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Rare clock given to town's library

February 05, 2008

BOONSBORO - A rare Johnston and Melhorn mantel clock from the estate of the late John Harlan Bast Jr. has been donated to the new Boonsboro branch of the Washington County Free Library.

The clock bears a label that says "Boonsborough" and "Hagerstown" inside the clock, said Tom Bikle, who is handling the upcoming estate sale at the Cochran Auction Theater near Boonsboro.

"John Bast said he never wanted that clock to leave the area," Bikle said.

The clock will be placed on permanent display in the new library, which is scheduled to open in March.

Bast, a lifelong resident of Boonsboro, died in October.

Professional appraiser John Newcomer said a similar mantel clock on display at the Washington County Historical Society has a "Hagerstown" label inside. The clock was appraised at about $10,000 three years ago, he said.

Bikle said the library also will benefit from the proceeds of a preview of Bast's other clocks, fine antiques and furniture on Thursday, March 6, from 5 to 8 p.m.

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Tickets cost $20 for the preview, which will feature music and appetizers, Bikle said.

The auction, which will benefit the Bast estate, will be March 8 at Cochran's Auction Theater.

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