John Bushman Pocket Watch, ca. 1700
Appraised Value: $4,000 - $6,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:50)
Clocks & Watches, Jewelry
Doyle New York
GUEST: This watch was in my grandma's dresser for her whole life. She said it belonged to her father, my great-grandfather, who was born on Christmas Day, 1865. Um, other than that, I don't really know much about it. It looks silver, because it looks tarnished. But other than that...
APPRAISER: Well, you're right about that. It is silver. If silver oxidizes, it gets this nice, dark patina to it. You could polish it, but we don't recommend that. We like it when it has this nice dark toning.
APPRAISER: This watch is made by a gentleman named John Bushman. He was from London. He was part of the watchmakers guild. He was in business from around 1687 to 1710. The first thing we notice about the watch is, it is missing the crystal. The crystals tend to be very heavily domed. Also, this is the main case of the watch. It would usually be found inside of another protective case, or what we call a pear case.
GUEST: Yeah, that, that's all we have.
APPRAISER: That's okay. This, you know, you got the meat of it. The dial is very typical of his type of work, where he would have openings on the dial. And in here you can see the little pendulum. This little wheel over here with a very small key?
GUEST: Yeah. That's a regulator setting. In other words, if you had to retard it or advance it for the time. Now we're going to take the watch... And you can see it exposes a very nice French enamel portrait. We don't know who this person is. I don't know if you know who he is.
GUEST: No idea.
APPRAISER: But the enamel is very nice. Now we're going to talk about the movement a little bit. You can see this little hand-pierced ornament. This also dates the watch to 1665-1725. Many famous watchmakers of the period were using that type of pierced ornament. And if we rotate the watch around a little bit, you'll see over here, we have these Egyptian-style pillars. The pillars are all around the movement holding the plates together. They also date the watch to that period. I wanted to point out right over here we have what they call a contrate wheel. This is part of what they call the verge escapement. And if we rotate around just a little bit more, right inside of here is what they call the crown wheel, because it looks like a crown. Two important wheels to the operation of a verge escapement. He has some watches in museums-- one of them, most notably, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. And, uh, we feel that this watch here today at auction would most likely bring somewhere between $4,000 and $6,000.
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