This elaborately cased Breguet quarter-striking clock mounted with a half quarter striking gold watch has beaten its own record as the highest-priced clock ever sold at auction.
It fetched $6m (£3.92m) as the highlight of
Sotheby's December 4 horological auction in New York,
surpassing the previous high of $5.25m (then £3.24m), set when it
appeared in the same rooms as part of the landmark 1999 sale of
Masterpieces from the Time Museum of Rockford, Illinois.
The buyer, a private museum, is thought to
be the Patek Philippe Museum where it had been on display from 2001
The clock was made for the Duc d'Orléans for
his Pavillon de Marsan in Paris and delivered in 1836 (it was
offered with a facsimile certificate recording the sale).
It has one of Breguet's complicated
mechanisms known as a Sympathique and is the most complex of that
type, being the only known Sympathique that is able to wind, set to
time and regulate its accompanying watch via an integrated cradle
set in the pediment.
The 23in (59cm) high case is also worthy of
a Royal patron, being veneered in red tortoiseshell boullework and
applied with rich ormolu mounts.
The buyer's premium was 25/20/12%.