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The Camerer Kuss & Co skeleton clock sold for £78,000 at Bonhams.

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Camerer Kuss had used an image of the 2ft 5in (80cm) timekeeper on an 1897 calendar, and it took pride of place in the shop window at 56 New Oxford Street, London.

Prince Albert had died 36 years earlier but, in tune with the gothic framework, he and Victoria are shown as a chivalric young couple in quasi-medieval style clothing.

Remote winding

As well as quarter chiming, announced via a choice of Westminster chimes on gongs hidden in the walnut base and bells mounted behind the royal couple, the movement features a remote winding and hand-setting function.

Together these overcame the need to remove the glass dome 52 times a year in order to wind the clock (the reason that, following accidental damage, so many 19th century skeleton clocks are now lacking their domes).

It came for sale in Bonhams’ Fine Clocks auction in London on July 15, with its perfectly fitting original dome, from a family that had owned it for more than 70 years.

Estimated at £10,000-15,000 at the auction on July 15, it topped the sale with a bid that, once the 27.5/25% buyer’s premium was added reached £97,562.