Clocks

The finest clocks from the English Golden Age – the period c.1660-1725 when huge strides were made in horology – are rare on the market. But this category embraces collectable timekeepers from all periods and places – from German table clocks and the classic Georgian longcase to the Victorian slate mantel clock and the advent of electricity.


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Pendulum pioneers

07 October 2019

In 1657, the 10-year-old Dutch orphan Christiaan Reijnaert was apprenticed to clockmaker Salomon Coster in The Hague. It was a momentous time for Coster: he is credited with building the first pendulum clock, incorporating the invention by Christian Huygens.

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Marcks and spender – carriage clock attracts buyers at Hampshire sale

16 September 2019

Pitched at £500-800, this grand sonnerie carriage clock came with little information for bidders at Jacobs & Hunt’s (22% buyer’s premium) sale in Liss other than plentiful illustrations and the name C Marcks & Co, Bombay and Poona engraved to the silvered dial.

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Novelty poop deck pops up

09 September 2019

Benefiting from the continuing fashion for late 19th century novelty mantel clocks, a gilt-brass and steel example by Guilmet made the running at Peter Wilson (22% buyer’s premium) of Nantwich.

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Sully surfaces for a £17,000 sale

19 August 2019

Clock produced by Englishman influential in French horology impresses in Norfolk auction.

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The late 19th century finds fashion favour

15 July 2019

Pieces from the late 19th century, a vibrant but occasionally derided moment in the history of the decorative arts, provided many of the highlights to Sworders’ summer Fine Interiors sale in Stansted Montfitchet.

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Masterpieces to a Rothschild’s taste tempt buyers during a packed London sales week

08 July 2019

The 52-lot auction of furniture, paintings and works of art collected by members of the Rothschild family was among the most animated during a packed week of London showpiece sales.

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The web shop window: Swedish clock from 1787

01 July 2019

Thousands of items are available to buy from dealers online. Here we pick out one that caught our eye this week.

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Tompion ‘Q Clock’ takes £1.6m in London at Bonhams auction

24 June 2019

A clock made for King William and Queen Mary by Thomas Tompion (1639-1713) was hammered down for £1.6m atThe Clive Collection of Exceptional Clockssale on June 19 at Bonhams.

Qing dynasty musical automaton clock

Chinese Qing dynasty musical automaton clock – an amalgam of ingenuity and technical prowess – fetches over £1m at auction

24 June 2019

A Chinese musical automaton clock sailed over the £1m mark when it came up for sale at the Drouot auction centre in Paris.

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Thornhill’s Chinaman strikes a chord in Ayr

17 June 2019

More of a curiosity than a clock but a decorator’s dream, a life-size caricature of a smiling Chinese man clutching a willow-pattern plate with gilt dragon hands emerged in the Ayr rooms of Thomas R Callan (17.5% buyer’s premium).

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CLOCKS: Quare and Tompion – Rivals who clicked in London's Golden Age

10 June 2019

Golden Age collaboration between two London clockmakers leads a look at the market including hammer highlights, auction previews and dealer news.

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Eardley Norton clocks chime with bidders

10 June 2019

Eardley Norton, who is listed at 49 St John’s Street, Clerkenwell between 1762- 94, enjoyed a reputation as a skilled mechanic and the maker of complex timepieces, sometimes with musical and astronomical movements.

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Your carriage clock awaits at regional auctions

10 June 2019

The series of Victorian carriage clocks by James McCabe – the son of a Belfast clockmaker of the same name who came to London in the 1770s and worked at the Royal Exchange from 1804 – are typically beautifully made with exemplary twin fusee striking movements.

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Unrecorded Tompion to star at Masterpiece

10 June 2019

Kensington Church Street clock dealer Howard Walwyn will offer this previously unknown Thomas Tompion walnut and mulberry longcase at the Masterpiece fair in London.

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Thomas Mercer chronometer made in modern times doubles estimate in Gloucestershire

10 June 2019

By the 1980s, Thomas Mercer of St Albans had made almost a third of all chronometers in history – including that used by Ernest Shackleton to navigate his men to Elephant Island and eventual rescue during the Trans-Arctic Expedition of 1914.

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Dealer offers bracket clock by Lewes’ finest Richard Comber

10 June 2019

Remarkably, of the approximately 110 clockmakers recorded working in Lewes from the mid-17th to the early 19th centuries, as many as 10 were operating almost side-by-side at this town on the River Ouse in the late 18th century.

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Thomas Cole bracket clock leads group of unusual and more familiar works

10 June 2019

A rare regulator bracket clock signed by Thomas Cole was among a fine selection of English 18th and 19th century horology offered by Hutchinson-Scott (20% buyer’s premium) in Skipton, North Yorkshire, on May 23.

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Longcase clock by Thomas Mudge gives a nudge in new direction

10 June 2019

A mahogany longcase clock by Thomas Mudge (1715-94) is priced at £45,000 from Cheltenham dealer Tobias Birch.

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Complex clocks make sharp auction sellers

10 June 2019

The complex precision electromechanical pendulum clocks made by William Hamilton-Shortt, engineer for the London & South Western Railway, and Frank Hope Jones, horologist of the Synchronome Company, were the most accurate pendulum clocks ever commercially produced.

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Signed by maker and first owner – dealer offers rare Cumbrian clock

10 June 2019

As the vast majority of Georgian clockmakers signed their work, most regional brass-dial longcase clocks have a great sense of place.

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