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English giant carriage chronometer by John Poole – £24,000 at Bonhams.

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Standing 10in (25cm) high and numbered 4428, it was made by John Poole, the chronometer maker to the Admiralty who worked at 57 Fenchurch Street, London, from c.1845-75.

Specialist James Stratton said: “The dial and silvering were spot on, top notch. I first saw this clock about seven years ago and it stayed with me. It is a beautiful clock with a super quality movement, and it has Poole’s auxiliary compensation.”

At the auction on on June 22, the hammer went down at £24,000 with the piece selling towards the upper end of the estimate of £17,000-25,000.

Another rare mid-19th century English chronometer carriage clock by Dent, London, No 12384, was a more conventional size at 8in (20cm) high. This is the piece featured in Derek Roberts well known reference book Carriage and other Travelling Clocks (1993) and it sold for £21,000.

“Buyers are very aware of the values of the clocks, but they are buying because they want to own the best of the best. It’s a very knowledgeable market,” Stratton added.

Stratton made a key observation about top-end timepieces: “Does the clock look like a classic example of its type? The authentic look is very important.”