High Art in Amsterdam: The Boon-van Kol Collection

By Breguet Blog
March 4th, 2021


ON 2nd APRIL 1981, SOTHEBY’S AMSTERDAM experienced an incredible year when it offered the Boon-van Kol collection for sale.

The collection was formed by Mrs. M. W. L. Boon-van Kol of Goorstraat, Eindhoven, The Netherlands and consists largely of pocket watches, which were auctioned during the afternoon session at 2pm (Lots 1-205), followed by an outstanding array of desk timepieces, mantel clocks, table clocks, wall clocks, as well as two exquisite longcase clocks during the evening session at 8pm (Lots 206-264). A single Patek & Co. Geneva pocket watch appears in the collection (Lot 143).

Seventeen Breguet pocket watches were also to be found among the antiques under the hammer that day.

The most exceptional pieces in the collection were among the lots offered in the evening session. Mrs. Boon-van Kol had assembled a large number of rare, complete and extant examples of some of the finest table clocks on record.

The collection was built over many years by Mr. & Mrs. M. W. L. Boon-van Kol about whom very little is known. It is worth quoting the preface from the catalogue in full:

This collection of clocks is one of the largest ever assembled in the Netherlands. Mr. and Mrs. M. W. L. Boon started collecting antiques – including watches – on a small scale in 1934. Upon the death of her husband, a chief accountant at Philips Gloeilampen Fabrieken, in 1937, Mrs. Boon-Van Kol stopped collecting. However, in 1950 she once again started on her collection and in the fifties and sixties collecting clocks became her passion.

Her most important acquisitions date from this period. She purchased both the cylinder-shaped renaissance clock by Mathieu Bachelet and the unique astronomical table clock, by Veyt Schaufel of Munich as an apprentices piece in 1955. Stilistically [sic] the spectacular Astrolabe clock by Hieronymous Six of Augsburg, made in 1705, may belong to an earlier era, but it’s workmanship is unequalled. Works by French watchmakers include an enamelled verge watch by Jacobus Garnault and a Breguet no. 1138 in a gold case.

In addition to these works by German and French masters, Mrs. Boon had a great interest in Dutch timepieces, as can be seen from the group of rare Dutch clock movements and an early Zaandam Wall Clock which is part of her collection. The collection as a whole includes many fine examples of the heights clockmakers could attain in the fields of mechanical design and creativity.

Mrs. Boon was not only a knowledgeable collector, her enthusiastic lectures illustrated by examples from her own collection, introduced many novices to this fascinating field. In her house in Goorstraat, Eindhoven, collectors and experts were always warmly welcomed.

By her dedication as a collector, and the lively manner in which she communicated her knowledge and enthusiasm, Mrs. Boon inspired in many a deep interest in the art of the clockmaker.

––Preface from Catalogue 325

The auctioneer was Sotheby Mak van Waay B.V. and the auction was held at their galleries at Rokin 102, Amsterdam-C, The Netherlands. The estimates are shown for each lot but the hammer price is not available. The estimates quoted below were exclusive of a 16% premium payable on the hammer price.

Readers may be interested to note that the Bank of the Netherlands issued guidance on a fixed conversion rate of the old Dutch guilder (fl.):

Guilders will be exchanged without charge and at the official fixed rate of 1 euro = 2.20371 guilders. So, a ten guilder note is worth about 4.50 euro.

––De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), archived from the original on 12th January 2011 by the Wayback Machine

All images are from Catalogue 325, Sotheby’s 1981. Catalogue (lot) notes by Sotheby’s. Fair use for educational and research purposes only.

Sotheby’s Catalogue 325 front cover
Lot 44 Estimate Dfl. 7,500

44 A RARE SILVER CASED WANDERING HOUR VERGE WATCH, by A. V. Broechuisen of Gorinchem, the movement with pierced Egyptian pillars, winged balance cock with glazed aperture for the mock pendulum, the silver dial with sector aperture for the wandering hour within a semi-circle of minutes, applied filligree [sic] decoration with the signature repeated, later bow, 50 mm. diam., circa 1730

⁂ See Amsterdam Catalogue, op. cit. No. 19

Lot 45 Estimate Dfl. 17,500-22,500

45 FROMANTEEL NO. 941. A GOLD AND ENAMEL VERGE WATCH, by Fromanteel, signed on the backplate, the movement with pierced tulip pillars, winged masked balance cock with irregular edge to the foot, the gold champlevé dial with roman numerals and outer arabic minute ring, the signature repeated in the centre, the case with engraved scrolling band, the back with a fine 17th Century polychrome enamel of a battle scene, chipped, the inside of the back of the case with a sepia toned enamel of a horseman in battle signed Vauquer P, hair cracks, 45 mm. diam., circa 1690

Lot 49 Estimate Dfl. 100,000-150,000

49 JACOBUS GARNAULT. A GOOD AND ENAMEL VERGE WATCH, the movement with pierced tulip pillars and pierced and engraved balance bridge, early fusee chain signed Jacobus Garnault Hagae, white enamel dial with roman numerals, the centre with a polychrome enamel miniature of a maiden and boy, the band of the case by Huaut and signed Les Freres Huaut, and with four landscape vignettes, the back of the case with Meleagar and Atalanta, the inside of the back with a further enamel landscape scene of a man fishing, 41 mm. diam., late 17th Century

⁂ See Amsterdam and Delft Catalogues, op. cit. Nos. 25 and 298

Lot 65 Estimate Dfl. 10,000-15,000

65 A TORTOISESHELL AND IVORY MUSICAL NECESSAIRE containing a gold thimble, tape measure case, scissors with etui, pencil holder, bodkin case, two small circular boxes with engraved decoration and gilt metal spools, also with a three-colour gold verge Watch No. 37625, the gilt dial with roman numerals on a matt ground bezels set with split pearls, the back of the case glazed to reveal cast three-colour gold floral decoration, 38 mm. diam., the inside of the lid with a printed silk scene of musical amorini, the veneered box raised on gilt metal ball and claw feet, one detached, length of box 210 mm, early 19th Century

81 A GOLD AND ENAMEL QUARTER REPEATING WATCH AND CHATELAINE, No. 1970, bearing the signature Breguet a Paris, white enamel dial with roman numerals, the signature repeated, the bezel set with rose diamonds, the band of the case pierced, the back set with split pearls and the remnants of a polychrome enamel miniature, pendant from a matching chatelaine lacking most of the enamel, pendent chain bearing key and seal, 50 mm. diam., circa 1790

⁂ Formerly in the Feill Collection. See sale catalogue No. 179 [Lot 81 is not illustrated in Catalogue 325] Lot 81 Estimate Dfl. 20,000-25,000

Lot 103 Estimate Dfl. 8,000

103 A LARGE GOLD AND ENAMEL CENTRE SECONDS CALENDAR WATCH, signed on the backplate Breguet a Paris, chipped white enamel dial with arabic numerals and inner calendar ring, the case plain, the back centred with a good polychrome enamel miniature of a young woman, 75 mm. diam., early 19th Century

Lot 105 Estimate Dfl. 5,000

105 A GOLD AND ENAMEL VERGE WATCH, with the signature Breguet a Paris, white enamel dial with arabic numerals, the bezels with gold decoration on a blue enamel ground, the restored back of the case with a miniature of a woman drawing water from a well within a white enamel border, 49 mm. diam., circa 1800

⁂ Formerly in the Feill Collection. See sale catalogue op. cit. No 181

Lot 106 Estimate Dfl. 8,000

106 A GOLD AND ENAMEL VERGE WATCH with the signature Breguet a Paris, white enamel dial, chipped round the winding aperture, with roman numerals and the signature repeated, both bezels with white enamel laurel decoration on a blue ground, damaged, the back of the case with a polychrome enamel miniature of a couple with their dog against a blue ground, within a white enamel border, 49 mm. diam. circa 1800

Lot 110 Estimate Dfl. 10,000-12,500

110 A GOLD AND ENAMEL QUARTER REPEATING VERGE WATCH with the signature Breguet a Paris and numbered 5779, white enamel dial, chipped round the winding aperture, with arabic numerals and the signature repeated, the band of the case pierced, the back with a polychrome enamel miniature of a couple in an architectural setting against a blue ground, 47 mm. diam., circa 1800

Lot 112 Estimate Dfl. 6,000-9,000

112 A GOLD AND ENAMEL VERGE WATCH No. 19627 with the signature Breguet a Paris, white enamel dial with arabic numerals and the signature repeated, the bezels with blue and white enamel decoration, damaged, the back of the case with a sepia-toned miniature of Justice with Cupid kneeling at her feet, in gilt metal glazed outer case, 51 mm. diam., circa 1800

⁂ Formerly in the Feill Collection. See sale catalogue No. 183

Lot 125 Estimate Dfl. 25,000-35,000

125 A GOLD AND ENAMEL TRIPLE CASED TURKISH MARKET VERGE WATCH No. 28895 by George Prior of London, white enamel dial with Turkish numerals and the signature repeated, plain inner case hallmarked 1801, the outer with scalloped band, the back with a polychrome miniature of trophies of music against a red translucent enamel ground over guilloché, diamond thumbpiece pendent and top of bow, and contained in locally made gilt metal outer case set with turquoise and rubies, 46 mm. diam.

Lot 133 Estimate Dfl. 10,000

133 A GOLD AND ENAMEL CASED DRUM WATCH, the verge movement with the signature Breguet a Paris, chipped white enamel dial, both sides of the drum decorated with pink miniatures of putti, the band with green and white enamel decoration flanking gold strapwork on a red and blue enamel ground, 29 mm. diam. associated movement

Lot 138 Estimate Dfl. 30,000-40,000

138 A GOLD AND ENAMEL QUARTER REPEATING WANDERING HOUR CYLINDER WATCH, with the signature Breguet et Fils, the polished steel repeating mechanism visible on the blued steel back-plate, repetition by two hammers on snake gongs, slightly defective, glazed cuvette, white enamel sector for the minutes with arabic hour chapters, the gold case engraved with a putto rowing Father Time, the back of the case of radiating guilloché from a plain oval reserve, reeded band, 59 mm. diam. circa 1810

Lot 143 Estimate Dfl. 5,000

143 A GOLD AND ENAMEL CYLINDER WATCH, No. 16888 by Patek & Co. Geneva, signed on the gold cuvette, white enamel dial with hair cracks, white enamel dial with roman numerals, the back of the case with a polychrome enamel miniature of a young man shooting with a girl holding a goat, surrounded by blue and white champlevé enamel decoration, slightly chipped, 55 mm. diam. mid-19th Century

Lot 148 Estimate Dfl. 2,000

148 A SILVER VERGE WATCH with the signature Breguet a Paris white enamel dial, chipped round the winding hole, with a soldier in classical dress holding a flag, chapter ring with arabic numerals, plain case, 54 mm. diam., circa 1810

Lot 158 Estimate Dfl. 6,000-7,500

158 A GOLD QUARTER REPEATING WATCH, bearing the signature Breguet a Paris, silver dial with roman numerals, the centre with engraved scrollwork on a radiating guilloché ground, the case guilloché, the back slightly dented, 54 mm. diam., circa 1830

Lot 160 Estimate Dfl. 2,000-3,000

160 A GOLD VERGE WATCH, bearing the signature of Breguet a Paris, white enamel dial with eccentric chapter ring with arabic numerals and pendulum above, chipped round winding aperture and pendulum, the band with engraved decoration, the case plain 51 mm. diam. early 19th Century

⁂ Formerly in the Feill Collection. See sale catalogue No. 184

Lot 163 Estimate Dfl. 7,500

163 A GOLD REPEATING WATCH, with the signature Breguet et Fils on the gilt cuvette, guilloché dial with arabic numerals on white enamel reserves, some damaged, the band with rope-twist decoration, the back of the case guilloché from a plain oval reserve, 57 mm. diam., circa 1820

Lot 167 Estimate Dfl. 7,500-10,000

167 A GOLD QUARTER REPEATING WATCH, No. 23972 with the signature Breguet & Fils, signed on the gilt cuvette, the guilloché dial with roman numerals on plain reserves, the signature repeated in the centre, blued steel moon hands, the band of the case reeded, the back guilloché, 57 mm. diam., circa 1820

Lot 168 Estimate Dfl. 12,500-15,000

168 A GOLD QUARTER REPEATING MUSICAL CYLINDER WATCH, with the signature Breguet et Fils on the gilt cuvette, gold dial with roman numerals on a guilloché ground, the centre also guilloché and with plain vignette with the signature repeated, blued steel spade hands, rope-twist band to the case, the back guilloché from a plain oval reserve, 61 mm. diam., circa 1820

(L) Lot 203 Estimate Dfl. 15,000, (M) Lot 204 Estimate Dfl. 40,000-50,000, (R) Lot 205 Estimate Dfl. 25,000-35,000

203 A SOUSCRIPTION WATCH, the movement No. 2738 by Breguet, plain balance with flat rim, parachute suspension, spiral spring with compensation curb, ruby cylinder escapement, white enamel dial with secret signature below 12, signed Breguet et Fils below, the case glazed on both sides, 60 mm. diam.

⁂ Sold with Certificate No. 2738

204 Breguet No. 1138. A GOLD CASED LEPINE CALIBRE QUARTER REPEATING RUBY CYLINDER WATCH, the movement with free standing barrel, stop wheel lacking, plain balance with parachute suspension, spiral spring with compensation curb, unusually striking a toc with two hammers, white enamel dial with arabic numerals, secret signature beneath 12, Breguet et Fils below, very small chip at 10, the case with piston pendant, fluted band, the back cover guilloché centred with a monogram, numbered on the inside B 1138, and 135, 55 mm. diam.

205 Breguet No. 906. A SILVER AND GOLD CASED SOUSCRIPTION WATCH, the movement by Breguet No. 906, ruby cylinder escapement, plain balance with early parachute suspension, spiral spring with compensation curb, white enamel dial with arabic numerals, secret signature beneath 12, signed Breguet et Fils below, cracked, the good case plain 62 mm. diam.

Lot 236 Estimate Dfl. 32,500

236 A RARE BRASS-CASED ZAANDAM WALL CLOCK, the velvet-covered dial with single hand, alarum disc and cherub spandrels, the movement with vertical verge escapement, alarum mechanism and outside count wheel, in a posted frame with ringed columns at the corners, the case with similar columns below a moulded cornice, on turned feet, 47.5 cm high including later interlaced cresting pieces, circa 1700, with restoration, and a walnut wall bracket with a stepped creating, 104 cm high overall

Lot 237 Estimate Dfl. 15,000

237 A GERMAN PAINTED IRON CHAMBER CLOCK with separate dials for the hours and quarters, the weight-driven movement with verge escapement, visible pendulum and outside count wheel, in a steel posted frame, the bell surmounted by a seated jack and with two figures of goats in front of the cresting butting in time with the hammer, the shaped doors painted with scrollwork on a red ground, 35 cm high, circa 1700, with restoration

Lot 238 Estimate Dfl. 40,000

238 A RARE GERMAN PAINTED IRON ASTRONOMICAL QUARTER-STRIKING TABLE CLOCK, the front with a dial marked for the quarters and the hours numbered I-XII twice and 1-Z4, the pointers for the day and night hours fixed to a disc showing the age and phases of the moon, small dials above for the days of the week and days of the month, the latter signed Christof Pleig below a view of the city inscribed Ulm, the back with a single dial showing the quarters, the hours I-XII, the position of the sun in the zodiac with the twelve signs engraved and the length of the day and night, the posted frame movement with chain fusees, two striking trains, the going train now with verge escapement, pendulum, fourth train and alarum mechanism lacking, the case painted with a vase of flowers and allegorical figures including Geometry, Astronomy, and the Seasons, the domed cresting pierced with arcades and with gilt jacks holding the hammers for the two bells, 47 cm high, feet and finials altered, original doors lacking, circa 1625

⁂ Formerly in the Feill Collection; see sale catalogue, No. 44
Christoph Pleig worked at Ulm in the late 16th and early 17th Centuries; he was named in 1600 as a member of the Smiths’ Guild

Lot 239 Estimate Dfl. 15,000

239 A RARE GERMAN WALL TIMEPIECE, the oval gilt brass dial signed Johannes Maÿüs In Berlin and with well modelled hand, the cresting pierced and engraved with dolphins and sprays of flowers and fruit, the base with similar sprays and a cherub’s head, the similarly signed movement with verge escapement and short pendulum with screwed on cock, the regulator with worm and wheel adjustment, 30.5 cm high by 18 cm wide, circa 1700

Lot 240 Estimate Dfl. 20,000 (L), Lot 241 Estimate Dfl. 7,500 (R)

240 AN ORMOLU-MOUNTED BOULLE LONGCASE CLOCK, the arched dial with repoussé gilt centre and two figures below, the weight-driven movement with outside count wheel, the case in the form of a bracket clock with female terms at the corners, a shaped apron and turned feet, the pedestal of scrolled outline and with a bull’s eye, the whole profusely inlaid in brass and pewter with well drawn arabesque scrollwork, foliage, flowers and birds, 234 cm high, 19th Century

241 A WALNUT MARQUETRY LONGCASE CLOCK, the dial with spandrels symbolising the seasons and a painted moon disc in the arch, the movement with wood plates, the two trains mounted side by side, and side, lantern pinions and gong striking, the case with a rectangular hood with a painted townscape above the dial, the backboard and plinth inlaid with foliage, flowers and birds, 246 cm high, 19th Century, case Dutch, movement probably German

Lot 242 Estimate Dfl. 6,000

242 R. & H. MOLYNEUX No. 2099. A TWO-DAY MARINE CHRONOMETER, with Earnshaw spring detent escapement, compensation balance and blued steel helical spring, free sprung, the silvered dial with roman numerals and subsidiary dials for seconds and up-and-down, signed in the centre R. & H. Molyneux, 30, Southampton Row, London, in brass box gimballed in original brass bound mahogany carrying case, lacking ivory, diam. of bezel 96 mm. early 19th Century

Lot 259 Estimate Dfl. 85,000-130,000, showing the movement on the left, detachable base in the middle, band and dome on the right
Lot 259 Table clock showing the full assembly

259 MATIEU BACHELET. A RARE CIRCULAR GILT METAL CASED TABLE CLOCK, with striking and alarum mechanism, the gilded brass movement with iron trains, iron fusees for the going and striking, verge escapement, with added balance spring, turned pillars with square ends, terminating on the backplate with turned blind nuts and pinned to the dial plate which supports the striking and alarum release mechanism, the bell surmounted by a revolving alarum disk and single hand, the case observation door for the fusee in the band engraved with portraits and classical scenes within strapwork frames, the dome pierced and engraved with fine strapwork supporting masks and putti and centred with a chapter ring engraved with roman numerals with touch pieces, the detachable base engraved en suite, the inside signed Matieuy Bachelet, 108 mm. diam., circa 1600

⁂ Formerly in the Feill Collection. See sale catalogue No. 25

Lot 260 Estimate Dfl. 650,000-850,000
Lot 260 Overhead view of basket top pierced and engraved with stylised figures as well as leaf decoration
Lot 260 Side panels showing immense decorative detail and fine workmanship
Lot 260 Showing interior works front and back

260 VEYT SCHAUFEL. A RARE AND VERY INTERESTING EARLY ASTRONOMICAL TABLE CLOCK, being the masterpiece of its maker, inscribed on the lower frame of the basket top VEYT SCHAVFEL BINICH GENANT. GVOTEN GESELEN WOLBEKANT. HAB MICH WOL RECHT BEDACHT. DISE VR ZVO MINCHEM ZVMAISERSTVCH GE MACHT. ANNO DOMINI 1554. and marked with his punch on the top left and with the punch mark for Munich, the front panel with silver chapter ring with roman numerals I-XII twice repeated and containing circles for the names of the Zodiacal signs, the age of the moon and a revolving disk to reveal the phase of the moon with engraved panel beneath for the original astrolabic dial, subsidiary dial below left for the degrees and Signs of the Zodiac, below right a dial with circles for hours I-Z4 for the Italian hours, linkage lacking, roman chapters I-XII twice repeated, with indicator hand and centred with setting disk for the alarum, a lever at the top of the panel for switching the alarum out of action, the reverse panel with revolving calendar comprising three disks laid one upon the other and changed as necessary to indicate the date, the letter for the day, the number of days in the month and the Zodiacal sign for the month, at the bottom left a revolving disk for the day of the week and on the right an engraved dial for the regulation, the left side panel with engraved dial I-I2 for the hour striking, count-wheel and with outer circle of roman numerals I-VI four times repeated for the 6 hour striking, incomplete, below, indicator for ascertaining the Golden Number, the right side panel with dial above for ascertaining the Dominical Letter, quarter striking dial below with chapters for quarters I-4, the leaf of the panel opening to reveal a sun-dial with compass and adjustable pointer for latitude, the inner panel with table of towns and their latitudes, both sides of the opening leaf with punched initials VS, the panels beautifully engraved with stylised foliage and the front and back panels with spandrels depicting the four winds, the basket top pierced and engraved with stylised figures, the corners mounted with grotesque gargoyles supported on finely cast corner pillars with acanthus leaf and mask decoration, the whole standing on a sculpted base with gargoyle feet, the components of the case fitted to the iron movement with latches, the side panels secured with secret catches released by inserting a pin into a hole to lift the catch, height including the figure of Vigilance 320 mm.

⁂ Clocks of this complexity and near complete mechanical condition are rare and even at their date of manufacture were rare and important examples of the mechanical arts. The combination of mathematical and practical skills of their German makers exceeded the abilities of craftsmen in any other country of the known world. They may be regarded as a demonstration of the intellectual ability of their makers following upon the demands of their Patrons who sought the novelty of mechanical aide-memoire for religious purposes. The inclusion of a sundial was essential to the use of the clock which, by reason of the indifferent timekeeping of the escapement needed daily correction against the sun.
Formerly in the Feill Collection. See sale catalogue No. 39.
Bibliography: Klaus Maurice, Die Deutsche Räderuhr, Munich 1976, Vol. II No. 152, pls.a-c.
M. Engelmann, Das Meisterstück eines Münchener Renaissance-Uhrmachers, in: Der Kunstwanderer I, October 1919.
E. Nuemann, Die Tischuhr des Jeremias Metzker von 1564 und ihre nächste Verwandten, in, Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien, 57, 1961 p. 96.
J. H. Leopold, Die grosse astronomische Tischuhr des Johann Reinhold, Lucerne 1974, p. 64 and note 60

Lot 261 Estimate Dfl. 75,000-100,000
Lot 261 Showing the works

Lot 261 ANDREAS HEINESCH, AUGSBURG. AN IMPOSING HIGH QUALITY GILT METAL GERMAN HEXAGONAL CLOCK, the original gilt brass movement frame now fitted with later going and striking trains but with some original wheels remaining, the six panels of the case supported by pillars, and each with dials, two lacking, one 24-hour dial with astrolabe with silver dial below for the days of the week with enamelled symbols, the reverse with two times 12 in roman numerals with outer circle of arabic minute numerals and containing 24-hour dial I-Z4 and further inner silver dial similarly engraved, later month of the year circle below, the silver dial for indicating the form of striking engraved at the edge Andreas Heinesch, Avgvsta Vacet Vrlo, the bells for the striking contained within arcaded galleries surmounted by a domed cover, the flared base with ogee border and bearing on one facet two punchmarks for the Augsburg Guild, height overall 440 mm. circa 1600

Lot 262 Estimate Dfl. 40,000-60,000

262 A GERMAN GILT METAL HEXAGONAL TABLE CLOCK, with 19th Century striking movement replacing the original movement, the original frame pillars remaining, the dial panel with silver chapter ring with roman numerals centred with a champlevé enamel panel, the quarter dial below similarly decorated, the reverse with dial for the hour striking and quarter striking dial below, the remainder of the panels in the form of glazed arches with engraved decoration and supported by pillars, the bell for the striking contained within a flared pierced band with applied cast decoration with drum above with further cast decoration and terminating in a finial with sphere for night and day, the flared base with landscape vignettes and strapwork decoration in relief, raised on six cast gilt metal pomegranate feet, height 430 mm. early 17th Century

Lot 263 Estimate Dfl. 75,000-100,000

263 SAMUEL HAUG, AUGSBURG. A GERMAN GILT METAL STANDING TABLE CLOCK, the gilded posted movement with brass trains fusee and chain for the going train, verge escapement, converted to pendulum, alarum train lacking, the plate carrying the punchmarks SAHA flanking the Augsburg pineapple mark, the dial with roman numerals, dial below for the quarters, the back of the case with striking dials for the hours and quarters, the flared base and panels decorated with formal punched decoration, surmounted by a three-tiered arcaded gallery containing the bells, within a balustrade, one side lacking, with turned finials at the corners, the whole raised on four winged lions’ paw feet, height overall 460 mm. early 17th Century

⁂ Formerly in the Feill Collection. See sale catalogue No. 47

Lot 264 Estimate Dfl. 340,000-520,000
Lot 264 Right-hand panel with dial with two revolving hands for the 12 or 24-hour striking, outer pendulum visible far left

264 HIERONYMUS SYX. A FINE RARE SOUTH GERMAN ASTROLABIC STRIKING CLOCK, the gilt metal case with detachable side panels to reveal the gilded movement with three trains plus alarum train, fusees with chains, signed on both plates Hieronymus Syx Augustae Vindelicorum, verge escapement with pendulum, the astrolabic dial with roman numerals I-XII twice repeated, the rete with fifteen fixed stars, above left, the dial to select 12 or 24-hour striking, to the right, the dial for strike/silent, at the bottom left, the dial for the Dominical Letter, containing winding square for the alarum, bottom right, a dial for the days of the week and corresponding symbols, the obverse with circles of chapters for the hours in roman numerals I-XII twice over, the quarters in roman numerals with intermediate arabic numerals and containing chapter rings for the variable Italian and Babylonian hours, the whole within a frame of a silver circle engraved with the months and the Saints’ Days, at the top left, a dial for the Golden Number, at the top right, a dial for the cycle of Indiction, at the bottom left, a dial for the alarum, contained within a circle of chapters for the hours and with revolving hand, at the right, a circle with the Signs and degrees of the Zodiac containing an adjustment pointer for setting the latitude for the variable hours, the left panel with dial and revolving hand for the quarter striking and the right hand panel with dial with two revolving hands for the 12 or 24-hour striking, all four panels of the case richly decorated with applied stylised floral decoration of silver in high relief, the tiers above containing the bells and similarly decorated, finials of red glass also with applied silver decoration, the whole surmounted by a kneeling figure of Atlas supporting a globe with revolving chapters for the hours, with a black hemisphere for the night hours, on cast flared base with beautifully chiselled floral decoration in relief and supporting cast dolphins surmounted by eagles’ heads at the corners, height to top of sphere 790 mm.

⁂ Born in 1680, Hieronymus Syx is documented as having completed this clock as a masterpiece in 1705.
The condition of the clock, both mechanically and superficially, is quite exceptionally good. A simple link for the 12-Z4 hour striking is lacking, but the clock appears to have undergone no modifications, or to have been abused or mutilated, as is all too common with complex Germanic clocks.
It obviously has not been subjected to the repeated cleaning and polishing that can result in the destruction of the detail finish of the applied decoration which remains unspoiled and almost complete.
Bibliography: Klaus Maurice, op. cit. Vol. II No. 247
Jurgen Abeler, Meister der Uhrmacherkunst Dusseldorf, 1977 p. 587

Lot 264 Left-hand panel with dial and revolving hand for the quarter striking, outer pendulum visible far right
Lot 264 Reverse view

Bibliography

KUNSTVEILINGEN SOTHEBY MAK VAN WAAY B.V., Catalogue 325: Clocks, Watches and Important Table Clocks, Thursday 2nd April 1981 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. precisely, Amsterdam: Sotheby Mak van Waay B.V. (1981). Illustrated catalogue in colour with a preface by the auction house. The catalogue lists seventeen pocket watches by Breguet.

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