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
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
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%.