Tiffany & Co., New York, Movement No. 6931, Case No. 6931, 50 mm, 133 g, circa 1871
A gentleman's early pocket watch with split seconds chronograph "Patent" - with original box and a ribbon fob with seal set with an amethyst Case: 18k gold, tiered, polished, gold dome with presentation engraving: "Milton Holbrook Sanford, Richard Holbrook Daniels, Richard Edwin Joronem", chronograph pusher at "9" and via crown, case maker's punch mark "AN" (Adolphe Nicole, London 1871). Dial: enamel, radial Roman hours, signed, blued spade hands. Movm.: 4/5 plate movement, frosted, gilt, signed, screwed chatons, signature "Patent", lever escapement, gold screw compensation balance.
In 1844 Adolphe Nicole patented a mechanism for a single button fly back chronograph that used a heart-shaped cam; it returned the chronograph hand to zero with the press of a button and subsequently allowed successive measurements. The watch we have here is a rare split example that employs this construction; it belonged to one of the most prominent members of the American Thoroughbred racing industry - Milton H. Sanford . Sanford must have used this very early chronograph when he trained the horses he bred and owned; the cuvette of the watch bears the engraving of Sanford’s name as well as the names of his descendants. The watch was kept in the family for nearly 150 years. Milton H. Sanford was born in Medway, Masschusetts in 1813; he was a gifted businessman who made a fortune with cotton and wool mills that manufactured blankets supplied to the Union Army during the American Civil War. Even though Sanford came into his money through the textile industry, his passion lay in breeding and racing horses; Sanford owned Preakness Stables in Preakness, New Jersey and Preakness Stud Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. During a dinner party in the summer of 1868, Maryland governor Oden Bowie told the other guests of his dream to have a world class racetrack in Baltimore; Sanford and some other horse racing enthusiasts present at the party immediately thought that this was of course a marvellous idea - and Pimlico Race Course held its first Dinner Party Stakes on October 25th, 1870. Sanford’s horse Preakness won the race and in its honour the race was renamed "Preakness Stakes" in 1873. Today the Preakness Stakes is the second of the three races in the American Triple Crown: Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.
Estimate 6,000 - 8,000 €
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