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Lough’s musical masterpiece chimes in Cumbria

02 July 2013Written by ATG Reporter

This remarkable 1773 longcase clock by Hugh Lough of Penrith proved the top-selling lot at Mitchells of Cockermouth when it sold at £19,000.

A battle between four phone bidders saw it sell towards the top end of a £15,000-20,000 estimate.

Around 20 clocks by Hugh Lough are recorded (and another handful by his younger brother Robert Lough), the bulk of them relatively simple 30-hour clocks in oak cases.

However, this clock - almost certainly a special commission or promotional piece that allowed him to demonstrate the extent of his horological skills - was far more sophisticated.

In addition to its eight-day, three-train movement and 7ft 10in (2.39m) high mahogany 'Chippendale' case, the brass and silvered dial includes a lunar equation, a solar rise and fall, and a subsidiary dial to the arch for annual saints' and feast days. Incorporating 13 bells, the movement also allows for the playing of 14 different tunes, one every six hours if so desired.

Mitchells' vendor had bought it from a local dealer in 1974 but it had previously been in the Lough family.

The price at the sale on June 13-14, probably a record for a Cumbrian longcase, is not far removed from that achieved by a similar London-made musical longcase by Paul Rimbault sold by Tennants of Leyburn in 2004 for £26,000.

The buyer's premium at Mitchells was 17.5%.

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