£100,000 each for two 17th century collectible clocks at Bonhams

Tomorrow, two very different collectible timepieces will lead a stunning range of clocks and barometers at a Bonhams' auction in London.

The fascinating pieces of vintage engineering could hardly appear more different, despite both dating from the 17th century: The first is a walnut longcase clock marked as having been part of the Iden collection.

Walnut wall clock by Joseph Knibb Iden collection
Walnut wall clock by Joseph Knibb from the Iden collection

Attributed to master designer Joseph Knibb, the imposing (seven feet tall) clock utilises a rising hood with overhanging cornice and typical Knibb style fret. It was previously exhibitied at The Treasures of Warwickshire, May 29th-July 23rd 1948.

The other clock is much gaudier, being a very rare and important first half of the 17th Century continental gilt brass automata table clock with geared armillary sphere.

Gilt Brass Automata Clock
Gilt Brass Automata Clock

This piece boasts a 24 hour dial with shaped blued steel hand reading against a Roman scale I to XII twice, geared via the central arbor to an armillary sphere with sun pointer to the centre reading against a calendar dial set at an angle and centred by an equatorial ring.

The sphere, which is engraved with a calendar and zodiac is raised above a platform with a realistic modelling of a lion. The whole clock rests on four more miniature lions. The main lion has a particularly remarkable feature in that its eyes move with the clock's pendulum.

Both lots are estimated at £50,000-100,000, and are just two of the impressive range of 154 lots available at Bonhams on July 14, in London and online.


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