Lot No. 494 (93rd Auction)
Black, Starr & Frost, New York, Movement No. 5115, Case No. 5115, 52 mm, 151 g, circa 1900

A gentleman's heavy, astronomical minute repeating pocket watch - Swiss movement with perpetual calendar, moon phase, split seconds chronograph and 60 minute counter
Case: 18k rose gold, gold dome. Dial: enamel. Movm.: bridge movement, 2 hammers / 2 gongs, gold screw compensation balance, counterpoised lever.

A classic complicated pocket watch with Swiss movement, created for one of the oldest and most renowned jewellery store in America – a perfect addition for an elegant waistcoat.

Black, Starr & Frost trace their origins back to a company that was founded by Erastus Barton in 1810; his successor was Frederick Marquand, who named it Marquand & Barton and later Marquand & Brothers, before the business finally became Marquand & Company. Marquand & Company took part in the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London in 1851 – one of only a very small number of American jewellers who did. In 1839 the company came under new management and from then on traded as Ball, Tompkins & Black.
The company had several branches on Broadway in New York; in 1874 it changed its name once again to Black, Starr & Frost, at the same time when new premises on Fifth Avenue opened their doors. The shop on Fifth Avenue was certainly one of the great landmarks of the city, on par with Tiffany's and Cartier. They counted the most important members of New York’s society amongst their patrons, for example the Vanderbilts and the Carnegies. Their reputation was such that they were sometimes called "the Fifth Avenue Jewellers of New York City".
When describing themselves in a publication on the occasion of their hundredth anniversary in 1910, the company stated that they marketed most reliable movements produced by national and international manufacturers and also created their own watches. For the movements a variety of cases was chosen – watches came in enamelled, engraved or bejewelled cases to satisfy the customers' demands. By the 1920s Black, Starr & Frost operated branches in Paris, Palm Beach and Southampton, Long Island. The company merged with Gorham Manufacturing Co. – another Fifth Avenue store – in 1929 and became Black, Starr, Frost-Gorham, Inc.; the new shop opened its doors only a few weeks after Black Thursday and the stock market crash. During this and the next decade Black, Starr & Frost produced a great number of marvellous clocks and other fine works of art matching those sold by the most famous French jewellery houses - no other American house produced the highly sought-after Art Deco mystery clocks. Consequently Black, Starr & Frost were one of five jewellers to exhibit in the "House of Jewels" at the New York World's Fair 1939; the others were Tiffany, Cartier, Marcus & Co., and Udall & Ballou.
Estimate  25,000 - 40,000 €

Price Realised  23,600 €
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