Unusual Clock made in Homage to Clockmaker who Invented the Marine Chronometer Sold for Over £1,500

26th June 2012

An unusual clock made in homage to a clockmaker who invented the marine chronometer sold for over £1,500 in the June sale at the Lincoln auction rooms.

'Mr Harrison's Sea Clock' by Sinclair Harding of Cheltenham was made in homage to John Harrison (1693-1776), a clockmaker who invented a device which solved the problem of establishing the longitude of a ship at sea. The clock, which sold to a collector bidding over the telephone, was one of the highlights of the sale at auctioneers Golding Young & Mawer on Wednesday, June 20. Auctioneer John Leatt said: "Harrison made the famous Marine Chronometer. The clock in this sale was unusual because it had linked bar balances or compound pendulums designed to allow the clock to function when not level. It also had one of Harrison's famous grasshopper escapements.

"We expected a great deal of interest in the clock from collectors on sale day and were delighted when the hammer fell at £1,550." Meanwhile, a rare Flambe vase by Bernard Moore, depicting an owl catching mice, sold for £975, well over its estimate of between £600 and £800. It was brought into one of the auction house's free valuation days and sold to a collector bidding over the telephone. A very rare Royal Doulton character jug titled 'The Hatless Drake', which has the words 'Drake he was a Devon man' printed in relief across its shoulders, sold for £1,400. Mr Leatt said: "This jug, which was designed by Harry Fenton, was made in limited numbers in 1941 and then taken out of production. A later design which depicts Drake wearing a hat was later made but these only make a maximum of £30 at auction."

An early 19th century British cavalry sabre sold for £750, well over its £300 to £400 estimate. The sabre featured a blade engraved with powder flask flags and other military embelms on a blackened ground and had a leather and steel scabbard and black shagreen handle.

A collection of Rock and Roll memorabilia left bidders 'all shook up' when it sold for £550. It included items signed by Eddie Cochrane and Gene Vincent. The silver and jewellery section had in excess of 150 lots including numerous sovereigns, gold pocket watches and watch chains. Among the lots an 18 carat gold hunter pocket watch with an estimate of between £500 and £800 sold for a hammer price of £1,150 and a 12.5 carat gold case presentation half hunter pocket watch by Kay of Worcester sold for £480, just over its £300 to £400 estimate. An 18 carat gold cased open face pocket watch by Sir John Bennett Ltd sold for its top estimate of £800 and an Edwardian brooch set with heart shaped opals and tiny diamonds set in unmarked precious metal sold for £420. In the clocks section, an early 19th century longcase clock with an estimate of £300 to £400 sold for £520. The clock featured an arched dial painted with a bride in a river landscape and although the dial was unnamed, the case was almost certainly by a Lincolnshire maker.

In the bygones section, a large album of cigarette cards sold for £925, well above its £300 to £400 estimate. The album included cards from Atkins and Son, the American Tobacco Company and Wills Woodbine with cards depicting Victoria Cross heroes, regimental uniforms, world leaders and naval warships. A highlight of the furniture section was a Victorian walnut and marquetry side cabinet which sold for £360 and a Victorian oak library bookcase sold for £420. The next Fine Art and Collective Sale at the Grantham saleroom on Wednesday and Thursday, July 4 and 5 and at the Lincoln saleroom on July 18.

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