A magnificent swan clock that was made for a Chinese emperor has been announced as one of the star lots of Sotheby's Treasures sale on July 9 in London.
The piece was likely produced for the Qianlong emperor and subsequently entered the collections of his sisters following his death in 1799.
Set with extremely fine guilloche enamel panels, the piece is now estimated to sell for £1m-1.5m ($1.6m-2.5m).
Luxury timepieces became extremely sought after in the 17th and 18th centuries in China and remain so today, with the market buoyant as ever.
Capitalising on the obsession, English clockmakers produced huge numbers of timepieces for the Chinese market, displaying increasingly complicated designs.
This was originally created under the reign of George III and was one of pair. It was acquired by great Swiss collector Gustave Loup in the early part of the 20th century and was then sold to Jacques-David LeCoultre, director of LeCoultre & Cie.
The clock then passed to his son, Roger LeCoultre, and was sold to the father of the present owner in 1953. It's watch collecting pedigree is expected to boost bids on sale day.
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