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Clock Auction Review

Clock Consultant Leigh Extence reviews the results of the Antique Clock Auction held within the April 2013 Fine Sale, which saw considerable interest in two regulators, a particular lantern clock, several longcase clocks, a French clock garniture and a mantel clock by Sir John Bennett FRAS (1814-1897).

A lantern clock signed 'Richard Tracy fecit' (FS18/772) attracted considerable pre-sale attention and eventually succumbed to a bid of £3,200, in the
       antique clock auction held within the April 2013 Fine Sale.

A lantern clock signed 'Richard Tracy fecit' (FS18/772) attracted considerable pre-sale attention and eventually succumbed to a bid of £3,200, in the antique clock auction held within the April 2013 Fine Sale.

A varied selection of antique clocks came under the hammer during the antique clock auction in the April 2013 Fine Sale, with a great deal of interest being shown in two floor-standing regulator timepieces, one with a most interesting heritage.

The Gaydon Clock Regulator timepiece (FS18/776), which had been removed from 99 High Street, Barnstaple in the 1970s, fetched £4,700.

The Gaydon Clock Regulator timepiece (FS18/776), which had been removed from 99 High Street, Barnstaple in the 1970s, fetched £4,700.

The Gaydon of Barnstaple regulator (FS18/776) had been removed from 99 High Street in Barnstaple in the 1970s by a member of the family who had been successors to John Gaydon (1821-1895). John Gaydon established a dynasty of clockmakers and jewellers based at this address in the mid-to-late Victorian period, making it safe to assume that this particular piece was the actual regulator made and used by John Gaydon himself. Interested members of the Gaydon family were in attendance during the clock auction, with the hammer coming down at £4,700.

The small-sized regulator by William Baker Crisp (1825-1895) attracted considerable attention and witnessed
        a keenly fought battle from the room, the Internet and bidders on the telphone, falling for £10,500 to the winning bidder (FS18/778).

The small-sized regulator by William Baker Crisp (1825-1895) attracted considerable attention and witnessed a keenly fought battle from the room, the Internet and bidders on the telephone, falling to the winning bidder for £10,500 (FS18/778).

The other regulator timepiece (FS18/778), was made in London by the well-known clockmaker William Baker Crisp (1825-1895), a successor to the great maker Robert Molyneux in Clerkenwell, who was a well-known commentator on all precision pieces.

This timepiece had the advantage of being of small size and veneered in walnut. Well fought over by bidders in the room, on the Internet and the phones, a private collector finally out-bid members of the clock trade to secure it on the fall of the hammer at £10,500.

The rare Mappin & Webb solid silver bicentenary carriage clock (FS18/762) was keenly fought over, realising £1,300 when the hammer fell
        in the antique clock section of the April 2013 Fine Sale.

The rare Mappin & Webb solid silver bicentenary carriage clock (FS18/762) was keenly fought over, realising £1,300 when the hammer fell in the antique clock section of the April 2013 Fine Sale.

A more modern piece was the solid silver carriage clock (FS18/762) with a fusee movement signed for Mappin & Webb and dated 1976 in commeration of their 200 years in business. Limited to two-hundred pieces, these carriage clocks rarely come on the market, and when they do appear, they are keenly fought over, hence the hammer price of £1,300.

An interesting lantern clock (FS18/772), signed 'Richard Tracy fecit', but without a place name, had been converted to an anchor escapement from a verge escapement early in its life, but as this is a common occurrence it didn't deter the many bidders for this clock. Pre-sale interest had been high, so it was no surprise to see it fall at £3,200. Although a Richard Tracy is known to have been apprenticed in London in 1660, this lantern clock bore all the hallmarks of being Westcountry made, especially considering that Tracy is a prominent name within the area.

The market for longcase clocks has picked up recently, with this Robert Westlake of Plymouth mahogany longcase clock (FS18/774), with a silvered dial, realising £1,150 at
        auction in Exeter.

The market for longcase clocks has picked up recently,
with this Robert Westlake of Plymouth mahogany
longcase clock (FS18/774), with a silvered dial,
realising £1,150 at auction in Exeter.

Longcase clocks have picked up recently as shown by all those offered for sale finding buyers, including the rather attractive mahogany longcase clock example (FS18/774), signed on the silvered dial by Robert Westlake of Plymouth, Westlake being another prominent surname in the south-west, which went for £1,150.

A French ormolu and chempleve enamel clock garniture went to the Chinese market for a winning bid of £4,200.

A French ormolu and chempleve enamel clock garniture (FS18/763) went to the Chinese market for a winning bid of £4,200.

Both bracket clocks and mantel clocks are proving to be as popular as ever, especially those French examples with decorative work, as seen in the fine three-piece clock garniture in ormolu with champleve enamel decoration (FS18/763), made in the mid-Victorian period, which went to the Chinese market for a bid of £4,200.

A mahogany library clock, with a single fusee movement and carved decorated case, by the prominent clockmaker Sir John Bennett FRAS (1814-1897) fetched £490 (FS18/770).

A mahogany library clock, with a single fusee movement and carved decorated case, by the prominent clockmaker Sir John Bennett FRAS (1814-1897) fetched £490 (FS18/770).

A prominent name from the Victorian period is the clockmaker John Bennett (1814-1897), who became a very successful business man and politician, becoming Sir John in later life. A good example of his work is the mahogany library timepiece (FS18/770), signed on the silvered dial by Bennett, as Maker to the Royal Observatory, with a single fusee movement and carved decoration to the case. A final bid of £490 secured this bracket clock.

Tags

  • Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood
  • Fine Sale
  • Antique Clock Auctions
  • John Gaydon (1821-1895)
  • William Baker Crisp (1825-1895)
  • Mapplin & Webb
  • Richard Tracy (fl 1660)
  • Robert Westlake
  • Sir John Bennett FRAS (1814-1897)

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