What’s It Worth? Extreme Rarity + High Hopes Occasionally Disappoint

We’re not really disappointed, but this watched received so much publicity, we expected more.

We buy from dealers all across the United States. and a jeweler in Washington, D.C., called with an extraordinary Patek Philippe watch that was one of a kind. Her customer was a direct relative of the watch’s original owner.

It was a special order by Elbert Farman when he was appointed by President Grant to be the ambassador to Egypt. Farman was very famous, and our research uncovered a treasure trove of information. (In particular, he arranged with the Egyptian government in 1877 to send Cleopatra’s needle — one of three ancient Egyptian obelisks in the world — to New York City. It has occupied a plum spot in Central Park since its installation in 1881. The other two obelisks reside in London and Paris.)

We purchased the watch for $45,000, speculating that it would bring big dollars. We sent it to Christie’s for an online auction and they gave it an estimate of $50,000 to $100,000. It was quickly picked up by the news media including GQ, Forbes, Esquire and several other publications. We were certain it would exceed the high estimate of $100,000.

After all that excitement, it brought a disappointing $65,200 at auction. The auction house took about $10,000 in fees, so we were thankful to make a profit of about 20 percent, and we felt someone got a heck of a bargain on this Patek. We, of course, expected to make much more (doesn’t everyone?).

If you have any vintage watches to sell, pay us a visit. We will treat you fairly. If you need an appointment in St. Petersburg or Tampa, give us a call or email jeffreyphess@aol.com.

We will meet you at your home, bank, or attorney’s office.
Always buying diamonds, fine wristwatches, pocket watches and expensive jewelry. Gold is high; sell NOW! No estate too small or too large.

JEFF HESS, Owner & Appraiser.
Comments, questions or suggestions for this column, please send to jeffreyphess@aol.com.
St. Petersburg 1131 4th St. N, St. Petersburg FL 33701. 727.898.4377.
Tampa International Plaza, 813.875.3935. Contact Us
Old Northeast Jewelers, Fine Jewelry and Watches, Buying and Selling since 1984.

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