Winter Magic Auction

by Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.
December 5, 2015 10:00 AM CST Live auction
Chicago, IL, US | Auction Details

404 Lots

54: Automaton Stull Pocket Watch. American, ca. 1885; Stull mechanics added 1986. An outstanding quarter repeating pocket watch of superb craftsmanship and quality, with an added Stull “mental miracle” feature. In performance, the mind reader makes a prediction. The performer then demonstrates that, in addition to the hour and minute hands, the Jacquemart blacksmith figures on his elegant pocket watch strike their anvils, and the watch chimes, to reflect the time. Next, the watch is handed to a gentleman, who confirms that the hands spin freely.  The spectator closes the watch and spins the hands again, landing on a random time – a time even he does not know. Despite the “test conditions” under which the hands are spun, and despite the fact that the watch is in the hands of the spectator when rotated – the mind reader’s prediction is proven to be one hundred per cent accurate, as announced first by the chiming watch, then by the spectator’s opening it and viewing the face itself. The performer has predicted the exact time on which the hands stopped – before they were spun. The effect works without fail, and without the need of any outside mechanics, electronics, or confederacy, and can be repeated immediately and with different results virtually ad infinitum. The watch itself is an outstanding Victorian-era antique, which keeps time. It bears an engraved gilt silver dial with Roman numerals, hands of blued steel, and automaton figures crafted from rose gold. The figures strike an anvil at the center of the dial with their hammers, signifying the hour and the quarter hour. The timepiece rests in a fine 14-karat gold hunter style case, engraved on the recto, verso, and interior, which was manufactured and hallmarked by the Brooklyn Watch Case Co. circa 1885, and carries Serial No. 120207. The band on the case is line turned. The intricate Stull-style mechanism, expertly crafted and added to the watch, is signed and dated by the maker, “Thomas B. Freed, 1986.” Recently serviced and in perfect working condition and supplied with a 27-page report detailing the working, history, and features of the watch, along with all necessary details required to perform the miraculous prediction effect. The only such watch in the world, and a singularly spectacular piece of magical apparatus.
Est: $25,000 - $35,000


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