Rare travelling clocks in Bonhams sale

The largest selection of exceptional English and French travelling clocks to have come to the market in recent history will feature in Bonhams Fine Clock sale later this month.

A 20th century carriage clock
An early 20th century gilt brass grande and petite-sonnerie striking carriage clock in original gilt-tooled morocco leather travelling case (£8,000-12,000)

Nine examples from Britain will cross the rostrum, including pieces in coromandel, rosewood, mahogany, nickel and bronze.

A strong array of Continental examples will also appear at the sale. Perhaps the most striking example is a very fine and rare early 20th-century gilt brass grande and petite-sonnerie striking carriage clock in original gilt-tooled morocco leather travelling case, estimated at £8,000-12,000. Presented with the original signed and numbered red morocco leather travel case with gilt brass handle, the clock features Breguet moon hands, signed and numbered twin train movement and English-style lever escapement.

In recent years, Bonhams has become renowned for offering some exemplary ‘Golden Age’ clocks, and this sale appears to be no exception. A remarkable last quarter of the 17th century eight-day longcase clock, estimated at £8,000-12,000, created by John Fromanteel, the man who brought pendulum technology to Britain following a trip to The Hague. The clock was discovered in ‘barn find’ condition, after having been discovered in a house by the vendor’s father after the war.

Coming from a private UK collection, the fine and rare second half of the 19th century nickel cased eight-day chronometer timepiece by Dent, estimated at £18,000-25,000 has been in the vendor’s family for at least four generations. An indication of the value of this clock was made clear in an advert created by Dent himself, dated 1873, which listed the clock at the staggering price of 60 guineas!

A second half of the century 19th century nickel cased eight-day chronometer timepiece by Dent (£18,000-25,000)
A second half of the century 19th century nickel cased eight-day chronometer timepiece by Dent (£18,000-25,000)

A world away from the traditional lines of the carriage clock and showcasing the breadth of Bonhams Fine Clock sale are a variety of lots designed and made by the late contemporary artist Roland Jarvis. A three month going astronomical longcase timepiece, estimated at £5,000-8,000, is an exquisite example of Jarvis’ slick lines and strikingly bold design. The piece was exhibited throughout the UK, and won a certificate of excellence from the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in 1987.

James Stratton, Head of Bonhams Clock Department, commented, “Clocks have always combined mechanical know-how with artistic endeavour, and we are privileged to be handling the first tranche of clocks designed and made by the late contemporary artist Roland Jarvis. Combining long duration movements with other complexities such as perpetual calendar and astronomic information, these clocks are sure to appeal to both the horologist and the lover of clean lines and modern design.”

The sale takes place on June 29.

 

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