King Farouk's musical clock up 43% on estimate at Bonhams

An 18th century musical clock designed by renowned goldsmith and clock designer James Cox, and previously owned by King Farouk, sold on December 12, after a flurry of bids, at a Bonhams London sale.

The elaborately decorated clock sold for £385,250 ($577,547), bringing a 43.3% increase on its presale estimate of £250,000 ($403,000) - the clock's association with both Cox and Farouk clearly enhancing its desirability.

King Farouk's James Cox musical clock
The James Cox-designed clock is surmounted by the figure of a silver dragon.

James Stratton, director of Bonhams' clocks department, commented: "We are delighted with this result. King Farouk had an extraordinary collection of fine clocks and watches, and this James Cox clock is one of the most impressive of the lot. It is all the more rare for including the original key. There was a great deal of interest."

Farouk was the penultimate king of Egypt and the Sudan, taking the throne aged 16 in 1936. Famed for his decadent tastes, Farouk quickly fell out of favour with the citizens of Egypt during the second world war, when austerity reigned in the provinces.

In 1952 a military coup was staged, which severed king from kingdom, and Farouk's luxurious property was subsequently seized.

The revolutionary government swiftly moved to sell Farouk's treasures, including the Cox-designed musical clock.

Before yesterday's sale, the clock had not appeared at auction since it was sold by the revolutionary government in 1954. 

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