James McCabe carriage clock
Victorian chronometer carriage timepiece by James McCabe, £15,000 at Woolley & Wallis.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

1. James McCabe carriage clock

This fine early Victorian gilt brass chronometer carriage timepiece was made by James McCabe of Royal Exchange, London, c.1856. Housed in gilt bronze Dent-style case with four bevelled glass panels, the movement includes maintaining power, a bi-metallic cut compensated balance and an Earnshaw spring detent escapement.

Both the backplate and the dial are signed and numbered 2903.

Offered with an original numbered winding key and a probably original leather travelling case, it had an estimate of £8000-12,000 at the Woolley & Wallis sale of Furniture, Works of Art and Clocks that opened the year in Salisbury on January 8. The winning bid was £15,000.

English chronometer carriage timepieces are relatively rare, especially by James McCabe although another of a similar date sold at Bellmans in November for £14,000.

2. Poole Pottery vase

Poole pottery vase

Poole pottery Carter, Stabler and Adams period vase, £7000 at Rogers Jones.

It was during the Carter, Stabler and Adams period in the 1920s that some of the most memorable Poole wares were produced. Much of this Art Deco range – red earthenwares covered in a white slip and a semi-matt-glaze before decoration in a variety of Jazz Age patterns – was based on the work of chief designer Truda Carter.

A textbook example was this massive 14in (36cm) pot decorated with a striking floral and geometric design in shades of yellow, black, green, blue and pink.

It came for sale at Rogers Jones in Colwyn Bay on January 7 from a small farm in the Conwy Valley. It took an unexpected £7000 (estimate £300-400).

Prices for this category of Poole were at their peak in the early 1990s when Dorset auctioneers Cottees sold a 14in (36cm) pot, decorated in the striking DK pattern by Margaret Holder who worked in Dorset from 1927-41, for a record £17,000. More recently in March 2019, Duke’s of Dorchester took £7800 a massive 2ft (62cm) high ‘Bush Velt’ pattern vase designed by John Adams and painted in polychrome with a lion attacking an antelope within geometric segments by Anne Hatchard.

3. Silver and enamel clock

Silver and enamel clock

Viennese silver and enamel clock, £13,500 at Hannam’s.

As Limoges declined as a centre for enamel production in the 19th century, it was Vienna that filled the void. The city’s artisans created enamel luxury objects in a very distinctive Renaissance revival style (the most fashionable historical style of the 1870s and the 1880s).

A typical and large-scale example is this 18in (46cm) silver and enamel clock, mounted with fanciful figures of medieval knights and decorated on all sides with classical vignettes. At Hannam's in Selborne, Hampshire on January 6 it took £13,500 (£3000-5000).

4. Swiss ‘Black Forest’ clock

Johann Huggler of Brienz clock

‘Black Forest’ type clock by Johann Huggler of Brienz, £7600 at W&H Peacock.

This ‘Black Forest’ type clock on the theme of hunting is signed by Swiss master carver Johann Huggler of Brienz (1834-1912). Standing 3ft 2in (94cm) high it is carved with a hunter holding a rifle with a buck over his shoulder and a hare, beaver and three partridges emerging from the stump and roots below.

It houses a typical late 19th century French striking movement by Japy Freres. It came for sale at W&H Peacock in Bedford on January 3 from a vendor whose family has owned it since 1939. Estimated at £3000-5000, it took £7600.

Huggler was ranked the 'King of Carvers' among the estimated 1300 artisans who plied their trade in Brienz at the turn of the 20th century. By tradition, these figures of young huntsmen are self-portraits by Huggler who was well known as a poacher in the region. Only a small portion of his work is signed.

5. Omega Seamaster 300 watch

Omega Seamster 300 watch

Omega Seamster 300 with British military markings, £25,000 at Arthur Johnson & Sons.

The Omega Seamaster 300 ranks among the most desirable of all diving watches. Some, such as this reference 165.024 offered for sale by Arthur Johnson & Sons in Nottingham on January 4, can rival the Rolex Submariner 5513 for price.

This particular 1960s watch is a no-date variant with a rare ‘Big Triangle’ and ‘Big T’ dial configuration. Adding further to its kudos are the British military issue markings W10/6645-99-923-7697 A/115/67.

Proof that it is difficult to find one in good condition, bidding reached £25,000 (estimate £5000-7500).