The Kent Tompion sundial with plinth attributed to John van Nost – £250,000 from Carter Marsh.

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This tranche of an unrivalled private collection, numbers 36 pieces including those by Fromanteel, Tompion, Knibb and Quare with prices ranging from £32,000 to £1.5m.

After the fair, the exhibition transfers to Carter Marsh’s Winchester showrooms during July.

Although not a simple item to transport, the dealership will bring to Masterpiece the Kent Tompion sundial – the last complete example by ‘the father of English clockmaking’ left in private hands.

It was made in c.1705 for Henry Grey, the 12th Earl of Kent (later 1st Duke), for his seat at Wrest Park in Bedfordshire. It retains its original Portland stone pedestal, which is adorned with Grey’s repeated cypher, and is attributed to the renowned sculptor John van Nost the Elder (c.1655-1711).

Tompion and van Nost are known to have collaborated before, making a pair of sundials for William III’s privy gardens at Hampton Court, while a famous view of Wrest Park and its gardens, published in Britannia Illustrata, by Kip and Knyff in 1708, apparently illustrates this sundial in front of the house. Last sold at Sotheby’s in 2004, it is priced at £250,000.


A detail of the Kent Tompion sundial with plinth attributed to John van Nost – £250,000 from Carter Marsh.

This was not van Nost’s first commission for Wrest Park; in c.1700 he had supplied an extraordinary pair of monumental 9ft (2.75m) lead finials to the 11th Earl, which are also on offer here priced at £75,000.

The Wrest Park finials were illustrated in A Plan & View of the Buildings & Garden at Rest by John Rocque in 1737, flanking the entrance to The Duke’s Square.

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.

Masterpiece London revealed its line-up of 120 galleries and dealers for this summer’s event, scheduled for June 30-July 6 (with a preview day on June 29). The event is the first physical Masterpiece since 2019. For a full list of exhibitors visit