- A RARE AND EXCEPTIONAL PAIR OF GOLD, ENAMEL AND HARD STONE CENTRE SECONDS WATCH WITH SPLIT PEARLS AND MATCHING KEYS MADE FOR THE CHINESE MARKET
William Ilbery is most commonly known as a fine maker of watches for the Chinese market, is also credited for rare examples made of moss agate such as this present example made in a pair. Like many of his watches, Ilbery used finely engraved movements incorporating duplex escapement and the outer case set with pearls.
For similar watches see Sotheby's London, The Belin Collection, November 29, 1979, lot 98 and Sotheby's New York, Masterpieces from the Time Museum, December 2, 1999, lot 29. A pair of hard-stone hexagonal watches for the Chinese market made by William Ilbery is also in The Patek Philippe Museum, Geneva, now part of the exhibition 'The Mirror of Seduction'.