Exceptional Elephant Clock

22 July '12

For my clients in the Far East I’m always looking out for exceptional gold gilded bronze clocks.

Museum Piece

In my effort of putting a collection together, I came across this extraordinary elephant clock. This is a top object, a museum piece, in it’s category comparable with the paintings by Rembrandt and Van Gogh.


It has been sold at the London Auction of Sotheby’s earlier this month with a result of GBP 1.600.000. It would not surprise me if it will be worth a more than double value within 5 years.

George III Ormolu Musical Elephant Clock

The clock has been made for the Asian market by the celebrated English clockmaker Peter Torckler, ca 1780. Previously it was owned by the Shah of Persia Naser al-Din (1831–1896), who decided to buy it when he saw the remarkable collection of performing clocks owned by the English collector Ferdinand de Rothschild at Waddesdon Manor, UK.

The magnificent automation springs to life every third hour, playing music, waving the elephant's tail and trunk and flapping its ears.

Source: Sotheby's London