The clock is not only one of the most important inventions in human history, it has also long presented an opportunity for craftsmen to show off the finest workmanship. Some of the most exquisite examples of the discipline will be on the block when Fontaine's Auction Gallery in Pittsfield, Mass., holds its Nov. 23 antique clock auction.

Beginning at 11:00 am, the online auction will take place simultaneously on iCollector.com. With so many examples of superb clocks available, this collectibles auction provides a rare opportunity to find the perfect timepiece for any space.

Grandfather clocks
Many of the finest lots at the Fontaine's auction are grandfather clocks that collectors will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Among the most notable examples are three by E. Howard.

E. Howard & Co. was a Roxbury, Mass.-based clock and watchmaking company that operated throughout the second half of the 19th century and first half of the 20th. Known for making some of the most finely-crafted timepieces in the world, its many models became immediate collector's items prized for their beauty and precision.

That widespread appreciation makes the opportunities to purchase the company's models rare, which is just one of the reasons the Fontaine's auction is such a remarkable one. A No. 25 Drum Head model (lot #105), a No. 68 model (lot #95) and a No. 74 model (lot #95), each featuring astronomical regulators, will be among the most prized items on Nov. 23.

Variety of clocks
Free-standing models won't be the only lots that are sure to catch the eye of collectors and appreciators of clocksmithing. A French Figural Three Graces Annular clock (lot #66) with a white marble base, bronze features and three nude female figures – the graces – is one of the most beautiful and unique examples of the craft to be found in the world.

A wall-hanging clock from Seth Thomas (lot #220), which has a walnut wood casing, is simply jaw-dropping, and an E. Gubelin Inclined Plane clock (lot #30) is a one-of-a-kind work of art and conversation piece. Another wall-hanger, this one a Biedermeier Weight-Driven Regulator (lot #88), is a classic that will have its new owner feeling nostalgic for the days of yore.

Many of these clocks are so beautiful that they're worth simply taking gazing upon. And that's something you can only do at iCollector.com, which offers detailed photos and close-up viewing options on all 270 of the lots that will make up the Nov. 23 auction.