Lot No. 323 (92nd Auction)
Auguste Saltzman, Chaux de Fonds, "Improved Straight line lever", Movement No. 37586, Case No. 37586, 54 mm, 137 g, circa 1858

A heavy precision pocket watch with an unusual movement construction
Case: 18k gold, engine-turned, reeded band, à goutte, numbered and signed gold dome. Dial: enamel, radial Roman numerals, auxiliary seconds, signed, blued Fleur-de-Lys hands. Movm.: 2/3 plate movement, nickel-plated, decorated, signed, "Patented Sept. 1859", keywind, gold screw compensation balance, counterpoised lever.

Auguste Saltzman
The family of Auguste Napoleon Saltzman, as was his full name, came from Les Bois in the Canton of Bern. Saltzman was born there on October 11, 1810; when he was about 10, his parents Auguste and Maria Anna Saltzman, née Gouvernon, emigrated to Carthage, New York. Seven years later, however, young Auguste was sent back to Switzerland to do an apprenticeship as a watchmaker. In 1840 he was back in the US to open a watch and clock shop in State Street in Carthage; in 1845 the "A.N. Saltzman & Co." moved to 10 Maiden Lane, New York. On June 16, 1855 the premises in Maiden Lane were destroyed in a huge explosion that occurred at fireworks manufacturers Demkins & Robins in the same building. Saltzman’s nephew and a man named Eugen T. Preudhomme died in the explosion and the total damages came to about $50,000 - of which only $10,000 were covered by insurance. As business was good, however, the losses were soon recouped.
In 1857 Saltzman went into partnership with the designer and inventor Charles Ed. Jacot in La Chaux de Fonds; from there they applied for a number of patents for the company "A. Saltzmann, Jacot & Co." in New York.
The two partners presumably continued to sign their work individually. In 1870 the company "Saltzmann & Vuille" in Plainfield, New Jersey, was founded. In 1884 Saltzman put his home in Plainfield up for sale or rent - 12 rooms, ready-furnished, in prime location. He left America around 1885 and moved to Paris, where he lived for the rest of his life. The date of his death is not known.
Estimate  3,800 - 4,800 €

Price Realised  4,100 €
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