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Circa 1904 Baseball Waltham Pocket Watch
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $11,750
Addendum. Please Note - We have revised the date of this watch from circa 1885 to circa 1904 as per the technical description provided by DeMesy Fine Watches in Dallas, Tx.
The exquisite nature of this finely crafted gold-filled 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 dating from the turn of the century. 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. 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. This watch is extremely rare. We have seen only four examples of the Waltham baseball watch during the past thirty-five years. The American Waltham Watch Co., which was 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 and 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 and highly collectible as both a timepiece and a piece of baseball memorabilia. In fact, our consignor purchased it in 2003 not from a sports auction house, but from DeMesy Fine Watches in Dallas, Texas. Because of its crossover appeal, we are including the technical description of the watch, including condition, provided by DeMesy: "Baseball Game American Waltham Watch Co., No. 11316409, Model 1883, Grade No. 18, circa 1904. Fine and rare, gold-filled, hunting-cased, keyless watch with unusual dial. Case Description: Four-body, 'bassine,' by B&B, triple-hinged, decorated with floral pattern against engine turning, hinged cuvette. Dial Description: White enamel, every hour painted with a baseball player in a different posture, elegant small Roman numerals on the outermost, inner minute track, sunk sub-seconds. Blued steel 'Spade' hands. Signed American Waltham Watch Co. Very faint hairline at 9 o'clock. Movement Description: 18 size, nickel, full plate, elaborately damascened, lateral counterpoised lever escapement, cut-bimetallic compensation balance with blued steel Breguet balance spring. Signed American Waltham Watch Co., Serial #11316409. Usual light surface scratches. Additional Comments: Signed on dial and movement. Diameter 54 mm." This is an exceptional display piece that has great appeal to collectors in both the fields of baseball memorabilia and nineteenth-century timepieces. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000+. SOLD FOR $11,750
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