Lot #3308 Breguet 1747 – 1823 Book By Sir David Lionel Salomons
Estimate: $500 – $800
Very rare “Breguet (1747 – 1823)” by Sir David Lionel Salomons, London, printed in 1921. Illustrated with over 150 photographic reproductions and other plates, 233 pages. Pages 116 to the end are all plates, each with a tissue guard. Depicts the front and movements of Breguet pocket watches and clocks. Text in English. A biography and exhaustive reference on the work of a great French watchmaker.
Sir David Salomons (1851-1925) a philanthropist, scientist, first director of the City of London Electric Lighting Company, and Member of Parliament for Kent England, was the greatest Breguet collector and historian ever. In his lifetime, he compiled an astounding collection of Breguets, most importantly the Marie-Antoinette skeletonized masterpiece. When he wrote his seminal book in 1921, he owned 87 fine examples and had “weeded out” dozens of less important pieces. After its publication, he continued to collect, amassing 124 pieces. Upon his death, he donated 57 to Jerusalem`s Museum of Islamic Art (which was built by his daughter Vera), and his wife inherited the rest. In 1963, she walked into Sothebys London to arrange the auction of the remaining pieces, wherein a department assistant shooed her away. He simply wouldn`t believe that this old lady had 67 genuine watches by A-L. Breguet. They were subsequently sold by Christie`s in three sales between 1964 and 1965.