An unusual late Victorian silver pocket watch by Herbert Blockley of London sold for an unexpected £2800 at Potteries Auctions (20% buyer’s premium) in Stoke-on- Trent.
Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Roland Arkell
A clue to its origins is the screw-off cap to the winder.
Timekeepers such as this, with heavy duty waterproof cases, are known as the Royal Geographical Society pattern ‘explorers’ watch.
Made from the last decade of the 19th century (the case to this one is hallmarked 1899) they were supplied by the Clerkenwell watchmaker Usher & Cole to the retailer Herbert Blockley of 41 Duke Street, St James’s.
Many were sold to the Royal Geographical Society and to private clients.
The watch had been estimated at £200-300 at the sale on March 14-15.
Top-seller among the 840 lots of ceramics at the 1400-lot sale was a sumptuous pair of Coalport urns and covers.
The 16½in (42cm) tall vases titled The Fair Musician and Sunny Climes were each signed T. Keeling, for Thomas Keeling who worked at the factory in the early 1900s, and bore the crown mark and Tiffany & Co New York with whom the Shropshire maker had a long connection.
The Sunny Climes vase had a 6in (15cm) firing crack to the inside rim, a 3in (8cm) hairline crack and a chip to the finial, but the pair sold toward high estimate at £3600.
From the same period and aimed at the same market was a Minton vase by Albion Birks, specialist in the pâté-sur-pâté technique.
Decorated with a classical vignette depicting an archery lesson between Venus and Cupid, the 7½in (19cm) tall vase quadrupled the estimate to sell at £2800.