The Art of American Horology & Colle...

New York, Nov 28, 2001

LOT 397

"A Conundrum"Ilbery, London, No. 7091, made for the Chinese Market, circa 1850.Very fine and rare, 18K gold, painted on enamel, pearl-set, center-seconds watch with duplex escapement.

USD 30,000 - 34,000

Sold: USD 29,900

C. double-body," Empire", the back cover with a very finely painted scene of a lady faced with the choice between a wealthy old man holding a jewelery chest with a young boy in front of him holding a crown on a red pillow, and a handsome young troubadour, the bezels, pendant, and bow set with pearls, gilt hinged cuvette. D. white enamel, Roman numerals, outer minute and seconds divisions with fifteen-minute/seconds Arabic markers. Gold "spoon" hands. M. 50 mm, gilt brass, entirely engraved "Chinse" bridge caliber, standing barrel, ruby duplex escapement, five-arm plain steel jeweled balance, blued steel flat balance-spring.Diam. 60 mm.

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Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 2

Very good

Movement: 2

Very good

Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original


Movement signed.William Ilbery, London (circa 1760-1839)Active in London from 1780 in Goswell Street, he moved to Duncan Terrace towards the end of the century. Like James Cox in London and Jaquet-Droz in Switzerland, he specialized in the production of luxury watches for the Chinese Market. His early production was very much in the English style featuring full plate movements and an English type single wheel duplex escapement. Later, he used the standard bridge caliber with free-standing barrel, also called the "Chinese" caliber. His watch cases wersumptuously decorated by the best Genevan enamelers, such as Jean-Francois-Victor Dupont. The company was active for several years after his death