Rare 17th Century Longcase Clock Sells For £286,800

At Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions

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An extremely rare architectural eight-day longcase clock by Joseph Knibb doubled its estimate at auction today, Tuesday 11th March, in Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions sale of Fine Clocks, Barometers, Scientific Instruments & Horological Books in Donnington Priory. The clock sold for an impressive £286,800, bringing the sale total to £542,000.

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions Head of Clocks, Barometers and Scientific Instruments Leighton Gillibrand said: "We and the vendor are delighted to with this exceptional result which befits the importance of the clock."

Possibly the earliest of Joseph Knibb's work, the clock was produced during his time in Oxford and is dated as circa 1665-7. Only three other examples are documented from his time in Oxford, all of which are significantly different from each other, suggesting Knibb was undertaking a period of experimentation whilst there in his early career.

He later moved to London where he became known for his experimentation with alternative striking, as well as long duration clocks. Conforming much more to his London contemporaries, the example that sold today arguably predates his more innovative clocks from that time, suggesting this could be the earliest surviving clock made by Joseph Knibb, and a rare example of an early architectural longcase made in Oxford . [Lot 143]

Elsewhere in the sale, a fierce bidding battle saw a silver mounted gilt brass petit sonnerie carriage clock sell on the phone for £32,240. The clock by Le Roy and Fils, Paris, circa 1885, included a perpetual calendar, moonphase, alarm and push-button quarter repeat. [Lot 76]

Also exceeding its pre-sale estimate was a fine Victorian gilt brass mounted giant carriage clock with push-button hour repeat by Dent London. It sold for £27,280. [Lot 78]

Bidders in the room, online and on the phone snapped up the Horological books that opened the sale of Fine Clocks, Barometers, Scientific Instruments & Horological Books, with a number sailing past the pre-sale estimates. John Blagrave's The Mathematical Jewel doubled its estimate, selling for £1,612. [Lot 7]

The sale was held at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions Donnington Priory saleroom in Berkshire today, Tuesday 11th March 2014. Full details of the sale results are available to view on our website at


Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions are a UK 'top 5' auctioneer of fine art and collectibles. As part of Stanley Gibbons we are the only UK stock-exchange listed firm of auctioneers and occupy the same stable as coin specialists Baldwin's, and Frasers Autograph's. Established in 1759, we have the broadest and most regular calendar of specialist catalogued sales in the industry, numbering over 150 per annum, and provide vendors and buyers alike access to market-leading specialist advice in any number of collecting fields. We operate from salerooms in Donnington Priory (near Newbury), London's Mayfair, Bristol and Godalming.

Bloomsbury Auctions - 11th March 2014