Roaring success for vintage clocks at Bonhams' auction

 Bonhams concluded its sale of Fine Clocks and Barometers in London yesterday (July 14), in a successful auction which made an impressive £716,000 in total.

The top lot was as expected: An early 17th century gilt brass automata lion clock, which moves its eyes in time with the seconds and roars a chime every hour.

Made in France, the clock is unique in that it features both an armillary sphere and automata combination and would have been all the more fascinating for a 17th century audience who would have never seen a lion.

Gilt Brass Automata Clock
The brass automata clock, with watchful roaring lion

Estimated to sell for £70,000 to £100,000, it triggered some excited bidding and finally left the stage for £117,600.

A top price was also paid for an early 18th century quarter repeating bracket clock movement by one of the leading clockmakers of the late 17th and early 18th century, Daniel Quare, which sold for £28,800, against an estimate of £8,000-12,000.

Daniel Quare was an important member of the Quaker community but his beliefs often brought him into conflict with the authorities, nevertheless he enjoyed royal patronage and professional success.

James Stratton, Director of Clocks and Watches at Bonhams, comments: "It was once again a strong sale with the very best items achieving top prices. There is no time like the present to invest in time."


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