Edward Prior specialised in producing watches for the Ottoman market and an example in exceptional condition recently appeared at a sale held at the Canterbury Auction Galleries.
Incorporating fine verge movements with pierced and scrolled balance cocks and pillars, these watches appeal primarily for their case decoration - white enamel dials with Turkish numerals and 'beetle and poker' hands and outer cases of silver and tortoiseshell.
Hallmarked for 1866 and numbered 76977, this example was relatively late (Prior is recorded working in London from 1800-68)
In superb condition retaining all three typical elements of the case, but also including a profusely engraved white metal cover of Ottoman manufacture, it sold for £3100 at the auction on February 12 against an estimate of £1500-2000.
The price compares favourably with a similar Edward Prior watch in poorer condition seen a fortnight later at Lockdales of Ipswich on February 27-29. With a cracked dial, this earlier watch assayed for 1815 and numbered 52169 took a more typical £800.
The buyer's premium was 20%