Tompion table clock – £135,000 at Christie’s King Street.

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In addition to being made by the celebrated London horologist Thomas Tompion (1639-1713), this William and Mary table clock, numbered 167 and dating to c.1690, was in excellent unrestored condition. Moreover, it was entered together with its original 17th century ebony handled crank key punch-numbered 167.

Although Tompion probably supplied all of his clocks with winding keys (marked with the same serial number as the clock), most have been lost and it is thought fewer than 10 numbered Tompion crank keys remain with their original clocks.

Formerly in the Wetherfield Collection, it comfortably surpassed its top estimate, selling to an anonymous buyer at £135,000.

Further underscoring the strength of the market for early English clocks by major names was the price tendered for a George II ebonised silver-mounted table timepiece with pull quarter repeat by Tompion's former apprentice, George Graham, dating to c.1725. Although Graham's timepieces are rarer than his striking clocks, they tend to be less sought after by collectors, with this clock selling on its upper estimate at £60,000.