Masterpieces from the Timemuseum, Part IV

Discussion in 'Horological Books' started by Fortunat Mueller-Maerki, Sep 23, 2004.

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  1. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    Aug 25, 2000
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    Just got the three volume set of aucton catalogs for October 13/15 inb New York at Sotheby's.

    I predict that this box set will become an collectors item in its own right. There are over 1000 lots, about 1300 timepieces. Many described in detail, a total of over 700 pages.

    Catalogs available at www.sothebys.com

    Not cheap but well worth having in ones reference library.

    The top piece is Mudge's green chronometer for 1.5 to $2.5million estimate. Also Harrisons wooden movement tallcase for $500'000 to 1 Million, and many more.
     
  2. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    Aug 25, 2000
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    Just got the three volume set of aucton catalogs for October 13/15 inb New York at Sotheby's.

    I predict that this box set will become an collectors item in its own right. There are over 1000 lots, about 1300 timepieces. Many described in detail, a total of over 700 pages.

    Catalogs available at www.sothebys.com

    Not cheap but well worth having in ones reference library.

    The top piece is Mudge's green chronometer for 1.5 to $2.5million estimate. Also Harrisons wooden movement tallcase for $500'000 to 1 Million, and many more.
     
  3. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Fortunat, the numbering starts at 500 because of the pre-sale on Tuesday of miscellaneous source items.

    There are a lot more items than the 674 lots since the American watch stuff is sold by the box full and the library is a single lot. :frown:

    I really did want Marsh's little pamphlet on early Waltham.

    It is interesting that they are scheduling the sale for fewer than 50 lots per hour. The last day in particular has only 77 lots in the morning and 74 in the afternoon each of which are nominally 2 hours sessions.
     
  4. Modersohn

    Modersohn Registered User

    Nov 15, 2003
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    Shouldn't everything possible be done to have the nawcc library (or nawcc) buy the library, esp if it's being sold as a lot:???:

    What if anything can be done ?

    Mo
     
  5. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    I have requested and gotten the detailed list of what is in the "Library lot" of the sale. The list is a bit of a mess , although there are about 2'500 items in the lot, the list lists only about 1500 individually.

    A cursory inspection shows that the vast majority of books are already owned by the NAWCC Library, but to go through the list item by item (especially because the Sotheby list has many inaccuracies and typos) would be several days worth of work.

    If we could get the lot at a reasonable price the issue then becomes who would handle the work of disposing of the 2000plus unneeded items in a cost effective and proftitable way.

    I personally face the same dilemma regarding my own library there may be a hundred items in the lot I would really like myself, plus a similar number which would be nice to own, but what to do with the 2000plus other items.

    The no-conflict of interest rules that govern my relationship with the Library say that the Library has a right of first refusal to buy any book I aquire at my cost. But with a big lot purchase this becomes tricky, because presumably they would want only some of the items, but then how does one proice the individual items fairly.

    Any comments and thoughts are appreciated.

    Fortunat Mueller-MAerki
    Vice Chair NAtioanl Watch And Clock Library
     
  6. WatchDoc

    WatchDoc Guest

    Just received my set also. This is one of the best catalogs to date from Sotheby's. It is oversized, with much more detailed descriptions of the lots than one is accostumed to find in their catalogs. The photography alone is worth getting it, IMHO. The price at $120 is somewhat steep, since you will probably be able to find it on ebay for less than half that after the auction.

    The library lot has over 2800 items!! If there is no interest from NAWCC to get this lot, is there any interest among any chapters? Any interest among members to come together to bid on this? I hope I'm not stepping out of bounds of the rules of this board, but if there is a clock collector out there who is interested in getting the clock part of this horological library, I wouldnt mind joining forces to get this lot (since I'm interested only in watches and not clocks :) The problem for me is the same as already mentioned above - I would have to find a way to sell over half the inventory if I were to get it. The only solution that I can think of it to take the boxes of books to the next regional; or painfully list each item on ebay.

    Dave Ayar
     
  7. Modersohn

    Modersohn Registered User

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    Disposition of books that the library (or Fortunat) don't want seems to me a secondary issue--the bridge to be crossed when we get there. If the books are within financial reach, I'm sure a process can be found to by which to sell them--even without Ebay.

    Fortunat, what's the estimated price? what price do you think they'll go for, approximately? I can't believe there aren't nawcc members who would contribute to a fund--I know I would, because even if only 500 of the books are useful, it's still a lot of books.

    Of course, I'm more disturbed that a collection of timepieces of such uniqueness and value will more from a museum, and also from being together, which also benefits scholars, to private collections. Am I the only person who has this concern? I haven't heard any comment? Is there a reason it's not a loss, that I don't know. I don't know much about the Time Museum.

    Could someone explain the present relationship between AWI and Nawcc?

    Also, when you say go through a list of 2000 books--what's involved in "going through" ? Do you mean going through and pricing them individually?

    Jessica
     
  8. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    Let us just say: I will make sure thjat, if the bidding on the lot stays within reasonable limits, some of the items in the book lot will end up in Columbia.

    I spent the afternoon today examining each of the 2800 items, which stretch from Books selling elsewhere for hundreds of dollars to little 4 page pamphlets of very little value. Nummerically most items are loose magazines, (or bound volumes of magazines, but few major unbroken runs of magazines) or auction catalogs etc,
     
  9. Mr Horology,

    What specific books does the museum library need from the auction?

    I know someone who has many horological books and he might have some duplicates.

    Barry
     
  10. Bill Ward

    Bill Ward Registered User
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    I don't know if the offer still holds, but I understand that a subscription to Sotheby's catalog includes the boxed set from the Time Museum auction, and cost only about $70.
     
  11. Modersohn

    Modersohn Registered User

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    Let us know how it goes! I'm extremely curious to hear all about it.

    Jessica
     
  12. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Bill,

    I did not have the subscription last year, but I believe it was around $240. It is still a bargain with the inclusion of the Time Museum Sale Catalog.

    The auction was interesting today. The morning was usually considered rather high. In the afternoon, the Mudge Green and the Berthoud #8 chronometer went very low.
     
  13. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    Thr boxed set of three catalogs can be had walk-in at SOthebeys for $120 this week, but I heard rummors that suplies are running low. It is more if you order it by phone or on the web.


    Fortunat
     
  14. Bill Ward

    Bill Ward Registered User
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    I probably should have remarked that the information on the subscription price came second-hand; my informant was advised on this ploy by the girl taking telephone orders for the catalog. I, unfortunately, paid the full $120, which at least includes postage. For those who did purchase the catalog and failed to ask for a price listing (or who can't wait) the realized prices are available on the website. They seem to be in round numbers; is the bidding proceeding in $1000 increments?
     
  15. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    The one lot of the 2700 items incl, 900 plus individual book titles was sold on fRIDAY FOR aBOUT doLLARS 51'000 at SOthebys to the buyer who bought the majority nof lots.

    I dropped out of the bidding at about $ 22'000
     
  16. WatchDoc

    WatchDoc Guest

    Fortunat,
    as you and Tom know, it was quite an interesting sale. The only solace one gets is to think that the majority of the lots, including the working referance library, bought by a single buyer, will somehow one day be on public display again. This does not discount the fact that a lot of the prices were unreasonably high, eg the $51000 for the book lot.
    Dave
     
  17. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    Sorry, but I have a different take on it--maybe the BIG buyer needs this stuff to read about what he bought; besides, how does one display a library?
     
  18. WatchDoc

    WatchDoc Guest

    Jon, its rumored that he wants to rebuild part of the Time museum in Chicago - I'm sure you heard that too during the auction. Apparently the only watches he has ever bought have been at the Time museum auctions (last week as well as in years past). Dont know how much of this is fact or fiction.
    Dave
     
  19. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    Too bad he didn't have some coaching beforehand....................
     
  20. Modersohn

    Modersohn Registered User

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    Does anyone know who s/he is? In some sense, if s/he bought the books, they can just have a non lending library, like nawcc does, especially if you buy or have bought other books. Or just keep them together to donate to some library that wants them. Was the person American or foreign?

    Jessica
     
  21. Tom McIntyre

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    I did not get a copy of his business card, but I believe the name is Halim and he lives near Chicago.

    The library was not significant. It was the late editions working library for the Time Museum. All of the rarer issues had been previously disposed of.

    I would have liked to have the first 10 years of the Horological Journal (which are missing from my set) but other than that there was little of interest for me. The NAWCC Library and Research Center has essentially all the items that were in the sale, I believe.
     
  22. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    I stayed for the last lot as I was going to offer the books individually to 149 members on Web Horology and the nawcc emart but the lot went for double what it was worth for the work.

    (However, I did discuss the lot out with Mr. H. before the sale):biggrin:
     
  23. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    Fortunate, (or anyone else)

    Do you know the number of the three part set of Atwood catalogues printed?

    Usually, after time, these, used, individually become available for 10-20 dollars each. There are several small companies that deal in used auction cats, e.g. Sotheby's, Christies, Doyle, Baldwin, etc., etc.

    (Maybe the third session MIGHT become the "scarcest?":rolleyes:

    J
     
  24. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    Tom is correct there is relatively little on horology that the LARC at NWCM did not own (Although a lot of standard refeences on scrientific instruments which we do not have). However ther were some things which we would jave liked to aquire to get second copies (pending copies of many things) and some first copies of more obscure titles.

    All in all 2700 plus itesm, the majority magazine volumes and individusl magazines and auchtion catalogs and catalog reprints, and historic pricelists of horological booksellers and article clippings etc.

    An d yes I have talked at some legth to the purchaser Mr. Halim from Chicago and am confident that the material has a good home there and it is appreciated and needed and properly cared for there.

    Fortunat
     
  25. 4thdimension

    4thdimension Registered User

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    Fortunat, If you want help looking, send me a list and an approximate offer for the texts that are needed. I look at book lists often and have some other good resources too.
    -Cort
     
  26. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    One of the interresting aspects of the library were the past sales copies which evidentally were SA's.
     
  27. Tom McIntyre

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    I did not look at them. Were Seth's catalog notes there?
     
  28. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    I do not know his handwriting.
     
  29. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    In at least some of the book sales catlog there were penciled notes on the front allong the lines:

    "Will [presumably Will Andrews], Please check what we dont have yet and order immediatly otherwise they will be gone , Seth"

    followed by for example (in other writing)


    "No. 7, 67, 132, 133, 201, DONE! W."

    Not necessarily usefull or imprtant stuff but kind of nice to have for the person who has the bulk of the TM collection.

    Fortunat
     
  30. ron schneider

    ron schneider Registered User

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    was it just this sale or the others also
     

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