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An English ebony veneered musical table clock emerged as the top seller. Manufactured c.1730, the 20in (51cm) piece had a breakarch signed to the dial by the eminent London maker of musical clocks Charles Clay.

But, consigned by a private vendor, the clock, which hadn’t worked for years, was in such a filthy condition that Mr Hills had difficulty cataloguing it. However, once the dirt was removed the only damage was to the glass in the case and an altered movement. With silvered chapter ring and false pendulum, the 8in (20cm) high arch had a selection lever for six tunes on 12 bells with 24 hammers and was engraved with a foliate design to the backplate.

A “gorgeous sleeper” the clock attracted global bidders who saw it past the £2000-3000 estimate to take £13,000 from the London trade.

Another piece which arrived with Mr Hills in a sorry state was an English painted satinwood longcase. At 8ft 1in (2.46m) high the clock was not in original condition and was a marriage of movement and case. The real attraction of the associated case, with pagoda top, turned hood and trunk columns with break arch trunk door on a crossbanded base, was its ornate decoration painted with vases of flowers, ribbon tied trophies and floral swags.

With spandrels engraved with swags and flowers, the clock with eight-day five-pillar movement striking on a bell was signed to the dial Thomas Harper and took and above estimate £6400 from a London dealer.

On a more unusual note came a carved beechwood trumpeter organ table clock. Of German origin c. 1890, the piece with 81/4in dial with ivorine numerals and carved bone handles was something of an overgrown cuckoo clock. At 3ft 11in (1.14m) high, it was a large piece with chalet-style case with ivy carved pediment above applied ivy and foliate scroll carvings with external locking plate striking on a gong and triggering the separate 16-pipe organ mechanism and trumpeter doors.

After fierce competition it took an above-estimate £3400.