Charles Frodsham. A fine and interesting 18ct gold bracelet watch specially commissioned for the composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji Circa 1937
Lot 258
Charles Frodsham. A fine and interesting 18ct gold bracelet watch specially commissioned for the composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji Circa 1937
Sold for £5,000 (US$ 8,404) inc. premium
Lot Details
Charles Frodsham. A fine and interesting 18ct gold bracelet watch specially commissioned for the composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji
Circa 1937
Jewelled 3/4 plate keyless wind English lever movement signed Charles Frodsham and with date code 010351 AdFmsz, signed gold engine turned dial rotated 90 degrees and with black Roman numerals and outer five minute divisions, subsidiary seconds at 6 but located at the 3 o'clock position, blued steel Breguet hands, screwed-secure crown flanking by the setting button, polished round case with hinged back and engraved personal monogrammed and dated back, snap on cuvette within, fitted brick link bracelet with locking clasp, case, dial and movement signed

Footnotes

  • Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji (1892-1988) was an enormously prolific and largely self-taught composer, who completed over 100 works between 1915 and 1984, many for piano solo. Some were published between 1919 and 1931, but much of his music remains for the time being in manuscript only. Several of his works are of extraordinary length and difficulty, making them inaccessible to most musicians.

    He was an exceptionally private individual and yet remained in the public eye by publishing a wide variety of articles, reviews, "letters-to-the-editor" in English journals, and essays such as 'Around Music' (1932) and 'Mi Contra Fa: The Immoralisings of a Machiavellian Musician' (1947).

    The London hallmark is for 1937, when Kaikhosru Sorabji probably purchased the watch circa 1937/38 as a special commission from Frodshams. The personal monomark of 'BM'on the reverse of the watch was registered in 1934.

    Noticeably and unusually (as it was originally intended for a pocket watch) the movement for this watch is mounted with the winder at 12. Had Frodshams or Sorabji decided that subsidiary seconds were not necessary, then the dial could have been turned through 90 degrees so that the dial read correctly for a wristwatch. We can only assume therefore that in fact the watch was requested with seconds indication. Having said that, there is a further speculative theory that should be considered. As musicians often remove their wristwatches whilst playing instruments, perhaps this watch was placed on the top edge of the piano for timing reference purposes. If a conventionally dialled watch is thus placed the bracelet or strap hangs down, and as such there is a likely hood that the watch will slip off the piano.
Activities
Contacts
  1. Kate Lacey
    Specialist - Watches
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7468 8301
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 8370
  2. Paul Maudsley
    Specialist - Watches
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7447 7412
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 8370