Grant, Fleet Street, London. A fine and historically interesting 18K gold key wind open face chronometer pocket watch used and owned by the explorer James Weddell London Hallmark for 1811

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Lot 4
Grant, Fleet Street, London. A fine and historically interesting 18K gold key wind open face chronometer pocket watch used and owned by the explorer James Weddell
London Hallmark for 1811

Sold for £ 18,750 (US$ 23,352) inc. premium
Grant, Fleet Street, London. A fine and historically interesting 18K gold key wind open face chronometer pocket watch used and owned by the explorer James Weddell
Date: London Hallmark for 1811
Movement: Gilt engraved full plate, pivoted detent escapement, grotesque mask engraved balance cock, bi-metallic z-balance with large wedge form weights, helical balance spring, screwed chaton jewels including the fuse, diamond end stone, baluster pillars, No.3540
Dial: White, black Roman numerals, black outer minute divisions, subsidiary seconds at 6, gold spade hands
Case: Polished hinged, small cartouche with monogram to back, No.3540
Signed: Cuvette & movement signed Grant, case stamped LC for Louis Comptesse
Size: 53mm

Footnotes

  • James Weddell (1787-1834) was introduced to life at sea from an early age when he first became apprenticed aboard a coastal vessel. After spending time forging a successful career both on merchant ships and in the Navy he was appointed to command the brig Jane in 1819.

    One of Weddells most enduring legacies was his voyage into what is now known as the Weddell Sea where on the 20th February 1923 he successfully travelled more than three degrees of latitude further south than any ship had before. This equated to 214 nautical miles farther than the renowned Cook. A celebration amongst the men on board the Jane ensued with three cheers, a salute and the hoisting of colours to commemorate this momentous occasion and would certainly have been encouraged with an extra ration of grog.

    Weddell was particularly interested in scientific methods and although limited in his supply made good use of his nautical instruments, charting coasts and anchorages around the world. From the extensive records he kept it is known that he had three reliable chronometers - numbered 403, 820 and the current example of 3540. All three of these are recorded as deriving from James Murray of Murray and Strachan with the current example branded under the name of John Grant. His attention to detail is visible by observing the records he kept of Longitude noted on pages 239-276 of the accompanying text A Voyage Towards the South Pole. In fact throughout his report on that extraordinary trip the reference to chronometers show just how heavily Weddell and his crew relied on their accuracy.

    The provenance of the watch is further confirmed in Chronometer Makers of the World by Tony Mercer where on page 152 it states under John Grant (1796-1868) 'pocket 3540 (pocket with pivoted detent owned by Capt. James Weddell, the Antarctic explorer)'.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the following sentence should read as follows; "One of Weddells most enduring legacies was his voyage into what is now known as the Weddell Sea where on the 20th February 1823..."
Contacts
Grant, Fleet Street, London. A fine and historically interesting 18K gold key wind open face chronometer pocket watch used and owned by the explorer James Weddell London Hallmark for 1811
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