The first sale of Masterworks of Time series, that have a global estimate of £11m-20m, includes 160 lots with extra items offered as part of Sotheby’s Treasures sale the following day.
The First Space Traveller watch made in 1982 by the pre-eminent horologist of the 20th century George Daniels tops the sale with an estimate of £700,000-1m but it will be complemented by antique pieces by British and Continental makers from Edward East to Charles Frodsham.
A group of Renaissance and later clocks include this 10in (25cm) ‘masterpiece’ clock, made in Augsburg c.1720 by Johann Peter Mayr (estimate £25,000-40,000). Very little is known about Mayr: only one other piece by him – a watch dated 1740 – is recognised.
However, this quarter striking table clock, with astrolabic and calendar dials was testament to his skill.
According to the rules of the Augsburg Clockmakers Guild, clockmakers were permitted to trade in the city only after a sufficient apprenticeship had been served and a ‘masterpiece’ clock such as this made within six months to exacting specifications, approved by committee.