Monday, November 3, 2008

Elgin watch heaven



I collect Elgin pocket watches (and some of their wristwatches). I started collecting them when I was a kid and my great-grandmother gave me her great-uncle Edgar's Elgin pocket watch from the late 1860s. I have quite a few of them, maybe 2 dozen total or more? All of them are in good working order, and represent the very best of American manufacturing---beautiful strong metal works inside, and even though these watches are 100 plus years old, parts are readily available and so are repairers.
These photos? My repair lady Kate, whom I love as much as my barber Ellie and almost as much as my fat cat Spike, showed me these the other day. For sale.

What on earth do you do? I just stared at them. Usually you see one or 2 Elgins at an antique store, and you buy it or you don't? But more than 20!!!!!
The picture of the 3-4 are the ones I am considering. One is a plain open face (upper left in upper pic)with a train etched on the back----trains are very collectible items, and I don't have anything like that. Then there are 2 small hunter watches (hunter means that it has a lid and closes like a clamshell). The smaller of those (middle top in pic, closed)is gold plate and in superb condition, and Kate tells me not very easy for her to sell---nobody wants something like it (I SURE AS HELL DO! because I like pretty cases). The bigger hunter (open--middle bottom of pic) is solid gold-----and the gold is worth more than the watch itself and its owner wants to melt it down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sh!t. I don't have that kind of money. I see Kate this afternoon. I should leave the check book at home so I don't have a heart attack or do anything foolish.

15 comments:

Nancy L.K. Boyce said...

What antique store is this? How is the kiln doing?

Jessica said...

Cool collection! :)

Real Live Lesbian said...

Wow, he wants to MELT IT????

That's just so wrong.

kcinnova said...

I think foolishness is in order here. Maybe you can trade her some pots for some Elgins?

Or you can sell me some wee pots and use the fund$ toward Elgins?

Or rob a bank. No, wait. I didn't say that.

Gordo said...

Pots, pots. Sell lots of pots.

I love watches. Analog watches of all kinds and these are gorgeous.

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

man, do you know how many dozens of pots it would be in trade? yeah, I gotta sell some, because Kate doesn't seem to need any!

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

man, do you know how many dozens of pots it would be in trade? yeah, I gotta sell some, because Kate doesn't seem to need any!

Tricia said...

The watches are gorgeous. My husband has an antique pocket watch that's a beautiful family treasure.

Do report back and let us know if you left the check book at home.

Jojowatches said...

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Mother of Invention said...

Neat thing to collect! Kind of Wind In The Willows stuff. I collect tea cups with solid flowers or butterflies for handles...verey rare and I just found out that each one is now worth about $100! I'm afraid to use them!

Fortune Cookies said...

so the truth comes out, Gary the potter is really Sylar! ;)

Miss Heather said...

I can't BELIEVE they want to melt it down. What the ****? That's just wrong on so many levels. It's an antique!!

And maybe (like Fortune Cookies said) you ARE Sylar from Heroes. He is a watch-repairer and has a passion for watches. You do remind me of THAT part of him (he's actually a pretty bad guy!)....

You'll have to let us all know how many you end up buying (because I KNOW you can't resist them all!)...

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

I don't know Sylar or Heroes, sorry!

Reb said...

Wow, those are all beautiful Gary. I can't believe that someone would want to melt down an antique, but it takes all kinds.

Farmer*swife said...

Wow! Yeah, I know you well and these pretty little thing. Leave the check book at home....or, better yet? With the Missus.

I think those pretty pocket watches are your downfall when it comes to spending! LOL!

Hope she gets it working in ticking fashion!

You could always sell off Spike? [Don't tell him I said that.] ;-x

Happy V-G Day!