Lot 9
  • 9

Joseph Windmills, London

8,000 - 12,000 GBP
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  • Joseph Windmills, London
  • silver
  • diameter of outer case 52mm, inner case 46mm
Movement: gilded full plate, verge escapement, large decoratively pierced balance cock engraved with foliage and short streamers at the neck, fusee and chain, tulip pillars, signed J. Windmills, London
Dial: silver champlevé, large aperture with rotating blued steel disc divided into day and night, the hours indicated on an outer semi-circular chapter ring with Roman numerals heightened with black wax, the daytime hours indicated by a golden sun with pointer, the night hours indicated by a silver moon with pointer surrounded by stars, outer Arabic minute ring with single blued steel hand, the lower half of the dial with central cartouches signed Windmills, London and surrounded by scrolling foliate flanked by two birds, dial edged with gilt ring
Cases: plain silver inner, the back with shuttered winding aperture, bezel split for glass retention, ring pendant and bow, numbered 183 and with case maker's mark I.I with coronet above in cameo for Jonathan Jones • tortoiseshell outer case decorated with symmetrically arranged piqué decoration in the form of stylised foliage, the bezel with three concentric rows of pique, the central row interspersed with fleur-de-lys, inner bezel punch numbered 183


Terence Camerer Cuss, The English Watch 1585-1970, 2009, p. 126, pl. 61
Philip Priestley, Early Watch Case Makers of England 1631-1720, 2000, p. 23, fig. 18 
J. A. Neale, Joseph and Thomas Windmills, 1999, p. 91, fig. 3.27


Movement running and in clean condition at time of cataloguing, the sun/moon disc rotating. Dial in good refreshed condition with light scuffs and scratches. Inner case with some light indentations. The tortoiseshell outer case with splits and some small areas of loss to the piqué decoration but general
"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

Makers at the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century were by no means wedded to the standard dial configuration of concentric hour and minute hands, which had become more universal. As a result, some unusual dial designs were devised, particularly by English watchmakers. During this period there were four principal variations of dial design: the six-hour dial, the wandering hour dial, the differential dial and, as in this instance, the sun-and-moon dial. On the present watch, the sun and moon point to the hours as they move across the large semi-circular aperture, whilst minutes are indicated by the single hand on the outer ring.

Joseph Windmills, a highly regarded maker, was made Free of the Clockmakers' Company in 1671 and became its Master in 1702. Shortly after this date he formed a partnership with his son Thomas and the clocks and watches made by the firm were either signed Windmills, without forename, or J & T Windmills. At some time after this, father and son appear to have run more separate businesses and signed their products once again with an individual forename. Four other ‘Sun and Moon’ watches signed by Joseph Windmills are known, one example of which is illustrated in Cedric Jagger’s book, The World’s Great Clocks and Watches, 1977, p. 128.