Tompian clock

A late 17th century ebony cased quarter repeating striking table clock by Thomas Tompion, no 198, estimated at £200,000-300,000 by Bonhams.

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He owned not just one but two timepieces by the ‘Father of English Clockmaking’, Thomas Tompion (1639-1713), which form part of the Elliot Collection of Fine English Clocks to be offered in the Fine Clocks sale at Bonhams New Bond Street in mid-December.

They will be sold during two days of sales to include Old Master and 19th century paintings and classic English decorative arts from Alan and Tara Elliot’s historic country home.

Estimated at £200,000-300,000, Tompion’s ebony table clock numbered 198 was made c.1692. The tall rectangular dial with its twin subsidiaries allows the crucial functions (time, winding, date, strike or silent) to be controlled from the front of the clock. The engraved backplate was created by the craftsman known today only as ‘Engraver 155’. He was responsible for the backplate of the year-going ‘Mostyn Tompion’ in the British Museum and decorated the miniature clock supplied to Queen Mary in 1693 which sold at Bonhams for a world record price of £1.6m in 2019 (see ATG No 2398).

The second of Elliott’s Tompions is an early 18th century walnut longcase clock, London no463, made when Tompion was in a brief partnership with his niece’s husband, Edward Banger. It is guided at £100,000-200,000.

The collection also includes a late 17th century ebony veneered longcase clock of three-month duration by Joseph Knibb (1640-1711), estimate £120,000-180,000.