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The best known of these is the four-dial astronomical clock which he made to stand in the library of Buckingham House (it cost the King’s Privy Purse the staggering sum of £1042 in 1765) with others made for export markets in Turkey, Russia, Sweden and the Far East in particular.

The 2ft 1in (63cm) high musical clock sold for £8000 by Halls (20% buyer’s premium) of Shrewsbury on May 15 had originally been purchased by the diplomat William Strang, 1st Baron Strang (1893-1978) while chargé d’affaires at the British embassy in Moscow 1930-33.

Numbered 2074 and engraved to the arched dial with a register reading March, Minuet, Song, Cotillion and Dance, it was hour-striking.

It was one of two typical mahogany and gilt brass mounted musical table clocks by the maker that appeared for sale at regional sales last month.

The similar clock at Bellmans was numbered 795, c.1770. Smaller at 21in (53cm) high, with the register for March, Sonata, Air and Cotillion forming one of the two subsidiary dials, it also chimed on the quarter hours.

Estimated at up to £10,000, it took £11,500 from a private buyer.