Gold Hunter-cased E. Howard & Co. Watches, ca. 1885
These watches used to belong to my son-in-law. I inherited them from him, and he passed away about a year and a half ago. I didn't know a whole lot about them. I believe he got them from a guy in Ohio. He had been collecting pocket watches and case pocket knives for years. I think at one time, he probably had 500 watches.
That's quite a collection. These are watches that were made by E. Howard and Company. Now, Edward Howard was a very important figure in American watchmaking. He was one of the founders of the great watch factories outside of Boston. And Howard watches are always very highly regarded. These are both beautiful examples of American gold work, but they're also industrial design at its very, very best. When you went to buy a watch back then-- and these date from perhaps the 1880s or so-- you could pick and choose a lot of the components of the watch. So these are Howard movements, but they're in very, very special cases. On the right here is a box hinge multicolored case. It's a typically American case. If we open up the watch itself and look at the dial, we can see that it's a very fancy painted dial. This is an extra feature that you would have in the watch. Not only that, the watch is decorated with diamonds, and is about as heavy as you would want a watch to carry. The same thing is true of this particular watch in a scallop shell case. If we open it up, we can see it's got a black dial, which is very, very rare. Now, the thing that sets these watches apart is not so much the fact that they're Howards. Howard has a number of very, very rare watches, which are made only in a few examples. These were actually made in the tens of thousands of examples. They're beautiful watches, they're quite desirable, collectors like them very much, but it's the cases that make these very, very special. Not only are the cases particularly heavy and well-decorated, but they're in beautiful mint condition. They're two of the very best American watch cases you're likely to run across. I would say that each of these watches, as a pre-sale auction estimate, should have an estimate of around $8,000 to $10,000.
Each. Which compares to an ordinary Howard that's worth perhaps $2,000 or $3,000.
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