2nd Dec, 2022 11:00

Christmas Country House & Fine Interiors Auction

Lot 1215

The Mansion House Clock: an interesting early 18th C longcase clock.

Sold for £13,000

Lot details

The Mansion House Clock: a fine and historically interesting early 18th Century faux tortoiseshell year-going and striking longcase clock, the brass dial with silvered roman chapter ring, matted centre with subsidiary seconds dial, the arch with silvered disc bearing the coat of arms of Newcastle upon Tyne, and two nameplates engraved 'Math. Featherstonhaugh, Esqre. Mayor' and 'Francis Rudston, Esqre. Sheriff', with six wheel train and anchor escapement, striking on a bell, complete with a pendulum and two large weights, the circular tapered weight weighing approx 26 kilogrammes, the rectangular weight weighing approx 31 kilogrammes, with swept caddy-style hood with brass finials, ogee frieze below and arched waist door flanked by columns, the waist with rectangular door, decorated overall with chinoiserie scenes of mounted figures in landscapes, pagoda and exotic birds, on plinth base, 274cms high.

Footnote: This clock was purchased during the Mayoral year of Matthew Featherstonhaugh, who was Mayor in 1711, and was a Freeman of the Merchants Company of Newcastle. He, together with Francis Rudston, Sheriff in the same year, grew wealthy from the vast amount of trade between Newcastle and London at the end of the 17th Century and the beginning of the 18th Century. From its arrival, the clock, which stood in the Mayor's chamber, was wound each year on New Year's night with great ceremony.

After a Council Committee meeting late in 1834 to discuss the building's heavy expenses, the Mansion House was abandoned in 1835. The clock, together with numerous other items from its collection, was sold at auction in 1837. The purchaser was Sir Alderman Dunn of Newcastle, and it remained in his family for almost 150 years, in various parts of the country, until 1980, when it was sold at Anderson & Garland by his last surviving relative Miss A.M. Dunn. It was purchased at the auction by well known local publisher Frank Graham. Frank, lived in Jesmond but sadly passed away some years ago and his family have decided to offer the clock for auction again.The vacated Mansion House was later used for warehousing and sadly burnt down in 1895.


North Country Clockmakers by C.L. Reid.

Eneas Mackenzie: A historical account of Newcastle upon Tyne, including the Borough of Gateshead, pages 232-234.

Pendulum Publications - Was Fromanteel the Mystery Maker? The Mansion House Clock - Keith Bates, January 1982.


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Auction: Christmas Country House & Fine Interiors Auction, 2nd Dec, 2022

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Fri 25/11/22 10am-4.30pm
Sat 26/11/22 10am-12.30pm
Mon 28/11/22 10am-2pm

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