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Friday, December 16, 2011

The Christmas Gift

What would he like for Christmas?
Repost from Christmas 2010

He might like a Pocket Watch.

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

It is replete with golden chain, watch fob and 2 keys.
Most watches are spring driven.  This watch is chain driven.

A key winds the pocket watch.
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 very 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, hereinafter 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 his office for a very long time.  Were we going to be wealthy?

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 (under $1,000) English Pounds at auction and hope this has been of assistance."

                       Have a great weekend my dear Blogging Friends.



  1. so sorry about your much too expensive repair

  2. what a roller coaster ride on this one! The watch is very lovely but ,I am sorry you have had so many conflicting appraisals on it. At least you have an accurate appraisal now!

    Tell me about the gilded putti in the background!!!

  3. Gina, this is an interesting tale of what we humans have been and might be. And what beautiful creations might have been produced somewhere along our uneven trail.

    The watch is a beauty, and I do hope that there might still be someone, somewhere, who might be able to have it tick the hours again.


  4. Hello Elna, thank you for stopping by and thank you for your invitation to join your party.

  5. Dear Theresa, The guilded putti belong to a small opera purse. An old and very dear friend of mine gave it to me for a birthday many years ago. The little purse is made of fabric and is adorned with a putti plate. The darker spots you see are left from little charming acorns which were attached at one time.

  6. Hi Frances, My story was not very clear. The watch did get repaired, only at a very high cost. The Boston Jeweller took advantage of us but he did repair the pocket watch.

  7. Hello Paul, Welcome and thank you for your visit. Life happens, doesn't it and sometimes we have to take the good with the bad. Merry Christmas.

  8. Gina, Thank you for sharing this at the Open House Party. I had a bad experience with an unethical jeweler myself so I can sympathise. I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

  9. Dear Sherry, it happens doesn't it. Warmest wishes to you and yours during this very special Season. Gina