Archive of Sold Items

Rare Niello Hunter Pocket Watch with Ballooning Scene

A late 19th Century Swiss lever watch in a silver and niello full hunter case depicting “modern” inventions.  Nickelled three quarter plate keyless movement with going barrel. Plain cock with polished steel regulator, compensation balance with blue steel overcoil hairspring.  Club foot lever escapement.  White enamel dial signed “F Bachschmid – F Borbolla – Manzanilla”. Subsidiary seconds, Arabic numerals and gilt minute markings, decorative pierced gilt hands. Rare silver and niello full hunter case depicting recent inventions in Art Nouveau style.  On the front cover in applied gold an early open car with spoked wheels and three representations of electric light bulbs with wings to the side.  Above the scene a microphone appears to be suspended.  On the back cover two men in a wicker basket suspended below a balloon.  On the side of the basket an anchor can be seen and one of the men is emptying sand from a bag.  The three electric light bulbs are repeated. Signed silver cuvette, maker's mark “Niel HF”.

A rare and interesting piece showing the wonders of the modern age.  This case marked for Huguenin Freres, Le Locle who were produced the finest niello pieces of the period is in unusually good condition.  Probably influenced by the Exposition Universelle of 1900, a world's fair held in Paris, France to celebrate the achievements of the past century.  Art Nouveau  was the style universally present in the Exposition which was visited by nearly 50 million.  It displayed many machines, inventions, and architecture that including diesel engines, talking films, escalators, and the telegraphone
Date :  Circa   1900

Rare Knife Grinder Automaton Pocket Watch

A rare late 19th Century Swiss quarter repeating verge knife grinder automaton in a gold open face case.  Full plate gilt fusee movement.  Finely pierced and engraved bridge cock with steel coqueret, plain three arm gilt balance with blue steel spiral hairspring.  Silver regulator dial with polished steel indicator.  Push pendant quarter repeating on two steel gongs.  White enamel ring dial of Arabic numerals surrounding the central scene, blue steel Breguet hands.   Blue steel ground with finely chased and engraved parcel gilt scene depicting two cupids on a brick bridge.   As the watch strikes the hours and quarters the arms of the figures move as though striking the bells between them.  In the arch of the bridge are two figures shown sharpening knives.  When the repeat is operated the figure on the left lowers the knife to the grinding wheel which rotates, apparently belt driven by a large wheel turned by the boy on the right.  When the watch has finished repeating the man lifts the knife from the wheel, ready for the next time.  Fine engine turned 18 carat open face case, sprung signed gilt cuvette inset with chased and engraved parcel gilt repousse plate of Apollo playing his lyre.

A rare variation of an automaton watch in excellent overall condition.  Pierre Jaquet-Droz, 1721�1790 and his son Henri-Louis 1752-1791 are most famous for animated dolls.  Three complex examples known as the Jaquet-Droz automata, are in the Mus
Date :  Circa   1790

Early English Clockwatch

An interesting late 17th Century English verge clockwatch in silver pair cases.  Deep full plate fire gilt movement with unusual narrow engraved pillars. Fusee and chain with worm and wheel barrel setup between the plates, centre wheel raised to allow for the strike wheel and hammer.  Pierced and engraved winged cock, pierced and engraved foot and additional steady foot.  Plain steel balance, silver regulator disc.  Five leaf pinions in both the going and striking trains.  Hour striking on a bell in the case, pierced and engraved resting barrel, blue steel stopwork.  Silver champleve dial, arcaded minute ring, Roman and Arabic numerals, gilt hands. Pierced and engraved pair cases, unusual pierced bow. Small silver button in the bezel at eight o'clock to allow the watch to repeat the last hour.  Chased, engraved and pierced outer case, four busts around the central scene depicting King Edward IV meeting the tanner of Tamworth.

Simon Beauvais London, free of the Clockmakers Company 1690 – 1730.  An eminent maker, strike repeating watch in the Dennison collection. This interesting watch dates originally from about 1690 based on the style of the cock and use of five leaf pinions. It has been modernised about 1730, having a new dial and replacement outer case made for it. This would have been justified by the extensive work carried out to the striking mechanism which also allowed it to be used as a repeater.  From the evidence of the striking train and pillar adjacent, the movement appears to have been converted from count wheel strike with the count wheel unusually situated under the dial. This is a rare variation of the more usual configuration where the silver count wheel is visible on top of the plate.  Between 1700 and 1705 rack striking superceded the countwheel which easily lost synchronization with the hands
Date :  Circa   1690