Sotheby's to sell world's most important collection of English watches



2015-11-23 15:00:02

Sotheby's has announced the sale of the world's most important private collection of English watches.

The remarkable collection, entitled The Celebration of the English Watch, was assembled over the past 20 years and spans four centuries of horological history from the 17th century to the present day.

In total, more than 300 rare and important timepieces will be offered across four separate sales, with the entire collection estimated to sell for up to £10 million.

“English horology is set apart by its brilliant makers and their individual stories - whether it be John Harrison’s unwavering resolve to determine longitude at sea, or George Daniels’ struggle to revolutionise the future of watchmaking," said Tim Bourne, Sotheby’s Worldwide Head of Watches and Daryn Schnipper, Chairman of Sotheby’s Watch Division.

"This landmark collection captures that spirit and encourages us to look at pocket watches in a new and exciting way. Timepieces like these are not only exceptional watches, they are pieces of history.”

The first sale, 'David Ramsay and the First Clockmaker’s Court', takes place in London on December 15, and will focus on makers from the first 20 years of the Clockmakers Company, circa 1631-1651.

Leading this initial sale is a Royal oval astronomical watch with an engraved portrait of King James I created by David Ramsay, clockmaker to the King and regarded as one of the finest makers from the early 17th century. With a similar watch on display at the V&A Museum in London, this important timepiece is estimated at £150,000-250,000.

Further highlights from the first sale will include a silver astronomical verge watch with engraving of Charles I, made by Richard Bowen circa 1660 and valued at £60,000-80,000; a gold half quarter dumb repeating consular cased pocket chronometer John Arnold of London, estimated at £125,000-200,000; and a gold two-train quarter striking and quarter repeating pair cased clock watch, made by Daniel Quare circa 1712-1714, priced at £70,000-100,000.

Subsequent sales of the collection will take place at Sotheby's in July, September and December 2016.

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