Press Release of our 98th Auction on November 10, 2018
The object that was called as lot no. 91 in the busy auction room at the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel was of superior museum quality: John Mottram's magnificent clock with musical automaton had been created specially for the Imperial Court of China. The clock is one of the most sumptuous pieces ever produced by the London maker and has survived the centuries in perfect condition - it was worth as much as 530,000 euros to the Chinese collector to take this treasure home.
Other creations by London masters achieved equally excellent results: lot no. 65 was a gold and enamel pocket watch by Ilbery with a delightful children's scene, which was also originally produced for the Chinese market; it now went back to China for 31,000 euros. Likewise, James McCabe's gold and enamel minute repeating hunter of historical interest (lot no. 74) went to the Far East for 24,200 euros - this watch was originally owned by Sir John Kirk, travel companion of explorer David Livingstone. A clock and watch museum in Geneva acquired a marvellous miniature gold and enamel verge pocket watch made by William Clay (lot no. 256) for 115,200 euros - the value of this treasure comes primarily from its remarkable case with white Champlevé enamel probably of Blois in France rather than from its movement.
#65, 74, 256
As early as circa 1600 the renowned Augsburg clockmaker Martin Zoller created a wonderful monstrance clock striking the hours and quarters, with calendar, alarm and moon phase (lot no. 279). After travelling halfway around the world this outstanding clock now comes back to its native town and will, for 125,300 euros, be part of an important collection of Renaissance timepieces.
Excellent results were achieved for a number of carriage clocks, in particular for Caspar Sackherer's baroque-style Friedberg clock of museum quality (lot no. 300), which sold for 49,600 euros and for "The Abduction of Europa" by Jean François Poncet of Dresden (lot no. 301), sold for 37,200 euros. All in all, the 17th and 18th century timepieces were highly coveted by the collectors and changed owners for top prices.
#300, 301, 279
A complete collection of measuring instruments from centuries past produced a keen interest among the audience, most notably two fine ivory sundials that both sold for 13,700 euros each - funnily enough, a third sundial sold for exactly the same amount also (lots no. 167, 168 and 172).
#167, 168, 172
Then there were a singing bird box by Patek Philippe that sold for 44,700 euros (lot no. 93) and an unusually large collection of watch and clock keys from the last five centuries - lot no. 89 consisted of 544 keys, some of them Renaissance, some of them with stone ornamentation and several made of the finest Meissen porcelain, and fetched approximately 62 euros per piece, so that the collection was finally sold for 33,800 euros.
As is tradition, the auction started off with a range of timepieces from Glashütte and proved once more that these watches - in particular those produced by Lange & Söhne - always fetch exceptional prices. Lot no. 3 was a hunter case watch with minute repeater and went to its proud new owner for 28,600 euros; lot no. 54 came from the property of Richard Hartmann, a maker of steam engines in Chemnitz and, for 26,100 euros, will now return to the Chemnitz area.
Considerably more expensive were the wristwatches made by Lange & Söhne: lot no. 25, a flyback chronograph, sold for 49,600 euros and the limited edition tourbillon "Pour le Mérite" with chain and fusée went as high as 122,000 euros (lot no. 26).
Not even Patek Philippe was able to top that result - the fabulous "full set", a Nautilus Jumbo with magnificent "tropical dial" (lot no. 96) changed owners for 103,000 euros and two other Nautilus watches sold for 81,900 euros (lot no. 95) and 55,800 euros (lot no. 136).
#96, 95, 136
There were of course more wristwatches that fetched remarkable prices: A Breguet "Classique 5717 Hora Mundi" (lot no. 221) sold for 42,900 euros, the astronomical Audemars Piguet (lot no. 226) for 41,000 euros and a 1950s chronograph by Vacheron & Constantin that had never been worn (lot no. 137) for 45,900 euros.
#221, 226, 137
A Rolex "pre-Daytona" chronograph (lot no. 323) found a new home for 62,000 euros, while another "pre-Daytona" (lot no. 342) went for 26,100 euros; the "Oyster Perpetual Date Sea-Dweller Submariner 2000", a so-called "double red Sea Dweller" (lot no. 318) fetched 35,400 euros.
#323, 342, 318
Finally, two outstanding pocket watches: Circa 1980 Derek Pratt created a minute tourbillon with two barrels for Urban Jürgensen, which is a masterpiece of modern watchmaking in the tradition of great makers such as Breguet, Arnold and Helwig. The price for taking this treasure home was 80,700 euros (lot no. 158). Joseph Thaddäus Winnerl produced one of his rare deck chronometers (lot no. 202) in the 19th century - today this fine piece in perfect condition fetched as much as 57,100 euros.