Antique clock set to go under the hammer

A GRANDFATHER clock made in Ipswich more than 200 years ago is expected to fetch up to £5,000 at a famous auction house next week.

A GRANDFATHER clock made in Ipswich more than 200 years ago is expected to fetch up to £5,000 at a famous auction house next week.

The striking George III timepiece, which has an eight-day movement, was made in or around 1780 by Nathaniel Cavell and will be going under the hammer at Christie's in London on Tuesday.

Jamie Collingridge, director of the clocks department at Christie's, said: “Much of the appeal of this clock lies in its elegant proportions, influenced by contemporary London style.

“In addition, the mahogany veneers are well-figured and have a good colour - very important features in a clock made to grace an elegant Georgian hallway.”

Mr Cavell originally ran his business in Tavern Street, opposite The Great White Horse, before moving to the Butter Market, where it is thought the striking longcase clock was made.

Historians will probably never discover what made the Ipswich clockmaker tick, but it is known that he overcame a series of tragedies.

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Born in or around 1749, Mr Cavell died at a young age on January 23, 1789. He and his wife, Caroline, had six children, but four of them died in infancy, a common occurrence in the 18th century.

In 1782 and 1788, Cavell was brought in to repair the St Mary-le-Tower church clock in Tower Street.

When Cavell died, his wife briefly ran the business before selling the stock at auction, which she advertised in the Ipswich Journal on November 7, 1789.

The advert revealed that the business had some 38 clocks, 40 watches and a wide variety of lockets, silver mugs, cutlery, shoe buckles and ornaments.

A clock with an eight-day movement requires winding only once a week, while generally less-expensive 30-hour clocks have to be wound every day.

Do you know anything about Nathaniel Cavell or his business? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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