit; or call (585) 243-1000.