An important private collection of English watches to be auctioned at Sotheby's London
December 14, 2015: An important private collection of English watches is to be offered at Sotheby’s London over the course of four sales between December 2015 and December 2016. Entitled “The Celebration of the English Watch”, this collection provides a snapshot of British history through the pocket watch. It also traces the evolution of watchmaking from the 17th century to modern day and the supremacy of England at pivotal moments of horology history.
The English watchmakers represented read as a Who’s Who of British Horological giants, including David Ramsay, Edward East, Thomas Tompion, John Ellicott, Thomas Mudge, John Arnold, George Margetts, The Vuillamy’s, Thomas Cummins, Victor Kullberg, Charles Frodsham and George Daniels. Each is world renowned for their ground-breaking advancements. Equally, extraordinary watches with exquisite decoration are found in the collection and pay tribute to the finest engravers, chasers, and enamellers working in England.
Put together over the past 20 years, this historic collection comprises 314 lots, estimated to fetch between £6 and 9.5 million. The first of the four auctions, to take place on December 15, 2015, will pay homage to “David Ramsay and the First Clockmakers’ Court”. Coinciding with the recent transfer of the Clockmakers' Company Museum collection to the Science Museum in London, the sale will be highlighted by works by ten masters active in the first 20 years of the Clockmakers Company (1631-1651).
Tim Bourne, Sotheby’s Worldwide Head of Watches and Daryn Schnipper, Chairman of Sotheby’s Watch Division, said, “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. 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."