E.N Welch Clocks
E. N. Welch clocks were produced by the E. N. Welch Manufacturing Company, during the second half of the nineteenth century.
The company was established in 1864 in Forestville, Connecticutt, when Elisha N. Welch took over from an earlier clock making firm.
From 1868 to 1884, Elisha N. Welch (1809-1887) formed a subsidiary company called Welch, Spring & Company which would manufacture more expensive models of clocks. The company was formed by three clock enthusiasts; Welch, Solomon Crosby Spring and Benjamin Bennet Lewis.
E. N. Welch clocks gained a small but respectable reputation for producing handsome rosewood cases up until 1885 when, due to developments in furniture fashion, the company introduced a new range of clocks that were constructed from solid walnut cases. By 1890, the company had discontinued the majority of its rosewood veneered cases.
Following Elisha N. Welch’s death in 1887, the company began to decline and, in order to raise capital, sold some of its assets and introduced a new range of clocks. This new stock, which was announced in 1893, was of much cheaper quality than their previous models. In the next few years, the firm continued to diminish. The factory was closed down and all their stock and assets were sold in order to settle their huge debts.
In 1899, most of the E. N. Welch manufacturing complex was burnt to ashes in two fires and although a new factory was built in 1900, the company eventually integrated into the Sessions Clock Company in 1903.
Guide for collectors
E. N. Welch clocks made before 1880 are considerably more expensive as these represent the zenith of the company’s clock-making talents. Clocks made prior to 1880 are generally valued by auction houses from $300 to $1,000.
However, instances of E. N. Welch clocks are quite rare at reputable auction houses, such as Christie’s and Bonhams. Collectors are more likely to purchase E. N. Welsh clocks from online bidding sites such as eBay and they tend to be priced between $100 and $400.
Some of the most sought after models by collectors are those that go under the name “Patti”. Apparently, Elisha N. Welch had once been enamoured with a Spanish women called Adeline Patti and named one of his best quality movements after her. However, at present there are no confirmed examples of this model ever being sold through international auction houses, including Sotheby’s and Christie’s.
In June 1995, a Victorian carved walnut masonic shelf clock, made by E. N. Welch circa 1865, was sold at the New York branch of Christie’s for $978.
An American rosewood and ebonised perpetual calendar striking shelf clock, made by the Welch, Spring & Crosby Company around 1880, realised a price of £375 when it was sold at the South Kensington branch of Bonhams in June 2010.
A E. N. Welch rosewood veneered drop dial wall clock, made at the end of the nineteenth century, fetched a price of £141 when it was sold at a County Sale organised by Bonhams in April 2004.
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