40
40
William Anthony, London
A MAGNIFICENT AND VERY RARE 8-DAY GOLD, ENAMEL, SPLIT-PEARL AND DIAMOND-SET DUPLEX WATCH MADE FOR THE CHINESE MARKET CIRCA 1800, NO. 1931
Estimate
150,000200,000
LOT SOLD. 212,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
40
William Anthony, London
A MAGNIFICENT AND VERY RARE 8-DAY GOLD, ENAMEL, SPLIT-PEARL AND DIAMOND-SET DUPLEX WATCH MADE FOR THE CHINESE MARKET CIRCA 1800, NO. 1931
Estimate
150,000200,000
LOT SOLD. 212,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Celebration of the English Watch, Part III, The Genius of Thomas Tompion

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London

William Anthony, London
A MAGNIFICENT AND VERY RARE 8-DAY GOLD, ENAMEL, SPLIT-PEARL AND DIAMOND-SET DUPLEX WATCH MADE FOR THE CHINESE MARKET CIRCA 1800, NO. 1931
Movement: highly decoratively engraved gilded oval movement, duplex escapement, polished steel five-arm balance, diamond endstone, large decoratively engraved hanging barrel and five wheel train providing long duration, gilt-metal cuvette signed William Anthony, London, No. 1931 and with two apertures with corresponding engraved illustrations of a horse pulling a rope indicating the direction of wind and a pair of watch hands beside the off-set handset square
Dial: oval white enamel dial with subsidiary dials of equal size for time, Roman numerals for hours and minutes above subsidiary seconds with Arabic numerals, gold arrow hands for hours and minutes, counter-poised seconds hand, signed Wm Anthony, London
Case: oval case, the back centred with three diamonds and with diamond-set surround, framed by three rows of pearls separated by gold wire-work, outer bands of blue and red translucent enamel over engine turning, interspersed by white opaque enamel bands heightened with gold decoration, the bezels each set with two rows of split pearls, the pendant further decorated with split pearls, pusher in pendant to open back, case numbered 1931
length including pendant and bow 97 mm, width 58 mm
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Marryat Collection

Literature

Terence Camerer Cuss, The English Watch 1585-1970, 2009, pp. 332-333, pl. 209
Cecil Clutton & George Daniels, Watches, 1965, figs. 459-461

Catalogue Note

Specialising in watches for the Chinese market, William Anthony is especially famous for his magnificent and elaborate oval watches, the rarest of which features expanding hands which are articulated to follow the oval line of the dial. The sumptuous yet tightly ordered decoration to the case of the present watch is complimented by the wonderful clarity of the white enamel dial which is divided into two equal sections, with hours and minutes above subsidiary seconds. 

The 8-day duration movement is intricately engraved to almost every surface and has a large and prominent hanging barrel and a duplex escapement. Although the design of the movement has continental overtones, the style of the gilding and quality of the engraving suggest that these were carried out in England. Significantly, there is no engraving beneath the English diamond settings for the six arm steel balance and duplex escape wheel: these settings were fitted before the engraving which then took them into account.

This watch is part of a small group of less than 10 similar watches by Anthony, which seem to have been made in pairs.  R. A. Marryat is the acknowledged owner of this watch, as it appears in the 1965 edition of Watches by Clutton and Daniels.  Interestingly, William Anthony no. 1932, which is sequentially the following number to the present watch was sold at Sotheby’s London, 16th April, 1956 – whilst no. 1932 is unillustrated in the 1956 Sotheby’s catalogue, the description of the watch suggests a close resemblance to the present watch. A matching pair of oval watches by Anthony were in the collection of King Farouk and sold as part of the Farouk sale at Sotheby’s in March 1954, lot 564. William Anthony’s numbers 1705 and 1706 appear to be a pair, both have hands which expand and contract within the long and short axis of their dials – no. 1705 was sold at Sotheby’s London, The Belin Collection, 29th November 1979, lot 100 and no. 1706 was sold at Sotheby’s New York, Masterpieces from the Time Museum, 2nd December 1999, lot 28. Nos. 1705 and 1706 appear to be all but identical with the exception that 1705 is set with a ruby to the centre of the back, whilst 1706 is instead set with a diamond. Three further oval watches by William Anthony were in the Sandberg collection and sold at Antiquorum in 2001.  These included a matched pair which were numbered 1913 and 1914, and a further watch numbered 1935, which has similar design elements to the present watch (see Antiquorum Geneva, The Sandberg Watch Collection, 31st March-1st April 2001, lots 208 & 209).

William Anthony (1765-1844) is recorded as having worked at Red Lion Street and St. John’s Square in London. In 1815, he played an active part in the founding of the Watch and Clockmakers’ Benevolent Association. After this date, Anthony’s business appears to have deteriorated, in part due to his costly acquisition of Royal and other wardrobes from the time of Charles I which he then exhibited at Somerset Gallery, but which was poorly attended, and also due to unsuccessful litigation with Grimaldi & Johnson. At his death, he was found to have a substantial lease on the Doughty Estate which for some reason he had failed to collect rent from for the 20 preceding years – indeed, at the time of his death, the leases were almost expired, see: Britten, Old Clocks and Watches and their Markers, ACC edition, 1977, p. 422. 

Celebration of the English Watch, Part III, The Genius of Thomas Tompion

|
London