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The longcase timepiece, pictured bottom right, made by William Bull of Stratford c.1800, was one of the highlights of Sotheby’s (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) March 23 sale. Contained in an unusually small, well figured case measuring 5ft 61/2in (1.7m) high it has an unusual three wheel, 15-day movement and sold to a London dealer for a treble estimate £24,000.

Top price in the 260-lot gathering of clock and watches – which netted £634,050 with 77 per cent sold by lot, 84 per cent by value – was a 1940s Patek Philippe stainless steel chronograph wristwatch at £28,000.

Pictured top right is a 2ft 10in (87cm) high ormolu mounted, ebonised musical automaton clock, one of four entries which shared the top honours of £9000 in Phillips’ (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) March 9 sale.

Topped by a figure of Cerebus with female attendants, the arch features brass cherubs and a boy behind an automaton ‘waterfall’ of spiralling glass rods and it plays one of six tunes on the hour on bells and hammers. Although not dated in the catalogue, Phillips’ James Stratton reckoned it was late 18th century and, while the clock was unsigned, the rear of the enamel dial had the signature Mr Wicks and interestingly, a William Wicks is listed as a member of the Clockmakers’ Company in 1771. The other three £9000 bids were paid for a 19th century Swiss gold hunter cased, minute repeating watch; a mid-19th century Dent carriage timepiece and a Dent year-going regulator. The 237 lots netted £250,920 with selling rates of 93 per cent by value and 83 by lot.

Our third illustration, middle right, shows a 51/2in (17cm) mid-19th century strut timepiece by Thomas Cole in a well engraved gilt brass case with silvered dial which made one of the highest prices in Christie’s South Kensington’s (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) March 24 sale at £2800. This 241-lot gathering of clocks and barometers, netted £158,700 with 95 per cent sold by value, 90.5 by lot. It was topped at £5000 by a Louis Philippe period pendule à cercle tournant. Shaped as an ormolu urn on a swagged octagonal plinth, the chapter rings are formed as two revolving circlets with roman and arabic numerals and the exact time is indicated by the forked tongue of a serpent draped over the shoulder.