The collection offered in 61 lots by Lawrences of Bletchingley on the second day of a March 17-19 sale was a complete sell out. Mainly remote bidders, using the phone and online platforms competed for some outstanding 17th, 18th and 19th century watches that had been bought in the early years of the 20th century by Francis Payne, a successful London-based consulting and mining engineer.
Several of the pieces, consigned by the Payne family, were offered together with their original invoices from various leading retailers and auction houses at the time including the Hanover Street dealer and restorer Louis Desoutter.
The collection included four watches by Breguet that together made over £80,000. The most outwardly impressive of the four was a pair cased half hunter made for the Ottoman market. The gold inner and outer cases are both decorated in profuse guilloche enamel with floral scrolls on a claret ground. The quarter-repeating sapphire cylinder movement is numbered No 2330.
Housed in a red morocco leather covered case by Desoutter, together with a Breguet key, it includes a Breguet certificate No. 2774, detailing the sale of the watch by Leroy Constantinople in 1811, and paperwork from Breguet detailing various 19th century repairs, carried out for SE Abraham Pacha.
It also included a Louis Desoutter invoice to Francis Payne dated December 12, 1928 for £55, together with various notes and labels attached suggesting a link with Sultan Sellim III. Estimated at £40,000-60,000, it sold to an online bidder at £46,000.