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Samuel & Son. A highly unusual and rare 18K gold half hunter case minute repeating grande and petite sonnerie perpetual calendar keyless lever clock watch with phases of the moon, made for the Turkish Market
Samuel & Son. A highly unusual and rare 18K gold half hunter case minute repeating grande and petite sonnerie perpetual calendar keyless lever clock watch with phases of the moon, made for the Turkish Market

SIGNED A. SAMUEL & SON, LONDON, NO. 6592, 1900

Details
Samuel & Son. A highly unusual and rare 18K gold half hunter case minute repeating grande and petite sonnerie perpetual calendar keyless lever clock watch with phases of the moon, made for the Turkish Market
Signed A. Samuel & Son, London, No. 6592, 1900
With three quarter plate gilt-finished jewelled lever movement, bimetallic compensation balance with gold poising screws, minute repeating and en passant grande and petite sonnerie striking on two polished steel hammers onto two gongs, gold cuvette, the white enamel dial with Roman numerals, four subsidiary dials indicating Arabic month combined with leap year indicator, Arabic day display, date and phases of the moon combined with constant seconds, in engine-turned circular massive case with inlaid black enamel Roman numerals to the aperture in the front, the back centred by an engraved shield-shaped cartouche, two levers for strike/silent, quarters/hours sonnerie underneath the bezel, repeating slide in the band, case and cuvette numbered, stamped EN for Emile Nicole and with London date letter for 1900, dial and movement signed A. Samuel & Son
57 mm. diam.

Lot Essay

Accompanied by a custom made 18K gold presentation box in form of a horseshoe with finely chases and embossed scroll and foliage decoration in high relief, the hinged cover depicting the same blank cartouche as on the reverse of the watch, stamped with casemaker's initials HS possibly for H. Samuel and London date letter for 1900.

A. Samuel & Son are listed in The Directory of Gold & Silversmiths, Jewellers & Allied Traders 1838-1914 by John Culme, Volume 1, p. 402, as "manufacturers of keyless and other watches, also importers of Geneva watches. By 1897 they are listed as watch manufacturers at 94 Hatton Garden, EC".

Nicole Nielsen
Towards the end of the Victorian era and for the first 30 years of the 20th Century Nicole, Nielsen & Co. crafted some of the finest and most complicated English watches ever made.

In 1839 Adolphe Nicole and Jules Capt, both talented Swiss watchmakers, set up business in London at 80B Dean Street. The firm later moved to 14 Soho Square where it remained until the company finally closed in 1934. Nicole & Capt were highly successful and won medals in many international exhibitions such as Paris in 1855 and 1867, Philadelphia in 1878 and Sydney in 1879. In 1876 Jules Capt died and in the same year his place as partner was filled by the Danish-born watchmaker Sophus Emil Nielsen and the company became Nicole, Nielsen & Co. By 1880 the company was being run by Nielsen. They specialised in making super-complicated keyless watches often incorporating specifications such as perpetual calendar, chronograph, split seconds chronograph, repetition, temperature, equation of time and their most famous escapement; the Nicole Nielsen tourbillon. Invented by Breguet (1747-1823), the tourbillon is an escapement that revolves so that the balance pallets and escape wheel move through all the vertical positions in a given time period, usually once every minute. Delicate, expensive and fascinating to observe the tourbillon was Nicole, Nielsen's specialty. The Company designed their own tourbillon carriage, instantly recognisable and revered by collectors.

Many of their best watches were made for top retailers such as Smith & Sons, founded circa 1851, one of London's leading firms for high quality and complicated watches at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.
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