Sotheby’s to offer timepieces from Sir David Lionel Salomons’ private collection

The auction will feature three watches made by famed watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet, from the private collection of world-renowned British engineer and barrister Sir David Lionel Salomons, currently housed in Jerusalem’s L.A.Mayer Museum

September 16, 2020: Sotheby’s, in a very unique auction, is offering a piece of history. Three  exquisite Breguet watches are up for bidding in the Sotheby’s London Watches sale on October 28, 2020. 

Prince Regent's Breguet pocket watch

The three Breguet pieces come originally from the private collection of Sir David Lionel Salomons (1851-1925), a British engineer and industrialist who was instrumental in the development of electricity, motor cars and many mechanical inventions at the end of the 19th century. He amassed the world's largest private collection of Breguet watches and clocks, comprising 124 pieces. Upon his death, the most important pieces passed on to his daughter, Vera Frances Bryce Salomons who, in 1969, founded the L.A. Mayer Museum in Jerusalem and bequeathed her father’s watch collection to the institution. 

Abraham-Louis Breguet, the celebrated watchmaker, created watches for the crowned heads and elites of Europe in the early 19th century. The watch auction will be spearheaded by three important watches made by Abraham-Louis Breguet - The Prince Regent’s Resonance watch, The Duc de Praslin's “Perpétuelle” and Princess Murat’s Thermometer Watch. 

Princess Murat's Breguet pocket watch

The Prince Regent’s Resonance Watch (Est. £400,000-600,000) is a very rare experimental gold precision watch purchased by the Prince Regent (later George IV) in 1818. One of the most expensive watches ever sold by Breguet for £350 (7,200 francs), it was the first ever watch featuring Breguet’s greatest discoveries applying the principle of resonance (based on the theory of two oscillating bodies placed in close proximity) to a watch movement. 

The “Perpétuelle” (Est. £250,000 - 350,000) was owned by Breguet’s long-time friend and supporter, the Duc of Praslin. Sold for 4000 francs in 1792, it is one of the most complicated self-winding watches ever made by Breguet. The watch combines chronometer escapement and dial displays, days of the week state of winding and a thermometer. 

The Duc of Praslin's Breguet pocket watch

The third Breguet timepiece is the thermometer watch (Est. £200,000 - 300,000) created for Princess Murat, better known as Caroline Bonaparte (1782-1839), the younger sister of Napoleon. The watch, sold to the Princess in 1807, boasts a complex but elegantly executed arrangement with its gold engine-turned dial displaying day, date, month and, unusually, the year and a quarter repeater. Princess Murat was a loyal patron of the Parisian watchmaker for whom he also created one of the first ever wristwatches. 

The Sotheby’s London Watches sale is a part of a series of two sales featuring select works from the Collection of the L.A. Mayer Museum including Islamic art, vertu and watches. 

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