Published: January 20, 2004
The Theodor Beyer private collection was auctioned recently by Antiquorum at the elegant Petit Palais of the Hotel Baur au Lac.
The unique sale represented more than 40 years of Beyer’s passion for clock and watch collecting. Antiquorum said that since all the pieces in the sale were of exceptional quality, it was not surprising that many pieces achieved four or five times their estimate. The 143 pieces sold at the auction achieved 145 percent of estimation, making a total of $4,164,470.
René Beyer, son of Theodor Beyer, commented, “I’m most delighted with the results. Friends, competitors and those that knew my father and his reputation have all been able to buy one or even three or four pieces from his collections – which is exactly what my father intended. The auction has been a great social event — a real family affair. An added benefit has been that all those that purchased a piece have also received a certificate of authenticity of the Theodor Beyer Private Collection.”
Virtually all the important watch museums were represented (the Breguet Museum, the Vacheron Constantin Museum, the Watch Museum of La Chaux-de-Fond, the Musée de l’Horologie de Geneve and several Swiss private museums), and all of them were bidding actively along with the many private collectors from around the world.
Stars of the sale included Charles Oudin, “Eleve de Breguet, rue Vivienne no. 7,” dated 1806. The exceptionally fine and rare 20K gold double-barrel self-winding perpetual watch made for the Exposition des produits de l’industrie francaise in 1806-1807, achieved $250,750.
The Theater by Henry Capt a Genève, no. 309, circa 1815, a highly important and exceptionally rare 18K gold and enamel musical automaton with concealed erotic automaton scene, sold for $126,690.
Du Bois & Comp. (Locle), a highly important and extremely rare 18K gold rose gold key-wound pocket chronometer, brought $383,080.
Frederic Couvoisier, La Chaux-de-Fonds, an exceptionally fine and rare 18K gold hunting-cased keyless pocket chronometer, achieved $168,045, while Edouard Jean Richard, Le Locle, circa 1925, a very fine and rare 18K hunting-cased keyless astronomical minute repeating carillon watch with Westminster chimes, fetched $89,470.
A Patek Philippe & Cie, Genève, Ref 961 made in 1989 and sold to Beyer August 24, 1990, was a rare 18K gold keyless astronomical minute-repeating pocket chronometer with instantaneous perpetual calendar. It made $217,670.
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