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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The well intentioned Christmas Gift

What would he like for Christmas?
Repost from 2010

He might like a Pocket Watch

A watch like this one; made in 1857 by a George R. Frodsham, Greys In Road, London, England

It is replete with golden chain, watch fob and 2 keys
The watch is chain driven, not spring driven as most watches are

A key winds the pocket watch from the back
And then, one day, the watch stopped working

We took it to the best Jewellers.  None could fix it because it is chain driven.  On our trip to Switzerland the watchmaker said that he would try.  He placed it in his vault and we went off to Egypt.  Upon our return, we picked up our watch.  He was sorry but he couldn't fix it.  Why not take it to England, he suggested.

But wait, a qualified person was found in Boston, USA

Yes, he would try.  After all, he was an Englishman and he was a certified member of the "Jewellers Board of Trade". 

An appraisal of said pocket watch followed by said person, hereafter unnamed.  Appraisal $20,000.00  Cost to repair, $3,500.00.   Return of our watch, NOT REPAIRED $300.00. 

What would you have done?

The person received $3,500.00 from us and we received our gold pocket watch, repaired.

A year later, while on a visit to London, we stopped in at Christie's Auction House, King Street, St. James, London. 

We were ushered into a private office.  An expert in solid gold pocket watches admired our watch.  We then showed him our certified appraisal.  The expert was speechless.  Excused himself to confer with one of his colleagues.  

We were left alone in the office.  Were we going to be wealthy?
Were we going to be arrested?  

The two charming gentlemen were shaking their heads.  Shaking their heads in disbelief at the $3,500.00 repair fee.  Christie's had recently repaired the "Tower of London" clock for 80 pounds,  about $120 US dollars at the time.  

They were incredulous that a reputable Jeweller and one of their own countrymen had taken advantage of us.

Christie's provided us with a Letter stating:  "We refer to our meeting yesterday and now confirm that your watch is a gold hunter lever pocket watch with Liverpool jewelling numbered to movement and case 11927 by George R. Frodsman, Greys In Road, London." 

"We would estimate this watch to fetch 300 to 500 English Pounds in auction and hope this has been of assistance."



  1. What a story! Thank you for your comment on my blog - it has been a real treat discovering yours as a result. Your photos are simply stunning - I haven't wanted to stop looking at them. I love your art work too, which reminds me of some of the ceramics I loved when living in Portugal. And I am intrigued by your varied and interesting life and talents - I will definitely be back!

  2. OMG! I am so sorry that this happened to you.

    You know, I swear there is much evil in this world. Sometimes the only consolation is the existence of karma. Ask me how I know!

    In the meantime, your blogging friends love you!


  3. Dear Karen, Welcome and I am so happy to meet you. I know how you feel not being able to go to Vienna for the holidays. We are the winners instead... a terrific and funny blog post was our present. Yes, please stop by again.
    And thank you so much for your compliments on my photos and ceramics. I think your photographs are pretty special...love your sweet dog photo in the snow.

  4. Dear Ann, there is an old saying "what goes around comes around". It was only money. He has to live with himself. It was probably not the first time he rookydood someone.
    In the meantime I was able to write a blog post about it. A $3,500.00 blog post.
    And I love my blogging friends, every single one of them.

  5. Sorry to hear this story. It's incredible how some people get such pleasure by cheating others! Well, I agree that someday he will get his!
    But at least your watch works!!!
    Merry Christmas :)

  6. I thought those things only happened in this country. I'm very sorry that this happened to you, but really glad that the watch was repaired!

  7. Dear Barbara, Enough time has passed that we can now remember the good stuff. Meeting nice people along the way who wanted to help.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  8. Dear Francesca, The watch is still running well. And in a round about way we enjoyed Egypt, Switzerland and England, all because of the watch.
    Looks like you are enjoying your "snowy" vacation. Merry Christmas.

  9. Wow. That is some story. I'm not sure what I would have done, but I think a letter to that repairman is in order. It is quite a beautiful peice. Great to have your post being a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  10. Hi Tablescaper, Yes, it was followed up by a phone call. He was unwilling to recognize his deceit. So, we live and learn, but this time an expensive learning experience.

  11. Beautiful arts. Thank you for joining my show off it makes me very happy. You are welcome again and I hope you will became a follower.