This George II quarter pull repeating table clock of small proportions (pictured top), with a 5in (12cm) silvered dial, is signed by Benjamin Gray, London (1676-1764). Gray, who worked in Pall Mall and St James, was clock maker to George II from 1742 and later partner with François Justin Vulliamy in Gray & Vulliamy. Estimate £5000-8000 at Lawrences of Crewkerne on July 8.
This 9ft (2.7m) high north European painted wood and parcel gilt baroque door surround with a foliate frieze and egg-and- dart moulded frame is inscribed and dated 1673. At a sale titled The Classics: The Country House Look at Curated Auctions in London on June 27 it is estimated at £10,000-15,000. A selection of European marble sculpture is also included in the auction.
Bought at a garden auction for less than £5000, this long-lost Antonio Canova (1757-1822) is to be offered at Christie’s on July 7 with an estimate of £5m-8m. The Recumbent Magdalene was commissioned in 1819 by Lord Liverpool (Robert Jenkinson), while he was prime minister, and made shortly before Canova’s death.
Changing hands through inheritance, it sold a number of times before it was bought by carpet manufacturer Sir Herbert Smith in 1920 as part of the contents and home of Witley Court manor house. It was shortly after this that its attribution to Canova appears to have been lost. The sculpture was sold at a sale of garden statuary in 2002 for £4400 and is currently owned by a couple in the UK who had bought it for their garden.
Dr Mario Guderzo, former director of the Museo Gypsotheca Antonio Canova, said: “This work has been searched for by scholars for decades, so the discovery is of fundamental importance for the history of collecting and the history of art.”
The Fine Sale at Cheffins in Cambridge on June 22-23 includes 104 lots from Wood Hall in Hilgay, Norfolk. The contents of the 16th century manor have been collected by generations of the Stocks, Ellison and Charlesworth families over the last 140 years.
Leading the offering is this 19th century bronze cast of Mercury after Giambologna, which, including its stand, reaches 9ft 10in (2.7m) high and carries an estimate of £8000-12,000.
This exceptional clock by the great English clockmaker Thomas Mudge (1715-94) is described by Tobias Birch as “the finest clock I have had the privilege of offering for sale in over 30 years of dealing in clocks”.
The mahogany equation of time, month going, longcase regulator was almost certainly made for the Ferdinand VI, the king of Spain, in 1758.
The clock is thought to be that mentioned in a letter sent by Michael Smith, an Irish-born watchmaker working at the Spanish court, to Mudge in 1757. Without mentioning his client by name, Smith orders a regulator showing both solar and mean time, asking that it measure no more than 6ft tall, be month going, have a deadbeat escapement, but not a gridiron pendulum as these were found to give trouble in Spain’s climate.
When the letter came to light, over 200 years after having been written, the whereabouts of the clock were unknown. However, it was recently rediscovered in Spain. It will be priced at £1m by Tobias Birch Fine Antique Clocks at Masterpiece London.
For convenience, most mechanical clocks are set up to measure a day as being 24 hours long. However, technically, a day is the duration between one solar noon to the next – a duration that changes subtly over the year because of the axial tilt of the Earth and the elliptical shape of its orbit around the Sun. The sophisticated movements in equation of time clock movements, incorporate a kidney shaped cam to mirror the sun’s position in the sky throughout the year.
The vogue for Chinese design and bamboo furniture that followed the publication of William Chambers’ Designs of Chinese Buildings, Furniture, Dresses, Machines, and Utensils (1757), reached its peak after the completion of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton in 1801.
This bamboo, rattan and wicker table and chairs are similar to others purchased for the Prince Regent’s fantasy home. They may have been among those acquired by the Crace family of interior decorators from an East India Company merchant c.1802.
They form part of the exhibition of 18th and 19th century Chinese export furniture titled East Meets West that will be shown at TEFAF Maastricht by Sutton Coldfield dealership Thomas Coulborn & Sons. The price is £75,000.
Clock specialist Carter Marsh will dedicate much of its stand at Masterpiece London to the third and final part of the remarkable John C Taylor collection of horological items. After the fair the exhibition transfers to Carter Marsh’s Winchester showrooms during July.
Among the highlights, priced at £750,000, is the Sidereal Tompion, no 483, the only known Thomas Tompion clock to show sidereal, as well as conventional mean solar time. A sidereal day measures the rotation of Earth relative to the stars, rather than the sun, which Tompion indicated here via a unique geared, rotating outer chapter ring. The clock will have helped its astronomerowner to know where to point his telescope into the night sky.
It was probably commissioned by Prince George of Denmark but, as he died before the clock was completed in 1709, it was housed in a simple ebonised case sold instead to the Compton family of Minstead Manor, Hampshire. After over 35 years of collecting, Isle of Man inventor Dr John C Taylor has chosen to sell much of his collection.
Carter Marsh held its first offering from the Taylor collection (46 pieces) under Covid-safe conditions last June with part II (48 pieces) offered in November.
Marble renditions of Roman monuments were popular souvenirs for Grand Tourists visiting the Eternal City during the later 18th and 19th centuries and the temples of Vespasian and Castor and Pollux were much-visited stops at the Forum Romanum.
These 20in (50cm) high Giallo Antico models carry an estimate of £3000-5000 when Dreweatts offers selected lots from the Grand Tour collection amassed over 30 years by Michael and Helen Kingshott as part of its sale of Fine Furniture, Sculpture, Carpets, Ceramics and Works of Art on June 29-30.
The primary value of the Grand Tour lay in its exposure to the cultural legacy of classical antiquity and the Renaissance – an aristocratic ‘gap year’ that has brought some of the finest furniture, sculpture and Old Master painting collections to England.