Sold on A Henry Jones longcase, notes from Napoleonic France and a special copy of Moominvalley

From the thousands of lots that appear at auctions every week on, here we focus on three exceptional lots bought by online bidders this month.

2440 HH01-Gorringes2.jpg

An inscribed and illustrated first UK edition of Moominvalley in November, £1600 at Gorringe’s.


Moominvalley illustrated

Estimated at £100-150, a copy of Moominvalley in November, the nineth and final book in the Moomin series, sold for £1600 at Gorringe’s in Lewes on April 20.

This copy was a 1971 first English edition with its dust jacket but much of its appeal lay in an original pen and ink drawing by Swedish author Tove Jansson (1914-2001) that appears to the flyleaf.

In addition to the name of the recipient Christine Clark, Jansson had sketched two of the key characters from the book, Fillyjonk, a woman obsessed with neatness and Toft, an orphan who lives under the tarpaulin of a boat.

A Henry Jones longcase

Estimated at just £1000-1500, this late 17th century walnut eight-day longcase clock sold via for £11,000 at Elstob & Elstob in Ripon on April 18.

The 6ft 4in (1.93m) case, with a lenticle to the door and a hood decorated with fretwork and spiral columns, is typical of a London-made clock from around 1680. The 10in (25cm) square brass dial with date aperture and subsidiary seconds is signed Henry Jones in y Temple.

Jones (1642-1695), who worked at worked from Inner Temple Lane, is ranked among the top tier of early London clockmakers. Apprenticed to Edward East, he became a Freeman of the Clockmakers Company in 1663, was made an Assistant in 1676 and became Master in 1691.

This example of his craft requires a full restoration but, after sensitive conservation, a very good Golden Age clock will emerge.


Notes on Napoleonic France

A letter penned by a former Mayor of London in 1814 generated unexpected interest at British Bespoke Auctions in Winchcombe on April 1.

The three pages were written on August 24, 1814 by George Scholey to one Rev Brown in his hometown of Sandal, Wakefield. Scholey, a banker and alderman, was Lord Mayor of London in 1812.

Much of the text relates Scholey’s recent visit to France in the immediate days after the first reign of Napoleon. Speculating that his was ‘the first English family that had appeared in France since the termination of the War’ the account includes an analysis of the recent harvest, the relative cost of produce and exchange rates.

As an alderman in Wakefield, one of the largest grain markets in Georgian England, Scholey was well-qualified to talk about the subject – although several references to ‘the idleness of the natives’ were less scientific. It was estimated at £30-50 but sold at £400 via


Send feedback on this article