The dial to the clock is marked Gudin Paris for the prolific and fashionable Quai des Orfèvres workshop established by Jacques Gudin (1706-43) and later continued by family members. Clients included wealthy merchants and the cream of Paris society such as the Duke of Orleans and the Duchess of Bouillon.
The workings of the clock had been replaced by a late 19th/early 20th century movement but with Gudin clocks it is the sculptural qualities of the rococo cases that really counts.
Given that the clock had previously been turned down by a major London saleroom, auctioneer Guy Schwinge could give the clock a cautious £500-1000 estimate for the sale on February 19 but believed it to be "in wonderful condition and absolutely right for the 5th Avenue decorators".
A Paris dealer dropped out at around £30,000 but others stayed in until they were finally beaten by a UK collector at £54,000 (plus 19.5% buyer's premium).