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Circa 1885 Baseball Waltham Pocket Watch
Starting Bid - $800.00, Sold For - $4,640.00
The exquisite nature of this finely crafted pocket watch, featuring a detailed color illustration of a ballplayer positioned at each hour mark, distinguishes it as one of the premier generic baseball pieces of the 1880s. Crafted by the Waltham Watch Company, one of the most prominent watch manufacturers of the era, the aesthetics of the timepiece are accentuated by an ivory white porcelain face measuring 1.75 inches in diameter. Located at each hour mark are individual illustrations of ballplayers depicted in a variety of poses, including batting, throwing, catching, sliding and fielding. A crossed bat motif in the center of the facing displays a banner reading "Waltham." The company name ("American Waltham Watch Co.") is also lettered directly above the independent second hand. Engraved along the reverse is a finely detailed rendering of a speeding locomotive. This watch was almost certainly specially commissioned as a presentation piece, most likely to commemorate the retirement of railroad employee, as the few other examples of this watch that we have ever seen did not include the engraving on the reverse. (Note: This watch is extremely rare. We have seen only three examples of the Waltham baseball watch during the past thirty-five years, and have not seen an example available for approximately ten years). The American Waltham Watch Co., located in Waltham, Massachusetts, is famous for being the first company to mass produce watches in America. The company was founded in 1851 as the "American Horologue Company" and went through a number of name changes before adopting the American Waltham Watch Co. name in the early 1860s. The company remained in business for over one hundred years before closing its doors permanently in 1957. Despite the fact that the company was known for mass produced watches, it also created watches of exceedingly high quality. The offered piece is one such example and adheres to the finest standards of workmanship at the time. As such, it was quite expensive, available only to the most affluent members of society. Holding this watch in one's hand, it is impossible not to take note of its heavy weight, and be impressed with its fine craftsmanship and folk art qualities. This is an extraordinary timepiece of the highest quality. The glass front has a few very light scratches and the watch exhibits only normal light wear from handling. It is in Excellent condition overall. With reference to its internal mechanics, the watch runs intermittently and is most likely in need of minor adjustment by a qualified repairperson. This is an exceptional display piece that has great appeal to collectors in both the fields of baseball memorabilia and nineteenth-century timepieces. Reserve $800. Estimate $1,500/$3,000+. SOLD FOR $4,640.00
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