An 1897 skeleton clock by Camerer, Cuss & Co to celebrate Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee is offered by Butchoff with an asking price of £185,000.

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The platinum jubilee might provide an extra UK bank holiday this year, but that doesn’t mean dealers are going to stop selling, write Frances Allitt & Laura Chesters.

Instead, LAPADA is ramping up its online sales platform, offering a digital exhibition of members’ stock. Running until June 10, the show encompasses a wide variety of disciplines from rugs and furniture to photographs and sculpture. The objects include works with royal provenance, works of art with royal subjects and commemorative items.

Skeleton clock

As part of LAPADA’s online exhibition, Butchoff Antiques on Kensington Church Street is offering an 1897 Queen Victoria golden jubilee clock.

Butchoff will also take it to Masterpiece London at the end of the month.

Made by clockmaker Camera, Cuss & Co, the nearly 3ft tall (92cm) skeleton clock by repute stood in the Oxford Street shop window of the firm during the diamond jubilee and remained on the premises on display until the shop closed in the 1980s.

It stayed with the family for many years and later sold at Bonhams’ Fine Clocks sale on July 15, 2020, when it sold for a hammer price of more than five times its top estimate.

Butchoff researched its provenance and spoke to clock specialists who remember it in the shop up until the 1980s.


A commemorative calendar in 1897 by Camerer, Cuss & Co which illustrated the jubilee clock offered by Butchoff.

In the gothic revival taste, the clock features a brass base with the royal motto dieu et mon droit, flanked by two gilt bronze figures: Victoria in Elizabethan-style dress and Prince Albert wearing the regalia of the Golden Fleece and the Order of the Garter.

The clock appears to have a custom escapement and Butchoff has not seen another like this. Its remote winding and hand-setting means the clock can be wound without removing the delicate glass dome. This also allows you to wind it from the back or the front, and the hands can be set remotely using levers placed in the base. This is why its glass dome is original as it did not need to be removed for winding over the years where others were broken.

Camerer, Cuss & Co began as an importer of Black Forest clocks in 1788 when the business moved to London and became a prominent firm of retailers, repairers and manufacturers during the 19th century. It exhibited at the 1862 London Exposition and Queen Victoria and her family were clients. The clockmaker published a commemorative calendar in 1897, which illustrated this clock. Butchoff is offering it for sale with an asking price of £185,000.

Dealer events coming up…

It is one of several dealer events marking the jubilee.

St James’s gallery Fine Art Commissions is holding an exhibition dedicated to royal commissions, which runs until July 8. It includes works by Nicky Philipps, known for her depiction of princes William and Harry from 2010, which is in the National Portrait Gallery collection.

Wick Antiques plans to base its stand at Masterpiece entirely around objects with royal connections with a special focus on items relating to female monarchs.

Highlights are to include a silver mirror given as a wedding present to Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Beatrice and a bronze of Queen Alexandra. To add a touch of drama, the gallery is keeping some pieces secret until opening day.

…and dealer events held

Exhibitors at the recent Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair brought several royal-inspired items, including Regency glass crown scent bottles made for the coronation of King George IV (from Fileman Antiques) and a sketch by Feliks Topolski of a scene from the Queen Elizabeth’s coronation (offered by Sarah Colegrave).

Rountree Tryon Galleries had planned to bring an oil on canvas by Sir Peter Markham Scott (1909- 89) depicting Buckingham Palace on the night of George V’s silver jubilee, offered for £12,500, but it sold before the event following pre-fair publicity.

Manifold Editions, a Contemporary gallery, was one of the exhibitors at last week’s London Original Print Fair (May 26-29) and launched two new editions of Eternal Queen by Bradley Theodore to mark the jubilee, while fellow exhibitor Jealous offered a platinum leaf portrait of the monarch.