11-03-2005 11-03-2005
Skinner Auctions
Skinner Auctions Bolton MA
November 3, 2005 10:00 AMCalender

Silver and Tortoiseshell Pair Sun and Moon Watch by Henry Harper

Auction: Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 2314 Location: Bolton Date / Time: November 03, 2005 10:00AM


Silver and Tortoiseshell Pair Sun and Moon Watch by Henry Harper, 17th / 18th century, with gilt verge movement signed Hen. Harper, London, the balance cock finely-pierced and engraved with intertwining foliate motifs in border incorporating two stylized dogs' heads, three-arm balance, five pierced dolphin motif pillars, 1 1/2-inch chased silver dial signed Harper, London, with upper sector Roman numerals for the hours, Arabic numerals for minutes, lower sector decorated with two heraldic birds beneath aperture for rotating champleve sun and moon in gold and silver respectively, polished inner case with initials SB, and outer case of tortoiseshell inlaid with silver wire in garland of floriate clusters around a central architectural motif, (hand missing, defects).
Note: Henry Harper was an apprentice to Humphrey Pierce, becoming a freeman or the Clockmakers' Company in 1664 and one of the Court of Assistants of the Company in 1682. He died in 1708.
Provenance: By family descent from William Olive, believed to have been an early owner of the watch. Olive emigrated from England to New Brunswick, where he ran a shipyard and supported the Loyalist cause. Lot 1245 in Skinner's May 2005 sale of Mechanical Music, Science & Technology (an equinoctial ring dial by George Adams) also originally belonged to a William Olive, a ship-builder from Chatham, England, who moved with the United Empire Loyalists in 1783 to New Brunswick, where he became port-master of the St. John River. Although consigned by different families in the Northeast, it seems likely that both the watch and the dial were brought to Canada in the late 18th century by the same man.
Estimate $3,000-5,000


Henry Harper, William Olive, London, Moon Watch, Tortoiseshell Pair Sun, Court of Assistants, Clockmakers' Company, Humphrey Pierce, United Kingdom, early owner , Mechanical Music, George Adams, Chatham, John River