Lot 12
  • 12

Thomas Tompion, London

20,000 - 30,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • diameter 48 mm
Movement:gilded full plate, verge escapement, decoratively pierced and engraved balance cock, steel three-arm balance with spring, stop work for alarm visible to the backplate, decoratively pierced and engraved alarm barrel, striking on a bell to the inside case back, fusee and chain, tulip pillars, signed and numbered Tho. Tompion, London, 95
Dial: silver champlevé dial, Roman numerals with half hour divisions between and to the ring beneath, outer Arabic minute ring, blued steel poker minute hand and double ended tulip hour hand, the tail for alarm indication upon central alarm disc, outer gilded ring, winding for alarm between 7 and 8 o'clock and for going at 3 o'clock
• Case: silver case, the band with engraved decoration of scrolling foliage inhabited by birds and pierced for sound emission, engraved townscape beneath the pendant, a grotesque mask to the base, split bezel for glass retention, plain back, stirrup bow, maker's mark WA incuse probably for William Achurch, lacking outer case  


Antiquorum Geneva, 23rd October 1999, lot 512


Jeremy Evans, Thomas Tompion at the Dial and Three Crowns, 2006, p. 102
Jeremy Evans, Jonathan Carter & Ben Wright, Thomas Tompion 300 Years, 2013, p. 285


Movement running at time of cataloguing and alarm sounding. Dial with light scuffs and scratches to the surface some infilling to the black wax/pitch of the numerals. Case with light scuffs and scratches, the decoration to the band retains good overall definition, cover closes securely.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

**Please be advised that bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping."

Catalogue Note

Alarm watches are the rarest type of watch made by Tompion. Research conducted by Jeremy Evans suggests that fewer than 10 alarm watches by Tompion are known to have survived and, in the book Thomas Tompion 300 Years, the authors note that the present watch “is one of the best preserved of them” [see cit. p.285]. Unusually for an English watch of the period, the watch has winding squares for both the going and alarm trains through the champlevé dial. The advantage of this design over the normal arrangement is that, for a movement of modest size, the need to allow space in the back plate for an alarm square is overcome and so, rather than a small two-arm balance, a large three-arm balance could be fitted.