Lot No. 601* (89th Auction)
Elgin National Watch Co., Movement No. 4, 55 mm, 154 g, circa 1867

A rare and historically important American hunting case pocket watch - Presented By National Watch Co. To The American Minister To China, Hon. Frederick Ferdinand Low (1828-1894)
Case: coin silver, Newport, lavishly engine-turned and florally engraved. Dial: enamel, radial Roman hours, auxiliary seconds, signed "Presented By National Watch Co. To The American Minister To China, Hon. F.F. Low", blued spade hands. Movm.: full plate movement, frosted, gilt, plates engraved with Chinese characters, keywind, gold screw compensation balance, balance cock engraved with Chinese sailboats and pagoda.

Frederick Ferdinand Low (1828 - 1894)
Frederick Ferdinand Low was an American politician, US congressman and the ninth governor of California.
Born in Frankfort (now Winterport, Maine) in 1828, Low attended the Hampden Academy in Hampden, Maine. Low moved to California, entering the shipping business in San Francisco in 1849. Low became a banker in Marysville, California from 1854 from 1861.
Low presented credentials as a Republican Member-elect to the 37th Congress but was not permitted to take his seat until a special act of Congress was passed. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from June 3, 1862 to March 3, 1863. Low was appointed in 1863 as collector of the Port of San Francisco prior to becoming governor of California from December 10, 1863 to December 5, 1867. He was the second California governor to live in the Stanford Mansion as the official residence and office until the opening of the California State Capitol building in 1869. Low was California's last Civil War governor. Hallmarks of his administration were the establishment of Yosemite National Park and University of California. Low was considered, father of the University of California, however, his successor, Henry H. Haight signed March 23, 1868, the Charter of the University. Low served as United States Minister to China from 1869 to 1874. He died in San Francisco on July 21, 1894.
Source:, as of 02/06/2014.

Elgin National Watch Co.
Founded in the year 1864, this was one of the few American watch companies that had a long production span. The Chicago-based company ceased making men's watches in 1964.
Estimate  8,500 - 10,500 €
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