The auction of the George Daniels Horological Collection is to feature a striking ebony table clock from Joseph Knibb as its top lot on November 6.
Held by Sotheby's in London, the sale is to star 130 timepieces from Daniels' extraordinary personal collection. The world's most illustrious watchmakers are all well represented in the sale, including a number of pieces from Daniels himself.
George Daniels was widely considered the best horologist in the world prior to his death in October 2011. He is best known as the creator of the co-axial escapement, which almost eliminates the sliding friction created as a watch unwinds, and has been used by Omega in its highest-grade watches since 1999. Daniels was also known as one of the few modern watchmakers who could create a complete watch by hand.
The sale will be led by the Joseph Knibb table clock, which is estimated at £600,000-900,000 ($962,000-1.4m). Knibb was a renowned clockmaker of the restoration era, who is known for his invention of the Roman striking system, as well as the quality of his work.
Dated 1677, the clock once belonged to Thomas Beckett, to whom it was presented by his lifelong friend King George III. Carved from ebony and mounted with silver, it is accompanied by documentation and photographs from John Philip Beckett, the great grandson of Thomas Beckett. The clock also features Knibb's Roman striking system, which uses a lower tone to represent five, with a higher tone used to represent one.
The highest valued lot from Daniels himself is his spectacular grand complication - an 18k yellow gold one-minute tourbillon that features Daniels' slim co-axial escapement. The watch was created for an exhibition dedicated to the watchmaker as an artist craftsman, held at the Clockmakers' Company in 1987.
The watch boasts numerous complications, including minute repeater, instantaneous perpetual calendar, equation of time, Moon-phases, thermometer and power reserve indication. It is expected to sell for £500,000-800,000 ($801,000-1.3m).