Spitler clock sells for $185,000 at auction

Luray museum

November 6, 1986A crudely-made clock crafted by a Page County resident in 1801 was auctioned in New York Oct. 25 for $185,000.

An anonymous bidder purchased the clock, which was auctioned by Sotheby-Parke-Bernet, international appraisers and auctioneers. Some local antiques authorities believe the purchase price is the most ever paid for an American clock.

According to Whitney, the tall case clock, made of pine and decorated with German-style folk art, is only the second of its kind left in existence. The other Spitler clock is in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Museum in Colonial Williamsburg.

The clock sold at Sotheby’s is believed to have been crafted in 1801 by Johannes Spitler, an amateur furniture maker, who resided at Mill Creek, three miles south of Luray.

Whitney believes Spitler presented it to his neighbor and brother- in-law, Jacob Stickler.

A metal plate on the front of the clock contains the date, 1801, and the names of both men, Johannes Spitler in English and Jacob Strickler in German script.

The clock remained in the Strickler family for generations until a descendant sold it about 12 years ago. 

~ From the public archives of the Page News and Courier

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