Johann Heinrich Seyffert à Dresden, Movement No. 54, 67 mm, 170 g, circa 1796
An important precision pocket watch with regulator dial - this is the earliest known pocket watch by Seyffert with a cylinder escapement and a unique adjustable bimetallic temperature compensation attachment for the hairspring Case: outer case - brass/gilt, applied shagreen. Inner case: silver/gilt, polished. Dial: enamel, Arabic/Roman numerals, auxiliary seconds at "4", gold hands. Movm.: full plate movement, keywind, frosted, gilt, signed, chain/fusee, round pillars, cylinder escapement with brass cylinder wheel, three-arm brass balance, bimetallic steel and brass bar for temperature compensation of the hairspring.
Johann Heinrich Seyffert (1751-1817) Seyffert was the most eminent Saxon watchmaker of his time, even though he probably never passed his master's examination. In 1801 Seyffert became inspector of the Mathematical-Physical Salon. He is considered the "secret and unappointed" watchmaker to King Frederick Augustus I, who also protected Seyffert from the Dresden clockmakers company that wanted to bar him from carrying on his craft because of his missing apprentice certificates. Seyffert sold most of his watches to the royal family, scientists and explorers. One of his customers was Alexander von Humboldt, who bought an important pocket chronometer of exceptional accuracy for his expeditions. Source: "A. Lange & Söhne" by Reinhard Meis, Munich 1997, pp.18.
The exceptional reputation of the "secret" clockmaker to the court Johann Heinrich Seyffert, who sold most of his clocks to the family of the Elector and later King Frederick August I, is apparent in the publication "Dresden - in der Geschichte der Uhrmacherei" (Dresden and the history of clockmaking), which was published by Paul Pleissner on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Robert Pleissner company, Dresden 1924 (page 14): "When we look at the history of watchmaking in Dresden in the early 19th century, we first and foremost see ... Johann Heinrich Seyffert. ... In the field of watchmaking, Seyffert was a pioneer in his own right... . ‘Unofficial’ watchmaker to the court, consulted by Alexander von Humboldt who wanted to use Seyffert‘s chronometers as deck watches on his travels - there is little doubt that in his time Dresden had no watchmaker with better skills or higher ambitions than Seyffert. He was only interested in the most sophisticated watches that could be used for scientific purposes. To this end he always sought the perfect escapement and avoided any kind of ornamentation on the movement. He was in contact with the most famous French watchmakers such as the house of Breguet. The very few watches made by Seyffert that have survived .... are without exception extremely fine pieces that would not have been possible to create without the most extensive specialist training."
Estimate 42,000 - 55,000 €
Price Realised 39,600 €
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