The busy fine art team at Shrewsbury auction house Halls will literally have time on their hands next week when 24 long case clocks go under the hammer.
Senior auctioneer and valuer Andrew Beeston has assembled 46 clocks for the oak, clocks, books and tribal art auction at the Battlefield saleroom on Wednesday, September 16.
Potential star of the section is a very rare George III musical longcase clock by Oswestry clockmaker Joseph Slater, which comes from a deceased estate in the town and is valued at up to £4,000.
Mr Beeston believes the clock, which has 12 graduated bells and 24 hammers, may have been made as a special commission by Slater, as he has never previously seen a similar example by the maker.
“It is, in effect, the Rolls Royce clock for this Oswestry clockmaker,” he said. “I have seen eight day longcase clocks by Slater but never one like this and of this quality. It may have been made as a one-off commission or showpiece.”
The longcase clocks on offer are suited to most pockets, ranging from £200 to £4,000.
Also included in the auction are five Swiss music boxes, which include a mid-19th century rosewood example by renowned maker Nicole Freres, valued at up to £2,500.
The saleroom ought to be a happy hunting ground for buyers looking to invest in a Welsh and Shropshire oak dresser. The auction includes eight dressers, including two highly sought after Denbighshire examples, which are valued at up to £4,000 each.
“These Denbighshire dressers are of really good quality with a lovely patina and are always popular with collectors,” said Mr Beeston.
Attracting pre-sale international interest in the books section is a rare manuscript chronicle of local and national events written on three parchment scrolls by the Rev John Cotton (1687-1757), vicar of Meole Brace, Hanwood and St Alkmund’s, Shrewsbury.
Written between 1710-’50, the manuscript includes reference to a “barbarous murder committed on the bodies of William Mattheas and Walter Whitcomb. The Father is since hanged in chains upon the Gibbet in the London Road about four miles from Shrewsbury”.
Caroline Dennard, a specialist at Halls, said the manuscript, valued at up to £500, was of academic and historical interest and attracting local and international enquiries.
The saleroom will be open for viewing on Monday from 9.30am to 7pm, Tuesday from 9.30am to 4.30am and on the morning of the auction, which begins at 10am.
For more information about the auction, contact Halls on Tel: 01743 450700 or view the catalogue online at: www.hallsgb.com/fine-art .