1905 Escapement Salesman Samples in Display Case

Value (2004) | $4,000 Retail$6,000 Retail

GUEST:
My aunt died and my sister and I went down to clean out her house, back in '91. And she was wanting to throw things away and I said no, I'll take it, because I like the craftsmanship. I have no idea what it is except I do know it has something to do with clocks, because it was given to her by a watchmaker.

APPRAISER:
Okay, we notice it came in this very utilitarian case.

GUEST:
Old case. Dirty case.

APPRAISER:
You can see it's probably been dragged around quite a bit. What these are, are salesman's samples.

GUEST:
Oh!

APPRAISER:
So here's the case, he's lugging them around all over the country. Over here it says: "C.E. DeLong, 1905."

GUEST:
Uh-huh.

APPRAISER:
So that's the person who made these. They're in this beautiful display case.

GUEST:
Uh-huh.

APPRAISER:
You know, beveled glass, nice wood cabinet. Each one of these are model escapements. Now an escapement is a device in a watch. After you wind it, it's communicating the energy through the main spring to the balance. Now, each one of these have balance wheels. These round circular brass objects. And that's the part that moves the lever when you hear the ticking in the watch. Now, we have four different types of escapements here. The first one is a cylinder escapement. The second one is a duplex escapement. The third one is a chronometer escapement. And the fourth one is a detached lever escapement. Now, there are advantages and disadvantages to each mechanism. So, as he would go out on the road and try to sell these, he would probably toot the horn of a particular one that cost more money.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
But they may opt to go for one that was less expensive. So these are exploded views of the movements that would eventually end up in watches. These are all handmade. And, you can see, once the load is released--

GUEST:
Uh-huh.

APPRAISER:
--the spring--

GUEST:
Ah, yes.

APPRAISER:
--the balance staff would move like that and the power would eventually be transmitted to turn the hands, so that we could tell time.

GUEST:
How fabulous.

APPRAISER:
Right.

GUEST:
Oh, that's good to know.

APPRAISER:
Now we got to get to the value.

GUEST:
Oh, I don't imagine it's worth anything, so...

APPRAISER:
All right, typically, a model escapement runs around $1,200 to $1,500. So we have four of them. And I feel very comfortable somewhere in the realm of $4,000 to $6,000.

GUEST:
(laughs) My sister's going to kill me. (both laugh) And she wanted to throw it away.

APPRAISER:
She might want to be partners. She may not want to kill you.

GUEST:
No! No way. (laughing) But who would buy it?

APPRAISER:
There are a lot of watch and clock collectors who have a lot of interest in salesman samples. It's a unique thing to have on the shelf, you know, of your store or your shop. All right, thanks so much.

GUEST:
Good. Well, thank you! I had no idea that was worth anything.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Doyle New York
New York, NY
Appraised value (2004)
$4,000 Retail$6,000 Retail
Event
Reno, NV (August 14, 2004)
Period
20th Century
Material
Metal, Wood

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